Sandwiched between Dallas and Fort Worth in Texas is the small yet bustling city of Bedford.
It's part of Tarrant County and has a population of over 49,000, as per the 2020 census.
However, the city is also relatively densely populated, with an area of a hair above 10 square miles.
According to the city’s historical records, the first American settlers arrived in the area in the 1850s.
The settlement’s first store was established in 1870 by Weldon Wiles Bobo, who arrived from Bedford County in Tennessee.
Following the establishment of the post office in 1877 on Bobo’s property, the settlement was later named after the county where he originated.
By 1882, the city had become the second largest city in the county, next to Fort Worth.
However, by the beginning of the 20th century, the city experienced a rapid decline when the new railway and highway projects drove away traffic to the city.
Towards the end of 1909, the city only had 50 residents and never surpassed more than 80 individuals as recently as the 1940s.
Fortunately, the city was greatly boosted during World War II by establishing neighboring military bases and factories.
Today, Bedford has transformed into a progressive city, a far cry from how it was in the first decades of the 20th century.
This growth also saw the emergence of local attractions such as recreation parks and indoor amusement centers, among others.
Here are the best things to do in Bedford:
Experience Jump Scares at the Moxley Manor Haunted House
Moxley Manor Haunted House on Harwood Road isn’t for the faint of heart.
Nevertheless, long queues of people still form outside the establishment, waiting for their turn to have some spooky fun time.
The haunted house was inspired by an actual Dallas house where the tragic and chilling story of the Moxley family deaths took place a century ago.
Shortly after moving in from California in 1920, mysterious circumstances led to the deaths of the family patriarch Charles, his wife Grace, and their son William in quick succession.
Aside from the Moxley Manor, the scary attraction also has two other haunted houses: the ominously named Reagan’s Revenge and Big Top Terror.
Once you step into the haunted house, you’ll be greeted by creepy animatronics with highly realistic effects and an eerie atmosphere seemingly taken straight out of a Hollywood movie.
Equally frightening are the actors in grisly costumes, ranging from Angel of Death and zombies to evil clowns.
A suspenseful and thrilling experience that is best enjoyed with family and friends, Moxley Manor Haunted House is a must-try for everyone.
Go Fishing at Generations Park at Boys Ranch
Generations Park at Boys Ranch on Forest Ridge Drive serves as the highlight of Bedford’s park system.
Sitting in the western part of the city, the park covers an area of 68 acres, making it the largest in the city.
Its most famous feature is its large clean lake which blends seamlessly with the park’s beautiful landscapes.
Fishing is also allowed in the lake alongside its dedicated fishing pier or lakeside spot.
Another notable feature of the park is its disc golf course, playground, and open play areas.
You can walk along the jogging path built around the lake or on the paved trail that runs through the park.
You can also relax at the benches dotting all over the park, with the best spots offering scenic views of the lake.
With its excellent amenities, amazing views, and relaxing environment, Generations Park at Boys Ranch offers a nice breather from the bustle of city life.
Try Craft Beverages at Turning Point Beer
Turning Point Beer is a homegrown brewery on Brown Trail that’s garnered rave reviews for its wide array of handcrafted beverages.
Known for its distinctly New England-style IPA on this side of Texas, the brewery also offers an assortment of sours and seltzers, which come in many fruity flavors.
Their beverages also come in quirky and catchy names, such as “Fairway to Heaven” and the rather mouthful “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show.”
Moreover, the brewery teases new offerings every couple of weeks, keeping everything fresh and exciting.
As a bonus, the brewery offers board games that you can play while enjoying your drink.
There are also occasional live musical performances from local artists to keep you entertained.
A great selection of locally brewed beers and a friendly atmosphere make Turning Point Beer a great hangout spot in the city.
Play at Meadow Park Athletic Complex
Right at the heart of the city, Meadow Park Athletic Complex covers an area of 11 acres.
The sports complex features two illuminated baseball/softball fields and two youth soccer fields.
A paved trail runs near the middle of the park, making it the perfect spot for short walks.
You can relax at the park’s designated picnic area, with tables and benches.
Moreover, the park is popular among dog owners in the city thanks to its spacious dog park, which also features a small pond.
Aside from hosting local matches, the park also serves as a venue for many community events.
Meadow Park Athletic Complex offers well-kept facilities and a clean, friendly environment, making it a great place to play and relax.
