15 Best Things to Do in Tarrant County, TX

Tarrant County, TX

Tarrant County's history mostly revolves around the Old West and the cowboy heritage.

Established in 1849, it got its name after General Edward H. Tarrant, who was the commander of Texas' militia forces just five years prior to its establishment.

This North Central Texas county also brims with a military legacy and outstanding natural spaces.

Its county seat, Fort Worth, has a vast selection of tourist attractions, including cultural galleries and museums.

Its neighboring cities of Arlington, Keller, and Grand Prairie all offer upscale modernity and a lively entertainment scene.

In this regard, Tarrant County proves itself a worthy county for short trips and long vacations.

Are you ready to get into the cowboy culture that this county offers—and more?

Here are the best things to do in Tarrant County, Texas, to help you get started:

Browse Through Art Exhibitions at Kimbell Art Museum

Exterior of Kimbell Art Museum
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If you're craving an art exploration in Tarrant County, Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum ranks at one of the top spots of the best art galleries within the area.

This museum specializes in Asian and European-centered pieces and a selection of traveling art exhibitions.

Opened in 1972, it once mostly held French and British portraits.

Kay and Velma Kimbell, as well as Dr. and Mrs. Coleman Carter, were the brains behind this elegant museum.

A sculpture at Kimbell Art Museum
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And to add to the prestige of the collection, the museum resides within an elegant 1972 Louis I. Kahn Building.

Light filters into the spaces, emphasizing the intricacies of Roman architecture.

Admission to Kimbell's regular collection is always free, but its special exhibits come with an entrance fee.

Kimbell Art Museum opens its doors for you on Camp Bowie Boulevard.

Facade of Kimbell Art Museum
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Walk the Trails and Fields at the Villages of Bear Creek Park

It's a good day to spend time in nature when you come by the Villages of Bear Creek Park.

Located along Bear Creek Parkway, this public park features a three-mile nature trail, an amphitheater, and a variety of amenities for the whole family.

It spans 40 acres.

Dedicated in 1991, it also comes with two playgrounds, our water fountains, and several athletic fields.

Its trails have signs declaring the plants and wildlife common within the area.

So, if you're looking for an ideal outdoor spot to play sports and learn about nature at the same time, this park is your best bet.

The Villages of Bear Creek Park is in the city of Euless.

Tour the Grounds and Still-Standing Structures at Top O' Hill Terrace

In the city of Arlington, Top O' Hill Terrace is one of the most revered historical landmarks.

Known as Vegas Before Vegas, this spot was once a tearoom that became a nightclub famous from around the early 1920s to the 40s.

It was notorious for being a gambling center that offers illegal drugs and prostitution.

In 1956, Arlington Baptist University purchased the property and, to this day, continues to use the site.

Now, when you come by the grounds while on a docent-led tour, you'll find yourself amazed by the cracked sandstone walls and hidden passages.

There are even tunnels that most patrons during its time of gaming and gambling used to hide from police authorities.

Get to Top O' Hill Terrace via West Division Street.

Examine the Vast Array of Toy Collectibles at DFW Elite Toy Museum

A display in DFW Elite Toy Museum
Cadejacksoncampbell, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to museum collectibles, DFW Elite Toy Museum has one of the most distinct and impressive ones.

This Haltom City attraction started because of one man's love for Mercedes toys and European marques.

This man is Ron Sturgeon.

Started collecting in the 80s, he soon had a collection of 3,000 automobile toys and pieces.

And the most unique part about the museum is its dog-friendly nature.

Aside from welcoming furry pups to its premises, the facility even has a special exhibition space for dogs.

From dog-centered art to toys and other antique artifacts, the pieces for display are endless!

DFW Elite Toy Museum sits along Eden Drive.

Savor Craft Beer at Shannon Brewing Company

Immerse yourself in the delectable flavors of Texas beers when you come by Shannon Brewing Company.

This brewhouse takes pride in its fire-brewed procedures in making draft beers.

This brewhouse takes inspiration from an old brewing facility in Ireland that used these procedures.

It features about 12 on-tap beers.

The brewhouse comes with an indoor taproom and a beer garden, where you can enjoy your beer whether in a growler or in a can.

If you've got an important event coming up, the brewery is open to hosting it, too.

Shannon Brewing Company is on North Main Street in the city of Keller.

Admire the Waterfalls Canyon at Fort Worth Water Gardens

Signage of Fort Worth Water Gardens
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You aren't fully experiencing Tarrant County's culture if you don't visit Fort Worth Water Gardens at least once.

This public space in Fort Worth is an ideal place for meditation and relaxation, away from the bustle of downtown.

Completed in 1974, it was a gift from the Amon G. Carter Foundation to the city.

The gardens feature 5.4 acres of unique water-based amenities, including a variety of pools and a canyon with concrete levels with a basin at its bottom.

Cascades of Fort Worth Water Gardens
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While swimming is not allowed at the gardens, you can go up and down the stairs to the side of the canyon to admire the waterfall-like stream of water.

It also has a grassy area that offers stunning night views.

Fort Worth Water Gardens is on Commerce Street.

People at Fort Worth Water Gardens
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Launch a Kayak at Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park

Are you a nature explorer by heart?

Then, you shouldn't miss out on visiting Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park in the city of Mansfield.

This natural jewel spans 80 acres of woodlands and paved granite trails.

It also has open fields and refreshing ponds.

This diversity in habitats makes the site an oasis for many wildlife and plants.

Other natural formations and man-made structures you should keep an eye out for include erosional boulders, a replica windmill, and a treehouse.

