As the famous saying goes, “everything is bigger in Texas”. Perhaps nothing in this state is bigger than a true Texan’s strong sense of pride and appreciation for their history.
As one of a handful of states that borders Mexico, there is a blended culture of what once was versus the modern evolution of society.
Take the capital city of Austin, for example. What was once a hip town with a funky music scene is now a thriving tech city with seemingly endless additions to its downtown skyline.
Just an hour south of Austin is possibly the largest city with the most deeply-rooted Hispanic culture in all of Texas – San Antonio.
There is also Houston, the biggest city in the state with a wide range of demographics and subcultures.
Texas is a very unique place to visit, but one of the most underrated cities in the state is shattering tourism records by showcasing its heritage with a mix of old and new.
Welcome To Fort Worth, Texas!
One of the busiest airports in the U.S. is Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). At first glance, one would think most of these travelers are going to Dallas.
While many do, it’s Dallas’s sister city that broke tourism records in 2022 with just shy of 11 million visitors!
There are many reasons why this under-appreciated city has been buzzing with tourists recently.
Texans will tell you Fort Worth is Where the West Begins. In fact, that is the city’s official slogan.
Many come to the historic neighborhood just north of Downtown Ft. Worth, known as The Stockyards.
If any place holds true to Where the West Begins, it’s The Stockyards. This hotspot for travelers has been around a long time, and you can feel it walking through the red-brick roads.
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If the streets were free of modern-day cars, one could imagine what Fort Worth life was like a century ago. But there are moments during the day where this is a reality.
Known as The Herd, during certain midday hours the Old West is resurrected with a cattle drive that takes over the streets with real cowboys and cowgirls.
Fort Worth is known as Cowtown, after all. This district has historical buildings at every turn with well-preserved signage from previous generations for saloons, steakhouses, western wear and general stores.
While the historical allure of Fort Worth’s past deserves to be showcased, it’s the new age that is boosting Fort Worth’s tourist surge.
Influence Of Sports And Popular TV Shows
The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is home to many professional sports teams, even one boldly claiming to be America’s team.
Sports has been a huge draw to boost the local economy with an influx of visitors. It’s not just the pro teams, but also Fort Worth’s own Texas Christian University’s (TCU) Horned Frogs.
The football team reached the National Championship Game, which brought Fort Worth even more into the national spotlight.
What may be even more influential than sports is the massively popular show, Yellowstone.
The show is based on a wealthy family (The Duttons) of ranchers in Montana who stay true to their roots living the cowboy lifestyle.
Fans of the show wanting a taste of the Old West have been flocking to Ft. Worth. With its rodeos and charming old-timey bars, its a way to feel you like co-exist with the Duttons.
Yellowstone is symbolic of the Old West, and scenes from the star-studded spin-off show, 1883, have been filmed in The Stockyards.
Embracing What’s New
While The Stockyards and Downtown’s Sundance Square have always been a hit with locals, more visitors are coming from all over to see what Ft. Worth is all about.
Experiencing the city’s rich history is always fun, but there are many exciting new additions as well.
Take the latest hotel highlighting the new side of The Stockyards. The Drover is a phenomenal, 4-star hotel in close proximity to all of Fort Worth’s top attractions.
Dickie’s Arena, home to world-class rodeo events and a venue for famous performers, is set in the center of this area too.
New restaurants with raving reviews are popping up left and right all over the city, but especially downtown and the Stockyards.
While The Stockyards have done an excellent job holding true to what it once was, they are also embracing the next generation.
Classic Tex-Mex restaurants, such as Joe T. Garcia’s, with constant lines out the door, and always popular honky-tonk bars, like Billy Bob’s, will always be staples of the city.
Despite the newfound food scene, it’s Fort Worth’s classic southern hospitality that keeps visitors coming back for more.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com