Dine at Oldwest Café
Oldwest Café on Highway 121 is one of the four locations of this small family-owned Texas restaurant chain.
Specializing in American-style and comfort food, the restaurant is famous for its sumptuous servings of breakfast staples.
Their regular customers particularly seek their bacon, eggs, and sandwiches.
Their fried chicken and other chicken dishes are also some of their best-sellers.
They also have a Tex-Mex menu, which includes tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.
Like any Texan restaurant, Oldest Café’s servings also come in generous portions.
The restaurant’s Western theme is complemented by its homey and relaxing dining area.
Great food and distinct Texas hospitality make dining at Oldwest Café a highly enjoyable and satisfying experience.
Hang Out at Bedford Ice House
A favorite among the locals, Bedford Ice House, is the city’s go-to place for happy hour.
The bar offers a wide selection of delicious drinks, ranging from the tap and imported beers, cocktails, and house specials to a handful of wines.
You can pair them with the bar's flavorful dishes, like sliders, fries, steaks, and barbecues.
Bedford Ice House also provides live entertainment courtesy of musical performances by local bands and artists.
Alongside its typical sports bar interiors and layout, the bar’s outdoor seating is also one of its most outstanding features.
Its comfortable couches with an open fireplace at the center allow for a relaxing and memorable night out with friends.
With its wide selection of drinks, good food, and friendly atmosphere, Bedford Ice House is an easy place to recommend for a hangout spot.
Try Brazilian Cuisine at Fazenda Gaúcha
Located along E. Pipeline Road, Fazenda Gaúcha is a restaurant specializing in Brazilian dishes.
Attested by the rave reviews from its customers, it has been named one of the top restaurants in Texas in 2022.
The restaurant is famous for its flavorful and tender steaks such as picanha, fraldinha, and alcatra, all of which are a staple in Brazilian cuisine.
They can also satisfy your cravings for sweets with their desserts like pudim and crème de papaya.
You can wash them down with the restaurant’s impressive drink choices, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
On the other hand, the restaurant’s aesthetics features rustic interiors blended with a Texan vibe, which makes for a relaxing dining experience.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable gourmet experience in Bedford, look no further than Fazenda Gaúcha.
Go Biking at Linear Trails
Running along the 32-acre Oncor easement in the northeast part of the city, Linear Trails stretch over 1.5 miles from end to end.
Their relatively short distance makes these well-paved trails perfect for quick biking or jogging routine.
However, traffic safety precautions must also be observed since some sections of the trails also intersect with the city roads.
Nevertheless, many parts of the trails are lined with trees providing a relaxing shade during particularly sunny days.
Moreover, the trails also cross through several parks, which make for ideal stopovers.
Thanks to its great location, accessibility, and clean environment, Linear Trails offer everyone pleasant biking and walking experiences.
Look for Vintage Items at Antique Treasures
Located on the city's western edge, Antique Treasures is one of Bedford’s hidden gems.
It may look like your average shop from the outside, but once you step inside, you’ll be greeted by its wide array of antique objects.
Their extensive inventory range from tiny items like knick-knacks to small wood furniture like side tables and chairs.
They also have plenty of home décor, woodcrafts, and ceramic sets.
Moreover, Antique Treasures is famous for its clocks and watches and even provides in-store repairs for broken timepieces.
Whether you’re a collector or simply looking for something to remind you of your visit to Bedford, Antique Treasures offers great deals.
Jump around at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park
Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park is a premier indoor recreation center along Bedford’s Airport Freeway.
Along with their plethora of top-of-the-line trampolines, they also feature plenty of other fun and exciting attractions not only for kids but also for kids at heart.
You can test your physical abilities in their obstacle-laden Adventure Hub, Warrior, and Rope Courses.
While many of their attractions are geared primarily toward children, such as Climbing Hill, Climbing Wall, and Sky Rider, they also have other features that adults can enjoy.
Everyone can go toe to toe with their friends at the Battle Beam and Dodgeball or defy gravity at the Tumble Track and Slam Dunk Zone.
On the other hand, smaller kids can join in the fun with Tubes Playground, specifically designed for children under seven years old.
You don’t have to worry about getting hungry as there’s a café where you can order pizza and soda, among other quick snacks.
With plenty of fun-filled features, Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park provides the ultimate indoor fun for the whole family.
Play Old-School Video Games at Quarter Lounge Arcade
For many adults, arcades hold a dear place in their hearts as these are the places where they most likely were first introduced to the wonderful world of video games.
