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Fort Worth is Part Cowboy, Part Culture
Overview of Fort Worth Attractions
In its youth, Fort Worth was a rough-and-tumble frontier town, dusty and lawless, home to the brave and the brawling, the soldier, the frontiersman, the outlaw. Today, Fort Worth, one of the largest cities in Texas, is home to a proudly revitalized urban center, a renowned cultural arts district, and beautifully preserved Western-heritage attractions.

Originally settled in 1849 as an army outpost at the Trinity River, Fort Worth was one of eight forts assigned to protect settlers from Indian attacks. Progress helped the growing settlement survive long after other such towns had blown away with the dust of departing pioneers.

The cattle industry was king for a generation of people working the Fort Worth leg of the historic Chisholm Trail. Cowboys worked and played in Hell’s Half Acre, located where downtown Fort Worth is today, before driving the cattle on the Chisholm Trail to its ending point in Kansas.

No visit to Fort Worth is complete without visiting the famed Stockyards National Historic District. It looks much the same today as it did 100 years ago. In fact, the entire avenue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Catch the Fort Worth Herd, the world’s only daily cattle drives, on their twice-daily drive down Exchange Avenue. The authentically restored Tarantula Train carries visitors daily into Stockyards Station, the former hog and sheep pens turned festival marketplace. Rodeo action and wild west shows take place year-round in the Cowtown Coliseum, home of the world's original indoor rodeo held in 1918. The new Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, located in the Stockyards’ original mule barns, features the Sterquell Wagon Collection of authentic lifestyle wagons, and honors the top cowboys and cowgirls in Texas.

“Texas-sized” takes on a whole new meaning at Billy Bob’s Texas, the “World’s Largest Honky-Tonk.” This hotspot, named country music’s “Club of the Year” eight times, can hold up to 6,000 people and plays host to country music’s hottest names. Live bull riding at Billy Bob’s indoor arena thrills visitors each weekend with an up-close perspective on the wildest rodeo event. Nearby, the White Elephant Saloon is an authentic Old West watering hole offering live Country & Western music 360 nights per year. The entire historic district is recognized as much for family entertainment and shopping as for saloons and boot-scootin’.

Downtown Fort Worth is a success story few cities can boast. Glittering skyscrapers form a ring around Sundance Square, Fort Worth’s heralded shopping and entertainment district that is restored to its original Victorian beauty, filled with restaurants, live theaters, shops, museums and galleries. This 20-block area is also site of the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, which opened in May 1998. Called the “last great performance hall built in the 20th century,” it is the first permanent home for the city’s symphony, opera, ballet, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and productions of Casa Manana Theatre. In 1999 it was selected one of the world’s top 10 opera houses by Travel + Leisure magazine, one of only three in the United States.

Across the country, Sundance Square has emerged as the model of a beautifully revitalized urban area. By day it is a teeming business district, and by night a broad array of entertainment options abound. With multiple movie complexes, live theaters, music clubs, a host of restaurants and cafes, hotels, and retail development in a state of continual growth, the streets bustle with activity. Also located in Sundance Square is the Sid Richardson Collection of Western Art, a small museum that showcases 60 paintings and bronzes by Western greats Remington and Russell.

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