Fort Worth might not strike first-time visitors as a "museum city," but they'd be (happily) mistaken. Cowtown is home to genuinely world-class art museums (many with collections singularly unique to Fort Worth), unique history museums that tell the stories of the American West, and options for science and nature lovers too. An added perk: most of the city's most significant museums are centered around the Cultural District, making it easy to spend a single day—or two, or three—exploring.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Located in the Cultural District, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art has a vast collection of art created by North American artists, primarily from the 1820s through the 1940s. Ranging from paintings to sculpture to photography and works on the paper, the collection at the Amon Carter is especially strong in art featuring the Old West. The museum owns more than 400 works by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, two of the foremost Western illustrators. Additionally, the Amon Carter has one of the country's most robust photography collections, housing more than 350,000 images.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Housed in a stunning Tadao Ando building, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth opened in 2002 and is dedicated to international modern and contemporary art. The 53,000-square feet of exhibition space typically shows off up to 150 works at a time—you can expect to see big names like Gerhard Richter, Pablo Picasso, Cindy Sherman, or Richard Serra on any given day. The museum is also home to an excellent restaurant.
Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell Art Museum is famous not only for the extensive collection of European Old Masters that it houses within its walls but also for its stunning building—a modern masterpiece constructed by Louis I. Kahn. A stone's throw from both the Modern and the Amon Carter, the Kimbell has a relatively small collection (around 350 works), but all are world-class. The museum is home to "The Torment of Saint Anthony," Michelangelo's first-known painting and the only painting by the artist on exhibit in all of the Americas.
Sid Richardson Museum
Fort Worth is serious about its Western art, as the Sid Richardson Museum can attest. Situated just off Sundance Square, this small museum houses the collection of late oilman and philanthropist, Sid Richardson. The collection focuses on the works of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell but includes pieces from other notables of the American West, such as Peter Hurd and Frank Tenney Johnson. Admission is free.
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
While the National Cowgirl Museum got its start in Hereford, Texas, in 1975, it wasn't until 2002 that it moved into its 33,000 square foot home in Fort Worth's Cultural District. The museum showcases the bravery of women in the American West, with permanent exhibits highlighting women's accomplishments in ranching, rodeo, trick-riding, and more. Each year, the museum adds new members to its Hall of Fame, a roster of 200-plus women who have made contributions as pioneers, artists, ranchers, entrepreneurs, and more.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History got its start as the city's children's museum, before expanding in 1968. Today, permanent collections include DinoLabs, an area with fully-articulated dinosaur skeletons and replica dig site; Energy Blast, an exhibition dedicated to showcasing the science behind alternative energy sources; the Fort Worth Children's Museum; and the Cattle Raisers Museum, a 10,000-square-foot "museum within a museum" that highlights Texas's long history as a cattle hub. The museum is also home to the Noble Planetarium.
Fort Worth Aviation Museum
Fort Worth has a long aviation history—it's the home of American Airlines and a massive Lockheed Martin aeronautics plant, after all. Embrace the city's unique history at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum. Plane nerds can get up close and personal with more than 25 warbirds, including an F-18 Hornet and an F-4 Phantom II.
Fort Worth's livestock industry was (and in many ways, still is) integral to the city's success. Learn about the history of the stockyards, where millions of cattle were bought and sold for nearly a century, at the namesake museum, which is run by the North Fort Worth Historical Society. It's a small museum, but for just $2 admission, it's a great way to see countless artifacts, documents, and photos that tell the story of Fort Worth.