14 Things That Make Fort Worth, TX Great
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14 Things That Make Fort Worth, TX Great

Here are a couple quick reasons we love Fort Worth so much.

14 Things That Make Fort Worth, TX Great

Fort Worth, TX is a great little small town big city that's actually the sixteenth largest in the United States, while only the fifth in the state. I didn't do these in any order, and it was tough to cut some out, but I feel like I can speak for a lot of Fort Worthians about some of the best things about the Western part of the term D-FW and its metroplex.

1. Downtown (Sundance Square)

Fort Worth has a pretty cool downtown. In fact, it's one of the top downtowns in the nation for living, business opportunities, real estate development, finding a job, and much more. But Sundance Square truly takes the cake when defining a centralized center of a city of such a size. With entertainment, food, arts, and nightlife all wrapped together, along with the Stockyards to the north, five professional sports teams to the east, the Botanic Gardens and TCU to the south, and the relaxing and continuously growing west Fort Worth, it's hard not to see why Fort Worthians have the pride they do. Downtown is the natural first place to start.

2. Texas Christian University

TCU and the Horned Frogs have been a central-point of Fort Worth and its growth for not yet 200 years now. TCU was founded in the 1873 and has risen to a national spotlight, due in part to both its educational and athletic programs. Half of Fort Worth went there, or goes there, or will go there, or whatever the case may be. Roughly 20% of my high school class alone went there. Needless to say, TCU is a huge part of Fort Worth's community. Go Frogs.

3. The Food

A cliché for all listicles, but quite necessary in the Fort. Whether it’s one of Tim Love’s restaurants including the White Elephant saloon, the Love Shack, Woodshed Smokehouse, or his flagship Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in the Stockyards, or any of the many restaurants in Fort Worth’s downtown, West 7th, Medical District, or the Fort Worth classic Joe T’s Mexican, you will not leave unsatisfied. Yogi's Bagels for breakfast is a hometown favorite, as well.

4. Trinity River Vision Project & Panther Island

One of the most recent (and in progress) highlights about Fort Worth is the Trinity River Vision Project. This development focuses on building around 88 miles of the Trinity River's Clear and West forks. The 710 mile-long river is the longest in the state, and runs in its entirety from four separate forks south of the Red River and finally forms a single river below the DFW Metroplex. Anyways, I digress.

The plan, which is a combination of operational and in construction, involves brand new upscale shopping, riverside music restaurants and venues, wildlife areas, Gateway Parks, and Panther Island. The development has helped clear up traffic in the area, so I'm always thankful for that too.

Panther Island is an area designed to connect Downtown, the Cultural District, and the Stockyards. The US Army Core of Engineers refers to it simply as "Central City" because of its connecting effects, as well as the infrastructural and flood plain areas (P.S. - to Fort Worthians - flood problems are actually an issue in the city, watch the below video for more) it will create, along with the vast economic opportunity. Honestly, it probably deserved its own number, but no one likes 15 point lists, anyway.

5. Colonial Golf Tournament

Bank of America Invitational. The Crown Plaza Invitational.Currently, Dean & Deluca Invitational. Or, as we know it, 'The Colonial'. At the end of every May the sweltering heat and the PGA Tour come to town for the PGA's best to play at local Colonial Country Club, right down the street from TCU. One of the five tournaments designed the invitational status by the PGA, and one of three on tour that still personally manages the tournament (trust us, every older teenager in the city has likely worked it), the Colonial is one of Fort Worthian's favorite annual events. Spending a couple days relaxing and enjoying the competition play right in the backyard is makes for a pretty nice week.

6. The Stockyards

The Fort Worth Stockyards, or "Where the West Begins", is the birthplace of Fort Worth, largely in part due to the cattle drives that ran from the Stockyards up to Montana and such. Today, the Stockyards remains an active business area for livestock, entertainment, a weekly rodeo, great food, western hotels, and custom boots/hats/whatever galore. Oh, and there's a train station full of children's activities and an active train running round trip to Grapevine and back.

7. The FW Stockshow & Rodeo

You're not really from Fort Worth if you haven't attended the world championship stockshow and rodeo every January-February at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. The rodeo has been in town for 121 years, and is a major stop on the rodeo circuit ending every year in Las Vegas. The rodeo has the fan-favorite Bull's Night Out, impressive stunts, clowns (the friendly kind), and world class riding. Definitely a must if you end up in the area. Mark Zuckerburg even made an appearance this year, thanks to a new Facebook data center being built in Fort Worth.

