Top 12 Things to Do in Fort Worth, Texas

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Emily Johnson

As Dallas’ more laidback neighbor, Fort Worth embraces its cowboy heritage with a uniquely Texan charm among modern urban attractions like world-class art museums, a bustling zoo and Stockyard rodeos where wranglers still roam.

Stockyards National Historic DistrictExplore cowboy heritage with cattle drives and Old West saloons.
Kimbell Art MuseumWorld-class art in stunning architecture with a diverse collection.
National Cowgirl MuseumHonors trailblazing women of the American West.
Fort Worth Botanic GardenOver 2,500 species in beautifully themed gardens.
Fort Worth ZooHome to over 540 species in designed habitats.
Fort Worth Water GardensA modernist urban park that celebrates water as art.
Billy Bob’s TexasThe world’s largest honky tonk with live music and bull riding.
Omni Pita PlaceOffers healthy Mediterranean tastes in a historic setting.
Modern Art Museum (The Modern)Features works by Picasso, Warhol, and other contemporary artists.

Visitors indulge wild west nostalgia strolling Hell’s Half Acre or cheering chili cook-offs inside historic saloons once frequented by Butch Cassidy’s Hole in the Wall Gang. Beyond exquisite barbecue traditions, these 12 Fort Worth attractions promise quintessential Lone Star State experiences from rodeos to running longhorn cattle down brick streets.

Stockyards National Historic District

Name and Location: The Stockyards National Historic District is located in the Northside of Fort Worth, Texas. It encompasses 45 acres along Exchange Avenue.

History and Significance: Established in 1876 when several livestock pens opened around the railroad, the Stockyards became one of the largest livestock markets in the US. Today, it preserves Fort Worth’s Western heritage and history. The district was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

What to Expect: Visitors experience rodeos, cattle drives, shop for Western wear and items, dine at steakhouses and saloons, and explore historical buildings and museums capturing the district’s history as a livestock market. Family-friendly cowboy culture abounds.

Visitor Information: The Stockyards are open daily. Guided walking tours are available to learn more about the district’s history.

Embrace cowboy roots wandering the Stockyards National Historic District’s infamous 150-year-old livestock and meat packing facilities later revived to preserve American frontier legacy. Hoof it down Exchange Avenue’s wooden boardwalks peering inside Old West saloons and dancehalls for beer and bison burgers fueling up to catch a glimpse of genuine longhorn cattle still driven by real cowboys down brick cobbled streets during Cattle Drives held at 11:30 am and 4 pm most days.

Kimbell Art Museum

Name and Location: The Kimbell Art Museum is located in Fort Worth’s Cultural District at 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard.

History and Significance: Founded in 1936 when Kay Kimbell left funds for an art museum, the renowned Louis I. Kahn designed the building, which opened in 1972. The Kimbell holds one of the best small art collections globally.

What to Expect: The museum showcases European works from antiquity to modern, as well as Asian, African and Precolumbian pieces. Special exhibitions are also on display in the Kahn and Piano pavilions. An auditorium, restaurant, and gift shop are on site.

Visitor Information: Open Tuesday-Sunday 10AM–5PM, until 8PM on Fridays. Adult admission is $18.

Regarded as one of the world’s finest small museums for showcasing stunning architecture equally as the 6,000 piece collections inside, renzo Piano’s curved Kimbell Art Museum wows even before encountering rare antiquities carefully curated since opening in 1972. Guests marvel at illuminated African and Mayan iconography plus European masterworks by Caravaggio, El Greco and Cézanne spotlighted beneath elegantly vaulted ceilings flooding galleries with indirect sunlight. Don’t skip experiencing the mirrored reflecting pools integrating building fluidly into the lush green landscape or the special exhibits continually rotating.

National Cowgirl Museum

Name and Location: The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is located in Fort Worth’s Cultural District at 1720 Gendy Street.

History and Significance: Founded in 1975, the museum honors pioneering women, ranchers, artists, and modern-day champions in rodeo and raising livestock. Inductees include Annie Oakley, Sacagawea and Dale Evans.

What to Expect: Visitors explore rotating exhibits, a sculpture garden, theater presentations, and an interactive area. The museum store offers one-of-a-kind cowgirl style items.

Visitor Information: Open Tuesday-Saturday 10AM-5PM, Sunday 12-5PM. Admission is $10 for adults. Guided tours offered daily.

