Fort Worth Guide: Planning Your Trip

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It might sound cliche, but if you really want to see how the West was won, there are few places better than Fort Worth, Texas. While the city often gets overlooked by its larger sibling (and the other half of the sprawling metroplex), Dallas, travelers skipping out on Fort Worth are missing out. Fort Worth is smaller and easier to get around with plenty of remnants of its cowboy history, a departure from glitzy, glassy Dallas.

In Fort Worth, things move a little bit more slowly, but don't think for one minute that you'll be bored. This North Texas city offers superb attractions, world-class museums, and excellent dining, breweries, and bars. Come see what's happening in Cowtown—we're almost certain you won't be disappointed.

Planning Your Trip

Best Time to Visit: Fort Worth is at its best in the spring and the fall. Temperatures are pleasant and, while thunderstorms can occur during the spring, it's typically dry.

Language: English, but Fort Worth (and the entire metroplex) has a large Spanish-speaking community, as well.

Currency: U.S. dollar

Getting Around: Everything is bigger in Texas—and that includes the cities. Unless you're staying in downtown and don't plan on leaving, a car is necessary as public transportation is not really feasible for most visitors.

Travel Trip: Time your visit to late January or early February for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. The 23-day event is quite possibly the city's most cherished, drawing more than one million visitors each year.

Things to Do

Visitors to Fort Worth are drawn to the city for a number of reasons, ranging from outdoor activities along the Trinity River, art museums that boast unique, well-curated collections, a buzzy restaurant and bar scene, and the wide-ranging events calendar (many of them agricultural, true to Fort Worth's roots) throughout the year.

  • First-timers to the city shouldn't miss the Fort Worth Stockyards, a 98-acre National Historic District where millions of cattle were bought and sold for nearly a century. Cattle drives are still held twice-daily and are open to visitors.
  • The Tadao Ando-designed Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth houses an impressive collection of post-World War II art and also has one of Fort Worth's best restaurants, Café Modern.
  • Fort Worth's namesake zoo boasts more than 7,000 animals across more than 500 species, including the world's largest exhibit of reptiles and amphibians. The zoo is widely regarded as one of the best in the world.

Check out our full list of the best things to do in Fort Worth, plus Fort Worth's best parks and the best museums in Fort Worth.

What to Eat and Drink

You'll find excellent food in Fort Worth, ranging from the expected Tex-Mex and barbecue to high-end French and Italian fare. Whatever you do, you shouldn't leave town without trying a plate of juicy brisket, a tender chicken-fried steak, or a plate of enchiladas—there are plenty of excellent options for all three. (And, of course, plenty of dishes for non-meat eaters to nosh on as well!)

Beer and margaritas are often the beverages of choice here, with the former having a moment in the Panther City. The Fort Worth is home to no fewer than 13 breweries, many of which infuse their brews with distinctive regional ingredients—think blue agave nectar and Mexican vanilla beans.

Check out our round-up of Fort Worth's best restaurants, plus the best breweries in Fort Worth.

Where to Stay

For all its charms, Fort Worth has lacked the burgeoning hotel scene that Dallas has, mostly forcing travelers to rely on generic chains. Luckily, that's largely changing and travelers can rest their heads at upscale options like the fully-restored Stockyards Hotel, right in the heart of the action; the opulent Ashton in the center of downtown; or the brand-new Sinclair, a Marriott Autograph Collection member in an Art Deco landmark building.

Explore the different Fort Worth neighborhoods, or get our recommendations on Fort Worth's top hotels.

Getting There

Fort Worth is serviced by the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), the fourth-busiest airport in the United States, serving more than 60 million passengers each year. The airport is a hub for American Airlines and serves nearly 150 domestic destinations and upwards of 50 international destinations. It is around a 30-minute drive from downtown Fort Worth.

Money Saving Tips

  • Many of Fort Worth's best attractions are free. Travelers looking to save money can check out the twice-daily cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards, browse Western art at the Amon Carter Museum, or splash around at the Philip Johnson-designed water gardens.
  • If you're traveling between downtown Fort Worth and downtown Dallas, hop on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE). There's even transfer access at the DFW Airport.
  • To get around downtown, hop on Molly the Trolley, an easy (and free) way to get around Sundance Square and its surroundings.
Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Stock Show attendance breaks record."

  2. Fort Worth Zoo. "Facts and Figures."

  3. Visit Fort Worth. "Fort Worth Ale Trail."

  4. Port Authority NY NJ. "2019 Annual Airport Traffic Report." 2020

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