With so many amazing things to see and do, planning your first trip to Cowtown can seem overwhelming. From must-dos to unexpected finds, here is a rundown of activities to add to your itinerary.

Take in the History 

Fort Worth Stockyards 
It’s Cowtown, y'all. If you’re looking to live out your cowboy fantasy, this is the place. Fort Worth was a major stopping point on the Chisholm Trail during the Cattle Drive Era in the mid- to late-1800s. Witness the world's only twice-daily cattle drive, experience the year-round rodeo or sing-a-long with the Cowtown Opry on Sunday afternoons. Visit Mule Alley for rustic-lux shopping, dining and entertainment at hot spots like Tannahill's Tavern & Music HallSecond Rodeo BrewingPaloma SuerteProvender Hall, Lucchese and Wrangler


You can also hit up The Love Shack or Hooker's Grill for a burger, Riscky’s BBQ or Cooper's for some hearty ribs before heading to Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky-tonk. Billy Bob's is 127,000-square-feet of pure entertainment including live bull riding, a restaurant, gift shop, two dance floors and 30 bar stations. Don't forget to try their signature shot - The Three-Legged Monkey. 


Must See Neighborhoods

Sundance Square
The 35-block Sundance Square district, steps from the Convention Center, is home to restaurants, live music clubs, theaters, speakeasies, galleries, shops and dazzling nightlife headlined by the beautiful and acoustically superb Bass Performance Hall. Listen to live music under the stars at Sundance Square Plaza every Thursday through Sunday evenings.

Near Southside
As the name suggests, this trendy urban neighborhood can be found just south of downtown. South Main Street and Magnolia Avenue are hip drags loaded with local hangs. Designated as a cultural district by the Texas Commission for the Arts, there are plenty of eclectic galleries and venues.

Historic Southside
Historic Southside is home to rich culture and spaces that help preserve the African American contributions to Tarrant County. It's home to great eateries like Smoke-a-holics BBQ and the award-winning Black Coffee. Shop for a bespoke suit at Franklin + Anthony Suits, explore the Reby Cary Youth Library, or tour the distillery and do a tasting at TX Whiskey.

River District
Just beyond the Cultural District along the Trinity River, there are plenty of things to do in this lively neighborhood. Hikers and bikers can explore miles of great views along the Trinity Trails, and restaurants like GemelleSalsa Limon, Lettuce Cook and Heim BBQ call this area home.

Panther Island
Hit the water for some tubing, kayaking or paddle boarding at Panther Island Pavilion. It's the hub for year-round events like Oktoberfest, Fort Worth's Fourth and Rockin' the River. If you float a little further down the river you'll find Coyote Drive-In Movie Theater. The modern-day drive-in shows double features on three large screens and sells snacks and beverages from The Canteen.

See the Sights

Fort Worth Zoo
Go wild at one of the top ranked zoos in the nation that is fun for the whole family! With more than 7,000 native and exotic animals, habitats include Predators of Asia and Africa, the African Savanna, Elephant Springs and Texas Wild!, which focuses on wildlife in the Lone Star State. In the summertime, visitors are invited to cool off at the splash pad, Safari Splash.

Fort Worth Botanic Garden
This is a delightful respite in the busy city. You can meander through 23 specialty gardens such as the Japanese Gardens, Rose Garden and Cactus Garden. The oldest botanic garden in Texas, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden was recently selected as one of the South's most beautiful botanic gardens by Southern Living Magazine

Fort Worth Water Gardens
Take a moment downtown to visit the Fort Worth Water Gardens. Adjacent to the Convention Center, the garden is an impressive architectural installation with three water features, offering a place of calm in the middle of busy downtown.


Taste the Local Flavor

Reata Restaurant
Experience legendary Texas cuisine and a western atmosphere at Fort Worth's iconic Reata Restaurant. Their cuisine is inspired by cowboy cooking and melds flavors from Southwestern, Creole, Southern, and a traditional steakhouse. Enjoy a craft cocktail and favorites like tenderloin tamales, elk sausage, blackened buffalo ribeye, and pan seared pepper crusted tenderloin.

Don Artemio
The James Beard semi-finalist restaurant takes Mexican food to another level. Inspired by Northern Mexican houses of old, its atmosphere is the perfect setting to enjoy one of their succulent steaks, cabrito dishes and napolitos fritos. 

Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine
Bonnell’s has won a lot of awards, and for good reason. Chef Jon Bonnell serves up “Texan Cuisine” with a twist. The Elk Mini Tacos and Venison Carpaccio are must tries! 

