Known as the place "where the west begins," Fort Worth is a fast-growing North Texas metropolis with its roots in cowboy culture. Originally founded to protect the city of Dallas in 1849, Fort Worth boasts a newly revitalized Downtown with well-curated museums, high-end bistros, and storied sites like the grassy knoll where JFK was assassinated and Thistle Hill, which brings to life the cattle town's past. Whether you're a foodie hungering after your next plate of barbecue or a history buff who wants to relive the glory days of the American West, Fort Worth has what you're looking for and more.
With the entire Fort Worth metro area covering a total of 350 square miles (906 sq km), there's more to this Texan town than immediately meets the eye. Downtown, you can peruse one of the most acclaimed collections of modern art in all of Texas. Or, two-step your way to the Stockyards to discover why locals lovingly refer to their city as Cowtown.
At the heart of Downtown lies Sundance Square, a 35-block commercial district with exquisite old buildings nestled next to lofty skyscrapers. In addition to walking in the footsteps of the city's cattle barons, railroad workers, and oil men, you can dine at one of Fort Worth's swankiest restaurants or venture inside the Sid Richardson Museum, a trove of American art.
If inspiration is what you're after, head to the museums in Fort Worth's Cultural District. World-class collections at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Kimbell Art Museum—an architectural feat filled with European masterpieces—make this iconic stretch an art aficionado's paradise.
Much more than a former livestock market, the Fort Worth Stockyards reveal the city's lineage as a longtime contributor to the cattle industry. This Old West-inspired strip lies on the National Register of Historic Places, with sites like the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame to visit, and plenty of toe-tapping honky tonks and salty saloons where you can belly up to the bar.
In Fort Worth, football isn't just a sport, it’s a way of life. If you're visiting in the fall, consider spectating a college football game at Texas Christian University—just be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, as home games sell out. Or, for a walk on the wild side, visit the Fort Worth Zoo, where exotic animals and a petting corral with goats, chickens, tortoises, and corn snakes appeal to the littlest nature lovers.
Beyond raring rodeos and finger-licking barbecue, there are a bevy of things to do in Fort Worth. Got shoes made for walking? Dust off your boots and head over to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame to pay homage to the heroines of the American West. The history lesson continues at the Log Cabin Village, where you can see Cynthia Ann Parker’s homestead and watch costumed actors bringing mid-19th-century Texas to life. To soak up the city’s contemporary charms, visit the Fort Worth Japanese Garden, where many of the plants were donated by Fort Worth's sister city—Nagano, Japan. Finally, you don't have to confine your adventures to the city limits. A trip to Fort Worth isn't complete without a look at nearby attractions like the GeO-Deck atop the Reunion Tower.