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As a TCU student from the Washington, D.C. area, I'm proud to call Fort Worth my second home. The incredible culture, entertainment, internship and job opportunities have heightened my time at TCU. During my first campus visit, I fell in love with the campus and the city. The bustling restaurants, peaceful walking trails and warm, sunny days all contributed to my decision to come to TCU.
I have found some favorite spots to recommend to families who visit campus. Here are some of my Fort Worth favorites:

1. W. Magnolia Avenue
This eclectic area, located in the Near Southside district, features diverse eateries and shops and boutiques for visitors and locals alike. Some highlights:
  • Heim BBQ – some of the tastiest barbecue I’ve ever had
  • Melt Ice Cream – the “Cup of Texas” is my personal favorite
  • Cherry Coffee Company – the best vanilla latte around
  • Maggie’s R & R – live music and a classic American meal… What more could you ask for?
  • Cane Rosso – phenomenal pizza, pasta and Italian dishes
2. South Main Street
This street helps keep Fort Worth funky and friendly. Also located in Near Southside, this area features some delicious spots to eat, fun places gather with friends and enjoy the weather. Here are my highlights:
  • Coco Shrimp – tempting shrimp platters of all kinds
  • Morgan’s Ice Cream – original flavors and some of the kindest staff members
  • Crude Coffee – great vibes to get some homework done or catch up with friends
3. Fort Worth Stockyards
It’s a scene straight out of a Western movie! This National Historic District located north of downtown features bustling streets, cowboy hat and boot stores on every corner, delicious eateries and some Fort Worth classics. Here are some of my highlights:
  • Joe T. Garcia’s – arguably the most classic restaurant in Fort Worth, it has great views and great food! Bring cash and get there early, this legendary restaurant gets packed on many nights and weekends
  • Casa Azul Coffee – incredible coffee inspired by a Latinx menu
  • Billy Bob’s Texas – the world’s largest honky tonk! Learn to line dance and immerse yourself in Western culture
  • Exchange Avenue – the main street of the Stockyards features the world's only twice-daily cattle drive and tons of eateries and shops 
4. Downtown
Located less than 10 minutes from campus, Downtown Fort Worth features many different shops, restaurants, theaters and attractions to welcome all! Whether it’s a nice dinner downtown with friends or spending time with family during parents weekend, downtown is a great spot for all. Some highlights include:
  • Sundance Square – this iconic gathering spot features beautiful views of the courthouse, Bass Hall, murals and even a disco cowboy hat - yes you read that right. There's often live entertainment in the square and around Christmastime, you have to check out the 65-foot Christmas tree
  • Reata – a perfect spot right in the heart of downtown that’s great for a fancy meal during parent’s weekend
  • Bass Performance Hall – catch the latest live show with some friends or family!
5. Clearfork

This lively district features tons of delicious restaurants, shopping and outdoor recreation right near campus and the Trinity River. Perfect for a birthday dinner with your roommates and friends, the restaurants in Clearfork typically feature outdoor seating and beautiful decorations. Some of my highlights are:
  • CityWorks – this all-American restaurant is perfect for game days and good times with friends
  • Mesero – phenomenal Mexican food, perfect for birthday dinners!
  • Pinstripes – Bowling alleys, bocce ball courts and brunch - what else could you ask for?
6. TCU
You couldn’t expect us to leave our favorite place out of this… right? There are tons of spots near TCU to eat with friends, fuel your study sessions or take an Instagram selfie. Some highlights include:
  • Ampersand Coffee – one of my favorite study spots off campus! A great spot to catch up with friends, get some work done, and treat yourself
  • Dave’s Hot Chicken –perfect for a late night snack
  • Fuzzy’s Tacos – fast bite to eat if you're craving Tex-Mex
  • Dutch’s – a classic TCU location featuring burgers, bowls, and many others
  • The new TCU Mural – a great photo spot to share your love for TCU!
  • Fort Worth Zoo - consistently ranked a top zoo in America and you can see a real Horned Frog there
  • Fort Worth Botanic Gardens - if you need a relaxing day outside of class or a photo opp, this 120-acre garden offers plenty of zen and beauty
As you can see, the Fort Worth area has endless treasures to explore that I can't fit them all on this list. Take your time while you’re here and explore the city!

Ryan Thorpe is an undergraduate junior double majoring in Journalism and Communication Studies. He is a competition reality TV connoisseur, loves garlic hummus with pita chips and is weirdly good at Mario Kart (but only on the Wii).