Visiting Fort Worth and looking for things to do in the city?
Find recommendations including the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, museums, gardens, and more in Fort Worth, Texas in this detailed guide.
Fort Worth, Texas is often described as “Where the West begins”.
The city of Fort Worth located in North Texas is one of the best places to visit in the Lone Star State to understand cowboy culture.
Located just 33 miles away from Dallas and makes an excellent day trip from the Big D.
Fort Worth, TX is renowned for its museums, gardens, and of course the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.
The city’s neighborhoods and districts have a fun and trendy vibe; Fort Worth is also known for its food scene.
All its attractions make Fort Worth a great destination for a weekend getaway in Texas.
The city has an interesting history.
Fort Worth was established in 1849 as an army outpost on the banks of the Trinity to protect the American frontier from Native American attacks.
It had a commanding view of the area and soon, became an important center for the Texas cattle trade on the Chisholm Trail.
That gave rise to its name of ‘Cowtown’.
Even today, Fort Worth continues to be an important center for the ranching industry.
Fun fact – No trace of the original Fort Worth built on the bluffs overlooking the river remains!
Best Things to do in Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is the fifth-largest city in Texas and has plenty of attractions for all types of visitors.
Here are some of the best things to do in Downtown Fort Worth and surrounding areas on your visit.
Also Read: Best day trips from Fort Worth, Texas
Enjoy a day at the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Fort Worth,TX is the Fort Worth Stockyards.
It is linked to the city’s origins as a 19th century Texas Longhorn cattle trading post on the Chisholm Trail.
The Stockyards area was established in 1866 and the century-old buildings are a part of the National Historic District.
The Stockyards were a bustling and rowdy place back in the days of the Wild West – full of gambling saloons, a red-light district, and dance halls catering to the cowboys.
On a visit to the Fort Worth Stock yards, visitors can enjoy a Texas-style two step dance, see the rodeo on Friday and Saturday nights, and watch the famous long horn cattle drive in front of the livestock Exchange Building.
Step into a gift shop and buy Texan souvenirs and American West apparel. See a mock shootout and eat delicious bbq!
The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum located in the Stockyards District is also a great place to visit.
The Stockyards also have lots of fun activities for kids including mechanical bull riding and a petting zoo.
Read our post on Best Things to do in Fort Worth Stockyards to plan a trip.
Explore Sundance Square
Sundance Square, located in downtown Fort Worth, is a large 35 blocks long entertainment district.
This is the perfect place to take in some shopping, browse art galleries, and explore historic buildings.
At the center of the neighborhood, you will find the Sundance Square Plaza.
This large town square has amazing public art, murals, and fountains – it is perfect for the people watching!
Stroll the streets to see beautiful buildings and attractions such as the Tarrant County Courthouse, Sid Richardson Museum, Fort Worth Convention Center, and the JFK tribute in General Worth Square.
Sundance Square is also home to the world-famous Bass Performance Hall.
This renowned venue is home of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Opera, and the Texas ballet theater.
Sundance Square also has a variety of restaurants, barbecue spots, cafes, and bars that cater to every taste.
Admire the majestic Tarrant County Courthouse
The Tarrant County Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and has striking Renaissance Revival architecture.
It is built from the same pink granite that was used to build the State Capitol in Austin.
Inside you can see the 1895 Room, a museum maintained by the Tarrant County Historical Society.
Here you can see a variety of fascinating artifacts relating to local history.
Visit the stunning Fort Worth Water Gardens
The Fort Worth Water Gardens are an amazing work of architecture.
The large urban park features dramatic manmade falls cascading over terraced pools, canal walkways, and beautifully landscaped gardens.
This is one of the most popular places in Fort Worth for photo shoots and proposals.
The garden is also a great place to picnic or just relax for the afternoon on your visit.
See dinosaurs at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
The Fort Worth Science and History museum is another attraction you can’t miss on your visit.
It features permanent exhibits like the Noble Planetarium, the Omni IMAX Theatre, an educational studio for children, and lots of interactive exhibits, that will keep everyone entertained for hours.
But the most popular attraction here is the newly revamped dinosaur exhibit.
Kids love the Dino Lab where they can see several dinosaurs that lived only in Texas as well as the amazing dino dig area.
The dino dig pit has been purposely planned to resemble an active dig site and offers an extraordinary learning environment for budding paleontologists.
The museum also has a lot of fun educational programs for kids and makes a fun trip for the whole family.
Have kids who love dinosaurs? Read our guide to the best dinosaur museums in Texas!
See the splendid fall colors at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Located in a beautiful natural environment, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden offers many different species of native and exotic plants, as well as an entrance to the Japanese Garden.
The Japanese Garden features some of the largest stone lanterns in North America and an authentic tea house where you can enjoy traditional Japanese food and green tea.
One of the best times to visit the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is in fall when the trees sport fiery red, orange, purple, and gold colors.
Admire the military planes at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum
Located next to the airport, the Fort Worth Aviation Museum is a great place to visit for airplane enthusiasts.
The Aviation Museum is home to more than 40 historic aircraft – including the famed Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane as well as with modern exhibits on future aviation technology.
You can see a variety of authentic artifacts and interactive exhibits during your visit.
Travel tip – Visit the Vintage Flying Museum located at the airport to see more cool airplanes!
Enjoy a history lesson at the Log Cabin Village
Log Cabin Village is a living history museum dedicated to life in 19th century Texas.
At the Museum, you can explore the replicas of cabins built by early settlers to experience what life was like back then.
You can also explore historical buildings such as a blacksmith shop, herb garden, one-room schoolhouse, and mill.
The museum has volunteers dressed in period costumes who give demonstrations and explain early Texan frontier life to visitors.
