Fort Worth is one of those cities that you can return to often without tiring of it. Smaller in size than the cities I’ve become used to, it’s welcoming, there is plenty to do, and it’s gorgeous. In fact, it’s one of my favorite places to visit. From Sundance Square to the Stockyards, there is plenty to do and new things to explore every time you visit. It feels safe and the people are friendly. If you are a first time visitor, I have a few things you should know before arriving that will be helpful during your visit. From transportation to the layout of the city, keep reading for five things you should know before visiting Fort Worth, Texas.
1 - You can walk the heart of downtown in less than a day. The heart of downtown Fort Worth is much smaller than you’d think. In fact, you can walk the entire area in less than a day. While there is plenty to fill your time for a whole day or even an entire weekend, to walk the entire expanse would take a few hours. The downtown area includes Sundance Square, the Fort Worth Water Gardens, Bass Performance Hall, and the Fort Worth Convention Center. I’d recommend getting started at the Southern end of the city with the Fort Worth Water gardens and making your way North towards Sundance Square for shopping, dining and entertainment.
2 - Go see a Broadway Show...or any form of art, actually. Fort Worth is a great city if you’re a fan of the performing arts. Bass Performance Hall is a gorgeous theater that hosts everything from comedy shows to Broadway musicals. This month Broadway at the Bass presents The Book of Mormon and next month, Jersey Boys. Bass Hall has hosted everything from Les Miserables to Elf. The schedule of events carries something for families, adults, girlfriends...everyone! For a little more informal type of entertainment, Sundance Square is home to several entertainment establishments including Four Day Weekend, a stand-up comedy theater which is a blast, and Scatt Jazz Lounge. Not to mention, you can often find live music in Sundance Square Plaza when the weather permits.
3 - Getting there is easy. Driving and parking are easy around Fort Worth but for those traveling via public transportation, there are many options as well. The TRE which I discussed a bit last week in “5 Things To Know About Irving,” has a few stops in Fort Worth, two of which are in the heart of downtown. T&P Station is the final stop on the TRE towards Fort Worth and let’s out near the Water Gardens. The Fort Worth stop is closer to Sundance Square just a bit Northeast of the convention center. There’s plenty of street parking throughout Fort Worth and parking garages that are either free or minimally priced.
4 - The Stockyards are separate from the downtown area. Everything so far has been geared towards the heart of downtown Fort Worth where you’d find Sundance Square - arguably one of it’s more popular spots. However, the Historic Stockyards also draw a crowd and for good reason. It’s one of the few places you can still get a real taste of the American West. From the iconic Stockyard Station to embarking on train tours through Texas wine country, the stockyards have something for everyone and great photo opportunities to top it off. The one caveat about the Stockyards is that they’re not as easy to get to if you’re relying on public transportation. Driving and parking is easy enough but there is only one bus stop in the area for drop offs. However, it’s a must if you haven’t been and well worth the trip. I would dedicate a morning or afternoon if you’re able and grab a bite to eat as well.
5 - Get out of the heart of downtown. While Sundance Square and downtown Fort Worth are not to be missed, there’s much to explore outside of the city as well. Near the medical district, you’ll find Magnolia Avenue which is hands down my favorite place in the city. The street is lined with independent boutiques, restaurants and cafes. If you veer off of Magnolia Avenue, you’ll find cute bungalows...some of which have seen better days and others that have been renovated in ways that would make HGTV proud. For those who love to connect with nature during their travels, Trinity Trails has several routes throughout Fort Worth for biking, horseback riding, walking, or just sitting to enjoy the view.