By Kacie Hughes,
With over 6 million residents, Dallas-Fort Worth is a buzzing place with plenty of possibilities. DFW is constantly viewed as one vast area, but it’s important to know that Dallas and Fort Worth are two separate cities with two separate histories. Fort Worth can often be overlooked in Dallas’ shadow, but the Panther City is full of things to do and places to live. Fort Worth may have started as a Cow Town in the mid-19th century, but it has quickly grown into a bustling city filled with job opportunities, state-of-the-art museums, and a thriving downtown area.
Here are 14 reasons why Fort Worth is an awesome city to both live in and put on your list of places to see!
1. TRAVEL BACK TO THE WILD WEST.
Step back in time and visit the Fort Worth Stockyards for an authentic look into the American West. You can visit the Western artifacts at the Stockyards Museum, explore Bonnie and Clyde’s hideout at the historic Stockyards Hotel, and drink at a traditional Texas saloon. Channel your inner cowboy and attend a rodeo at the weekly Stockyards Championship Rodeo. With so much to do, don’t forget about the Fort Worth Herd, the world’s only twice daily cattle drive at 11:30 a.m and 4 p.m.
2. BILLY BOB’S: THE BIRTHPLACE OF HONKY TONK.
You can’t go to Fort Worth without two-stepping the night away at Billy Bob’s, located within the Stockyards. Billy Bob’s prides itself as being the world’s largest honky tonk with a 127,000 square feet dance hall, outfitted with over 30 bar stations and the capacity to hold up to 6,000 people. Grab a partner and take line-dancing or two-step dance lessons! Attend a live concert every weekend and see music legends like Willie Nelson or Trace Adkins. Cheer on your favorite rider at the live indoor bull riding every Friday and Saturday night and watch professionals get bucked by one of the 47,500 bulls that have entered the Billy Bob’s arena. Have a honky tonkin’ good time at Billy Bob’s!
3. FORT WORTH IS HOME TO AMERICA’S MONEY.
Did you know that 60 percent of America’s money is printed in Fort Worth? Aside from Washington D.C., Fort Worth is the only other place where money can be printed in the United States. Take a free tour of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing and watch money be printed all around you as you stroll through the building. View artifacts and visit interactive exhibits that give you an informative history on America’s money and how it has evolved since its early stages.
4. EXPLORE WHERE THE COWBOYS ONCE ROAMED.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Dallas and retreat to the parks and gardens of Fort Worth. Stop and smell the roses at Fort Worth Botanic Garden or visit the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. At 3,621 acres, the Nature Center is one of the largest city-owned nature centers in the United States. With over 20 miles of hiking trails, you will be transported back to the times of what DFW once looked like, full of forests and prairies.
Fort Worth has plenty to do for water-lovers. Backwoods Paddlesports allows you to paddle board, kayak, or canoe at Panther Island, all located in Downtown Fort Worth. Retreat to the water gardens, an architectural marvel designed by Phillip Johnson. Fort Worth even has a cable park for all thrill-seekers and wake boarders!
5. SING YOUR HEART OUT WITH THE FORT WORTH OPERA.
The Fort Worth Opera has become internationally known as one of the most innovative companies in the United States. As one of the longest-running operas in the nation, it has played host to numerous big names, including Placido Domingo and Lily Pons. With performances condensed to three weeks in the spring, the company produces multiple operas each weekend during April and May at the Bass Performance Hall. In 2016, the Opera will be performing JFK, The Barber of Seville, and Buried Alive-Embedded.
6. ENJOY THE BEST DOWNTOWN IN THE UNITED STATES.
In 2014, Livability.com ranked Fort Worth’s downtown the best in the nation. Sundance Square, the heart of downtown, is a 35 square-block entertainment district filled with local restaurants, shops, boutiques, and live music halls that everyone can enjoy. Fort Worth’s downtown is one of the safest and cleanest downtowns in the nation, making it easy for you to access the culture of Fort Worth. With a beautiful mix of historic brick and modernized buildings, Sundance Square is the perfect representation of how Fort Worth balances appreciating the past while reinventing the city’s future.
7. THE HORNED FROGS ARE KING OF THE JUNGLE.
Fort Worth is home to Texas Christian University and their mascot, the oddly-intimidating horned frog. A college that takes its athletics almost as seriously as its academics, you’ll quickly learn and appreciate all that TCU has to offer. With more than 200 student organizations, 18 D-1 athletic teams, and campus life full of tradition, TCU keeps Fort Worth young thanks to the 10,000 students enrolled each year.
8. TAKE BACK THE NIGHT ON WEST 7TH STREET.
You don’t have to travel to Dallas for a thriving nightlife. Stay in Fort Worth and head to West 7th Street to enjoy a night out. With dozens of restaurants and bars to choose from, West 7th Street has infused Fort Worth tradition with a modern twist. Find TCU students and young professionals playing games atLandmark, a bar with vintage arcade games and craft drinks. Looking to cool off? Stop by Whiskey Garden and take a dip in their resort-style pool. Foodies and wine enthusiasts are welcome at MAX’s Wine Dive for an eclectic atmosphere and some unique and delicious food prepared by Fort Worth’s top chef, Stefon Rishel! All walks of life are welcomed to walk along West 7th Street.
9. MOVE TO WEST 7TH AND MAKE IT A LIFESTYLE.
You never have to leave West 7th Street, especially if you choose to call it home. Bridging downtown and the Fort Worth Cultural District, West 7th has quickly become one of the most popular places to live in the city. Essentially a modern-day mecca, this five-block area offers high-concept dining, local fashion retailers, unique entertainment venues, open-air gardens, and even an LA Fitness! West 7th makes it easy for you to live, shop, and dine in one convenient location.
10. WATCH MOVIES THE WAY YOUR GRANDPARENTS DID.
In 2013, Coyote Drive-In Theatre had a mission to bring back the drive-in movie experience that younger generations have never been able to enjoy. Located on Panther Island in Downtown Fort Worth, Coyote Drive-In Theatre is the perfect place to come with your friends, family, and pets. Catch a flick in the comfort of your car while enjoying a cold drink and hot popcorn. With new movies being played all of the time, Coyote Drive-In is a unique experience in Fort Worth that you won’t want to miss!
11. FIND THE BEST BURGERS AND STEAKS.
It isn’t called Cow Town for nothing! Considering the city’s role as an important stop for cattle drovers in the United States, it’s no wonder that beef is king in Fort Worth. Skip Dallas and come straight to Cow Town to enjoy a juicy burger or mouth-watering steak. For the best burgers, stop at Kincaid’s, M & O Station Grill, or Rodeo Goat. If you’re seeking a steak, check out Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse,Reata, or Bonnell’s.
12. FORT WORTH HAS ARTFUL MASTERPIECES.
You may not have guessed it, but Fort Worth has some of the best art museums in the United States with an array of different masterpieces. Visit artwork from all over the world at the Kimbell Art Museum or view hundreds of authentic American pieces for free at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. The incredible architecture at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will take your breath away. The Modern holds thousands of international modern and contemporary artworks by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and several more.
13. HIGHTAIL IT TO THE GREAT AMERICAN SPEEDWAY.
Be prepared to rev your engines in Fort Worth! Texas Motor Speedway is the only place in the Lone Star State where fans can catch NASCAR and INDYCAR races on the same track. Nicknamed “The Great American Speedway”, Texas Motor Speedway hosts three major races: the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR in April, Firestone 600 INDY/NASCAR in June, and AAA Texas 500 NASCAR in November. It also features the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series, and Verizon IndyCar Series.
14. THE JOBS ARE PLENTIFUL.
Fort Worth is consistently recognized as one of the best cities to find a job in the United States. With an unemployment rate of 3 percent and a growing working-age population, it makes sense for Fort Worth to be such a great city to live in! Businesses like American Airlines, Lockheed Martin, and the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base call Fort Worth home. In 2015, Forbes.com listed Fort Worth as the second best city for job seekers.
What is your favorite thing about Fort Worth? Tell us in the comments!
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