A convention for the books is coming to town this weekend, A-Kon, the longest-running Anime convention in America. And the Visit Fort Worth Team could not be more excited to welcome the 29,000 fans anticipated to attend.
To help you get acclimated to the city, here a few important things to note while exploring our great city.
1. GET HERE AND PARK IT
Once you arrive to downtown, attendee parking will be available from two garages: the first located at Commerce Street and East 14th and the second at the corner of Houston Street and 11th. Surface lot parking will also be available throughout downtown. Check out the Fort Worth Parking map here.
Metered street parking will be available (free on Saturdays and Sundays) and can easily be monitored with the use of the Park Mobile app. Simply pay the meter from your phone once the app is downloaded as well as buy more time.
Traveling locally? Consider riding the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) to avoid traffic. Both downtown train stations are within walking distance of the Convention Center. To make it even easier, The T is offering extended Sunday service to accommodate A-Kon attendees. See the map and schedule here.
Your safety is important to us. Many security patrols monitor the downtown corridor 24 hours a day (some on mounted patrol or bicycle). These individuals are clearly identified and dressed in dark uniforms. Please ask for assistance if you need it!
Sundance Square Plaza, located in the northern part of downtown, is considered private property and closes to the public at midnight on Friday and Saturdays, 11 p.m. all other nights of the week. Please be aware of this when departing late-night events at the Convention Center.
Following A-Kon's prop policy outside of the Center is appreciated. Props that look like weapons and any type of masks covering your face are not permitted inside (or outside) of businesses. Please leave your mask and props at the hotel before exploring the city.
PC: Sundance Square Plaza
3. CAFFEINE FIX
A hot cup of Joe is just the pick-me-up you will need after a long night of gaming. Stretch your legs and see the city before heading back to the convention center and stop by one of our favorite coffee shops.
Downtown spots not to miss: Casablanca Coffee, Starbucks (inside the Omni, Hilton and Sheraton Hotels as well as Sundance Square), Acre Distillery and Coffeehouse (serves small plates all day as well as cocktails for the 21+ crowd), Four Star Coffee Bar and Buon Giorno Coffee.
PC: Buon Giorno Coffee
4. LATE-NIGHT EATS
Though most Fort Worth restaurants stop serving food around 11 p.m., here's a list of spots catering to the late-night crowd.
- Salsa Limon: Enjoy Mexico City-style tacos served made-to-order from the heart of downtown Fort Worth. Open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday thru Saturday.
- Benito's Mexican Cafe (Near Southside): With a range of well-known traditional Mexican items, this is a great spot to mix it up from your normal taco stand. Open until 3 a.m. daily.
- Ol' South Pancake House (TCU/ University): Tacos and Tex-Mex not your thing? Ol' South is a local favorite that serves up their world famous German pancakes, Dutch Babies and tons of other tasty breakfast items 24/7, seven days a week.
- Velvet Taco (West 7th): This tasty taco spot is known for staying open really, really late. Try 3 a.m. on Thursdays and 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Oni Ramen (West 7th): A favorite spot for ramen in the city, Oni Ramen is open to fill you up until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Tokyo Cafe Pop-up Ramen Shop (Downtown): The popular restaurant will hold a pop-up ramen shop in downtown, adjacent to the convention center, starting Friday at 11 a.m. Cash and credit are welcome.
Discover all of the downtown dining options here.
PC: Menu at Salsa Limon
5. EMERGENCY MATERIAL SHOPS
It's a dire moment when you realize the costume you've been working tirelessly on has caught a snag or malfunctioned. Head to one of the following stores for an emergency fix:
- Fort Worth Costume and Magic, etc., 10AM - 7PM
- Walgreens (Downtown / Henderson Street), 7AM-10PM
- Michaels (West 7th / Montgomery Plaza), 9AM-9PM
- Target (West 7th / Montgomery Plaza), 7AM - 12AM
- JoAnn's (Hulen/ Ridgmar), 9AM-9PM
- 6th Street Sundry Mart (Downtown), great for emergency caffeine runs
PC: Fort Worth Water Gardens next to Fort Worth Convention Center
6. SEE THE SIGHTS
Catch a free ride on our downtown bus, Molly the Trolley. Molly will run from 8 a.m. to Midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
A few of our favorite attractions are free and near to the Convention Center, such as the Fort Worth Water Gardens. Read about them all in our Top 10 Free Things to Do blog.
PC: Molly the Trolley, Fort Worth's free downtown bus
7. TOP THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Parking is limited. Public transportation for locals is highly encouraged to reduce downtown congestion.
- Have a great time at A-Kon, but please remember to leave your masks and props at the hotel before exploring the city as they will not be permitted in or outside of most establishments.
- The northern half of downtown Fort Worth is mostly private property. Enjoy and explore, but please respect our family-friendly atmosphere.
- Schedule sleep time too! The majority of Fort Worth, including the Water Gardens and the Sundance Square Plaza, are closed after midnight.
- Visit www.FortWorth.com for more information about Fort Worth. Tweet @VisitFortWorth for real time info/ updates on top things to see and do.