Fort Worth, Texas: 4 Often-Overlooked Free Tourist Attractions
If you’re planning a trip to Fort Worth, Texas, you’re probably already planning to visit the city’s world-class museums, it’s highly rated zoo and the famous Stockyard entertainment district. You may even be considering a stop to enjoy the beauty of the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens and nearly Trinity Park.
Did you know that Fort Worth also features a number of hidden gems -- and that some of them are completely free to visit?
Here are four free things to do in Fort Worth you may not know about.
1. Weston Gardens
Located in Southeast Fort Worth, Weston Gardens blooms on the grounds of a small country home. Serving as a demonstration garden for the owner’s nursery and garden center across the street, the small, carefully maintained garden is constantly being improved.
For an unexpected visual experience, glance across the stream at the back of the public garden and check on the progress of restoration efforts on the rock-and-wood ship replica. The current caretakers are repairing to this curiosity as quickly as their time and budget allows. A fire decades ago destroyed the wood, but the ship once hosted dances and other public events.
Plan your visit in advance for tea and honey samplings and other simple, civilized experiences. Visits to the ship are sometimes available by arrangement too. 8101 Anglin Drive. 817-572-0549. westingardens.com
2. Sid Richardson Museum
Often missed because it is located in downtown’s Sundance Square rather than in the Cultural District, the Sid Richardson Museum is based on the private collection of a deceased oilman who coveted Western art.
Paintings by Frederic Remington hang around with works by Charles M. Russell and other art depicting the Old West. In fact, it’s one of the nation’s finest small collections of Western art. A gift shop also sells artwork and gifts in all price ranges.
Downtown parking is free on evenings and weekends, but the museum is often closed at these times, so you’ll likely have to pay a few dollars to park. Nearby shops, restaurants and a movie theater make stopping in downtown worth the effort. The museum is open late on Fridays and Saturdays, and tours are available some Saturdays. 309 Main Street. 888-332-6554, sidrichardsonmuseum.org
3. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Located in far North Fort Worth, The Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s Western Currency Facility is several miles off the track beaten by most tourists. More than half the nation’s paper money is printed in Fort Worth, so a visit to the city isn’t complete without seeing this important arm of the government.
Featuring two floors of displays and interactive exhibits, the plant also offers a 45-minute tour of the printing facility along an elevated walkway. The Moneyfactory Gift Shop offers unusual money-related items.
Serving as a history lesson, an economics lesson and a glimpse inside an operational factory, this overlooked tourist attraction is fun, too. 9000 Blue Mound Road. 817-231-4000 or 866-865-1194, option 2. moneyfactory.gov
4. Christian Arts Museum
A truly obscure little place, the Christian Arts Museum houses a wax-figure replica of the Last Supper that’s become a part of Fort Worth’s history. Housed for years in a shopping center and later in a Baptist facility, these wax figures are painstakingly handmade and carefully tended at this newish facility.
An audio guide and brochure explain each of the figures and it’s religious significant. For art lovers, this is unlike any other exhibit. Christians may find additional significance in the posed figures since they are based on the most frequently seen image of the Last Supper.
A tiny museum that isn’t worth a special trip, it makes it onto this list because it’s only blocks from the heart of the Cultural District. 3221 Hamilton Avenue. 817-332-7878.
And these are just four often-overlooked places to visit in Fort Worth, Texas.
Fort Worth is a town packed with well-regarded museums, vibrant nightspots, Western heritage and outdoor activities of all kinds.
Like most great American cities, Fort Worth offers popular and well-known attractions as well as some obscure destinations that are worth stepping off the beaten track.