10. Sundance Square. Our downtown is HOPPIN', baby! Even on a Wednesday night, you can find live music - GOOD live music. Then there's the gorgeous Bass Performance Hall (that building with the huge honkin' angels for you tourists), the theaters (live and film), and all the fabulous eateries.
9. The Stockyards! I'll admit that I don't venture up that way as often as I should - mostly only when I'm playing tour guide to out-of-town guests. But every time I go, I'm reminded that I SHOULD go more often! Steak houses on every corner, a live longhorn cattle drive (actually, cattle mosey is more accurate) twice a day, a cool walking tour that's interesting every time I go, the smell of leather in the boot and saddle shops, Western kitcsh, and oh, let's not forget the cowboys. Real, live ones. :)
On horseback patroling the brick-paved streets, and rodeoin' at the Cowtown Coliseum every Friday and Saturday night.
8. The Cultural District. We're known as "Cowtown" and "Where the West Begins", 'tis true. But we're more cultured than that overgrown botoxed city to our east; the proof is all the Dallas-area cars in our parking lots! The world-renowned Kimbell Art Museum, The Modern Art Museum, the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, the Museum of Science and History, and the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum... all within 5 blocks of each other.
7. The Fort Worth Zoo has been ranked as the No.1 attraction in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area and No.19 among the "50 Overall Top-Rated Attractions" in the entire United States by the Zagat Survey U.S. Family Guide. With shady, tree-lined paths, roaring waterfalls, African Savannahs and tropical jungles, it's easy to forget that you're smack in the middle of a large city. (In fact, you're less than a mile from my house!) Texas Wild is an 8-acre exhibit that features all the different habitats and animals of this great state, from the coastal plains to the piney woods to the blackland prairies to the West Texas desert.
6. Public Art. It's free! From the famed Chisholm Trail mural downtown to the anatomically correct topiary bull (well, he WAS anatomically correct until a few years ago, when someone complained that his, uh... anatomy was offensive. Now he's anatomic-correctly castrated), to the bronze "Texas Gold" statues near the Stockyards...and everywhere in between.
5. Trinity River Trails and Park. Bikers, rollerbladers and joggers populate the trails which snake along the Trinity River from far southwest Fort Worth through the Museum/Parks area and north toward the stockyards. Mayfest, which promotes community awareness and funding for the park, is one of our family's favorite annual events.
6. Botanic Gardens and Japanese Gardens. Lush, well-kept, serene, beautiful. We love to picnic here, where balls and frisbees aren't allowed. The Gardens force you to slow down and (literally) smell the roses. In the summer, we always take in at least one Concert in the Garden - outdoor concerts performed by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. The Gardens, due south of our house about a mile or so, put on a spectatular fireworks show after each concert, so twice a week in June, we're jolted aware about 10 o'clock, at which time we run outside to watch through the pecan trees. (Truth be told, it always catches us by surprise, and takes us a minute to realize what that POPPING noise is!)
5. Shopping. There's a brand new Super Target 6 minutes from my driveway. Even closer is University Park Village, with its hip shops (Gap, William-Sonoma, White House/Black Market, Harold's, Pottery Barn, Barnes and Noble) and eateries (Celebration, Panera, Cafe Express, Blue Mesa). Scrapbook stores are an easy drive, too, including Recollections, Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Joann's!
4. It's safe! We're ranked #9 on the list of "safest cities with 500,000 or more population."
3. We're friendly! It's true: Texas is known as "the friendly state", and that includes our drivers. Well, sorta. Texans are in just as big a hurry as anyone anywhere. Venture outside the boundary created by Loop 820 and you'll enter a whole new world of tailgaters and cutter-offers. But in Fort Worth proper, driving is relatively painless. The city is laid out in such a way that it's even possible to go ANYwhere within Fort Worth without ever having to drive on a freeway. This I know is true, because my friend Dela, who is 70+, has NEVER driven on a Fort Worth freeway, and that woman's been all over creation. :)
2. Neighborhoods. For a city our size, we still feel like a small hometown! That's because we have pockets of neighborhoods instead of ugly urban sprawl. Oh, okay. So we have urban sprawl too. But only if you head south or north. Avoid those developing areas. Instead, search out the established neighborhoods near the city's center... Bluebonnet Hills, University Place, Monticello, Berkeley Place, Mistletoe Heights, Tanglewood, Ryan Place, Arlington Heights. These aren't subdivisions. They're neighborhoods. And yes, there's a difference.
1. Me. I live here! And I can never have too many scrapping friends nearby. :)