America’s Friendliest Cities…#6 Fort Worth, Texas


Fort Worth, Texas

When I think Texas, I think of cowboys and longhorns, rodeos and cattle drives, ten-gallon hats and big belt buckles…and Fort Worth! As the smaller, more laid-back half of the DFW duo, Fort Worth is a big city with more of that down-home feel. I spent some time in the downtown area last year and was quite impressed by its friendly atmosphere and curb appeal. While there are many attractions worth checking out in downtown, my favorite part of the city—hands down—is the Stockyards. I like that this little patch of Texas has embraced its history and retained its “cowtown” flavor. Here are a few fun things to put on your Fort Worth to-do list (not necessarily in order of preference)…

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What to do…

  • Cattle Drive:  Don’t miss the world’s only twice-daily longhorn cattle drive, complete with real cowboys and cowgirls! (11:30 a.m. AND 4:00 p.m.) Arrive early for a good spot!
  • Longhorn Photo Op:  Be sure to climb up on a real Texas longhorn steer and “have your picture made!” All you need is $5.00 and your camera!
  • Stagecoach and Carriage Rides:  Take a half-hour ride aboard an old-timey stagecoach or carriage, located outside the Stockyards Visitor Center on Exchange Avenue. (Thursday through Sunday…check web site for specific details and times)
  • Stockyards Station:  Grab a bite to eat (barbeque, burgers, Mexican food, ice cream), do a little shopping (there are more than 25 specialty stores…check web site for listing), or just relax on a bench outside the general store and indulge in a little people-watching! If you time it just right, you might even catch a Wild West Shoot-Out!
  • Stockyards Championship Rodeo:  Catch live western action every Friday and Saturday night as the historic Cowtown Coliseum hosts the world’s only year-round rodeo! (Drop by for a peek inside the coliseum during the week and view the pictorial timeline on the wall inside the entrance.)
  • Horseback Riding:  Choose a fifteen-minute arena ride, or go for the gusto with a trail ride along the Trinity River (half hour or full hour rides available).
  • Shopping along Main and Exchange…boots, hats, apparel, antiques, furniture, collectibles. There is something for everyone!
  • Historic Walking Tours including the Texas Trail of Fame and The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. (Visit Stockyard Station for tour information.)
  • Other tourist options include the Stockyards Museum, Cowtown Cattlepen Maze, Petting Zoo, and Segway Adventures.
  • Billy Bob’s Texas:  Even if (like me) you are not the boot-scootin’, honky-tonkin’ type, you may want to poke your head in during the day and take a gander at this three-acre “Texas institution” which houses a professional bull riding arena, a Wall of Fame with celebrity hand prints, a restaurant, and a general store.

Where to eat…

  • H-3 Ranch Steakhouse:  This Texas-style eatery serves up big flavor (steak, ribs, fish, chicken, pork…) and reflects western flair with class. My top pick!
  • Cattlemen’s Steak House:  With an extensive menu and even more extensive history, this is my second choice for true Texas fare!

Where to stay…

For the complete Fort Worth Stockyards experience, reserve a room at Hyatt Place Fort Worth Historic Stockyards, conveniently located on Exchange Avenue just steps from the action!

Fort Worth is an all-around great tourist destination with plenty to keep you busy for an entire weekend or more!  I’m ready to head that way…

Did you miss America’s Friendliest Cities: #8 Nashville, TN?


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