Quarter Lounge Arcade takes you on a nostalgia trip with its selection of over 100 arcade machines from the 1980s and 1990s.
From classics like Ms. Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros. to iconic fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, you can play them all here.
On the other hand, you can test your wits in their puzzle games or blast hordes of enemies in their collection of shoot ‘em ups.
Moreover, they also have several pinball machines with fun and cool themes.
Aside from arcades, you can also play in their old-school gaming consoles, which include Sega Genesis to PlayStation 2.
You can also grab a quick snack at the arcade if you feel a little hungry after all those button-mashing fun.
Quarter Lounge Arcade offers a fantastic trip down memory lane and a great way to introduce the younger generation to the evolution of video games.
Browse for Bargains at Half Price Books
Half Price Books is a family-owned bookstore chain with over 120 branches, many of which are located in Texas.
As its name implies, it's a booklover’s haven with its massive inventory of new and used books, all offered at fantastic prices.
From classic novels, non-fiction, and children’s books to volumes of encyclopedias, you can find all these at the bookstore.
They also have vinyl records, music CDs, and movie DVDs which you can add to your collection.
On the other hand, you can find numerous collectibles and toys in this bookstore.
A wide array of books and other items combined with great prices make Half Price Books a must-visit not only for penny-pinching bookworms but for everybody.
Grab Fresh Produce at Bedford Farmers Market
Located along Brown Trail, Bedford Farmers Market is the city’s go-to place for fresh produce and other organic products.
Most of their products are sourced from local farms.
These include tomatoes, cucumbers, and okra, among others.
Moreover, they also have fruits such as apples, bananas, and cantaloupe, to name a few.
They also display raw honey, dried berries, and an assortment of nuts at the shop.
They sell homemade food products like salsa, jams, and chocolates, along with tasty treats such as tamales and pretzels.
Aside from food-related products, the farmer’s market is also the city’s prime destination for potted ornamental plants and herbs.
With their extensive selection of fresh produce and other products, Bedford Farmers Market has everything that you need to supplement your healthy lifestyle.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Take a Tour at CR Smith Museum
You'll reach CR Smith Museum in a quick nine-minute drive east of downtown Bedford in Fort Worth.
The museum is named after Cyrus Rowlett Smith, the president of American Airlines, from 1934 to 1968.
As such, the museum highlights the history of American Airlines and the early age of passenger aviation in the 1940s.
The 1940 Douglas DC-3 aircraft, “Flagship Knoxville," is the museum's crown jewel.
The early passenger plane was meticulously restored, from exterior body paint to its cabin seats.
Moreover, the museum features a jet engine and a cockpit from a passenger jet.
The Embraer flight simulator and MD-80 cockpit will also allow you to experience how to operate and fly a plane.
Visitors can also glimpse the airline operations with the museum’s replicas of the Airline Command Center, Evacuation Slide, and Baggage Loader.
As one of the pioneers in the industry, the museum proudly displays and honors American Airlines' early employees with its exhibits of photos and service caps of former pilots, among other memorabilia.
A great way to learn about the fascinating history of passenger aviation, CR Smith Museum is a must-visit for history buffs.
Jump on Water Slides at NRH20 Family Water Park
About four miles west of downtown Bedford takes you to NRH20 Family Water Park.
The North Richland Hills water park contains 23 attractions within its 17-acre area.
The attractions include water slides like Accelerator, Blue Sky, and Thunder, each providing different levels of thrill and excitement.
Nevertheless, the water park’s most famous feature is the aptly-named Green Extreme.
At 1,100 feet long and 81 feet high, it is considered the largest uphill water coaster in the world.
However, if you find sprawling water slides intimidating, you can enjoy the waves at the NRH2Ocean or relax and float away at Endless River instead.
Moreover, younger children can enjoy fun water splashing in the Tadpole Swimming Hole.
With tons of features and a great location, NRH20 Family Water Park is the perfect place to experience unforgettable swimming pool fun.
Bedford may be a small city, but it is still packed with enough attractions to make your visit worthwhile.
Its relatively small size is also advantageous since you don’t have to travel far within the city to access its community parks, indoor recreation centers, and top-rated restaurants.
Moreover, its location in the major metropolis of Dallas and Fort Worth means it’s a short commute away from reaching the attractions these mega-cities offer.
Make a stop-over to the city, and enjoy a pleasant stay by including these best things to do in Bedford, Texas, in your itinerary.