It seems like this is the year of me exploring places in the U.S. more than usual. I recently headed to Fort Worth for a friend’s wedding, and even though I get to the Dallas-Fort Worth area at least once a year to visit friends, it’s been years since I’ve spent time in downtown Fort Worth. Most of my previous visits had been dinner and bars, so I was excited to get a chance to explore during the day.
This sign made me LOL.
Now this was kind of a strange trip, because I wasn’t just visiting Fort Worth on a whim. Since I was in town for a close friend’s wedding (plus bachelorette plus nails plus rehearsal dinner), most of my time wasn’t my own—a little more like how I’d find pockets of time on a business trip.
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The result is a rather eclectic combination of delicious places to eat and nice outdoor areas to explore. This is by no means exhaustive, but some of this probably isn’t on other people’s lists so I wanted to share.
Where to stay
I looked at a few places and ultimately chose the Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Worth Downtown (whew, that’s a mouthful!). It’s right on the corner of the main downtown area, making all manner of food and drink options super walkable. The hotel was lovely, clean, and affordable enough.
Where to eat in downtown Fort Worth
I spent, like…a LOT of time eating on this trip. Fort Worth’s food is awesome, and I explored as much as I could. I also took a ton of inspiration from this list of 50 things to eat in Forth Worth.
Velvet Taco – 2700 W 7th St
After a hot walk along Trinity Trails, I walked over to this delish taco shop. It was crazy hard to choose which ones to get, because they all sounded so good. I ended up with a starter of Mexican corn (YUM) and the chicken tikka masala taco and the fish & chips taco.
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Brewed – 801 W Magnolia Ave
So I’d heard their turkey avocado sandwich was awesome, but I was in a different mood as soon as I saw chicken & waffles on the menu. Add rosemary honey, sweet potato fries, and a Thai-licious latte, and you’ve got a winner.
I didn’t get photos of this because I ordered it as delivery to my hotel room while I was getting ready for the wedding, and promptly found a way to spill syrup all over my computer keyboard…
That was a fun conversation with IT when I got back to work…
Funkytown Donuts – 132 E. 4th St.
I started my first morning in Forth Worth with a quick walk from my hotel to Funkytown for coffee and sweets. Their array of different flavors is pretty impressive, and the vibe there is awesome. I will say that my choice of donuts wasn’t as great (too sweet for me), but that’s totally on me…I got seduced by great-sounding donuts and forgot that I don’t love things that are too sweet or rich. (I hear Totally Toffee is really good though.)
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Hurt’s Donuts + Avoca Coffee – 835 & 901 Foch St.
This was my combo on morning #2, a fun little find after I hit Velvet Taco (but at that point I was too full and late to think about coffee and donuts). The selection at Hurts is absolutely crazy, though many are a bit OTT (over-the-top) for me. Both are worth your time. I had trouble finding good-sounding coffee shops, and Avoca’s was great.
While you’re here…
Juice Junkies – 925 Foch St.
Ohhhh I wish I’d had more time (and stomach room) to spend here. I went specifically to get the cherry oat almond milk after my walk, and it was delicious and the perfect thing for my sweat-soaked self. But they have so much more, from juices to smoothies to acai bowls and more.
Spice – 411 W. Magnolia Ave.
Boy, do I miss good Asian food. That’s one of the saddest things about my life in Louisville (which is largely great). I miss my favorite Indian, Thai, and Chinese restaurants DESPERATELY. So when I saw Spice on the list of 50 must-eat options, I knew it would be my last hurrah before heading to the airport. The pad thai was delicious and filling. Highly recommend.
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Things to do in downtown Fort Worth
I didn’t *do* much while I was there because I had a lot of social commitments for the wedding. I did feel the need for some exercise on account of all that eating, though. So these are a little more “off the beaten path” when it comes to things to do…they won’t be on most people’s lists!
Go for a walk, run, or bike ride on Trinity Trails
This was mid-July, so it was HOTTTTT, but I wanted to get outside and not spend too much time getting there, so I found Trinity Trails nearby. It’s actually a very large trail system, but there’s a nice piece right near downtown. It was a $7 Uber for me, and I walked around for an hour or so before walking just a short way over to Magnolia Avenue for some tacos.
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Walk around the Forth Worth Water Gardens
This was such an odd surprise, but refreshing given the heat of the day. And it was only like 3 minutes’ walk from my hotel so I couldn’t pass up the chance to see it. The Fort Worth Water Gardens are free of charge, and something kids in particular would love.
There are three main parts, the aeration fountains, a meditation pool, and then the active pool. In the active pool, you can walk down step platforms to the vortext at the middle. It’s somewhat disorienting but very cool. If you have small kids, you’d need to make super sure they don’t fall in…there aren’t any railings.
Walk around the main downtown and soak in the ambiance
I actually ran, not walked, but same diff…the downtown area is super cute! There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops, plus there are actually several beautiful historic buildings and churches. I wish I’d had more time to explore and pop into shops.
And given I only had like 12 hours, that was quite a lot! The real reason I was here?? To celebrate this lady!
So like I said, this was by no means an exhaustive list of what to do, but hopefully gives you a few ideas outside the same ones everyone else will give you. I always forget how much I love downtown Fort Worth, so I’m hoping to get back there and actually spend more time soon—so hit me up in the comments with some of your other favorites!
Other U.S. cities to explore:
- Where to Eat & Drink in Chicago
- Feeling Hip(ster) in Portland’s Food & Beer Scene
- The Quest for the Best Old Fashioned in Louisville, KY
- 10 Things You Have to Do on a Weekend Trip to Asheville, NC
- A First-Timer’s Guide To Rapid City, South Dakota
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