***This travel column originally appeared in our Fall Ranch House Journal. Never miss another travel feature, subscribe before the winter issue deadline.***
Wrought in history, but still on the cutting edge of development, Fort Worth is a quaint town with activities for everyone in the family to enjoy.
I’ve called Fort Worth home for two and a half years now; long enough to consider myself a local. As a local, I feel as though I have a pretty decent grasp on Fort Worth happenings. Such a grasp that it would be almost impossible to include every hangout within one article.
Thus, I’ve decided to highlight a few of my favorite places and spaces by district. Enjoy!
FORT WORTH STOCKYARDS
Did you really get the entire Fort Worth experience if you didn’t visit the world famous Historic Fort Worth Stockyards? The answer is, probably not. If you’re a history buff, who loves western fashion and enjoys a delicious steak every now and then, the Fort Worth Stockyards is the spot for you! Be sure to set aside some time to explore these places while you’re in town.
- Maverick Fine Western Wear is one of the most iconic western stores in Fort Worth, if not the country. Home to many high-end western brands, the store has beautiful and fashionable items for everyone in the family.
- M.L. Leddy’s is known for producing dazzling, one-of-a-kind custom boots. Visit their location in the Stockyards and gawk over walls covered in some of the most intricate western boot designs you will ever see.
- Joe T. Garcias is home to one of, if not the most beautiful patio in Fort Worth. A family-owned mexican restaurant rich in tradition, Joe T.’s boasts a simple, but delicious menu where items are served family style. Insiders tip: bring cash!
- Lonesome Dove Western Bistro is one of the finest steakhouses in Fort Worth. Owner/chef Tim Love spared no detail when creating the menu and atmosphere for the restaurant in 2000. Since then, the establishment has received numerous awards and recognitions.
- Stockyards Championship Rodeo is held in the first indoor coliseum in the United States and home of the World’s first indoor rodeo. The rodeo hosts performances every evening during weekends.
- White Elephant Saloon is one of my favorite bars in the Stockyards. Live music, western scenery and friendly staff are guaranteed at this popular Fort Worth destination.
DOWNTOWN FORT WORTH
Downtown Fort Worth is home to premiere shopping and dining. Plus, the area boasts some fantastic cultural experiences, like comedy clubs and amazing performance halls. If you’re looking for more of an upscale, black-tie adventure while you’re in town, check out these locations.
- Reata Restaurant is another one of my favorite Fort Worth dining experiences. Named after the ranch in the legendary movie “Giant” starring James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, the restaurant is known for its western-styled cuisine.
- Del Frisco’s Grille on Sundance Square. If you’re looking for a a delicious dining experience that won’t break the bank, Del Frisco’s Grille on the square is the perfect spot. Request a table on the patio for a fantastic view of Sundance Square.
- Sundance Square is a fun place to sit and enjoy all the sights and sounds of downtown Fort Worth. Depending upon what time of year you visit, the square is often decorated to reflect the season. The square is also home to many concerts throughout the year.
- Bass Performance Hall is a beautiful structure home to many unforgettable performances. The Hall is the permanent home of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and Cliburn Concerts. To see a full list of events, visit www.basshall.com.
Some might consider West 7th the more “hip” side of town. Home to many different bars, restaurants and popular hangouts, this area is often where the younger crowds flock to. If you’re looking for a fun night out with friends, be sure to swing by these local spots.
- Fred’s Texas Cafe is one of my all time favorite Fort Worth spots. Whether you’re looking for Friday dinner or Sunday brunch, Fred’s offers comfort foods of all kinds! Plus, the patio has live entertainers weekly.
- JJ’s Oyster Bar is a must if you enjoy seafood, or more specifically oysters! They serve up some of the most delectable oysters in the city. The restaurant is located in a small, dive-like building, which only adds more to its unique atmosphere and character.
- Magnolia Motor Lounge is one of my favorite concert venues in Fort Worth. This intimate bar is home to nightly musical entertainment. For a full schedule of performances, visit www.magnoliamotorlounge.com/.
- American Gardens is a great place to kick back, enjoy a cold one, and play games. Yes, that’s right, I said games! From foosball tables and cornhole to life size beer pong (minus the beer), American Gardens is a great location for some good, clean fun.
Home to some of the country’s greatest museums and the historic Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, the Cultural District is the perfect location for a full-day of family-friendly explorations and adventures. Here are a few of my favorite places…
- Taco Heads is a laid back restaurant that specializes in, you guessed it, tacos! With mostly outdoor seating, the venue is the perfect location for lunch with the family.
- Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates western women who helped shape our country’s heritage and history. The museum features exhibits dedicated to western icons like Annie Oakley and Sandra Day O’Connor.
- Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the perfect location for fresh air and beautiful scenery. Regardless of the season, the botanic garden has items blooming year round. If you’re needing to stretch your legs and get outside, you might find that a jaunt around the garden is just what the doctor ordered.