Take a Weekend Getaway in Fort Worth Texas
For over 3 years InParisTexas.com has given you coverage and content from everything happening in our city. From concerts, theatre, and comedy to galas, benefits, and ribbon cuttings IPT has brought ALL that our community has to offer to your fingertips.
On April 20th 2013 we set out for Ft. Worth Texas for a story on “Weekend Getaways”. We chose Fort Worth because of the enormous amount of rich Texas culture and entertainment. As the 16th largest city in the United States and part of the No. 1 tourist destinations in Texas, Fort Worth welcomes nearly 5.5 million visitors each year. This article is a reflection of our fun-filled two day experience.
We began our getaway with a visit to The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame located in the heart of the historical Ft. Worth Stockyards. Originally built in 1898 for housing horses & mules at the stockyards, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame honors numerous Texas men & women that have excelled in the sport of rodeo, cutting, ranching, and sports medicine. We were in awe as we were given a personal tour by Executive Director, Julia Buswold. Her passion for the museum was unforgettable as she educated us on many of the artifacts within the rustic walls of the museum. Among the millions of treasures on display was a huge collection of antique horse-drawn carts & wagons. The Sterquell Wagon Collection is a cluster of rag-time transportation and a magnificent sight to see. With more than 60 unique buggies, carriages, sleighs, carts, and wagons that have been painstakingly restored are on display to show their original use. Julia told us that her favorite was the “Back to Back Trap” a modified 4 seat to 2 seat convertible wagon that Jessie James used to rob banks. The most valued piece in the collection is the gorgeous 300 year old Sicilian Cart. Lining the walls of the museum are several exhibits including the Chisholm Trail Collection. Four themes are explored in the exhibit “”Origins of the Cattle Trails”, “Cowtown and the Drover”, “Trail Impact on Fort Worth”, and “Popular Culture of the Trails”. Among the artifacts are rare pieces dating as early as the 1700’s. One of our personal favorite assemblages in the gallery is the “John Justin Trail of Fame”. This exhibit is dedicated to the legendary John Justin Jr. A man of vision, he put his own “special shine” on boots in Fort Worth, Texas. His civic and philanthropic service is world renowned. Behind the glass was one-of-a-kind boots, photos, books, and more. In addition, the museum offers a glimpse into the pasts of General Lopez de Santa Anna, Colonel John Coffee Hays, Captain Samuel Hamilton Walker & Major Ripley Allen Arnold with hundreds of belongings. We were directed to the back of the museum to learn about some of the most influential Texas Cowboys in the state. Inducted members include Ty Murray, George Strait, Tuff Hedeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Nolan Ryan, Lane Frost, and Carol Rose just to name a handful. The inductees started out at 30 and now have reached a whopping 125. Each member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame is honored with a display of personal memorabilia incased in glass for the young and old to enjoy. The kiddos absorb every moment of the tour as the spirit of Texas is passed on through the collection nostalgic wonders. Find your inner cowboy and learn more at www.TexasCowboyHallofFame.org
We enjoyed our visit at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and it was time to unpack the suitcases. We were invited to stay at the Fairfeild Marriott about 15 minutes from the Stockyards. It was our home away from home throughout the weekend. As we walked into the lobby we were surrounded by a peaceful & modern design adorned in brilliant colors. The staff was courteous and friendly, making us feel like one of the family. Opening the door to our room we discovered breathtaking décor and lavish provisions. The Fairfeild Marriott was a sweet retreat for our exhausting weekend getaway, and the swimming pool/Jacuzzi made for a rejuvenating escape from the open road. We would like to thank Director of Sales, Linda Franko and the entire staff for inviting us into such an exuberant Inn.
