5 Things: A Local’s Guide to Fort Worth, Texas

hither and thither travel guide, fort worth

In “5 Things,” we ask some of our favorite insiders in cities all over the world to share local travel tips: where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). And this time we’re sticking with Texas!

We’re so excited to feature one of our readers, Emily of Edits by Emily, as she takes us through her favorite Fort Worth spots. Emily knows her cities well, as she was born into a Navy family, and she currently teaches literature at a Fort Worth high school. Spring is one of Emily’s favorite times of the year in Forth Worth, and I’m sure you’ll be able to see why when you check out this great guide. P.S. My mouth is watering! 


5 Things: Fort Worth, TX

by Emily P. Smith

My adopted hometown of Fort Worth boasts some of the best nicknames—like Panther City, Cat City, Funkytown, and Cowtown. It is a city that feels like a small town, and comes with a hefty historical background, including outlaw and cowboy lore. But though we have a reputation for cattle and cowboy hats, we offer so much more than those stereotypes. In many ways, Fort Worth is Austin‘s hipster little sister. Fort Worth is home to world-class museums and nationally-celebrated restaurants, and has been the home of not a few music legends (including Willie Nelson and Leon Bridges).

These are just a few of my favorite spots, many of which are close to our historic neighborhood. If you’re headed to Fort Worth in the near future, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much we have to offer!


Tacos are an essential part of Texas cuisine. There are several great options, but my favorite is Salsa Limón. They offer delicious and straightforward Mexico City-style fare. I always choose their salsita salad with carne asada. Always more crema (Mexican sour cream). Always with Topo Chico. Their salsas are legit, and not for the faint of tongue! Pro-tip: salsa verde is usually a milder heat option.

hither and thither travel guide, fort worth

Much like tacos, you can’t think of Texas without immediately thinking of BBQ. And Texan BBQ is not just meat on a grill. No, sir. BBQ in Texas is an art form, and Heim BBQ is the best in Fort Worth. I recommend the chopped brisket and bacon burnt ends. I hear their burger is legit, too.

hither and thither travel guide, fort worth

My husband Chris and I love taking our out-of-town guests to HG Sply Co. It’s located on the Trinity River, which makes for great views. Make sure to reserve a table during sunset since the restaurant gives a sunset toast every evening! It is so fun and unexpected, and it makes me feel like I’m at a wedding reception. Make sure to order the vegan queso (that’s right!) as your appetizer before you dig into your main course.

hither and thither travel guide, fort worth


There are so many cool shops popping up around town! I’d recommend tackling a few districts to get the best of each neighborhood niche.

hither and thither travel guide, fort worth

Gifted. is in the Foundry District, and is the perfect spot to grab a unique and ethically-sourced gift for yourself or a loved one.

And does anyone else always buy a book when they’re on vacation? Save that purchase for when you visit Leaves Book & Tea Shop in South Main Village. Grab a sparkling tea while you shop!

Pop into the Fort Worth Locals micro shop on Magnolia Ave. to grab a Cowtown coffee mug or an FW hat to commemorate your time in Funkytown.

hither and thither fort worth travel guide

For clothing and leather goods, I recommend checking out Tribe Alive on Magnolia Ave. Their designs are effortless, unique, and sustainably made.


Don’t let the name fool you: Thompson’s Bookstore is actually a speakeasy blocks from Sundance Square. The cheeky owners have transformed this historical building using its many past iterations as inspiration. The ground floor is styled like a library, while the basement level’s bar (accessible only with a secret password—clues can be found on their Facebook page) is styled more like a pharmacy. Even if that shtick doesn’t impress you, the drinks on either level are top-notch.

Head to the historic stockyards to watch the longhorn cattle drive, which takes place every day at 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (weather permitting). As their website boasts, “Every detail of the cattle drive—from the saddles and chaps to the boots and hats—is authentic and historically true.” It’s a free, unique experience that is fun for every age.

Our Cultural District is home to several world-renowned museums. The Kimbell Art Museum’s permanent collection contains Michaelangelo’s first known painting, The Torment of Saint Anthony, which is also the first painting by Michelangelo to enter an American collection.

hither and thither travel guide, fort worth

The Amon Carter Museum is always free and displays only American and Texan artists. They have an impressive collection of works by Remington and Russell, and they are now the permanent home to Gabriel Dawe’s Plexus no. 34, which is my favorite piece of art in Fort Worth.

hither and thither travel guide, fort worth

If you are in town on a nice day, the Botanic Gardens (especially the Japanese Gardens) are most definitely worth your time.


The Ashton Hotel is the perfect downtown historical hotel experience, as it’s just a few blocks from Sundance Square.

hither and thither travel guide, fort worth

The Texas White House Bed & Breakfast is adorable and is within walking distance of Magnolia Ave. restaurants and shops.

There are also many great Airbnb options—like this Homey Studio. I’d recommend finding one in a neighborhood with some personality, like Arlington Heights, Fairmount, or downtown.


No matter the season or occasion, you can’t go wrong with denim in the Fort. Pair some boots with any piece—jeans, shorts, a skirt (pictured), shirt, dress, or jacket and you’ll fit right in.

We love all of Emily’s picks! And they make us ready to add Fort Worth to our places to visit in Texas. What about you? What else would you add to Emily’s list?

Emily teaches Literature at a Fort Worth high school and enjoys keeping up with style trends, reading, writing, photography, and traveling in her spare time. She writes about all of the above for her blog Edits by Emily.

P.S. Continuing with the Texas theme this spring, check out the Austin and San Antonio travel guides, as well as all of our 5 Things Guides!

Thank you to Molly Coyne for her help with this series!

[All photos courtesy of Emily with exception: River tubers via Visit Forth Worth; Fort Worth mug via Good Gift Delivered; Tribe Alive via Fort Worth Locals and Botanic Gardens].

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category