Thursday, November 19, 2015

Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind?

One of the most romanticized ways of American life is probably that of the cowboy. Life on the range, riding all day, camping out at night playing the harmonica around the campfire, eating meals from the cookwagon, living the life of a nomad - seems pretty great. In reality, Texas cattlemen would drive their herd northward to the railhead of the Kansas Pacific Railway where they were then shipped eastward. The trip was hazardous for both cattle and cowboy - it could take 2 to 3 months and 2 major rivers had to be crossed, along with Indian attacks and cattle stampedes. One of the towns on this cattle driving trail was Fort Worth, Texas. And the Stockyards area of Fort Worth shows visitors what it was like back in the day.




We recently attended a wedding in the Dallas -Fort Worth area, and decided to go check out what the Stockyards had to offer. Located outside the city of Fort Worth, the Stockyards hold daily cattle drives (with the exception of Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas) at 11:30 and 4:00. Cowboys drive the cattle from one end of the Stockyards district to the holding pen at the other end, as it would have been done way back when. There are restaurants, hotels, shops, bull riding and The World's Largest Honky Tonk, Billy Bob's.









Our first stop was Billy Bob's. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. We had thought we might eat lunch here but it was still a bit early for lunch and Billy Bob's was just getting started for the day, cleaning up from a concert the night before.(Be forewarned: There is a $2 fee per person just to enter, even in the daytime.) We walked around and took photos trying to imagine what it was like at night. So off we went to see to the rest of The Stockyards.




Between 1866 and 1890 more than four million cattle were trailed through Fort Worth which was the last major stop for rest and supplies before hitting the Red River and Indian Territory. Fort Worth soon became known as Cowtown - and the rowdy area of disrepute south of the Courthouse became known as "Hell's Half Acre."





The Stockyards area has it's own visitor center so you can get a lay of the land. Known for it's steak dinners, Cattlemen's Steakhouse has been around since 1947 and has parking for patrons.( Pricey but supposedly fantastic - we didn't eat here) You can also see the marker for The Chisholm Trail, catch a glimpse of the original railroad (now it goes through shops and restaurants) and even catch a cowboy hanging out on a street corner. And don't forget about the cattle drives at 11:30 and 4:30! There's roving entertainment, too. We had lunch at The White Elephant Saloon and listened to some music while watching a coupla dancers glide across the wooden dance floor.










The Stockyards is a fun outing - especially for kids, or kids at heart. I knew very little about cowboy history or way of life before I visited - and I learned alot. So if you're enamored of cowboy culture, or even if it's not your cup of tea, give The Stockyards a try. You might be surprised to find out how much you can learn - or how much you'll enjoy it!




PS Bragging rights to whoever can name the singer of  this post's title - Without.Googling. It . Cause that doesn't count!



























I'm linking up with : Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner ! Go visit them for some travel inspiration!

23 comments:

  1. I've never heard those words in a song, but I love the sound of the whole Fort Worth experience - especially the cattle drive. In Australia we are familiar with the romanticised movie version of life back then. :)

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    1. Makes me think of the movie (and book) Lonesome Dove. Thanks for visiting Jan!

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  2. It would be cool to visit this place one day and feel like a real cowboy. I hope they have good BBQ nearby.

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    1. I didn't see any BBQ places Ruth but I'm sure there have to be. This particular area just seemed to have steak places - or at least that's what I saw. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. yep, I would say cowboys are definitely an icon of America especially on the prairie plains. We grew up watching cowboy tv shows.

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    1. My son wanted to be a cowboy when he was 4 so badly that he wouldn't take his cowboy hat off except in the bath! Yep, definitely iconic! Thanks for visiting!

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  4. Fort Worth looks like a really interesting place to visit. I've never heard the song with those words, sorry! My husband is a big fan of cowboys, so he'd probably love Texas, and Fort Worth! :-)

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    1. It was a fun afternoon visit - and Fort Worth is apparently the cowboy part of the Dallas - Fort Worth area. I'm told that Dallas is art museums, culture and glitz while Fort Worth is cowboys, country music and boots. Thanks for visiting!

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  5. The stock yards look like an interesting day trip. Would love to experience lunch at Billy Bob's! I'll remember this should I ever make it to Fort Worth. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

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  6. I guess I'm American through and through, because I definitely love anything cowboy! I went to Fort Worth a few years ago on a cowboy hunt, and like you I was not disappointed.

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    1. I would like to explore more of Texas - have enjoyed San Antonio and now Fort Worth - for a very short visit - but there is so much more! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Interesting title, didn't know it was from a song. Now I'll have to Google it!
    There's so much history here in Fort Worth. Until I read your post, I never thought much beyond the name. In my mind, Houston, Galveston, San Antonio were the places to go. Though it's not a place I'd rush to, Fort Worth sounds deserves a look. Thanks, Jill!

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    1. So much to see and do in Texas - we might not have gone to Fort Worth if not for the wedding we were attending but so glad we did.

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  8. Honestly, Forth Worth never crossed my mind. I don't think I'd be interested in visiting it, even though there is a lot of history there. Thanks for joining #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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  9. I'd venture to guess Fort Worth doesn't cross most people's minds - except apparently the HUGE country star who sang that line. (We won't give it away.) But it should, and not just for the Stockyards. Ruth is correct - Dallas is the artsy half (and home to the best BBQ) while Fort Worth is the more historic, "cowboy" part of town. But Hell's Half Acre is getting swanky - we wrote about it when Sundance Square was renovated: http://travellatte.net/renovated-sundance-square-is-the-new-heart-of-fort-worth/ And yes, we are biased: DFW is our home base, and we love Cowtown!

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    1. Thanks for visiting - and interesting to hear from a resident! I'll check out your blog post so I can know what to do the next time I'm in town

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  10. I have no idea who sings that song or even that it is a song. This is so embarrassing since I'm from Texas. I have a trip to Ft. Worth planned for next month and was trying to figure out what to do other than visit friends. The Stockyards look fantastic, and we've never been there. Thanks for the idea.

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    1. Hope you enjoy it! And the singer of the song is the Great George Strait! Thanks for visiting!

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  12. Fort Worth sounds very interesting. And yes, the cowboy life has been very romanticised. Interesting to hear the real side of it.

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