Joe T. Garcia’s
A Fort Worth staple since 1935, dining at Joe T's is as much about hanging out on the patio with a margarita as it is about the food.

Paris Coffee Shop
Serving up patrons in the Near Southside for nearly 100 years, this unpretentious diner serves breakfast dishes that taste like home. Biscuits and gravy, crispy bacon, hearty omelets and pancakes will satisfy to your heart's content.

Lonesome Dove
Chef Tim Love's western bistro menu is inspired by wagon cooking on the Chisholm Trail. You'll find a sophisticated western atmosphere and delicious menu items like rabbit-rattlesnake sausage, elk-foie gras sliders and garlic-stuffed beef tenderloin. It's a great place for a romantic dinner for two or a group outing with your family and friends.

Clay Pigeon
Clay Pigeon's menu is inspired by the seasons, with fresh dishes plated with sophistication and a passion for flavors that come through every bite. Marcus Paslay's chef-driven restaurant has a modern array of options like the succulent bone marrow, country ham croquettes, house made pasta and fresh catch of the day. 

Press Cafe
Next to the Trinity Trails Trailhead, Press Cafe is a casual, upbeat spot great for brunch, lunch or dinner with friends and family. Enjoy brunch favorites, fresh salads, sandwiches, wine, beer and spirits on the patio or in the bright space inside. The patio has comfy seating around fire pits and a great vista of the Trinity Trails.

You'll never be starved for BBQ options in Fort Worth. With so many options, it'd be hard to narrow down any favorites. Just know the sky's the limit when it comes to a mouthwatering plate of brisket or burnt ends in this town. Check out local spots like Heim, Panther City, Riscky's, F1 Smokehouse, or the top-ranked Goldee's BBQ. There's also Cooper's, Angelo's, Smoke-a-Holics and Brix Barbecue. 


Expand Your Horizons

Cultural District
Home to five world-renowned museums built by acclaimed architects, the Cultural District offers artistic exploration in a park-like setting that makes easy to walk from museum to museum. See the only Michelangelo in the United States and other special exhibitions at the Kimbell Art Museum. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has as many exhibits for adults as they do for children, along with a Planetarium and the OMNI IMAX Dome. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art was designed by the same architect as the Fort Worth Water Gardens and admission is free. The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is the only museum in the nation dedicated to the stories of pioneering women of the American West. The Modern Art Museum was named one of the "World's Most Beautiful Art Museums," with a reflecting pond and the upscale Cafe Modern. Its collection consists of nearly 3,000 significant works of modern and contemporary international art. 

Bass Performance Hall
The world-renowned Bass Performance Hall is the permanent home to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Their series, Broadway at the Bass, hosts the best of traveling Broadway. Performances in the Hall run year-round while free, docent-led tours are offered on select Saturdays.

Lenora Rolla Heritage Center Museum
The museum is located in a restored house and features exhibitions highlighting African American Culture in Fort Worth. It also serves as a community gathering space and hosts events throughout the year to celebrate shared heritage.


Catch a Game, Rodeo or Race

Cheer for the Horned Frogs at a Texas Christian University Football Game 
As a part of the Big 12 Conference, TCU hosts some great collegiate sports. In Texas, football is king and catching a TCU football game is something truly enjoyed by Fort Worthians. Come out for the tailgate and make some friends, just be sure to wear purple! 

Texas Motor Speedway
Hosting both NASCAR and Indycar races, Texas Motor Speedway is one of the premier racing facilities in the United States. TMS is also home to Big Hoss TV, the world's largest HD television screen.

Dickies Arena
Opened in 2019, the state-of-the-art arena hosts concerts, hockey, basketball, wrestling for up to 14,000 spectators. The arena is home of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and the Panther City Lacrosse Club.

Cowtown Coliseum
Even if it's not your first rodeo, head to Cowtown Coliseum for weekly rodeos on Fridays and Saturdays. These athletes will get your heart-pounding with their stunts and events that make even the toughest ask, "how do they do that?!"


Boutique Shopping

Sundance Square
Located in the heart of downtown, Sundance Square is lined with cowgirl chic outfitters like Parts Unknown, HerStory, Overland Sheepskin. Explore Union Station, with an eclectic collection of records, collectible skateboards and streetwear fashion. Find cooking supplies at The Virgin Olive Oiler, wine from female winemakers at Wines From A Broad, art supplies at Lookout Hill and collectibles from Mexico at Coleccion Mexicana.

The Shops at Clearfork
This luxury retail shopping center is the place for retail therapy. Anchored by Neiman Marcus, it also has luxury brands like Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Tumi, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and more. The center also has tons of dining and entertainment options where you can cool your heels after a day of shopping.