Travel Tips

Ask the Locals City Guide: Fort Worth, Texas

Locations in this article:  Austin, TX Houston, TX

Cattle Drive Fort WorthPeter is broadcasting his radio show from the beautiful new Omni Forth Worth Hotel.

Fort Worth isn’t just about cowboys and steak—but that sure is a big part of its charm.

We talked to the locals to find out more about some of their favorite things to see, do and, of course, eat in this Texan city.

Pam Minick, Co-Owner of Billy Bob’s Texas, The World’s Largest Honky Tonk

Within the bustling metropolis of Fort Worth is the Trinity River, a peaceful corridor for joggers, bikers and … horseback riders? That’s right, visitors can rent horses from the Stockyard Livery Stables and Arena, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours starting at $25. 817-624-3446

Stockyards RodeoOf course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Texas without a rodeo experience. Although many rodeos are intermittent, Fort Worth is fortunate enough to have a show every Friday and Saturday night at the Stockyard Championship Rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum (next door to Billy Bob’s).  Home to the world’s first indoor rodeo, this facility has been going strong since 1908, with bull riding, roping, barrel racing, and other cowboy (and girl) events, all year long.

The Stockyards, which is located just north of downtown, is also home to several museums that pay homage to the city’s history, including the Texas Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors the men and women who have excelled in the rodeo and other equine sports. Also a part of the museum’s permanent exhibition is the largest collection of wagons in the world. These historic items were loving restored by a collector, ad are now on display to showcase these 19th-century vehicles—everything from an old chuck wagon to a milk-delivery wagon that once hefted up to 500 quarts at a time.

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Meanwhile, the North Fort Worth Historical Society has a Stockyards Museum that displays photographs and documents from the city’s Old West days. But its main claim to fame is the old Palace Theater Light Bulb—a bulb that has reportedly been burning continuously for more than 100 years.

The Herd Fort WorthAnd while hanging out in the Stockyards district, don’t miss the big attraction: every day at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., the Fort Worth Herd of majestic longhorns is driven down Exchange Avenue, 365 days a year. Think of it like the Peabody Ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, only these guys are closer to the size of Volkswagens.

Jessica Brandrup, Kimbell Art Museum

There are several ways to get your art fix when visiting Fort Worth. The Kimbell Art Museum ( features a small collection—about 350 pieces in all—that showcases  masterpieces representing centuries of great works, from antiquities to pre-Columbian to  African, Asian and European art. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (, the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum (, and the Cowgirl Hall of Fame ( are other worthwhile stops along your way.

Love museums? Visit our Cultural Travel / Museums section.

If it’s Texas, there must be Tex Mex. But the options are far more varied than you might think. One local favorite is Joe T. Garcias on Commerce Street, which visitors may not notice at first glance. This huge hacienda is tucked away on a back street, with a big mural on the wall pointing the way. Step inside and you’ll find an outdoor, tropical oasis, serving up family-style meals and their own famous salsa picante.

Lonesome Dove BistroFor more upscale dining, check out Tim Love’s restaurant, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. Best known for his appearance on Iron Chef (he won the chili pepper battle), Chef Love has elevated Fort Worth’s dining reputation with his inventive “urban Western cuisine.” Check out treats like elk sausage with foie gras and lingonberry jam, and wild boar ribs.

More casual diners can also check out Chef Love’s food at his new burger joint, The Love Shack. Locals claim the Love Burger might be the most perfect burger in the world, made of a 50-50 combination of prime tenderloin and prime brisket.

Fred’s Texas Café is a real hole-in-the-wall dive in the Cultural District that boasts some surprising dishes. Think quail and eggs, chipotle steak, and the famous Fredburger, which is what some claim is the other most perfect burger in the world. You can catch live music several times a week, from bluegrass and country to reggae, funk and hip hop.

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