aerial view of fort worth

Explore the outdoors in Fort Worth. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

Worth the Trip: 6 Things You Have to Do in Downtown Fort Worth

You don’t actually need to do anything in particular to have fun in downtown Fort Worth. The area is custom-made for wandering, idling and generally unwinding. Steps away from Tarrant County’s grand, late-19th-century granite courthouse, the streets of Sundance Square are lined with boutiques and gift shops, bars and restaurants, sweet shops and stages for live performances, and spots to sit and people watch.

While you’re sure to find your own favorite places in downtown Fort Worth, here are a few things you’ll want to make time for.

Sit a Spell in Sundance Square Plaza

If you’re lucky you’ll catch a free concert, movie or even a yoga class on the 55,000-square-foot Sundance Square Plaza. But even if there’s nothing official happening here, there’s still bound to be something going on — it’s a great place to sit and people watch, have a snack and let the kids frolic in the fountain when weather permits.

Get some sun, or snag some shade under big umbrellas. Meanwhile, charge your phone at solar charging stations so you can ‘gram the cattle-drive mural overlooking the scene.

Spot a Cowboy

Can you even say you visited Texas if you don’t see cowboys? You might not see any in refined downtown Fort Worth unless you immerse yourself in artworks by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, quintessential artists of the Old West, in the free Sid Richardson Museum.

Dozens of paintings, drawings, bronzes and personal papers of the two renowned artists fill the tranquil galleries. Join a free, docent-led tour any Tuesday or Saturday at 2 p.m., no reservation necessary.

Tempt Your Tastebuds

More than 60 flavors of olive oil are on tap at The Virgin Olive Oiler and available for tasting from rows of gleaming silver tanks. Do you like your olive oil lemony? Or perhaps oniony? Or maybe something with a touch of chili pepper?

Sample until you find one to your taste; then move on to the selection of balsamic vinegars and gourmet salts for future salad perfection. Hang on to your bottle and next time you’re in Fort Worth, you can get a refill for $2 off.

Mmm … Doughnuts

Doughnuts are good. Beer is good. Doughnuts and beer together? What’s not to like? At FunkyTown Donuts & Drafts, they’ll pair your Maple & Candied Bacon doughnut (a menu staple, although other flavors change weekly) with a complementary local draft on tap; your server will help select the perfect pairing.

The family-owned bakery’s line of “extreme” doughnuts are made with all-natural ingredients. Ask about the Charity Donut of the Month: 50 percent of proceeds from that are donated. Wine, bubbly and coffee drinks, including cold-brew, are also available.

downtown fort worth
Catch a laugh with Four Day Weekend. (Photo: Courtesy of Four Day Weekend)

Have a Laugh

Every Friday and Saturday at 7:30 and 10 p.m., Four Day Weekend comedy improv troupe takes the stage in its own 212-seat theater and, riffing off audience suggestions, brings on laugh-until-you-cry hilarity. A Fort Worth institution, Four Day Weekend celebrated 20 years in 2017; they do corporate training and improv classes, as well.

Dinner and Drinks

A perfect day ends with a cocktail and dinner, of course. If you’re feeling fancy, reserve a table in the spacious dining room or out on the inviting patio at Waters, which specializes in fresh seafood prepared under the direction of celebrated chef/owner Jon Bonnell and executive chef Anthony Felli. Start with a cup of the signature gumbo or perhaps a dozen oysters on the half shell.

For something considerably more casual, head for the Flying Saucer, the first of what is now a chain. Flying Saucer was cited by Fort Worth Magazine for having the best beer selection in a beer-friendly city — including gluten-free brews — and it has a massive beer garden, live music, movies and trivia nights.