Top Things to Do in Fort Worth Texas
Hey everyone! Summer is still in full swing, which means vacation planning is going on strong! Not everyone’s circumstances allows for exotic international vacations, but that does not mean you cannot go on a vacation. One of my favorite type of vacations are “staycations” and we did a staycation in blog post here and this post is discussing the top things to do in Fort Worth and why it should be your next travel stop to explore! Many people who live or hang out in Dallas I find do not venture out to Fort Worth. So this post is encourage you to explore Fort Worth because in my opinion, it is one happenin’ laid back city with Austin vibes.
A staycation vacation where you “stay” in your own metroplex. No flight required! You may wonder why would a staycation be fun. We have learned so much about our own city by doing staycations and it is more relaxed. The fact that you are staying at local hotel gives you the feel that you are off in another destination. You can read about some of my staycations here. Our Fort Worth staycation was definitely memorable. I was born and raised in Irving and the only thing I knew about Fort Worth was the Stockyards and Sundance Square. Fort Worth is more than that and has came along way and it is one happening city that you should not sleep on. Shop my looks below.
HOW TO GET TO FORT WORTH
For those who do not live in the DFW metro, getting to downtown Fort Worth is quite simple. It is about 30-40 minute drive from the Dallas/Fort Worth International airport. The airport code to use is DFW. There is also Love Field Airport, but that one is much further and closer to downtown Dallas. The drive from DFW is pretty much a straight shot down highway 183 to 121.
You can also reach Fort Worth by train via Trinity Railway Express. There are no direct trains from DFW airport to Fort Worth, but you can still get there quite simply through new shuttle connection TRE Link or through Dart Rail. There is also a coach bus you can for less than $5 that you can take from Dallas to Fort Worth.
WHERE TO STAY IN FORT WORTH
Fort Worth is known to have a cozy, hometown feel that is different from that of Dallas. They have many hotels that give that feel. The hotel that I recommend staying at is the Aloft Hotel Fort Worth in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. It has that home feel but very modern in style. I love contemporary style hotels and the Aloft Hotel is just that!
The Aloft Hotel Fort Worth’s location is perfect – within walking distance of Sundance Square, many shops, bars and restaurants. After a long day in the city, it is nice to relax at a hotel that has many lounge areas where you can sit and people watch, play pool or have drink at the Aloft’s signature stylish WXYZ Bar! There is complimentary Wi-Fi, breakfast options, and flat panel TVs.
The rooms are contemporary in style and spacious as well as with closet space. The beds were super comfortable and I absolutely love the bathroom. They carry Bliss beauty products in their bathroom as well. You should definitely book your stay!
SUNDANCE SQUARE FORT WORTH
One area of Fort Worth that you cannot miss especially when you are in Downtown Fort Worth is Sundance Square. This a square in the heart of Fort Worth and is considered the entertainment district where you can find something for everyone. There are restaurants and bars with live music and clubs, Bass Performance Hall, movie theatre, shopping and the water fountains where kids like to play on hot summer days.
They have tables and chair set up where people will sit and people watch while sipping on their Starbucks or eating ice cream. This is also the area where they have the main street Arts Festival – one of the popular annual festivals at Fort Worth.
Retail shops includes H&M, The Loft, White House Black Market, Francesca’s as well as local shops Earth Bones, Overland Fine Sheepksin & Leather, Yours Truly and Willow House Boutique. There are plenty of dining options from rooftop restaurants such as my favorite The Reata to cafes such as the Bird Café and if you just want to enjoy a cup of tea then have tea at The Ashton Hotel where they have different garden tea rooms to enjoy a nice cup of tea.
One nice little hidden gem is the Sundance Square Courtyard. You get access to it in this little street across from the Starbucks where you will see a Wells Fargo ATM. The vibes of this little courtyard gives off Italy vibes. You can eat in this courtyard and take so cute photos here as well!
CROCKETT ROW AT WEST 7TH
One nice spot of Fort Worth that you should visit is West 7th area which is also known as Crockett Row at West 7th. This is only about a 7 minute drive from Downtown Fort Worth and was one of the new areas that we visited and loved! There is a huge roundabout with a circular metal structure that hangs at the center that changes colors at night.
It looks really good especially with the outdoor string lights that they have here and all over Fort Worth. This is another thing about Fort Worth that I loved – the string lights in the trees that Dallas does not have. It just changes the whole ambiance and makes a nice night stroll feel so magical.
Crockett Row at West 7th is a nice spot if you are looking for a yummy spot to eat while enjoying outdoor seating. Most all of the restaurants here had outdoor seating options. Some of the bars also have live music too. We had brunch at the Social House and the food and service was very good. They have a great brunch menu from steak and eggs and eggs benedict which I got the crab cake benedict which was good.
I highly recommend that you order the Mimosa Flight. They have so many mimosa flavors besides the traditional mimosa that you can try 4 of them instead of trying just one. The amount of the samples are really substantial. I shared it with my husband. I do recommend asking the waiter to bring an ice bucket filled half way with icy water water keep them on ice. It was a big difference with the way it tasted.
For dinner, we ate at Cork & Pig Tavern! This is a restaurant that has outdoor seating as well. We ate inside and the I loved the glass windows that let you see out where you can see the string lights and the changing color architecture. What makes this restaurant so special is their farm to table menu made from scratch. They always have a vegetable of the day.
We had the braised short ribs with mash potatoes and green beans with lemon butter and crushed pecans as well as double pork chops and bourbon cream sauce! Both were VERY good and I could not say which one I loved more. The sauce on the short ribs was the perfect compliment to the short rib. The bourbon sauce on the pork chops I could eat by the spoon. Very good and highly recommend trying it.
Also Crockett Row at West 7th also have spots for shopping and other dining options such as the colorful El Bolero and the Food Hall. The Food Hall is kind of like a very nice food court but with much better and homemade food options. I have attended one similar in Chicago too.
There are options for Asian food, waffles, ice cream, cupcakes, BBQ! You definitely have to check them out because there are different events that happens including live entertainment on Friday and Saturdays. Some of the eateries have happy hour specials too.
NEAR SOUTHSIDE AKA “MAGNOLIA AVENUE”
Another area of Fort Worth that I had never heard of nor visited is a district called “Near Southside” which now is commonly referred to as “Magnolia Avenue or Magnolia”. This area really gives me the “Austin, TX” vibes. It is very laid back atmosphere with lots of bars and restaurants to choose from. Near Southside has a few different villages to visit which you can find them all here.
We had drinks and appetizer at La Zona next to Saint Sofia which sells really good churros! This little spot gave us all the Marfa vibes! if you have not visited Marfa, check out my post here. The dirt/gravel ground, canopy, outdoor tables and décor of both buildings makes you feel that you are either in Marfa or at some Spanish bar in Spain or Mexico. A very chill vibe! The pizza was good and I loved their rose sangria! It was the best!
We also had dinner in this area at Ellerbe Fine Foods! We ate the most amazing dinner at this cute little chic restaurant. Ellerbe Fine Foods is a “farm to table” restaurant which means they have a relationship with a specific farm with their foods without any middle man stops in between like at a store, marketer or distributor along the way. There foods are fresh, local and seasonal. So items such as the vegetables may vary from season to season.
There is a Louisiana influence in their dishes since their story originated in Louisiana on Ellerbe Road. We really enjoyed the meat and cheese board as an appetizer. The prosciutto and cheeses were really good. For our main course, I had the seabass on a bed of rice and spinach and they topped it with creamy shrimp. It was so good and cooked perfectly. My husband got the salmon which I also tried and his was really good too! We at outside on the patio which was nice with the outdoor lights.
THE SHOPS AT CLEARFORK
To do some shopping, there are many areas in Fort Worth for shopping. One newer spot is The Shops at Clearfork which is on the otherside of Downtown Fort Worth. Here there are various of options for both shopping and dining including an AMC movie theater and gaming spot at Pintstripes. Click here for a complete directory.
One of the things that I like about the Shops of Clearfork is the music that is playing in the outdoors. They have a since outdoor speaker system that plays music. Parking it not an issue here. There is plenty of parking garages and it is free as well One place that you should stop to eat is at the Twig Bistro & Martini Bar. We had a nice cocktail and appetizer in their outdoor patio. The calamari was really good and I highly recommend. Fixe Southern House has a nice drink menu as well as a cool bar.
If you are looking for dessert or something sweet, then I recommend stopping at Amorino Gelato. We were so surprised to see an Amorino in Texas. We first had it in Milan about a year ago and find good Italian gelato is hard to find here. Amorino is known for the beautiful flower gelato cones. Here in America, a classic ice cream cone consist of 1-3 round scoops of ice cream. Some gelaterias in Italy make designs when the scoop and Amorino is know for the pretty flower heads. You can add a macaroon to your scoop or just have italian espresso which was pretty good too. Kate Weiser Chocolate is a great spot for delicious chocolate and there is also Joy Macarons if you want to try the popular french dessert. Sunglasses you can find here!
FESTIVAL SEASON IN FORT WORTH
For the month of April, Fort Worth is known for their “Festival Season”. There are various of festivals that take place in the month of April from the Main Street Arts Festival to the Food & Wine Festival to name a couple. I have always attended the Main Street Arts Festival every year since I was teen. It is free to attend and just walk around to view the local talent and art. I have bought couple of art pieces(photography) in the past. There are food venues and live entertainment to enjoy each day as well.
The Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival is an annual 3-day festival. I was excited to experience it for the first time this year because it is the best way to experience foods from the locals in Fort Worth. The goal of the festival is to raise awareness of the Fort Worth food scene and give back by way of grant programs and culinary scholarships.
There are about 6 different events for the actual festival: Tacos & Tequila, Main Event, Desserts After Dark, Culinary Corral, Burgers, Brews & Blues and Ring of Fire. We attended 3 of them: Desserts After Dark, Culinary Corral, Burgers, and Ring of Fire and were loved this combination because we got a variety of foods to taste. For full detail review of this festival, read my blog post here.
So here is Fort Worth in nutshell. I hope you will visit Fort Worth! There is still so much of Fort Worth that I still need to explore so stay tuned to future blog posts. I hope you found this guide useful!
*Sponsored Post: This post was sponsored but the thoughts and expressed in this post were 100% my own with no outside influences.