Fort Worth, once known as Cowtown, is a city that never forgot its roots. You can see those roots still honored at the Stockyards National Historic District, where a Texas longhorn cattle herd takes to the streets daily. This festive ritual is exemplary of how the city continues to embrace its Cowboys and Culture brand.
A main draw to the Stockyards, the cattle drives take place at 11:30am and 4pm every day. Learn more about Fort Worth’s cowboy culture at the Stockyards Museum, and enjoy the district’s shops, saloons, and restaurants. If you’d like to see even more, book a tour that includes other area attractions such as the Cowtown Coliseum and Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky-tonk.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visiting the Fort Worth Stockyards is a great activity for families with kids and a must for first-time visitors.
- There are several shops and restaurants located in this district.
- You can pay to get a photo with one of the longhorns, and there’s also a petting zoo open on weekends at the Stockyards with other farm animals.
- Most of the Stockyards establishments are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is on Exchange Avenue at Main Street, north of downtown Fort Worth and about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Street parking is free on Exchange Avenue. Molly the Trolley is free and runs from downtown to the Stockyards.
When to Get There
Be sure to visit the Stockyards for one of the two daily cattle drives. Weekends generally offer more in terms of activities, including a petting zoo for kids. Weather is generally very comfortable in the spring (March through May) and fall (October and November), and even into winter; summer tends toward uncomfortably hot temperatures.
Hell’s Half Acre
Several Texas towns had seedy areas known as Hell’s Half Acre, renowned for gambling, drinking, prostitution, and general debauchery—but no town was more infamous than Fort Worth. You’d be hard-pressed to find any semblance of this former red-light district nowadays, but you can always pay a visit to a local saloon and toast the memory of Fort Worth’s outlaws.