Mix deep-rooted cowboy culture and Old Western heritage with famous art museums and you just might get Fort Worth, Texas. Often overshadowed by hippie Austin and glamorous Dallas, Fort Worth is home to dozens of diverse, fascinating attractions that make it a valuable destination in its own right. Texas-bound travelers would do well to pay a visit. Here is just some of what’s on tap.
• Fort Worth Water Gardens: This serene natural sanctuary is situated downtown, right next to the Fort Worth Convention Center. For those craving a quiet, nature-filled hideout away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Gardens provide a welcome respite. Impeccably designed by Philip Johnson, the gardens are a true architectural feat: There are modernist pools, cascading waterfalls, terraces and a central plaza, but the highlight is undoubtedly the Active Pool, where water rushes down steep, stone steps to a sunken gorge below.
• Amon Carter Museum of American Art: One of the most revered American art museums in the country, it is located in the city’s Cultural District. Founded in 1961, under the will of the late Amon G. Carter, who was the founder and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, this world-renowned museum houses more than 200,000 objects, including oil paintings, rare books, sculptures and an incredible photography collection. Best of all? It’s totally free.
• Sundance Square: This is a 35-block entertainment and residential district in downtown Fort Worth with hundreds of bars, restaurants, boutiques and galleries in beautifully restored historic buildings. Sundance Square is the city’s foremost destination for dining, shopping and enjoying a cocktail or two. It’s one of the most walkable urban areas in Texas (or elsewhere) and an especially great spot for families. After exploring, relax in scenic Hyde Park, Burnett Park or the ever-popular Sundance Square Plaza.
• Fort Worth Museum of Science and History: Located in the Cultural District, this museum contains several awesome science and history exhibits, as well as a planetarium and an IMAX Dome, which features a 120-foot screen. Visitors are bound to thoroughly enjoy this museum and its dazzling variety of immersive, hands-on exhibits. Catch a show in the Omni Theater, the IMAX Dome, and don’t miss the Noble Planetarium, which offers truly dynamic views of the night sky, the galaxy and beyond.
• Fort Worth Zoo: Here’s something to tick off the bucket list: Fort Worth Zoo is the oldest continuously run zoo in Texas. Having opened in 1909 with just six species (some of which were rabbits), Fort Worth Zoo has stuck its ground and become a major tourist attraction. Today they have more than 7,000 national and exotic creatures, a petting enclosure, rock climbing wall, hurricane simulator and a miniature train that runs between the Safari Depot and Texas Wild attraction.
• Kimbell Art Museum: Designed by famed architect Louis Kahn, this world-class art museum boasts a top-notch collection of masterpieces by Matisse, Picasso, Rembrandt, Goya and dozens of others. Art and architecture fans can’t miss the Kimbell, whose permanent collection is widely considered to be one of the best in the country, if not the world. Apart from the artwork, the building itself is often referred to as one of the most notable works of architecture of the 20th century.
• Fort Worth Stockyards: This is a historic cattle district steeped in longtime cowboy tradition. The Stockyards are now a hub for live entertainment, including rodeos, concerts, and shootout shows. For a rich insight into Fort Worth’s Wild West culture and its famous livestock industry, a visit to the Stockyards is a must. The city used to be known as “Cowtown” due to being one of the biggest stockyards and processing operations in the West, and today, strolling through the Stockyards is akin to stepping back in time.
For all of the attractions it has on tap, Fort Worth ought to be on the itinerary of anyone passing through the great state of Texas.
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