Since my decision to make plans to move to Fort Worth, I have been spending more time in the aptly named FunkyTown. Forth Worth may be known for its rich cowboy history culture, but it also has an eclectic melting pot of live-and-let-us-live-as-friends attitude. The city’s resounding theme is authenticity. Fort Worthians are some of the most authentic people I have ever met. Accept all, embrace transformation, and stand resilient during challenge. I’ve heard many of the stories and seen the behavior in action. It’s quite a comforting atmosphere.
I like to follow the trail of the road less traveled and that’s easy to do in Fort Worth because there are plenty of paths to choose. From hiking in the Nature Preserve to (attempting) two stepping at Billy Bob’s , there’s plenty to do regardless of your lifestyle. I intend to try it all.
Over the summer, I spent a weekend in downtown Fort Worth, and this past month, I spent another weekend in the Stockyards. Strangely enough, this Big D city girl found herself far more comfortable in the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both. But I now realize that I am more drawn to open spaces, nostalgic atmospheres, and eclectic country attitudes.
Downtown has all of the amenities of city living with a Texas twist. The Library Bar on Houston Street is as advertised: a rather large bar in a cowboy library setting rounded out with corn hole, darts, pool, and more. The brisket nachos are second to none, and the place claims (rightfully so) to have the most handsome bartenders in town. Trust me ladies, we agreed 😉 Hope you’re good fellas. I’ll see ya next time.
Plenty of BBQ, shopping, and historical sightseeing available to all and safely accessible on foot. Live music can be heard from corner to corner. Bass Hall, one of the most beautiful venues in Texas, is nestled conveniently in the heart of the city, and over the years, I have had the pleasure of being carted away on an enchanted musical journey in its balconies.
Last month, I decided to mix it up and stay for a weekend in Fort Worth’s historic Stockyards. I stayed in one of its new favorite hotels, Hotel Drover. The Drover is one of the newest hotspots of Fort Worth and features a beautiful outdoor pool equipped with a backyard patio and a fully stocked bar. There’s great live (outdoor) music on weekends and the 97 West restaurant, which has some of the best French toast and oven-baked bacon you’ve ever had.
The Stockyards boast some of the finest music entertainment, the twice daily cattle drive (which honors the cowboys who transported herds safely to their destinations throughout the western frontier), and a world famous rodeo. Of course, The Stockyards won’t be outdone by overdone shopping malls as it adds more shopping to include specialty shops for the equestrian, the vintage lovers and even the high end Yellowstone (TM) fans.
But these destinations and dining experiences don’t adequately convey my love for Fort Worth. On Sunday morning after eating my French toast at 97, I decided to stroll through the Stockyard stores near the Tarantula Train stop get a better look at things when no one else was around. Although the quietness was eerie and the absence of people rare, there was comfort in standing alone on the street as I peered into the shops and ballrooms that lined the square. I imagined the children waiting to board the train back to Grapevine as their parents stared at their vinyl purchases from Chief Records, both marking a place and time of remembrance.
With all of the hustle and bustle of the modern, online world, Fort Worth gives its residents and visitors a place to call home, somewhere you can venture out beyond your four walls to find something unique to do for a day, a weekend, or longer. It’s a place to meet new people while exploring the history of yesterday as you find a way to bring them back together as if they were long-lost friends who simply took separate journeys for a spell.
I’ve met many new and fascinating people during my regular jaunts to Fort Worth and I already call some of them my friends (shout out to my new “wing man,” Mr. Brice and dear Ms. Kobye who I meet regularly at The Drover’s Backyard Patio when she too comes to town). While my move is still 12 or so months away (I’m a planner, don’t judge), this shorty longs to get back home to my beloved Fort Worth whenever possible. I am forecasting a Christmas visit to remember this year. Sometimes, you just know where you belong and for me, well, I’ve known for quite some time that my place is just off of Highway 820, in the 817.