Celebrating gutsy trailblazing women who embody America’s courageous Cowgirl Spirit, the National Cowgirl Museum spotlights daring rodeo queens to innovative artists through multi-media and period artifacts stressing impact pioneering females had settling the frontier. Permanent galleries share Native American women’s overlooked critical roles plus harrowing Wild West show entertainer biographies beside Annie Oakley’s pistols putting bullseyes through playing cards. The Hall of Fame honors past inductions like legendary cowgirl Dale Evans before strolling the contemporary art wing shaking up perspectives.

Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Name and Location: The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is located at 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard next to the Will Rogers Memorial Center.

History and Significance: Originally founded in 1934, the gardens were renovated in 2011 into an expansive 100+ acre green space promoting nature education and conservation with areas evoking Texas landscapes.

What to Expect: Visitors walk through flower gardens, water features, specialized botanical collections, and nature trails that change seasonally. The visitor center, restaurant, and gift shop are also located on site.

Visitor Information: The gardens are open daily 8AM-5PM in winter, as late as 8PM in summer. Entry is free on weekdays.

Beneath tree canopies in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the magnificent Botanic Garden demonstrates impressively curated themed gardens, over 2,500 species spread across 109 acres open year-round revealing seasonal beauty whether admiring spring’s fiery azaleas or winter’s Japanese maples shedding vibrant red leaves across koi ponds. Check current schedules to join experts sharing specialized knowledge during informative walks or just wander resplendent roses wrapped by aromatic Lavender Labrynths and wildflower meadows calming minds from city bustle steps away.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

Brightly bedecked cowgirls shake up stereotypes regarding guts and grit headlining at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame with elaborate rhinestone suits and ahead-of-their-times determination making indelible hoof prints recognized through their stories. Interactive exhibits cover sharp shooting Wild West performers like Annie Oakley for influencing empowerment. Don’t miss the stirring Hall of Fame with trailblazing cowgirls who redefined female roles across multiple eras and communities on America’s ever-evolving western frontiers.

Fort Worth Zoo

Name and Location: The Fort Worth Zoo is located inside Forest Park at 1989 Colonial Parkway in Fort Worth, Texas.

History and Significance: Opened in 1909, today the zoo is home to over 7,000 exotic and endangered animals. It has been named a top zoo in the nation by USA Today.

What to Expect: Visitors see amphibians to giraffes across several themed exhibits like African Savanna and Texas Wild! Feedings, shows, rides, dining and special events offered.

Visitor Information: Open daily 10AM-5PM, with closing times varying by season. Admission runs $14-24. Discounts available online.

Families revel at Fort Worth Zoo wandering trails between meticulously designed habitats encouraging awareness about protecting exotic creatures who call this place home. African Savanna offers views of playful meerkats, mighty giraffes and snoring lions lounging nearby glass partitions so close visitors feel ultimate toothy roars. Tiny tots squeal entering the hands-on Hoo Hoo House with non-releasable owls or watching the habitat’s opposite side where active burrowing owlets peek from nestboxes chirping curiously. With over 540 species living on 64 picturesque acres, magnificent Fort Worth Zoo earns its renown by prioritizing animal care foremost.

Fort Worth Water Gardens

Name and Location: The Fort Worth Water Gardens is an architectural fountain park located at 1502 Commerce Street in downtown Fort Worth, near the Convention Center.

History and Significance: Designed by Philip Johnson and opened in 1974, the 4.3 acre Water Gardens feature three unique pool settings and water effects that make it one of the most photographed sites in the city.

What to Expect: Visitors walk through cascading waterfalls and quiet pools with benches located among gardens and grassy areas. The park shifts from lively, splashy spaces to serene pockets suited for reading and relaxing.

Visitor Information: The Water Gardens park is open daily from 8AM to 10PM. Entry is free. Paid parking garages nearby. Programming like yoga classes take place periodically.

Architect Philip Johnson’s 1974 modernist creation celebrating water as art awakens senses at Fort Worth Water Gardens where visitors can literally walk across water. Ascend rushing waterfalls flanking the Quiet Pool’s stepped terrace carved from sleek concrete or venture down tunnels swallowing people whole with torrential hidden streams racing ferociously, exciting even arriving summertime when temperatures exceed 95 degrees. The park’s grassy knolls and shaded benches supply perfect views watching children delight tip-toeing through shallow wading pools illuminated nightly by theatrical lights shifting aquatic oasis into dynamic interactive sculpture doubling as cooling urban playground.

Billy Bob’s Texas

Name and Location: Billy Bob’s Texas is a country and western nightclub and event venue located in the Fort Worth Stockyards at 2520 Rodeo Plaza.

History and Significance: Billed as the “world’s largest honky-tonk”, Billy Bob’s has been hosting live music, dancing, bull riding events since first opening in 1981 inside the historic livestock show barns. It’s a top country music and entertainment draw.

What to Expect: Visitors take in major concerts from legends like Willie Nelson plus up-and-coming acts while dining on BBQ, playing pool, shopping for Western gear and watching professional bull riding in the indoor arena.

Visitor Information: Billy Bob’s box office is open Mon-Sat 10AM-6PM. Event ticket prices vary. General admission starts at $2 weekdays, $5 weekends. Under 21 permitted with guardian supervision.

Billed grandly as “World’s Largest Honky Tonk”, Billy Bob’s Texas does everything Texas bigger hosting 4,000 boot-scooting two-steppers nightly across 127,000 square feet including a rodeo arena for bull-riding atop the nightclub’s signature star-speckled barrel roof dropped from U.S. Air Force cargo planes. Before concerts begin, line-dance lessons get novices hoofing as DJs spin hits alongside flashing disco bull lights. Or play pool, shop western wear stores and admire occasional vintage car shows inside the cavernous landmark that defines Fort Worth’s cowboy entertaining legacy.

Omni Pita Place

Name and Location: Omni Pita Place is a Middle Eastern restaurant and market located at 1412 West Magnolia Avenue in the Near Southside district of Fort Worth.

History and Significance: Family owned and operated for over 20 years since 1997, Omni Pita serves authentic Lebanese pitas, kabobs, salads and more in a modest setting that’s popular with locals as one of the city’s top spots for Mediterranean cuisine.

What to Expect: Guests order stuffed pitas, hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh and Lebanese pastries at the counter to enjoy in the casual dining room or outside on picnic tables. An attached market sells imported ingredients.

Visitor Information: Omni Pita is open Tuesday to Sunday 11AM–9PM, closed Mondays. Pricing runs from $6-15 per entree. Cash only payments are accepted.

Omni Pita Place delivers piping-hot healthy Mediterranean tastes within an historic brick building just outside the Cultural District where hand-rolled pita sandwiches overstuffed fresh hummus, falafels, tabboulehs and shawarmas wrapped in tin foil for carry out. Watch flatbreads blister against ancient ovens’ brick dome interiors before generously ladled cool yogurt sauces like cucumber dill dressing vegetable kabobs stuffed in Syrian pocket bread. Reasonable prices include hearty homemade lentil soups, aromatic cardamom teas, baklavas dripping sweet syrup besides their outstanding custom pitas Panini-pressed crisp showcasing why this little mom-and-pop café shines.

Modern Art Museum (The Modern)

Name and Location: The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is referred to as The Modern. It’s located at 3200 Darnell Street in the city’s Cultural District.

History and Significance: Designed by Tadao Ando, The Modern opened in 2002 to house post-WWII art with a focus on American artists. The acclaimed collection includes major works from Picasso to Warhol.

What to Expect: Visitors view modern and contemporary exhibits rotating every three to six months in galleries with 40-foot ceilings and outdoor sculptures. There’s also a theater, shop, and cafe on site.

Visitor Information: Closed Mondays and major holidays. Entry is $16 for adults, with half-price admission on Friday evenings after 4PM.

Resembling an enormous white box dramatically pierced by slanted skylights flooding multiple levels with brilliant sunshine, Tadao Ando’s stunning Modern Art Museum building housing works by Picasso, Warhol and Rothko continues traditions of audacious cultural architecture. Pass Anselm Kiefer’s epic lead books sculpture “Cello Octet” on entering before gazing upon Andy Warhol’s “Sixteen Jackies” pop print grid upstairs or glimpse sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard’s massive cedar masterpieces hand-hewn resembling natural forms downstairs showcasing premier contemporary talents.

Blending western nostalgia along historic Stockyard bricks with world-class museums, distinctive architecture and family-friendly fun, Fort Worth delivers characteristically Texan hospitality among ever-evolving cosmopolitan attractions. Visitors two-step nights away under Billy Bob’s barrel ceilings before mingling priceless Picassos at the Modern’s sunlit galleries downtown. They cheer longhorns running old livestock lanes before standing awestruck beneath Tadao Ando’s slanted skylights without ever swapping cowboy hats. For tourist attractions as genuine as the hearty handshakes welcoming newcomers, set spurs for the Fort Worth experience.

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