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These Are The Best Downtowns You Can Find In Texas

October 20,2023

See full The Travel article by Shawnta Cannon here.

Texas evokes imagery of wide open plains, ranches, and cowboy culture. But hidden in the heart of the Lone Star State are unique places and unexpected downtown hubs boasting an alluring mix of entertainment, arts, and history. Beyond the stereotypes, vibrant urban centers dot the Texas map, each with a downtown district possessing its own captivating character. There is the capital city street, where live music spills from every doorway, and the River Walk city perfect for relaxing al fresco dining. One downtown brings cowboy heritage to meticulously paved brick sidewalks, while another spans parks, theaters, sports arenas, and more. From showstopping performing arts to a downtown beach boardwalk, these urban centers showcase experiences far beyond the rodeo. Read on to discover some of Texas's most intriguing downtowns. In these unexpected Lone Star State downtowns, visitors find culture, entertainment, and that quintessential Texas pride. Put aside notions of dusty plains and prepare to explore the energetic pulse of urban Texas in these hand-picked downtown districts.

Fort Worth's Sundance Square Offers Western Charm

In the heart of cattle country, Fort Worth's downtown district, known as Sundance Square, embodies traditional Texan heritage with a modern energy. Sundance Square earned its name from the Sundance Kid, who was a member of Butch Cassidy’s Hole-in-the-Wall Gang in the late 1800s. Today, Sundance Square spans 35 blocks and features free parking garages, wide brick-lined sidewalks, outdoor plazas, and classic architecture. At the center is Sundance Square Plaza, with its soaring fountains, outdoor seating, and regular entertainment. Surrounding streets preserve historic sites like the Knights of Pythias Building while also featuring new developments like the 14-story Commerce Building.

The Sid Richardson Museum showcases fine Western art, while the iconic Tandy Subway tunnel offers underground passage on rainy days. The downtown area has over 70 restaurants, from local dives like Love Shack to upscale steak houses. Live music and entertainment make Sundance Square a lively gathering place. Nearby, the Stockyards National Historic District transports visitors back to the Old West with saloons, rodeos, and the Chisholm Trail. With its mix of cowboy culture and modern amenities, downtown Fort Worth epitomizes the spirit of urban Texas.

Where To Stay:
The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel - 200 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
The Ashton Hotel - 610 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102

Where to Eat:
T&P Tavern - Pub fares, beer, wine and cocktails - $$
Reata Restaurant - Ranch-themed spot with a rooftop bar -$$$

Things To Do:
Take some Instagram-worthy pictures at the Fort Worth Water Gardens
Enjoy a stroll through the beautiful landscapes of the Fort Worth Botanical Garden
Stop by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art or the Kimbell Art Museum
Experience a real-life cattle drive with the Fort Worth Herd through the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards

Locations Mentioned: Ashton Hotel, Fort Worth Water Gardens, Knights of Pythias Lofts, Reata Restaurant, Sid Richardson Museum, Sundance Square Plaza, T&P Tavern, Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel