Discover Fort Worth: Must-See Attractions

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Fort Worth is everything you could want from a Texas City. Steeped in culture and tradition, it’s a region that was built on the cattle trade and cowboys. While much of its history has been preserved in museums and landmarks, Fort Worth has transformed into a lively city with plenty of fun things to do.

Fort Worth is criminally overlooked as a vacation spot or even a relocation destination. Although there are plenty of things to do in Dallas, its baby brother, Fort Worth, is well worth a visit. To help you plan your trip, we’ve compiled a list of the best activities according to your interests. 

Fort Worth Skyline at Night with Trinity Trail - Texas View

What To Do In Fort Worth Texas

Wherever you go in Texas, be it Austin, Houston, San Antonio, or otherwise, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll receive a warm welcome and southern hospitality. But Fort Worth has a certain authenticity that’s becoming far less common in major Texas cities. 

You can take your family to the Stockyards for a real rodeo experience or enjoy a romantic weekend of wining and dining with your better half. At Texas View, we firmly believe that Texas has one of the country’s most underrated museum and art gallery scenes. Fort Worth will leave you spoilt for choice.

We understand that the perfect trip or vacation may look different to different people. So, our guide to Fort Worth is split into categories to ensure you can assemble the perfect itinerary for your visit. 

Unique Things To Do In Fort Worth Texas

Texas is certainly a unique state. Due to its role during the revolution and its close ties to other nations, Texas’ culture and essence are unlike most other places in the country. For a major Texas city, Fort Worth also has a unique feel. 

With a population just shy of one million people, it’s by no means small. Yet still, there is somewhat of a local vibe around the city. If you’re looking for a fun Texas experience that’s unique to Fort Worth, here are three of our top recommendations. 

Texas Motor Speedway 

The Texas Motor Speedway, nicknamed “The Great America Speedway” is a world-class racetrack located in the northern part of the city. It’s one of Fort Worth’s best-known attractions and one of the biggest motorsport destinations in the world. 

Throughout history, the Speedway has held events with crowds surpassing 200,000 people. It’s home to several of the nation’s largest motorsport events, including NASCAR and the IndyCar Series. Spectators travel from all around the globe to attend races at this iconic arena. 

The 1.5-mile track is known for its quad-oval shape and wicked turns. Depending on the time of year that you’re in Fort Worth, you may or may not catch an event but if you get the chance, we highly recommend a stop. Even for non-motorheads, the thrill of race day is hard to beat. 

Texas Motor Speedway also offers driving experiences where you can actually drive a NASCAR race car around the track by yourself. The driver packages include training and instructions and depending on your budget, you can get anywhere between five and 48 minutes of track time.

Cowgirl Statue at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth - Texas View

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame 

We’ve all heard countless stories and seen dozens of movies about cowboys. But what about the cowgirls? Fort Worth pays homage to the cowgirls of Texas with its National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. It’s a must-see and is undoubtedly one of the most unique spots in the city. 

The building itself is a work of art and it’s well worth taking a few minutes to appreciate the design from all angles. However, the true beauty of the museum lies inside where the entire 33,000-square-foot structure is dedicated to the women of the West that helped forge the region. 

Interestingly, the museum was established in 1975 in the Deaf Smith Country Library basement. It wasn’t until 1994 that it moved to its permanent home in Fort Worth. Over nearly three decades, the museum has been growing and it now features interactive displays, traveling galleries, permanent collections, theaters, and more. 

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Take your time passing through and enjoy the libraries and archives. The entire museum houses over 4,000 artifacts and honors north of 750 extraordinary women, including Sacagawea, Georgia O’Keefe, Maria Martinez, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Annie Oakley. With a low entry fee, you won’t regret visiting. 

Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge (FWNC&R) is one of the largest city-owned centers in the country. It’s comprised of prairies, natural forests, and wetlands, allowing you to experience what the region truly felt like in the early 20th century. 

The site was originally preserved in 1914 to protect the local drinking water. Some 50 years later, due to significant public demand, it was nominated as a wildlife sanctuary and nature preserve to hold on to the natural beauty of the area. It’s a must-visit for outdoors types and has a number of excellent hiking trails. 

Today, the preserve spans 3,621 acres. As a National Natural Landmark, the center has seen investment over the years and it now offers educational programs, evening walks, and guided hikes. On a good day, you can hope to catch a glimpse of exotic birds, alligators, buffalo, and deer. 

Cheap Things To Do In Fort Worth Texas

Vacations in the modern world don’t come cheap, especially if you’re traveling with a family. So, if you’re looking for entertainment around Texas that won’t break the bank, Fort Worth should sit high on your list. There are plenty of cheap and even free things to do around the city that are a lot of fun.

Below, we’ve outlined three of our recommended cheap activities in Fort Worth. But, FYI, each of these activities would make any of our must-do lists in the city, regardless of cost. Not only are they great places to see, but they’re also unique to the region, giving you another authentic taste of Fort Worth. 

