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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrKnown as the City of Cowboys & Culture, Fort Worth is the fifth largest city in Texas and is situated west of Dallas. It serves as the seat for Tarrant County , and is the second largest city in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. The city of Fort Worth has a population of over 792,000 and has a land area of nearly 350 square miles. Fort Worth is home to many arts and cultural museums, leading universities, and multinational companies such as American Airlines and Lockheed Martin.
HistoryFort Worth started as part of the seven army posts that protected the settlers of West Texas in the Mexican-American War in 1848 to 1849. The post was named in honor of U.S. Army General William Jenkins Worth, and was established by his successor, General William S. Harney on the bank of the Trinity River. Its history is closely connected to the Texan frontier and the arrival of the railroad in the West.
Since Fort Worth was located on the old Chrisholm Trail , the cattle industry launched Fort Worth into a tremendous economic growth in the late 19th century. Fort Worth became the center for the cattle drives and the Texas ranching business. It has also been recognized as the westernmost railhead of the state and trading hub for cattle, thus earning the nickname “Cowtown”. Fort Worth has progressed greatly throughout the years, from a simple town into a modern and corporate center. However, it has still managed to preserve its heritage up to this day.
Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic DistrictThe stockyards is the main draw and biggest attraction of Fort Worth, it used to be an old part of town where herders and passersby take their break from a day of cattle round-ups. The historic district brings to life the ultimate Texan experience and its heritage through its well preserved house shops, old barns and pens, and other western themed features that line the streets. Tourists can also enjoy live music shows, rodeos, and other entertainment. The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District also includes several other city attractions such as the Cowtown Coliseum, The White Elephant Saloon, and the popular nightclub Billy Bob’s of Texas.
Sundance SquareThe Sundance Square is a 35-block commercial and entertainment district in downtown Fort Worth. It is frequented by tourists and locals for its exciting nightlife, concerts, and special events (festivals). The square has its own collection of the finest restaurants in the city, luxury hotels, museums, and movie theatres. It is also considered a major shopping districts for its wide selection of designer boutiques and major brand outlets. The Chrisholm Trail Mural, which is a tribute to the Chrisholm Trail cattle drives can also be found in Sundance Square.
Grapevine Vintage RailroadFor tourists who want to experience time traveling, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad is the place to go. The heritage railroad travels along the Cotton Belt Route, which is from Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards, then moving along the Trinity River, and back again to the stockyards. Tourists can enjoy riding authentic vintage trains inside its 19th century Victorian coaches that are dragged by restored train engines. The engines featured in this attraction are an 1896-era steam locomotive (more commonly known as and a GP7 diesel engine).
Amon Carter MuseumThe Amon Carter Museum of American Art is one Fort Worth’s art museums located in the city’s Cultural District. The museum houses a fine collection of paintings, sculptures, and other historical prints that focuses on American Art. What started from the private collection of publisher Amon G. Carter has now become one of the major American art institutions in the country. Aside from American artworks made by several renowned artists from different times, the Amon Carter Museum also has a collection of premier photographs in the country (more than 30,000 prints by over 400 photographers).
Modern Art Museum of Fort WorthAnother well-recognized art museum in the city is “The Modern”, or the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The Modern is located in the heart of the Cultural District, along with other museums like the Kimbell Art Museum and the Amon Carter Museum. The permanent collection consists of more than 3,000 objects and artworks dating back from 1945 to the present day. The museum’s modern architecture is also a masterpiece in itself, designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando . Definitely a must-visit for art and architecture enthusiasts.
Fort Worth Botanical GardensSpread out over 109 acres is the popular tourist attraction, Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. The gardens is an oasis in the city and is oldest of its kind in Texas. The botanical gardens features 23 unique gardens, with over 2,500 species of exotic flowers and plants. The main draws of the attraction are the Japanese Garden, which has koi ponds, waterfalls, and pagodas; the Villa Lante-inspired Rose Garden; and the Conservatory. The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens also has its own Begonia Species Bank (recognized as the largest collection of begonia in the country) that helps in maintaining and preventing the loss of the begonia species.
