Fort Worth is generally regarded as just a bougie suburb of Dallas, but over the past few years, it’s really come into its own. Teeming with murals, hip eateries, and classic Texas experiences, it’s where cowboys meet culture in the modern west. New attractions, restaurants, and public art projects appeal to millennials that are starting to make it a destination in its own right. If you haven’t checked out Fort Worth in a while, saddle up and get exploring because it’s not a sleepy Cowtown anymore. Ya’ll ready for this?
Your quintessential cowboy experience, the Stockyards are best known for their twice-daily cattle drive where the longhorns have been paraded through the streets since the late 1800s. Ground zero for Texas’s livestock industry, it houses a weekly indoor rodeo, simulated shootouts, honkey-tonks, and the opry. It’s a bit kitschy, but basically exactly what you’d expect when you think Texas tourist attraction. Beyond seeing the herd and visiting the petting zoo, the entire area looks like a Wild West backdrop with saloons, steakhouses, and rhinestone leather cowgirl outfitters for all your hats, boots, and spur needs to set the scene.
The brainchild of the hip Foundry District, Inspiration Alley, is mecca for street art lovers and one of the largest outdoor art galleries in Texas (Austin has another). Ever-changing and constantly being added to, the project has 10+ murals in a newly rehabbed industrial complex and mixed-use creative space. Works include portraitures, abstracts, and colorful prints along with 28 inspirational quotes printed on everything from the walls to the ground.
Pro Tip: Walk all the way around the building so you don’t miss anything and make it a scavenger hunt to find your favorite aspiration saying and selfie spot.
A green reprieve in the middle of downtown, Trinity Park boasts over 40 miles of trails in the heart of the city like Fort Worth’s answer to Central Park. But beyond lush parklands, duck ponds and pavilions, it is also a hub of creativity. Dream Park was constructed as an inclusive, adaptive playground for kids of all abilities but is also Instagram heaven with colorful, whimsical structures and sensory-rich touchpoints. On the other side of the park, Trinity Art Court is a basketball court turned art project. The geometric, neon printed concrete was actually painted by volunteers as a community improvement project and symbol of hope.
Pro Tip: There are stairs to see the court from above, but it’s essentially on the side of a highway. Bring a drone to capture the full effect; it’s much less sketchy.
All food photographers know the saying, the “camera eats first,” and that’s no different in Fort Worth. Larger than life desserts like froyo flights from Muggle Shakes (RIP, sadly they have since closed), the chocolate pinata from Uncle Julio’s, marshmallow soup aka. souffle from Rise, and gelato bouquets from Amorino are all as photogenic as they are tasty.
Pro Tip: For other good eats while in town, don’t miss the beautiful patio and incredible Tex Mex at Joe T. Garcia’s and indulge in Texas-sized chops from Cattlemen’s Steak House.
A mix of old and new, murals have popped up all over Fort Worth instructing you to dream on, harness your creatively, and stay inspired. As the saying goes, where you are right now is exactly where you need to be.
Some not to miss photo spots include the “Howdy” mural and door at Mend Hair Studio, “If you are here, you are awesome” at Foch Street Warehouses, La Zona on Magnolia for “Tacos and amor,” “Hey good lookin’” at Grey Stitch, the taco wall at Taco Heads, and Melt’s iconic yellow brick. Go forth and capture.
Pro Tip: Pack some outfit changes (most of these walls are pretty busy so solid colors work best) and accessories like cowboy hats, balloons, umbrellas, and flowers to make your photos pop. I have a variety of recommended props and camera gear in my Amazon store.
Where to Stay: Hyatt Place Fort Worth Stockyards
More Texas Ideas:
- 75+ Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Texas
- 14 Surprising Road Trips You Need to Take in the Lonestar State
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