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Fort Worth Texas

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Although Fort Worth, Texas is often considered a suburb of Dallas, it is a major city in its own right. Situated approximately 38 miles from Dallas, Fort Worth has an estimated population of just over 600,000 people, although this is rapidly changing. Its proximity to Dallas and its interesting history are making Fort Worth a fast-growing city.

Fort Worth prides itself on its Western past. One of the biggest tourist draws to the area, Fort Worth plays up its connections to the Old West. Fort Worth maintains a collection of log cabins, all of which contain original furnishings. On the property, live demonstrations are given for visitors to get a sense of pioneer life in the 1850s. In addition, there are a number of working ranches in the surrounding area. The ranchers welcome guests for hay rides, cookouts and hoedowns. Fort Worth also has a restored cattle baron mansion, one of the only remaining examples of the Georgian Revival architecture made popular in the Southwest.

Night owls will find many things to do in Fort Worth. Downtown Fort Worth boasts Sundance Square, an outdoor area containing movie theaters, night clubs, and restaurants. Honoring its western heritage, Fort Worth is also home to several Western saloons, located in the Stockyards.

Although much of its entertainment contains Western elements, Fort Worth also provides a healthy array of fine arts offerings. As the oldest opera company in Texas, the Fort Worth Opera has hosted such performers as Placido Domingo and Enrico de Guiseppe. The Fort Worth Symphony, which has existed for more than 75 years, offers special concerts in the summer, complete with water musical spectacles and fireworks displays. Just outside of the city, the Texas Ballet Theatre frequently performs 20th century and contemporary masterpieces. It is important to check their schedule, though, because the company tours both nationally and internationally, meaning hometown performances may be limited.

The many museums in Fort Worth are mostly dedicated to its Old West roots. The majority of museums are located in what is known as the cultural district. One of the museum highlights is the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame's Sterquell Wagon Collection. More than 60 restored wagons are currently on display in original horse and mule barns. The city is also home to various art museums, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

Sports and Leisure
One of the more exciting things to come out of Fort Worth is the annual Fort Worth Bowl. A relatively new offering, the Fort Worth Bowl has been picked up by ESPN and features competitions between teams from Conference USA and the Big 12 Conference. In addition, Fort Worth contains the second-largest sports and entertainment facility in the nation, the Texas Motor Speedway. The Speedway can hold more than 150,000 people, and is host to some of the top names in racing. Dual-bank turns at the Speedway create the opportunity for both NASCAR and Indy car racing to be showcased. Furthermore, just a few miles from Fort Worth, and within easy driving distance, is the home of the Dallas Cowboys, for any who may be interested in seeing a professional football game.

Fort Worth contains many opportunities for outdoor fanatics. Trinity Trails contains approximately 32 miles of paved trails, which are used for biking, walking, and rollerblading. Wildlife and plants are displayed in their natural habitat at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, a 3,500-acre sanctuary with more than 25 miles of trails. A 7.5–acre Japanese Garden, with waterfalls and koi ponds is also found in Fort Worth, as is the oldest botanic garden in Texas.

In addition to typical shopping malls, Fort Worth has ample opportunities for other types of shopping. There are many antique malls and specialty shops, such as Harris Antiques, which houses its collection in a 400,000 square foot space, and The Market, which specializes in European imports. Haute couture is represented on Camp Bowie Boulevard, with dozens of specialty boutiques containing upscale jewelry, furs, and the latest runway fashions. On the other end of the spectrum, Traders Village is a 106-acre marketplace with bargain prices on goods. Over 1,800 dealers are represented, and the area also contains food, rides, games, and an RV park.

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