From the Stockyards National Historic District to the bustling nightlife, Texas culture radiates across the city of cowboys and culture. On your Fort Worth staycation, discover the city’s cattle heritage, priceless art, live music and the original frozen margarita. If you’re wondering where to start, let these tips help you plan your stay.
Things to Do on a Fort Worth Staycation
You may not expect to find a modern downtown in a city that began as a military outpost. But, that’s exactly what you’ll find when you start your staycation in Sundance Square. No longer a stop on the Chisholm Trail, today the area consists of 35 walkable blocks of dining, boutiques and entertainment. Start your Fort Worth staycation in the city’s historic center with a drink at one of the many outdoor dining venues.
If you’re looking for a good local beer brewed by Texans, Martin House Brewery is the perfect spot. This team of brewers avoids the traditional approach of brewing beer in favor of a more adventurous approach that capitalizes on strong flavors and the best ingredients they can get their hands on. Stop by on Thursdays from 6-8 pm or on Saturdays from 2-5 pm for a guided tour and enjoy getting to sample their nine unique brews. Some of the customer favorites are Mind On My Money, a Gin & Juice inspired Ale, and the Pretzel Stout, which is brewed with over six pounds of crushed sourdough pretzels per barrel.
If you’re looking for an authentic Western Cowboy Experience, spend an afternoon at the Fort Worth Stockyards. This is the home of the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive, and also the world’s only year-round rodeo that takes place in the historic Fort Worth Cowtown Coliseum. Spend a Friday or Saturday night watching bull riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bronco riding. No visit to the Stockyards is complete without a stop by Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest Honky-Tonk. It’s a 127,000 square foot dancehall, with over 30 bar stations, where guests can learn to line dance, two-step, and get their picture taken with the signature faux bucking bull.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History provides the community with creative, vibrant programs and exhibits which provide interpretations of the science and stories of Texas and the Southwest. Visit the museum’s world-class traveling exhibits such as the DinoLabs or the interactive Energy Blast exhibit. Wrap up your afternoon by exploring the deep sea or inching up the peak of Mount Everest at the Omni Theater. One of the biggest IMAX domes in the United States, the Omni Theater provides its audience with the drama of the oversized film and a tilt-domed architecture to create a unique cinematic experience.
Get a little glimpse of history right in the heart of Fort Worth. The Log Cabin Village is a living history museum devoted to preserving Texas heritage. Guests can escape the present and experience the past by taking a look at the artifacts and representative structures of the nineteenth century Texas pioneer era. The Log Cabin Village is an interactive and educational experience the whole family will enjoy.
The Fort Worth Zoo, at 116 years of age, is the oldest zoo in Texas and has 12 amazing exhibits ranging from the African Savannah and the Meerkat Mounds to the Australian Outback and the Raptor Canyon. Their most famous is the Texas Wild! Exhibit which celebrates the Lone Star state’s different regions with a focus on wildlife conservation.
The Kimbell Art Museum has been serving the Fort Worth community for about 30 years. With nearly 350 works, the museum is dedicated to providing art with the highest possible aesthetic quality and historical importance. Attend a guided tour of the Piano Pavilion or the Permanent Collection on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Don’t forget to take a look at the featured exhibits such as daring impressionism pieces by Gustave Caillebotte or one of the world’s great collections of European art from the National Galleries Scotland.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is dedicated to collecting, presenting and interpreting international developments in post-World War II art in all media. The museum’s permanent collection contains nearly 2,600 objects, and features interesting and unique exhibitions year-round. The museum also features films, performances, interactive classes, speakers and much more.
Where to Eat in Fort Worth
If you’re looking for a fun place to enjoy great margaritas and delicious Mexican food, the iconic Joe T. Garcia’s is your spot. Request to sit outside and enjoy an evening by their beautifully lit pool. Everything is served family-style including Enchiladas and Fajitas so be hungry and ready to share.
Gourmet burgers are on the rise, and Rodeo Goat is dishing out some of the most creative combinations Fort Worth has to offer. As a rookie in the burger game, Rodeo Goat surprised everyone and won the 2013 Burger Battle and was given the title of DFW’s Best Burger. Try the Sugar Burger for a delicious twist on sweet and salty. It has candied bacon, caramelized onions, grilled peaches and jalapeno jam, your taste buds will thank you.
No shortcuts here. Just scratch-made, traditional Texas Style barbecue. Husband and wife team Travis and Emma Heim went from serving their family recipes out of a truck in a parking lot, to running out of meat on a regular basis at their enviable location on Magnolia St. in the up and coming Near Southside neighborhood of Fort Worth. Our favorites? The C.A.B. Brisket, the Bacon Burnt Ends, the Green Chile Mac & Cheese and Emma’s pinto beans. But trust us when we say “go early.” The line winds around the block almost any given day of the week.
Cast Iron captures the true flavor of Fort Worth through an emphasis on local ingredients and southern style, with a twist on hometown classics. Come and taste why they’ve been voted “Diner’s Choice Winner” for best Sunday Brunch by Open Table and “Best Breakfast” in Fort Worth Magazine’s annual Culinary Awards. Whether cozying up to the fireplace with a special someone, or sharing from the family-style menu at the large family tables, this is a dining experience that will be enjoyed by all.
Where to Shop in Fort Worth
West 7th is located in the Fort Worth Cultural District and offers an artfully authentic dining and shopping experience. The shopping center spans six major streets and covers nearly five city blocks. With an array of boutiques, restaurants, bars and entertainment, there is a little something for everyone.
A visit to M.L. Leddy’s is like a trip back in time. Located in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards since 1941, every custom handmade boot owner has his or her page in the M.L. Leddy’s celebrated history books. Each custom made boot and saddle is completely handmade from start to finish, using only the finest materials available by seasoned experts. The “Leddy” standard is unsurpassed, and quick became a tradition when it came to saddle making and boot making with expert craftsmanship.
A new development located just west of downtown, The Shops at Clearfork is the new premier destination for dining, retail and entertainment. Featuring top local, regional and national retail brands including Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., and with more opening within the next year, The Shops have already become the headquarters for luxury shopping in Fort Worth.
University Park Village is an open-air lifestyle center featuring upscale retail stores, dining, and specialty boutiques. You can find your latest fashion fix in shops like Free People, Madewell, Lululemon, Athropologie and many more. With Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and Yves Delorme also in the area, you will be sure to find new pieces for your home as well.
Where to Stay in Fort Worth
Omni Fort Worth Hotel represents progressive luxury and offers amenities illustrating the Western spirit embodied by the city that surrounds it. Whether you visit for business or leisure, and whether you seek an exciting nightlife or spend your days in the city’s world-class museums, Omni Fort Worth Hotel provides the ideal retreat in one of America’s most exciting cities.
Voted “Best Massage in Fort Worth” by Fort Worth Magazine for the 4th year in a row, Mokara Spa is the only full-service spa in downtown Fort Worth. Offering a full range of spa treatments, including massages, facials, body wraps and nail services, spa guests are pampered with a world-class spa experience in the heart of the city.
For more Texas Staycations, read Best Staycation Cities: Dallas.