From time to time we all need an escape — a break from the hectic and the humdrum. While a remote island just off a foreign coast is the dream for many people, tranquility can be found right here in Texas. For a rejuvenating weekend getaway, I set out to Fort Worth with more of a low-key approach so that I could relax, unwind and enjoy a stress free weekend. Here are my tips for a visit to Cow Town.
Rather than going with a major hotel chain, I wanted something that reminded me of home, and I found the perfect abode with Fort Worth’s coziest bed & breakfast, The Texas White House. I immediately fell in love with everything they had to offer. From the moment I walked through the door, I felt like I was at home. The house, now more than a century old, is beautifully decorated, giving honor to Texas history and giving guests from near and far a great feel for the culture of Fort Worth. During my stay, I was in the Tejas Room which is adorned with a colourful collection of Mexican pottery and folk art and splashes of Fort Worth culture. I loved the aesthetic created for this room because while it has a very rustic feel, it still maintained many modern features, like a large flat screen T.V. and a bed that must have been made out of clouds and pillows. Not to mention wine, coffee and cider available literally right outside of the door. The staff is wonderful as well, being the only bed & breakfast in town that’s owned and operated by a chef. The staff’s culinary clout shines in the dishes they prepare for breakfast. It’s enough to make you want to stay an extra day or two, so if you’re looking for the perfect place to rest your head, The Texas White House is where you want to be.
During a getaway, once of the most exciting ways to unwind is by trying the local foods and enjoying new flavors. When it came time for dinner, I took a liking to a beautiful corner restaurant and walked right into Daddy Jack’s. Their specialties are New England preparations of lobsters, crab, and other ocean delicacies – I know, go to Cow Town to try the seafood, makes perfect sense. But to my surprise the experience was completely amazing. The atmosphere was very intimate with low lights and fairly spacious seating. The hostess was very knowledgeable and suggested some delicious options. The tilapia was fantastic and flavorful. If you’re looking for a nice reprieve from the daily dining grind, Daddy Jack’s is worth a shot.
One of my favorite stops while I was in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square has to be the Milan Gallery. With time on my hands, I took time to enjoy national and international artists, as well as regional and local painters and sculptors that had work on display. In unique happenstance, the weekend that I was there was also the same weekend that the gallery was hosting a private event for the cast of “Lonesome Dove” which included actor Robert Duval, whom we had featured in our Winter print edition. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch Duval while I was in town, but it was nice to see other Texans following our example and roping the actor back into the Lone Star State.
After enjoying the artistic side of Sundance, I decided to check out Leddy’s Ranch, an expansive western wear shop with just about everything a person needs to look like an authentic Texan. Much of this was entirely new to me – western wear has never been my style, but I figured I should give it a shot – so I quickly asked an associate to give me the grand tour. Needless to say, there was a lot of ground to cover, but I found our discussion on boots to be most fascinating. While Leddy’s Ranch does carry major brands like Lucchese, they also hand make their own boots with so many style choices you’re practically getting a one-of-a-kind. They have options for every element of the boot and even unique skins ranging from cow to shark and even elephant skins. While I still haven’t got a pair of boots of my own, it’s definitely something I’m considering following my visit.
Many people who travel to Fort Worth go for many of the bigger, notable attractions: the stockyards, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and many other major highlights, but I opted for something a little different. Instead, I ventured into downtown to explore Sundance Square, a 35-block development filled with boutiques, restaurants, night spots, and art galleries. I’m sure most locals probably take this area for granted, but it’s really a beautiful place to be with so many great options for entertainment that it’s practically impossible to be bored. One spectacular feature of downtown is the Sundance Square Plaza, a 55,000-square-foot open space that evokes the beauty of Georges Seurat’s “Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte.” People from every walk of life gather here to enjoy such simple pleasures, creating a beautiful sense of being part of a greater picture. I spent the bulk of an evening simply enjoying the scene of children playing and families gathering while waxing political with a new friend I met on the trip. Hopefully, I’ll have her vote when I run for office later down the road.
By the end of my trip, I was well-rested, stress free and full of new memories. I met some amazing people, ate some fantastic food and even smiled once or twice. So the next time you’re in need of an escape, don’t waste time dreaming about some far off land — pack your bag, grab your keys and get on the road.