The vivid contrasts between Dallas and Fort Worth make the two cities an enticing pair. Laid-back Fort Worth keeps the Wild West alive with cattle drives and acclaimed museums devoted to Western culture and art. Bustling Dallas, on the other hand, is the seat of Texas trade and sophistication, with skyscrapers, five-star restaurants and high-end retailers dotting the landscape. A trip to the DFW area offers the best of both worlds. Live out your cowboy dreams at Fort Worth’s historic Stockyards and make it to the AT&T Stadium just in time to see the Dallas Cowboys kick off all in the same day.
Appreciate the Arts
Wander a few miles west of downtown Fort Worth and you’ll wind up in the Cultural District, one of the largest arts districts in the country. This area is home to six museums, all of which are renowned for their collections, architecture and programs. Peer at masterpieces by Michelangelo and Picasso at the Kimbell Art Museum and then visit the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth to admire contemporary works by Andy Warhol. Celebrate the women of the American West at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, and see pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Round out the day with a visit to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, which also hosts the Cattle Raisers Museum on its fascinating second floor.
Paddle in the ‘People’s Playground’
Do as the locals do and kayak on the popular White Rock Lake in Dallas. This tranquil body of water serves up excellent skyline views and supports over 200 bird species, including heron and egrets. It’s regularly stocked with largemouth bass too, so don’t forget to bring your rod. For more fishing fun, head to Grapevine Lake, Lake Ray Hubbard or Lake Arlington. If you want to paddle some more, set off on the Trinity River to uncover tributaries, hidden coves and diverse ecosystems.
You’ll still find pockets of pristine nature around this pair of metropolises. Enjoy leisurely strolls through stunning flower beds at either the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden or the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Located on the outskirts of Dallas, the Trinity Forest Adventure Park promises fun thrills with its ziplines and obstacle courses. The Cedar Ridge Preserve is also nearby and has 9 miles of trails. For a walk on the wild side, follow the paths in the Fossil Rim Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with zebras, giraffes and other exotic wildlife.
Hospitality with a Texas Twist
Fort Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District takes you on a trip back to the Wild West. Spend the day drinking beer in a real saloon, shopping for cowboy boots and watching the only twice-daily cattle drive in the world. You can also catch a rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum and tour the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame to discover the men and women who have achieved rodeo master status. Don’t leave without singing along to live country music at Billy Bob’s Texas.
Tex-Mex Cuisine and More
Bring your appetite to Dallas, because the Tex-Mex eateries here take Southwest fare to new heights. Satisfy your enchilada and quesadilla craving at Rafa’s Cafe Mexicano and sip on margaritas of every flavor and style at Meso Maya. Mia’s Tex-Mex draws everyone from Dallas Cowboys players to former presidents with its brisket tacos, and even Guy Fieri has approved the pozole, pork tamale and brisket gordita combo at Avila’s.
Let Loose in the Cities
The countless annual events in both cities will have you partying like a Texan in no time. Kick off the year with rodeo action and horse acts at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. Bust out your finest cowboy gear on the National Day of the American Cowboy and celebrate with rib-eating contests, live Western music and parades at the Fort Worth Stockyards. The Texas Motor Speedway hosts three NASCAR and IndyCar races throughout the year, too.
Hop on over to Dallas for Fletcher’s famous corn dogs and Ferris wheel rides at the State Fair of Texas in September and October, the longest-running fair in America. If you’re in town during spring, indulge in culinary masterpieces by local chefs at Savor Dallas and attend independent film screenings at the Dallas International Film Festival.
Retrace the Lives of U.S. Presidents
Dallas invites you to glimpse into pivotal moments in the lives of former presidents. At the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, snap a photo of an exact replica of the Oval Office and explore how presidential decisions were made in the interactive Decision Points Theater.
You can also delve into the legacy of John F. Kennedy at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, located in the former Texas School Book Depository — the sniper’s perch used by assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Thought-provoking exhibits chronicle the tragedy and the impact the leader had on the country and world. Fort Worth pays tribute to the former president as well with the JFK Tribute in General Worth Square. Stop by to see a bronze statue of the leader and read quotes from his most historic speeches.
For More Information
Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism