I like to think every woman’s got a little cowgirl in her, and Fort Worth, Texas, is the perfect place to let her out. Whether you are looking for a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a girlfriend’s weekend, Fort Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District will not disappoint.
The Stockyards District boasts 15 blocks of tradition, entertainment, and family fun. When you arrive, you feel like you are traveling back in time to a rough-and-tumble frontier town. You can visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, honoring Texas men and women who have excelled at the sport and business of rodeo and the western lifestyle, and see more than 60 authentic western lifestyle wagons. Every Friday and Saturday night, the historic Cowtown Colliseum hosts Stockyards Championship Rodeo. Events include calf roping, bull riding, barrel racing, events for kids, and more.
Twice daily you can experience the Fort Worth Herd, the world’s only daily cattle drive. A team of drovers guide a herd of longhorns through the Stockyards – just line up along Exchange Avenue (the main road through the district) at 11:30 am or 4 pm for this free experience. After the cattle drive, get your picture taken on a live steer – that will cost you $5, and it’s money well spent.
Stockyards Station is a string of hog and sheep pens re-purposed into a marketplace of shopping and casual dining. This is a great place to take the kids. And if you’ve ever enjoyed a corn maze, don’t miss the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze – 5,400 square feet of frequently-changed wooden pathways.
There are many unique shopping experiences, like this one where the guys can have a drink at the bar while the women shop.
I was so taken in by the Old West atmosphere that I had to buy myself a pair of cowboy boots.
When it’s time for nightlife, the Stockyards District offers authentic western entertainment. Billy Bob’s Texas is the world’s largest honky-tonk with more than 30 bar stations, pool tables, bull riding, a restaurant and more. The White Elephant Saloon is an authentic Old West saloon with live music, and cowboy hats adorning the walls. And check out Booger Red’s Saloon with it’s saddle barstools.
Stay: The Stockyards Hotel. With suites named “Bonnie & Clyde” (actually occupied by its namesake in 1933), “Butch Cassidy,” and “Davy Crockett,” you’ll thoroughly enjoy the beautiful period décor.
Eat: Don’t leave the Stockyards area without eating at Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. While it looks ordinary from the parking lot, be sure to make a reservation to sit on their immense patio, which is more like a labyrinth of patios. You will be enveloped by foliage, fountains, painted tile, and Mexican architecture. You’ll feel transported to a colorful Mexican city and the lush surroundings and incredible food will delight all your senses. Try the Sangria Margarita!
Make your plans now to visit Fort Worth March 27-30, 2014 for their first Food & Wine Festival. I’m doing everything I can to be there!