The Lone Star State has long been identified by the cowboy boots that walked the dusty streets of the Old West. While most of the real cowboys are gone, Fort Worth, home to the historic Stockyards, gives visitors a chance to step back into a time when longhorns roamed the streets and spurs were a necessary accessory.
A drover is a person who ushers cattle from one place to another, so it's only fitting that The Stockyards' newest star, The Drover Hotel, derived its name from the area’s rich livestock history. The Drover Hotel opened in March 2021, and the upscale lodging environment and the hotel’s restaurant 97 West celebrates the best of Fort Worth’s cowboy culture.
The “everything is bigger in Texas” motto is evident by the hotel’s expansive lobby. The open, two-story space is filled with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the pool. There is a two-story Western-themed library lining one wall, and the hotel bar sits at the lobby’s other end. Rustic leather sofas mixed with worn wooden tables and Southwestern-inspired chairs create seating vignettes throughout the lobby.
The charming decor is carried through every corner of the hotel. Neon signs, rope-trimmed elevators and large pampas grass arrangements guide guests to their accommodations. Once in the rooms, brass fixtures, vintage-inspired cowboy wallpaper and raw wood beams seamlessly blend the Old West aesthetic with modern amenities to create a wonderful overnight stay.
Hotel Drover’s property is impressive, and so is its top-notch service. The staff excels in Southern hospitality, the bartender makes a mean Texas mule and the lobby provides a warm welcome and a great place to rest your boots.
The Drover is located at the end of Mule Alley, another recent development that has transformed the historic mule barns into a collection of restaurants, shops and wine bars. Dining options are endless in The Stockyards, but if you want to explore other areas in Fort Worth, visit Press Cafe located at The Trailhead in Clearfork, a park-like area that connects more than 60 miles of hiking and biking trails and has weekly markets and regular outdoor yoga classes. The casual Press Cafe sits amid all the action and has great outdoor dining options to immerse yourself in The Trailhead action.
To take advantage of the more urban side of Fort Worth, try Grace, a chic downtown eatery that serves the best martini. The steaks are seasoned and cooked to perfection and the coconut cream pie is an indulgence that should not be missed.
Set on the popular Magnolia Avenue is Ellerbe Fine Foods, whose menu is constantly changing to highlight seasonal ingredients, but their commitment to amazing, uncomplicated food is consistent. The restaurant is the perfect blend of casual easiness and high-end dining.
Right off the popular Magnolia Avenue sits Hotel Revel, a modern, industrial-style boutique hotel. The hotel has a contactless check-in process, perfect for the independent traveler. The rooms feature tall ceilings and window-lined walls, making the colorful art pop in the otherwise all-white space.
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in the state of Texas, its sprawling gardens encompassing 110 acres in the middle of the city's cultural district. The Japanese garden is always a crowd pleaser, and this year there are a handful of phenomenal featured exhibits. "Topiaries in the Garden" runs through the end of June and features 12 plant-based animal shapes. "Stickwork" is a stunning exhibit that bends and weaves saplings into massive shelters and sculptures on display through the end of the year. And we'll be heading west to see Sean Kenney's "Nature Connects," an award-winning and record-breaking exhibit creating botanical art with Legos, on display May 6 - Aug. 1.
The Fort Worth Cultural District also boasts world-class museums that are all close enough to visit in one day, including the Kimbell Art Museum, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, which celebrates the women who helped shape the West. Fort Worth is no stranger to public outdoor art either, especially in the emerging Foundry District Inspiration Alley, an Insta-worthy pedestrian walkway featuring murals from local artists.
Melt Ice Creams is a local ice cream shop scooping out amazing cones and sweet treats since 2014. Check out their seasonal flavors when you stop by and cool down at their Magnolia, Bishop Arts or Sundance Square locations.