8. Fort Worth Zoo

Who doesn't love zoos? In Fort Worth, we have a world class zoo, as rated by the Family Life mag, LA Time, and USA Today. It features over 5,000 native and exotic species, including a lion, two little bear cubs, zebras, hippos, and an alligator among its notable animals. The zoo also features various exhibits, such as the reptile and arachnid enclosures, as well as several temporary exhibits that rotate in and out. The zoo also offers summer classes for your children during the summer, of which I used to attend, as well as overnights for birthdays or other private events. So, if you need that day off, or wanna see some cool animals, the Fort Worth Zoo is the place in Fort Worth to go.

9. Billy Bob's Texas

Billy Bob's Texas, the world's largest honky-tonk. This place features several restaurants, a massive bucking bull photo op, a pool hall, a large two-stepping floor, and weekly concerts of popular Texas country artists, including Pat Green, Willie Nelson, Stoney LaRue, Josh Abbott, and the list goes on. There's a nearby rodeo too. Disclaimer: Don't try to use a fake ID or pull anything slick. They take it pretty seriously over there. Here's their current concert schedule: http://billybobstexas.com/concerts.

10. Our Sports

DFW metroplex shares the same sports love, and Not to steal Arlington’s thunder, but the Cowboys, Rangers, etc. we call our own. We love those teams more than life itself, it seems. If you think this year's playoff heartbreak for the Cowboys (along with every other professional team in the metroplex this past year) hurt, just please don't bring up Game 6 of the Rangers and Cardinals.Still stings, to this day. Oh, and Jerry World is 2 mi closer, sorry Dallas (yes, I know how petty that sounded).

SEE ALSO:22 Things You Know If You Grew Up In Arlington, Texas

11. Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens are a secret personal favorite. The FWBG is the oldest Botanic Garden in the state, and features 22 specialized gardens and conservatories, including my two favorites, the Japanese Garden and the Rose Garden. Throughout the year, the Gardens host events specific to each garden, such as the Japanese Festival, or more garden wide events, like the Spring through summer's fan favorite Concerts in the Garden, which features music including popular artists, the Fort Worth Symphony, which plays Star Wars, Patriotic, or 80s rock theme nights.

The Garden shares space with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, or BRIT, so the two work together with several special species and collections of endangered plants, as well. Whether you're going to an event, a perfect picnic spot, to take a class on garden maintenance, or just want a place to lay around on a sunny day, be sure to stop by. A link to any of the above is here.

12. West Camp Bowie and Its Museums

Between the Kimbell Art Museum, which features Michelangelo's first painting and ONLY Michelangelo piece in the Western Hemisphere in its permanent collection, the Amon Carter, and the Modern, with its stunning views, exhibits, films, food, and so much more, or any of Fort Worth's other great museums, you're sure to be find something for any type of art lover.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, featuring an IMAX theater and a Nobel planetarium, is one of the best children's museums to visit, as well as the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, all within a stone's throw from the next venue. Nearby is the new nightlife hotspot, West 7th, offering food, nightlife, apartments, and a various assortment of shops. It is turning into Fort Worth's main bar district, as many a TCU student and Fort Worthians are packing the area on any given weekend.

13. Tokyo Cafe

I love Tokyo Cafe. If I'm coming back into town, I will be there. I will let you know about it. If a picture of the menu was not Snapchatted, didn't happen. Anyways, Tokyo Cafe is the love child restaurant of Fort Worth. It used to be a dive sushi shop literally saying "SUSHI" in bold red letters on a white sign, but today it has grown into one of the top spots to eat in Fort Worth, including a second traditional Japanese restaurant in the Medical District.

It isn't the price, or the dress, or the prestige, or anything about it that makes it special. It's just special because everyone in Fort Worth has eaten and loved a Beef Bowl from Tokyo Cafe, or left school to have lunch there, or seen a friend there every time they walk in. Though it suffered a devastating fire several years back, to which Fort Worth poured in support to aid the business and its employees, is back and better than ever. Also, the owner's, their hilarious kids, and all the staff that work there just make it an item certainly worthy of mention in this list.

14. The People in the Town

Fort Worth is definitely a city, a large one, but everyday there it still feels like a small town. The multitude of unique entertainment and cultural opportunities, the closely knit schools, and the respective public and private school 'rivalries' between each of them had hardly exist, and a real sense of community leads to Fort Worth's success and popularity among locals and visitors alive. Feel free to disagree, but these are a quick snapshot of my personal beliefs as to what makes Fort Worth, TX so great.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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