A herd of cattle parading through the Fort Worth Stockyards accompanied by cowboys on horseback - Texas View

Fort Worth Stockyards 

Toward the late 1800s, the U.S. railroad network found its way to Fort Worth. The city quickly became one of the premier livestock shipping points, accelerating its growth significantly. In 1887, the Union Stockyards were built, and so began the legacy of Fort Worth’s cattle industry. 

Although you won’t hear it that often anymore, Fort Worth was once known as “Cowtown”. It’s estimated that several million cattle were bought and sold at the stockyards between 1886 and 1890. While further infrastructure slowed the cattle trade over the years, the stockyards remain culturally significant. 

Today, the Fort Worth Stockyards are regarded as National Historic Places and are arguably the number one tourist destinations in the city. The 98-acre site holds true to its roots and is a great source of history and information, with its museums and landmarks. 

Although it’s no longer an industrial hub, it still plays host to the only twice-daily cattle drive in the entire world. The best part about it is that you can explore the district for free. If you have some extra budget to spare, we recommend hitting the rodeo and checking out the Stockyards Museum.

Museum Hopping 

As alluded to earlier, Texas as a whole is home to some of the finest museums in the country. The city of Fort Worth most definitely lives up to this statement. Depending on your interests, you have a range of museums to choose from, including art, science, and Texas Cowboys and Cowgirls. 

The Kimbell Art Museum is nestled in the Cultural District of Fort Worth, which is a must-visit when you’re in town. It boasts a fascinating collection of international works from around the globe, as well as traveling exhibits year-round. Within the museum, you can find paintings, sculptures, and beautiful architecture.

Once you’re done in Kimbell, head next door to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The museum grounds are stunning, blending waterworks, greenery, and modern linear architecture. After snapping photos of the outside, venture in to marvel at the 3,500 pieces on display, from Andy Warhol to Jackson Pollock. 

If you’re in Fort Worth with kids, your first stop should be the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Again, it’s situated in the Cultural District, making it a perfect place to add to your museum-hopping list. The museum is packed with interactive displays, theater shows, immersive exhibits, and a planetarium.

Majestic limestone building called The Crown Jewel of Fort Worth TX - Texas View

We could go on forever about Fort Worth’s long list of fantastic museums. However, that’s an article for another day. Here are some other Fort Worth gems to consider visiting:

  • Amon Carter Museum of American Art
  • Sid Richardson Museum
  • Fort Worth Aviation Museum 
  • CR Smith Museum
  • Vintage Flying Museum
  • Christian Arts Museum
  • John Wayne: An American Experience
  • Texas Civil War Museum
  • Museum of the Americas
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The American Civil War 1865: Last Civil War - Lone Star Conclusion

Visit Sundance Square 

Sundance Square is a wonderful hang-out spot in downtown Fort Worth. It takes up a 37-square-block chunk of real estate and features all you could want from a lively downtown hub, from quality dining to local artisan shops. It’s also the go-to spot for seasonal events and festivals. 

One of our favorite activities is to find a quaint cafe within the main square and people watch as passers-by admire the Fort Worth Water Gardens. When you develop an appetite, choose from a range of top-class restaurants. The area is known for having some of the best food in the city.

You’ll generally find street entertainment aplenty, including singers, musicians, choirs, and everything in between. Around Christmas and other major holidays, Sundance is the place to be. Finally, it’s also the most popular place in the city for shopping. 

Fun Things To Do In Fort Worth For Adults

Fort Worth often goes under the radar for adult trips like bachelor parties or weekends away with friends. Travelers tend to favor the likes of Austin or Houston for such get-togethers. However, we urge you to consider Fort Worth if you have a fun trip lined up. 

The downtown area is packed full of great restaurants, live music, fun bars, and countless sources of entertainment. What’s more, Fort Worth is usually a little cheaper than these “bigger cities”. So, it’s the perfect destination for a Texas trip on a budget. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed. Here are our top picks. 

Billy Bob’s Texas Honkey Tonk 

No Fort Worth trip is complete without stopping off at Billy Bob’s Texas Honkey Tonk. It’s the largest honkey tonk in the entire world, covering three acres in the famed Stockyard District. Whether you have 10 minutes or all day, every second spent in Billy Bob’s is worth it. 

Distinguished by the tower at its entrance, Billy Bob’s is the home of entertainment in Fort Worth. Here, you can find multiple bars, an indoor pro bull riding arena, a huge dancefloor, restaurants, fun arcade games, the Wall of Fame, and more. The venue was voted country music’s “Club of the Year” 10 times.

Originally used as an open-air barn, the honkey tonk has a long and rich history within the city. We’ll leave the details of its transformation so you can learn the story of the club on your visit. However, today it’s the quintessential live music venue in the city and has hosted some of the biggest stars and bands from around the country.

