While Fort Worth is smaller than the nearby city of Dallas, there is a great deal to do when visiting the area. The Dallas Cowboys football team call this ranching community home. The city is full of Old West history, with museums, galleries, architecture, restaurants, and live entertainment easily accessible. Visitors of all ages can find exciting information about the working ranches of the past and see modern tributes to life in the west. There are many top-rated tourist attractions in Fort Worth.
Walking through the Fort Worth Zoo, established in 1909, is perhaps one of the most entertaining ways to spend a day. Among the zoo's residents are more than 68 endangered species. Visit the great apes, rhinos, African lions, meerkats, giraffes, hippos, and elephants. Kids will love the country carousel and train, too.
Spanning over 109 acres, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden has been showing off its beauty to visitors since 1934. This awe-inspiring mesh of colors and textures features more than 2500 species of plants and 23 gardens. Japanese gardens, rose gardens, and even a rainforest conservatory provides tourists and locals with a mesmerizing experience. Don’t pass up walking over the Koi pond on the incredible arched bridge.
A stroll through the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District, established in 1866, brings visitors back to the old west. This location was once a major stopover for cattle drivers on the Chisholm Trail. It is now home to shops, museums, and restaurants. You can catch live shows and rodeos in this neck of the woods, as well.
One of the most interesting places in downtown Fort Worth is the Water Gardens near the Convention Center. Travelers can cool off in the multiple, contrasting falls. The space is enclosed by beautiful, shade-giving trees and even features a dedicated wading area. The meditation pool provides a peaceful place to rest among the cypress trees.
Any visitor to Forth Worth who loves art won't want to miss the Sid Richardson Museum. The museum is home to a collection of art pieces from 1942 to 1959, all displayed in a historic 1880s brick building. The work of artists such as Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington line the interior of the building, illustrating the classic Old West.
Over 2600 modern and contemporary works of art make up the Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth collection. The building is concrete and glass with a beautiful reflecting pond and sculpture garden. The words of Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Gerhard Richter are among those famous artworks on display.
The west is known for cowboys and cowgirls from the past and present. The National Cowgirl Museum and Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame illustrate the pride of Fort Worth. Full of memorabilia and information on the cowboys and cowgirls of yesteryear, the sites depict past rodeos and the culture of the Old West, as well as the western world of today.
The Vintage Flying Museum located at Meacham International Airport is full of aircraft from years past, such as the WWII DC3 and a B-29 Superfortress. The extensive collection of planes is accessible to visitors, along with educational information. The museum is a great experience for all ages.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History opened in 1945. The large collection and various exhibits provide hands-on experiences for visitors interested in digging up dinosaurs, embarking to outer space, or becoming a cowboy. Fort Worth Children’s Museum, a DinoLab, and DinoDig, as well as a cattle-raisers museum, are all housed under the same roof.
Log Cabin Village makes learning about the history of Fort Worth and the Old West even more exciting. This living history museum illustrates life in the 1800s, with salvaged and relocated buildings from the era. Visit this engaging site filled with authentic artifacts and buildings, including log homes, a blacksmith shop, and an old-fashioned schoolhouse.
Kimbell Art Museum is blessed with extraordinary architecture thanks to the renowned Louis I. Kahn. The breathtaking building is a fitting tribute to its contents. The art here is world-class, comprising rare, beautiful, and communicative pieces from around the globe. Permanent collections include works by such maestros as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Goya, Monet, Picasso, Matisse, and Rembrandt. Kimbell Art Museum is at the center of Fort Worth's art scene and hands down one of the best art museums in the American South.
If you love a bit of retail therapy, head straight for Sundance Square. A downtown shopping extravaganza awaits, and when you're maxed out, there are a bunch of fabulous dining options to sate your hunger. The ambiance out on the plaza is chef's kiss, especially when there's live music. Bass Hall is nearby on the off chance you want to end the day with a spontaneous trip to the theatre.
While you're in the Cultural District, pop into the ACMAA. The museum houses a collection par excellence and does justice to two centuries' worth of American and other works in a wide array of mediums. The themed collections and pieces on display fire up the imagination and can inspire everyone who walks through ACMAA's doors to create. You might leave with a few ideas yourself. And the best part? All the exhibits at the museum are free.
The performing arts are honored and elevated at the Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth. You can witness ballerinas, opera singers, and orchestras at the height of their craft or gape at Broadway productions on tour. Between stellar acoustics and grand decor, your night at the theatre will be hard to beat.
Crazy about planes and flying? You'll love the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The museum focuses on commercial aviation. It isn't technical enough to bore kids but includes extensive information for those in the know. Expect full-scale engines, interactive displays, a DC-3 aircraft you can board, and movie theater chairs that were first-class seats in another lifetime.
NASCAR fans, this one is for you. Head on over to northern Fort Worth for an adrenaline-fueled motorsport adventure with a bit of actual fuel thrown in for good measure. Watching a race is high-octane fun for young and old, but during Christmas, you can take the power level down a notch with car-shaped light displays. Carry clear bags, earplugs to block out the blaring noise, and sun protection when you go in the daytime.
Open since the late 1950s; the Forest Park Miniature Railroad shows up in countless Fort Worth family photographs over the last few generations. Thousands of people rode the little locomotive in the first few days after it opened, and the Hames family still manages the nostalgic weekend attraction. It's a local landmark beloved by children and one that you should experience for some wholesome fun. The train ride takes a 40-minute roundtrip, covers five miles looping through Trinity Park, TCU, and the Zoo, and spans six bridges. Bring cash and snacks for a picnic.
Trinity Park in the Fort Worth Cultural District is only a hop and a skip away from the other recreational attractions in the area. The park is over 100 years old, and you can walk its grounds, play basketball, or simply enjoy the scenery seven days a week. You could even use the trails for cycling all the way to Dallas if you wanted to. Within Trinity Park, you'll find Dream Park, a wonderfully inclusive, accessible, and fenced-in children's play area for young ones of varying abilities. There's a duck pond nearby and a good chance you'll spot the Forest Park Miniature Railroad in Trinity Park or hear the sounds of gleeful kids enjoying the ride.
Take a break from the urban hubbub and head for Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge near Lakeside. Hikers will enjoy more than 20 miles of trails winding their way through diverse terrain, and a naturalist can join you should you need a guide. If you visit outside of winter, you might be lucky enough to spot bison. But other creatures, great and small, dot the landscape throughout the year. Watch out for gators while strolling or paddling canoes, and spend a little time at the Hardwicke Interpretive Center to learn about the environment.