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Sometimes travel can happen just a short distance away. In fact travel can even happen in your own home town and even if you live there! I try to discover new things right where I stand as often as possible. Travel is something that happens in the soul, above and beyond the space you go to and it is something the heart needs to experience. Travel more, travel often. This is a short tale about how I “travelled” to my hometown of Fort Worth, where I currently live and this is my experience. I absolutely love my city. Fort Worth, Texas is a large city about 40 miles west of Dallas, Tx. WE ARE NOT DALLAS. I’m going to say it one more time… We are an entirely different city, lifestyle and culture when compared to Dallas. Fort Worth has been described as a “small-big town” and “like a small country town but with sky scrapers” and I would say those hit the nail on the head. Here in Fort Worth we keep things simple and friendly. The wonders of this beautiful city couldn’t possibly be summed up into 10 Things To Do but I will do my best to highlight my favorites!
FREE Valet Parking in Downtown Fort Worth anywhere you see the RED VALET UMBRELLAS (tip your valet!)
#1 Hike the Trinity Trails
Take a hike on our beautiful Trinity Trails. These trails follow the Trinity River through Downtown Fort Worth and the views are magnificent! There is plenty of trail and plenty of rest stops on the way. A great place to start your hike would be at Trinity Park Trailhead Main. There is a park for kids and free parking as well as access to the trail before it branches off three different ways, so you have more options for your hike. Ducks usually hang out in groups all along the Trinity River and expect to be photographed, sometimes they even pose for the picture.
#2 Grab a popsicle at Steel City Pops
A fun mid-day stop I recommend is Steel City Pops. This adorable popsicle shop makes in house popsicles of many varieties. Although they started in Alabama our community here in Fort Worth is more than happy to have our very own location. From chocolate to pure fruit and all the fun flavor options this place won’t disappoint. Try their “pop of the month” while you are there!
#3 Sundance Square
Sundance Square is in the heart of Downtown Fort Worth. This is one of the coolest Downtowns in the U.S due to its laid back vibe and family friendly environment. Bring the whole family and play in the Sundance Square water fountains or grab a cute photo with your significant other in the middle of the falling water. Don’t be shy, ask a native Fort-Worthian to snap a photo for you if you run solo, we are a friendly bunch! Another cool water feature of downtown is the Fort Worth Water Gardens, cool photo ops for sure! Be sure to also get a photo in front of the Chisholm Trail Mural (right next to the water fountains in Sundance), which has painted on it a beautiful mural by Richard Haas. For a nice dinner stop in at The Bird Cafe or Waters Restaurant which are right in Sundance Square. Don’t forget to pop in to the many museums located right off Sundance Square Downtown Fort Worth!
#4 Magnolia Avenue
This artistic avenue is strung with local eateries and bars and does well at mixing a diverse crowd. Old time Fort-Worthians call Magnolia Ave the “mini Austin” of Texas. Take a stroll down this avenue and you might come across a crochet wrap tangled onto a telephone pole in an artistic protest to city owned property, which is believed to be community owned by those who dress our town in their beautiful art. Be sure to swing into Brewed for a famous “Brewed Burger” and a local brew on tap or a house made specialty latte if you prefer bean over hops. Brewed also features an outside patio with fire pits and some of the greatest bar tenders around! Be sure to have a cheap shot at The Chat Room or The Boiled owl, our notorious dive bars here in Southside Magnolia.
Photo credit FWWeekly.com
#5 Bar Hop at West 7th & Montgomery Plaza
Tried and true and a little bit new, this area is a newer built area attached to the West side of Fort Worth by our historic Montgomery Plaza building. This area definitely has its own identity, there is very little free parking unlike the rest of Fort Worth but what can I say except you get what you pay for. A lot of bars and restaurants in this area require a strict dress code. There are a few sweet spots you can’t miss while in West 7th/Montgomery Plaza area. Stop in at Pop’s Safari Room Cigars for an authentic cigar lounge experience that has been in Fort Worth for over two decades and is a local favorite. If you are in the mood for some great pizza I highly recommend Fireside Pies (sit at the bar where you can watch the magic of cooking these artisan pizzas happening!) Start the night out with fresh sushi at Sushi Axiom, a beloved Fort Worth favorite for sushi night!
#6 Stop by Chef Point Bar & Restaurant
This fun bar and restaurant is actually located inside of a gas station! Even though it’s not technically in Fort Worth’s city limits, it’s a hop skip and a jump away and totally worth your time. At Chef Point Bar & Restaurant the chef is super nice and usually available for a conversation if you request a meet and greet. They serve a bloody mary that is out of this world and blogger famous as well as very very yummy! (check out the picture and video below and experience this place the way I did!)
#7 Fort Worth Botanical Gardens
Fort Worth Botanical Gardens offers an array of peaceful walks and meditative scenery and most of the garden access is free to the general public! I recommend paying to see the Japanese Gardens on site while you are there but the quiet walk around the public garden is breathtaking regardless!
#8 Rockin’ The River Concert at Panther Island Pavilion
Join the locals on the Trinity River in Downtown Fort Worth during the summer months for a free concert! Bring your own tube or rent one for a few bucks on location. Food and alcohol vendors show up to supply the crowds. This is something I personally do every week in the summer! Just imagine chilling in a tube in the cool river water with a huge stage right on the water! Local Texas Country artist tend to be the primary performers and usually stick around after to meet with the tourist and locals for good conversation. End it all with the best fire work show in North Texas, complete with a huge explosion in the end! Don’t miss this cool adventure and bring the kiddos if you’ve got em’, it’s family friendly!
#9 Stockyards National Historic District
A MUST SEE
If you want to experience the cowboy culture of Fort Worth you need to dedicate at least one day in The Stockyards. This area is dedicated to good ol’ country living complete with Texas Longhorns and Cowboy hats on almost every head. This area brought Fort Worth the nickname “Cowtown” and accurately so. This is the real deal you guys, the Fort Worth Stock Yards presents The Herd, a Texas longhorn cattle drive every day at 11:30am & 4:00pm located on Exchange Avenue. There is REAL Texas BBQ at Riscky’s BBQ. Another proud genre of food here in Fort Worth is TexMex. Fort Worth does TexMex right. You MUST stand in line and sip a margarita and wait for a table at Joe T. Garcia’s as this is a staple of FW and absolutely cannot be missed. The entire experience of standing in the hot sun amongst a herd of hungry humans while you send one of your group members to refill the margarita pitcher is all part of the Joe T. Garcia’s dinner rush. The menu serves only two options, both of which are amazing and all the sides are served family style (& ask to sit in the garden area for sure.) Once inside Joe T’s you may witness a wedding proposal or celebration as this is the hot spot to propose and party! All in all you don’t want to miss this boot stomping, line dancing, finger licking time, margarita under the sun time in the Stockyards National Historic District!
#10 Burger’s Lake
A hidden gem of Fort Worth, Burger’s Lake offers beautiful scenery and lake life for a day. With more than one sandy beach, picnic tables and water slides this place was built for fun. There is an admission fee per person but for those that have the funds it is well worth your investment. The lake is a fresh spring water lake and the park pans across 30 acres providing plenty of room to run around. Don’t miss out on summer fun at Burger’s Lake.