After settling in, we set out for a night of neon lit entertainment in downtown Fort Worth. We stopped in for fuel and party favors at a friendly packaging store called “Clear Fork Liquor”. We were introduced to store mascot “Charlie”, a gorgeous parrot. Located on River Oaks Blvd. in Fort Worth Texas, it was the perfect place for road trip previsions. Our nightlife portion of the weekend getaway was a monumental evening of country music at its finest. Celebrating their 32nd Anniversary, Billy Bob’s had an all-star lineup of legendary icons well-known for their timeless contributions to country music. The building now known as Billy Bob’s Texas was built in 1910 and was once an open-air barn used to house prize cattle for the Fort Worth Stock Show. Slated to perform inside the hallowed building was a trio of troubadours, TG Sheppard, Moe Bandy, and Mr. Gene Watson had fans anxiously swarming. Before the show kicked off, we mingled in the largest Honky-Tonk in the world, eager to try some of the famous barbecue that Fort Worth is known for. Since we were already there, dining at Billy Bob’s seemed like the perfect plan. The house band “Midnight Thunder” kept the dance floor hoppin, as we chowed down on some of the best grub this side of the Red River! Billy Bob’s Texas BB-Q had a full menu of downhome Texas treats. It was a difficult decision so we decided to have a little bit of everything on the menu. A variety of delicious smoked pork, brisket, and chicken with all of the fixins had our taste buds doing the two-step!
The stage was glowing as every seat in the house was spoken for. Up first was none other than the award winning TG Sheppard. With over 20 chart topping hits, TG has taken the rank of 81st among all country artists in the world. It was amazing to see TG perform a handful of his popular tunes like “Slow Burn”, and “Do You Wanna Go to Heaven”. With every note the crowd was fixated on his smooth delivery and stage presence. In the supporting slot we were entertained by the styles of Moe Bandy! Moe keeps one of the busiest schedules in show business. Some of his noteworthy accomplishments are: 10 # 1 Hits, 40 Top Ten Hits, 66 Chart Hits, and 5 Gold Albums. His set was filled with favorites including “Barstool Mountain”, and Bandy the Rodeo Clown”. It was a blast from the past as he had the crowd singing right along. Moe waved goodbye to everyone and primed the fans for the headliner. Hailing from Paris, Texas is crowned “The Singers Singer”, Gene Watson has recently celebrated over 50 years in country music and making his long awaited return to Billy Bob’s, ignited the stage with his power and grace. His ability to draw you into a world of melody surpasses many of today’s mainstream vocalists. The audience was treated to a magical performance as Gene laid down the hits. Songs like “Change Her Mind”, “Carmen”, and “14 Carrot Mind” were presented with a passion that only GW can produce. We have to hand it to Gene’s band as well. These guys put on an electrifying show as they played for all three of the boys. It was a night to remember and will go down in Billy Bob’s history as one of the ultimate anniversary concerts.
Star struck with the music still spinning in our heads, we returned to our room at the Fairfeild for some R&R and we settled in for a good night’s rest. Morning came with the sun shining and in celebration of Earth Day; we decided to take a trip to the magnificent Forth Worth Botanical Garden. The Garden is one of the jewels of Fort Worth’s cultural District. We strolled through the breathtaking pathway and discovered extraordinary organic beauty among the sky scrapers & asphalt. The Fort Worth Botanical Garden is conveniently located near downtown off of I-30. It offers a variety of landscapes and thematic gardens that will heighten your senses and bring peace to your soul. Originally composed of 37.5 acres it has grown to encompass 109 acres of rolling terrain. We were absorbing every moment of horticulture inside the gorgeous garden. Located between North Vista and Old Garden Road is the Texas Native Forrest Boardwalk. The 955-foot-long elevated boardwalk is a living classroom designed to stimulate the interests of children & adults in the stewardship and conservation of native forests as well as the animal life that inhabits them. Our favorite stop along the trail was the Japanese Garden. The Fort Worth Japanese Society was on scene in celebration of Earth Day, so as an added bonus we enjoyed the tranquil surroundings and made lasting memories. The heavenly floral smells and sights of the Fort Worth Gardens keep millions of tourists coming back. It is the perfect place for family photography and weddings as well. It was a glorious Sunday afternoon and the Fort Worth Botanical Garden was a splendid ending to our weekend getaway. Fort Worth Texas “Where the West Begins”.
Special thanks to all who made the trip possible:
Sarah Brosmer at Lytle Management
Linda Franko of Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott, April Dalton GM
Julia Buswold at The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame
IPT/PLOM crew (David (Super Dave) Millsap, Autumn & Robbie Gunn)
For more information about traveling to Fort Worth for your “Weekend Getaway” visit…
Photos by Robbie Gunn