The Log Cabin Village is, undoubtedly, one of the fun things to do in Fort Worth with kids.
Visit the museums in Fort Worth’s Cultural District
Love art? Explore Fort Worth Cultural District!
The neighborhood is home to some of the best art museums in Texas including the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Kimbell Art Museum, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
Here you can see vast permanent collections, traveling art exhibitions, and other art endeavors.
Hidden gems such as Noble Planetarium, Casa Manana Theatre, and Cattle Raisers Museum are also located in the Cultural District.
See contemporary artwork at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is the oldest art museum in Texas.
The museum building, designed by famous architect Tadao Ando, is itself a work of art.
Inside the Museum’s permanent collection you can see masterpieces by Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock amongst others.
Cafe Modern, the museum restaurant, is also an amazing place to visit for architecture lovers.
The museum is free to visit.
See the Old Masters at the Kimbell Art Museum
Kimbell Art Museum, housed in a beautiful building designed by Louis Khan, is also amazing to visit.
The collection of art pieces on display at the Kimbell museum includes works by Picasso, Monet, and Rembrandt.
The museum hosts several special exhibits year round.
View American art, sculptures and photographs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is one of the best places to view contemporary western art and a must visit for art lovers.
The museum collection includes artwork by Frederic Remington, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Charles Russell.
Additionally, the museum houses sculptures, photographs and other media in its collections.
The museum also has an extensive research library consisting of over 50,000 books dedicated to American art.
The striking museum building is designed by architect Philip Johnson, who also designed the Fort Worth Water Garden.
The museum is free to visit and a great way to spend a couple of hours indoors on a hot summer day.
Take the kids to the Fort Worth Zoo
Another great option for family fun is the Fort Worth Zoo.
The zoo is home to several animal species including endangered animals, exotic animals, and native species.
We recommend keeping aside at least 2 to 3 hours to see the entire zoo.
Hop aboard the Forest Park Miniature Railroad
Near the Fort Worth Zoo, you will also find the Forest Park Railroad.
This miniature train takes you on a 40 minutes ride around Trinity Park.
Be amazed at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is dedicated to the history of women in western riding, roping, and rodeo.
You can explore exhibits on cowgirls’ daily lives, fashion, accomplishments over the years, and see live demonstrations by cowgirls.
You will also find information on several notable cowgirl figures including Annie Oakley.
Explore hiking trails at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge has several acres of protected land.
Here you can hike on more than 12 miles of trails, observe wildlife in their natural habitat, and look out for native birds.
This is one of the best hiking destinations near Dallas.
The outdoor education center also has a variety of field experiences and summer programs for kids.
The nature center is perfect to spend some time outdoors after visiting the city’s museums.
Enjoy nature at Trinity Park
Trinity Park is another great place to spend a fun day in Fort Worth.
The park has several playgrounds and sports facilities including basketball courts, tennis courts, and soccer fields.
You will also find walking paths as well as picnic spots in Trinity Park.
Visit the interesting C. R. Smith Museum
If you are interested in aviation, then don’t miss out on a visit to the C.R Smith Museum.
The museum has exhibits on the life of C. R. Smith who was an American pilot and businessman for American Airlines.
You can also explore unique aircraft models at the museum.
Enjoy a show at the Will Rogers Auditorium
If you are in Fort Worth on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, then don’t miss out on attending an event at the Will Rogers Auditorium.
The auditorium hosts performances by popular artists and comedians.
You can also enjoy musical concerts at the auditorium.
The auditorium also has beautiful Art Deco architecture and is worth a visit.
Take a stroll in the trendy WestBend District
This trendy neighborhood located along the Trinity River has great shopping, eateries, murals, and sculptures.
Majority of the attractions are located near the WestBend shopping mall.
The Love sculpture here is one of the most popular Instagram spots in the city.
The sculpture is lit up at night and looks beautiful.
You will find several murals in the parking garage.
Some of the famous restaurants here include Ol South Pancake House, Woodshed smokehouse for delicious barbecue, and the famous Swiss Pastry Shop.
The pastry shop is a long established Fort Worth Institution and most popular for its black forest cake.
Check out amazing Inspiration Alley Murals
Located in Foundry District, Inspiration Alley has become a famous landmark in the city.
This is Texas’s only permanent outdoor art alley and features over 75 stunning murals.
You will find a collection of funny, intriguing, thought-provoking, patriotic, and talented murals painted on the walls of the industrial buildings in the district.
Inspiration Alley is located on Weisenberger Street just east of Carroll Street and is a must visit.
Visit the Fairmount Southside Historic District or Near Southside
The Fairmount Southside Historic District, also known as Near Southside, is a hidden gem in Fort Worth.
This charming neighborhood has several historic houses built in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
You can explore the neighborhood on a self-guided stroll or take one of the tours offered by the district.
Enjoy the nightlife at the Magnolia Avenue
The famous West Magnolia Avenue is also located in Near Southside.
This trendy street is famous for its cool and hipster vibe, eclectic stores, beautiful street art, and trendy eateries.
Some of the popular places here include Melt Ice cream, Heim bbq, Avoca Coffee, and Yucatan Taco Stand.
The street is also popular for its nightlife.
With bars and entertainment venues such as The Usual, Shipping & Receiving, and The Bearded Lady, this is a great place to stay up late in the city.
Find the panther statues
Few visitors know that Fort Worth’s other nickname is Panther City!
Throughout downtown Fort Worth, you will see several Panther statues as well as stores named after the mascot.
The city even has Panther City BBQ restaurant!
Fort Worth, TX is an amazing place to visit with its many family friendly attractions.
What is your favorite Fort Worth attraction? Let us know in the comments.