We recommend checking out the events calendar before you go so you can line up a concert. If nothing tickles your fancy, don’t worry, even on an off day, Billy Bob’s is a lot of fun. One of our favorite activities in the Honky Tonk is its live line dancing lessons. This is one of the most enjoyable things you can do with a bunch of friends. 

Fixation VR is a fun group destination in Fort Worth Texas - Texas View

Virtual Reality Apocalypse Experience

Fort Worth is home to Texas’ largest VR arcade, Fixation VR. Fixation is without a doubt one of the best entertainment destinations for adult groups looking for a few hours of action-packed fun. You have hundreds of VR experiences to choose from, accommodating a range of audiences. 

Fixation VR is suitable for everyone, and there are different games to fit a variety of age groups and video game skill levels. So, whether your group is full of gamers or not, it’s guaranteed entertainment. Experiences range from basic to advanced and cover multiple themes, from kid-friendly to horror. 

If one or two members don’t fancy participating, they can enjoy the experience by watching you play. You can try your hand at single-player games or team up with group members for a fully immersive multiplayer adventure. Staff are very attentive and give you the necessary training and instructions before you begin. 

For adult groups, we recommend the escape rooms and casual multiplayer games to get started. If you feel like a step up, consider the ARVI Arena shooting game or the House of Fear horror experience. While a little scary, it’s well worth it, especially when experienced with friends. 

Panther Island Pavillion

Locals and visitors alike are nuts about the Panther Island Pavilion. Located on the banks of the Trinity River, the Pavilion is an outdoor entertainment venue that gives onlookers a unique view. Crowds gather in the water for concerts and events, something you can’t do anywhere else in Texas. 

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Even if there’s no event taking place, the Pavilion is a beautiful area to explore. There are several excellent trails suitable for hiking, walking, running, or biking. You can find bike rental stations scattered throughout the Pavilion so pick-ups and drop-offs are extremely convenient. 

One of the most popular activities at Panther Island is paddlesports. Rent a paddleboard, kayak, or canoe and head up the Clear to explore. Or, try your hand at SUP yoga. Yes, this does mean taking a yoga class while on your paddleboard. But trust us, it’s an enjoyable experience.

If you want to spice things up a little with a group of friends, take a stab at the TRWD Geocaching Adventure. This is essentially a treasure-hunt game that uses geo-tracking technology to guide you. When the sun is out, it’s a wonderful way to get acquainted with the area. 

Moon Bridge in the Japanese Gardens - Texas View

Things To Do In Fort Worth For Couples 

Fort Worth is an underrated destination for couples. While it may not seem like it from the outside, the downtown area is quite picturesque. Furthermore, the city has a number of top hotels and world-class restaurants. At night, the city comes alive with music and entertainment.

Restaurants and hotels aside, Fort Worth also has plenty to offer during your downtime. In fact, many of the suggestions outlined above are great activities for couples, especially if you’re interested in museums, bars, music, and nature. But if romantic memories are what you’re after, here are a few more ideas. 

Fort Worth Botanic Garden 

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden provides an ideal setting for a romantic date in nature. It’s full of color, water features, and ponds, and also features a selection of themed gardens to explore. Make sure to check out the Rose and Japanese gardens for the perfect vacation photo.

The park itself is 109 acres in size and the selection of gardens means there are different surroundings when you turn every corner. Although the Botanical Gardens are worth a visit at any time of year, our favorite times to go there are during spring, when the flowers are in bloom, and in the fall for the spectrum of color.

You can spend as little or as much time there as you like. With a $12 entry fee, it’s a splendid way to spend a couple of hours in the outdoors with your significant other. 

Forest Park Miniature Railroad 

The Forest Park Miniature Railroad has been a popular couples and family attraction in Fort Worth for 60 years. While the small train may seem childlike at first, it won’t take long for you to appreciate its charm. Sit back, relax, and soak in Trinity Park and the area surrounding the zoo. 

The journey itself only takes around 45 minutes. However, it covers a 5-mile zone in Forest Park. Along the way, you take in nature, cross old railway bridges, and learn all about the railroad and its history. The trip also passes Texas Christian University (TCU), one of the top universities in the United States. 

Watch Ballet at the Bass Performance Hall

The Bass Performance Hall is an iconic performance venue located on Commerce Street in Downtown Fort Worth. It’s been a go-to for international concerts for several decades. Built in 1998 from limestone, the external architecture is stunning, featuring sculpted angels. 

The 2,056-seater hall is an all-purpose venue, meaning it hosts different types of events, including concerts, operas, symphonies, musicals, and theater shows. So, whatever type of live entertainment you and your partner are into, you can find it at the Ball Performance Hall. 

Our pick for a couple’s night is ballet. However, the Hall is also the permanent home for regular performances from the Fort Worth Opera, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Just do a little research and snatch up some tickets ahead of your trip.

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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
Author at Texas View | Texas View

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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