Cowtown, as it’s endearingly called, is often heralded as an ode to Texas’ Western culture, with attractions like cattle drives at the Stockyards and concerts at Billy Bob’s Texas. There’s plenty more culture and charm, though, if you’re willing to look beyond the stereotypes.
Whether you’re a North Texas newcomer or a longtime local who is booking a staycation, here’s where to spend the weekend in Fort Worth.
Start the day here
For a gem that feels miles away from the city, hit the Trailhead at Clearfork. The area is a popular recreation destination, with access to more than 60 miles of trails along the Trinity River. Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop offers rentals starting at $35 per day, or you can traverse the paths on foot.
On Saturday mornings, look for free outdoor fitness classes such as yoga at the Trailhead. Then peruse the quaint farmers market, where local vendors sell goods including olive oil, beef jerky and candles. Vendors pop up from 8 a.m. to noon, weather permitting.
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a table at Press Cafe and enjoy a meal while taking in the river views. The restaurant is popular, especially on weekends, so it’s worth making a reservation. Or for a quick bite, keep an eye out for the Beignet Bus, which parks near the entrance to the farmers market many weekend mornings.
Next stop: breweries
It's been a productive morning: It’s time to reward yourself with a cold beverage. Fort Worth is bubbling with craft breweries, and many of them reside in the walkable South Side neighborhood. Why choose one when you could do a DIY crawl?
Start at Collective Brewing Project, which specializes in sour and wild beers. Because brewers here make several fruited and wood-aged recipes, you’re bound to find something that satisfies beer and wine drinkers alike. Next stop: HopFusion Ale Works’ wood-laden taproom, where the Feisty Blonde ale is a local favorite.
Rahr and Sons Brewing Co., one of North Texas’ oldest craft breweries, sits about a half-mile away, serving traditional German styles inspired by founder and fifth-generation brewer Fritz Rahr’s family heritage. Close out the crawl with a palate cleanser from Locust Cider, a new business bringing dry ciders to the scene.
Catch a ride to the outskirts
Cocktail connoisseurs can find excellent libations at Thompson’s Bookstore, but for more of an immersive experience, make plans to visit Firestone and Robertson’s Whiskey Ranch on the outskirts of town.
The 112-acre property originally opened in 1912 as the Glen Garden Golf and Country Club, a historic course where golf legends like Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan cut their chops. In 2017, owners Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson moved their acclaimed distillery to the site.
Guests can book a 45-minute guided tour that ends with a tasting of the distillery’s blended and single-barrel whiskeys. Cocktails are available for purchase thereafter.
Tours cost $15 and take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 12:30 and 2 p.m. The on-site tavern is also open to the public Thursday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.; however, the venue hosts many private events and often closes during these hours, so check the website before you make the trip.
Families, head for the flowers
Looking for something family-friendly? The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is a must-see.
The gardens, which encompass 109 acres on the west side of the city, are dedicated to flowers, native species and education. The Texas Boardwalk, for example, is lined on the east side with plants native to Texas and on the west side with invasive species that were brought by Europeans who settled in the area. And because it’s so lush, you’re likely to see animals rummaging through the brush.
Other areas, such as the Rose Garden and the Perennial Garden, are more groomed and equally as serene.
The best part? Entry to most of the gardens is free, though that may change in the coming months. The Japanese Garden and special events do come with a small fee, but they’re worth the price.
Still searching? Go with the three B's
Magnolia Avenue is known for its three B’s: brunch, barbecue and bars.
Brunch: Brewed is known as “the locals' living room,” with cozy couches to match. During the week, it’s filled with folks on their laptops drinking cups of coffee and pints of local beer, but on weekends, it’s a bustling restaurant with dishes like sweet and savory chicken and waffles. The restaurant, which GuideLive readers recently voted as one of the best brunch spot in D-FW, also serves breakfast all day every weekday.
Barbecue: Satisfy your carnivorous cravings down the street at Heim Barbecue. The family-owned joint opened in 2015, first as a food truck before moving to a brick-and-mortar spot in 2016. The burnt ends here are the stuff of local legend.
Bars: Wash it all down at Proper, an airy hole-in-the-wall that's serious about shaking up cocktails, or at the Usual, a delightfully cavernous space that masterfully mixes drinks.