The park also has an amphitheater and offers kayaking and boat rentals for your peaceful time out on the waters.

You can reach Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park when you head over to Matlock Road.

Immerse Yourself in the Cowboy Culture at Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District

Cattle drive at Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
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The county seat of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, has proven itself as a heritage site showcasing the Old West.

And this is more prominent with the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.

This tourist attraction was once where the livestock industry of the city flourished in the 19th century.

Though it has been decades since that era, you can still find traces of that history within the district's brick roads and weathered buildings.

Take yourself years back in the past as you stroll along the sidewalk and take note of the historical buildings lined up.

Buildings at Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
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Some of the buildings worth checking out include the Stockyards Museum and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Don’t miss out on Texas-style cuisine at Lonesome Dove Western Bistro and Cattlemen’s Steak House.

There are more sights to see and places to explore, so keep an eye out for more Western adventure within these streets.

The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is on East Exchange Avenue.

Signage of Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
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Have a Splashing Fun Time at NRH2O Family Water Park

Get ready for a spectacular time splashing around in the water with loved ones and friends at NRH2O Family Water Park.

This North Richland Hills attraction opened in 1995 as the first municipal water park in Texas.

With attractions fit for the whole family, beating the summer heat can be an easy feat.

Some of its attractions include upgraded slides, like the Accelerator and Riggamaroll.

Skid down tubes and winding loops for an extreme slide-down with the Purplepalooza and the Viper.

There is a wave pool and an endless river attraction, too, that can make you feel like you're drifting across natural waters.

This water park spans 17 acres.

NRH2O Family Water Park welcomes you and your group to its attractions on 26 Boulevard.

Wander the Terrifying Halls of Moxley Manor Haunted House

Amidst the lively and laughter-inducing attractions, Tarrant County also has a few scary stops that might give you night terrors.

If you're the fear-seeking kind, then be sure to add Moxley Manor Haunted House to your itinerary.

This top-rated horror mansion features two attractions within one setting.

It takes inspiration from the original home of the Moxley family, who experienced tales of jealousy, deception, and eventually tragedy.

Though the mansion isn't in the original location of the house it got its influence, its tragic story certainly adds to the thrill and mystery of the mansion.

Prepare yourself for the fright of your life!

Moxley Manor Haunted House is on Harwood Road in the city of Bedford.

Learn the History of Bowling at the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

Bowling pins in the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Is bowling a sport you are passionate about?

You might like learning more about its origins at the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame.

This sports museum in Arlington shines a spotlight on bowling with its detailed exhibits and artifacts.

Learn more about the sport's role in entertainment from the Ancient Egyptians to the British aristocrats.

Exhibit in the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Look through bowling legends—some of which you may look up to and others whose stories you haven't heard of yet.

There's even an interactive exhibit for kids called the Bowlopolis™.

Located along Six Flags Drive, the 18,000-square-foot International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame is a must-visit for sports lovers!

Interior of the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Practice Your Aim at Mansfield National Golf Club

Keep the golfer spirit in you alive with a visit to Mansfield National Golf Club.

This public golf course in Mansfield offers a championship 18-hole course layout with over 400 Bermuda fairways.

Within the course, Low Branch Creek and another lake provide a nice change of scenery and a challenging obstacle to your golf play.

All around, you'll also find a variety of trees—the perfect backdrop to the green landscape.

The site's practice facility is adept at accommodating new or still-practicing players.

This 225-acre site also has a clubhouse with impressive banquet and dining opportunities and a fully-equipped golf shop.

Mansfield National Golf Club is on National Parkway.

Sign up for a Tour All Over AT&T Stadium

Exterior of the AT&T Stadium
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AT&T Stadium is your ultimate sports destination in Arlington.

This sports venue is the home of the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League.

What makes this stadium a standout spot from the rest is its world-class architecture and futuristic exterior.

Interior of the AT&T Stadium
David J Maldonado / Shutterstock.com

It also has a retractable roof—ideal for daytime games and unexpected weather conditions.

Aside from its large playing field, AT&T Stadium also has an art collection worth checking out.

Get going to AT&T Way to reach this stadium.

Aerial view of the AT&T Stadium
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Walk Among the Flowers at the Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park

Ready for floral extravagance you can't find elsewhere?

The Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park is a natural sanctuary that boasts vibrant flowers amidst walking trails.

At two acres, this spot offers a romantic backdrop complete with stunning bridges, a herb garden, and a butterfly oasis.

This Grapevine tourist spot also has a fish pond you can admire.

You can sign up for a docent-led tour around this place for a more immersive visit experience.

And the best part is you can visit these gardens anytime for free!

The Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park is on Ball Street.

Plan a Picnic at Benbrook Lake

Colorful sunset reflecting on Benbrook Lake
Dean Fikar / Shutterstock.com

Prefer a water-based trip while in Tarrant County?

Benbrook Lake is your ally.

This reservoir rushes along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River and offers a variety of recreational opportunities.

Scenic view of Benbrook Lake
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The lake offers fishing access and swimming in some designated areas.

Surrounding the lake is the best of Texas prairie lands and wooded forests, offering a striking contrast.

You can get to Benbrook Lake when you drive along US Highway 377, which is about 10 miles away from Fort Worth.

Final Thoughts

Texas' Tarrant County is an enigma of culture, cowboys, and militia heritage.

Its plethora of recreational opportunities is ideal for everyone of all ages.

With the list above of the best things to do in Tarrant County, Texas, do you think you're set for creating your itinerary?

Have fun planning!

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