Best of the WEST
Giddyup for some fresh fun in Fort Worth, from cattle drives and stetsons to a museum devoted to video games
Fort Worth, Texas, has been known for years as “Cowtown,” dating back to its origins as a stop for cattle wranglers along the Chisholm Trail. Today, a whole new boomtown is developing in the fifth largest city in Texas, with a touch of cowboy swagger along with a heaping helping of family-friendly fun for a new generation of visitors.
TOP MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS
Start your visit at Fort Worth Stockyards, an area that has just undergone a multi-million-dollar redevelopment, bringing in fresh, new dining spots and boutiques (in case you need a new pair of cowboy boots or a hat). Be sure to catch the twice daily longhorn cattle drive, which takes place down East Exchange Avenue at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
In the mood for more cowtown inspiration? Grab some tickets for an evening rodeo at Cowtown Coliseum (also in the Stockyards district) or explore John Wayne: An American Experience, which explores the life and legacy of a true Western movie legend. The Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum is also nearby, showcasing the bold spirit of the women of the American West.
For indoor fun and education, the city also boasts some of the best art museums in the state, including the Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, all in the Cultural District. And get some fresh air and exercise hiking or biking the more than 100 miles of Trinity Trails running alongside the Trinity River, near attractions such as the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and the Fort Worth Zoo, regularly named as one of the top five zoos in the U.S.
WHERE TO STAY
Continuing with your cowboy themed vacation, check in to the new Hotel Drover in the Mule Alley area of the Stockyards, a luxe-Western themed Autograph Collection hotel full of vintage cowboy memorabilia. Your kids will want to spend the entire day in the hotel’s backyard, a tree-canopy oasis overlooking the Trinity River with a stunning pool and oversized hot tub (Mom and Dad can order up a cocktail to enjoy on the plush pool lounges or daybed swings).
WHERE TO EAT
There are several new options in the Stockyards district, including Provender Hall for steaks and burgers and Biscuit Bar for biscuit-based sandwiches and over-the-top tater tots. Joe T. Garcia’s is a legendary Tex-Mex restaurant in the city with a stunning outdoor dining space and Flying Fish is another super casual seafood hotspot (be sure to check out the collection of mounted plastic fish on the walls). For dessert, grab a scoop at Melt, a local ice cream shop with lip-smacking flavors like lavender honeycomb and blueberry cheesecake.
If kids (or parents) are into video games, add on a day trip to the suburb of Frisco, a 45-minute drive from Fort Worth where you’ll find the National Videogame Museum. Play on vintage consoles, explore old-school memorabilia, and snag the high score inside the arcade on-site. Order a gamer-themed entrée or dessert at Nerdvana, where you can order up a tasty meal while playing your favorite retro video game. You’ll also find the country’s first KidZania, a fully immersive kid-centered town where children can try out different careers and even earn special currency to spend.
No matter what your family’s style is, Fort Worth has a full range of kid-friendly attractions, plus a great sense of community and a unique small-town feel that makes it ideal for an exciting escape from daily life. Your travel advisor has even more suggestions to help you plan your summer vacation. Make sure to reach out.