Fort Worth ZooOperating for over 100 years, the Fort Worth Zoo showcases over 500 animal species, and is recognized as one of the best zoological park in the United States. The zoo has several main exhibits that feature different kinds of birds, primates, and animals common in the state of Texas and endemic to Asia. They also recently added a Herpetarium that houses over 5000 animals representing more than a hundred species of amphibians and reptiles. The Fort Worth Zoo also has a number of on site attractions, including a petting zoo, a rock climbing wall, a carousel, and an express train that can take visitors inside the zoo.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and HistoryThe Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is one of the city’s major educational hubs and tourist attractions. The main exhibits in the museum consists of rare dinosaur fossils, a collection of meteorites and artifacts from NASA, and a historical display of the cattle industry in Texas. They also have their very own tribute exhibit on the 9/11 incident. Aside from the main exhibits, guests can also visit the museum’s IMAX Theater and state-of-the-art Noble Planetarium.
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of FameThe National Cowgirl Museum, which is adjacent to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, was established as a tribute to the extraordinary women that has pioneered and were instrumental in shaping the American West, these are famous cowgirls, ranch women, writers, teachers, and entertainers. The museum houses a huge collection of photographs and artifacts, including several kinds of biographies and stories. Some of the Hall of Fame inductees presented in the museum are Patsy Cline, Annie Oakley, and Georgia O’Keef.
ShoppingFort Worth has a number of major shopping malls in its area. Hulen Mall is one of the city’s largest shopping malls, conveniently situated along Interstate 20. The popular shopping mall features major brands and department stores like Macy’s and Sears. It also has a good assortment of restaurants and bars. Right on Camp Bowie District is the Ridgmar Mall, the only shopping complex in Fort Worth that has an outlet of the famous luxury brand, Neiman Marcus. Other popular brands can also be found inside, like JCPenney and American Eagle Outfitters.
One of the newest addition to the city’s shopping destinations is the Grand Prairie Premium Outlets, which is located a few minutes from the city. The Premium Outlets consists of more than 110 popular brand outlets, and high end restaurants. Also new is the Sundance Square Plaza
DiningSince Fort Worth is just a few miles away from downtown Dallas, the food industry in the city has stepped up their game with its myriad of exciting new dining options in order to stay competitive. The finest steakhouses and cafés in the city can be found in Sundance Square. This urban food court offers its visitors a great variety of choices, which includes the Cowtown Diner, Mercury Chop House, and the Cantina Laredo. Tourists can also check out Fort Worth’s newest culinary experiences, like the Sera Dining and Wine in Forest Park Boulevard, and the Pacific Table located along University Drive.
AccommodationTourists can get to experience the finest things in the city by checking in Fort Worth’s luxurious hotels. Located just a few minutes away from the Cultural District is the Hilton Fort Worth Hotel. The Renaissance Worthington Hotel and the Park Central Hotel are also in demand among tourists and those staying in the city for business and conventions.
Another great option if you’re looking for privacy is Etta’s Place in Sundance Square. Not only is it popular for its service and hospitality, the bed & breakfast is also conveniently situated just walking distance to the best restaurants in the city. For tourists who are a bit thrifty, several budget hotels and inns can also be found outside the downtown area.
TransportationThere are two airports in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which makes getting in and out of the city quite easy. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport serves the metropolitan area, and is considered to be the largest and busiest airport in Texas. The smaller Dallas Love Field airport is used as an alternative and caters to some private and domestic flights.
Getting around the city is also pretty simple and inexpensive since there are a number of public transportation conveniently available for tourists. The Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or most commonly known as “The T” offers bus services that can take passengers from downtown to anywhere around the city. Special designated buses like the red, white, and blue coaches offer rides for free. If you want to visit Dallas, you can take the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) at the Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Fort Worth.
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Author: radiantan. Last updated: Jan 16, 2015