Location: The Stockyards are located at 130 E. Exchange Ave. in Fort Worth, Texas.
Cost: Free to get in, but individual activities cost extra.
Time: Schedules vary from place to place within the Stockyards. Locations start opening around 9 am and close at around 5 pm. Plan on spending about 1-4 hours, depending on what activities you do.
Description: The Stockyards has dozens of different activities you can do, ranging from shopping to dining to riding a mechanical bull. There are dozens of shops that cater mostly to tourists by selling Old West souvenirs and clothing. There was also plenty of room for expansion when we went it 2014.
Some of the activities available at the Stockyards include: perusing the Visitor Center, finding your way through the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze, taking a tour (walk, bike, Segway), searching for your favorite Old West character's "star" on the Texas Trail of Fame, seeing a rodeo, visiting an Old West saloon, watching the Cattle Drive, getting your picture taken in old western garb, visiting historic buildings such as the Livestock Exchange Building, riding a mechanical bull, sitting on a live longhorn, perusing one of the museums, visiting the Cowboy Hall of Fame or the Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, trying out your skills at the virtual gun range, petting the animals at the Petting Zoo, admiring the various livestock in the barn, or participating in various special events. For more information on individual activities, visit the Stockyard website.
One of the best reasons to visit the Stockyards is the availability of a wide variety of dining options. We ate at Riscky's Bar-B-Q. A large sign warns visitors: "Our Ribs May Be Habit Forming!" Naturally we tried the ribs. The sign wasn't exaggerating. Other restaurants include: Billy Bob's Texas Honky Tonk Kitchen, Cattlemen's Fort Worth Steakhouse, Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Q, Habanero's Grill and Cantina, Horseshoe Hill Cafe, Hunter Brothers H3 Ranch, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Love Shack, Trailboss Burgers, and more.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Things You Should Know: - If you go to the Website, there are advertisements for the Stockyards Adventure Pass. It is pretty pricey, especially since you can do several of the things listed for free without buying the pass. It appears that the main benefit of the pass is that you get a knowledgeable guide to accompany you as you explore the Stockyards.
- The Cattle Drive is held daily at 11:30 am and 4:00 pm. We stayed to watch it and were a bit disappointed. All they did was walk slowly down the main street and back to their pens. Rather than organize your day around the "drive", just visit the longhorns in their pens.