By Trina D., NewsCastic
Cowtown versus D-Town.
Around North Texas parts, the epic battle of whether Dallas or Ft. Worth is the top notch destination and place to call home seems to never end. And both of these Southwest cities love to toot their own horns.
To be fair, both cities are pretty darn nice. But, there are several reasons one might choose to mosey on down I-20W (or 30W if you prefer) and leave Dallas County as a memory in their rear view mirrors. And we’ve got 20 of them here.
1. Oh Holy Hell – Traffic
Sorry Dallasites, but your city routinely makes the “worst” list for traffic congestion. And while Ft. Worth is not immune to congestion, it’s a bit easier to navigate. A Texas A&M Transportation Institute found nine of the most congested roads are in Dallas County. And only two were in Tarrant County.
2. Walk This Way Like a Cowboy
Culturally, Fort Worth has a lot going on and none so revered than its love affair with cowboy culture. If you ever had dreams of riding the range, the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District may be just the destination for you – and it’s only found in Fort Worth. Wooden corrals, original brick walkways that cowboys used to walk and yes, that is the sound of cattle you hear.
3. Speaking of Cattle…
Like it or not, many people know Fort Worth as Cowtown. And while that moniker sometimes serves as a punch line, the fact that there is an actual cattle drive in Fort Worth is pretty cool.
Twice a day, a band of cowhands drive a herd of Texas Longhorns to the Fort Worth Stockyards. It’s quite a site for visitors and natives alike and pays homage to a handsome dose of Old West nostalgia. Check it out each day at 11:30 am and 4:00 pm.
4. Bike, Bike Baby
Dallas did give it a spin, but Fort Worth’s B-Cycle bike share program is wheeling along and is a great draw for those who want to explore areas like Downtown Ft Worth, the city’s Cultural District, Texas Christian University and want to live a healthier lifestyle.
5. Trinity Trail Travels
Both Dallas and Fort Worth want to offer their citizens a chance to experience kayaking, hiking, running and even horseback riding along the Trinity River’s rustic banks. For anyone who considers themselves an outdoors enthusiast and has never met a part of Mother Nature they didn’t like, Fort Worth’s 30 miles of paved trails along the Trinity make it an active bet. Especially since Dallas is still working on its trail system that’s only an eight-mile loop right now.
6. Who Doesn’t Enjoy a Four Day Weekend
If you’re an improv comedy fan and want to get away from the standard dinner-and-a-movie date night, you must catch a show from the award-winning Four Day Weekend comedy troupe. The longest-running show in the Southwest, the comedic forces behind the group have been called “Fort Worth’s Greatest Ambassadors.”
7. Be Bop and All that (Scat) Jazz
Hey there, cats and kittens. Want to check out one of the hippest spots for that jazz itch you’ve been meaning to scratch? It gets no better than Scat Jazz Lounge in downtown Fort Worth.
Not that Dallas doesn’t have a happening jazz scene. The Free Man Caf? & Lounge features nightly musical acts, which includes some amazing jazz acts. But when you walk down the alley and enter the basement entrance of Scat Jazz Lounge, it’s like being transferred to another time where Monk, Coltrane, Davis and Sinatra held court.
8. Living and Eating
On its website, Numbeo.com details costs-of-living comparisons for almost anywhere in the country. And when it comes to rent prices, restaurant prices and purchasing power, Ft. Worth is the winner.
Something else to remember? Numbeo says a pint of domestic beer averages $4.50 in Dallas, but you’ll pay $1.50 less in Fort Worth. (It’s all about priorities!)
9. The Planes Are Here
Technically, DFW International Airport stretches across both Dallas and Tarrant counties. But since the terminals all are on the Tarrant county side, we’re going to award the convenience of accessing an international airport to the list of why people choose to live in Fort Worth instead of Dallas.
10. Just a Bit of Crowd Control
People are flocking to North Texas in record numbers, but if you want to spread out a bit more, head to Fort Worth.
11. Lucky Number 7(th) Street
Beale Street in Memphis. Sixth Street in Austin. Every city seems to have that street that everyone associates with all manner of bars, restaurants, shopping and oddities that have a little bit of something for everyone. Not quite sure what street that is in Dallas, but Fort Worth definitely has a defined destination on West 7th Street.
Grab some Thai, get a haircut, let the kids run loose in a designated play area – and tons more – without leaving the city limits.
12. Get Wild at the Zoo
The Fort Worth Zoo has long been heralded as a zoological wonder. Around 1 million people enter its gates each year, flocking to the only zoo in Texas to house pygmy chimps and an international leader in Asian elephant conservation. It simply cannot be missed, especially the Boo at the Zoo Halloween event.
13. Bust Your Belt at Buttons
Buttons is the famed soul-style restaurant of chef/owner Keith Hicks. If you’re opposed to melt-in-your-mouth comfort food tender oxtails, hand-battered fried chicken with butter and syrup-soaking waffles and shrimp creole accompanied with some of the best live music entertainment the area has to offer – we’ll stop you here.
Buttons’ Dallas location unfortunately closed and though many still drive over to the Fort Worth location, if you move there, it’s just a hop, skip and jump away to previously mentioned gastro goodness.
14. Fly High
Remember when we said D/FW International Airport terminals were on the Fort Worth side of the world? Well, if you’re looking for a career in the aerospace industry, Fort Worth, home to Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin and American Airlines is where you want to be.
15. One Name – Billy Bob’s
Ride a real bull. Scream and go full fanboy or fangirl when your favorite artist takes the stage. And hear some of the greatest “honky tonk” tunes, well, anywhere, at Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky tonk and smack dab in the middle of Fort Worth.
Opened in 1981, Billy Bob’s can hold 6,000 people and is the site where Merle Haggard set a Guinness Book World Record for buying the largest round of drinks – more than 5,000 Canadian Clubs.
16. Sundance Square is Really Cool
Even Dallasites have to admit that a 35-block entertainment area named for a famous outlaw is pretty cool.
Sundance Square, located in downtown Fort Worth is named for yes, the Sundance Kid of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame. Frequent visitors to the area many, many moons ago, the duo would now find their stomping grounds a district of bars, restaurants, lofts and home to many of the area’s outdoor art and cultural festivals.
17. Classical Tickling of the Ivories
It may seem a bit unusual for a city in Texas to be the host of one of the world’s most iconic musical celebrations and competitions, but every year, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition draws some of the world’s most elite musicians to Fort Worth.
How big is it? In 2013, a fully-produce webcast streamed to more than 13 million classical music-loving souls to more than 170,000 viewers in 155 countries.
18. Get Wet On Panther Island
Short of heading south to Galveston, beaches are a bit in short supply in the Lone Star State. But if you find yourself in need of some rays and sand between your toes, moving to Fort Worth for quick access to Panther Island makes total sense.
Situated on the banks of the Trinity River, Panther Island hosts festivals and concerts and has a beach that’s open to the public seven days a week. Visitors can rent paddle boards, go tubing down the Trinity and enjoy one of the area’s largest 4th of July celebrations.
19. Snag That Gig
Fort Worth came in as 45th in WalletHubs’s “2016’s Best & Worst Cities to Find a Job”. Dallas actually came in ahead of its Tarrant County counterpart (placing 24th), but see above about less traffic and fewer people to navigate around when it’s time to head to West 7th Street for happy hour.
20. Take a Chill Pill
Dallas has gained the reputation of being a very important city full of very important people. And if you ask them, they’ll tell you. On the other hand, Fort Worth natives and transplants constantly tout the city’s laid-back vibe, some even going as far to say the people there are friendlier than any other city around – and that includes you, Dallas.