If you ever find yourself in the city area of Dallas or Fort Worth in Texas, you simply must spend a morning or afternoon at the Stockyards Station in Fort Worth. It feels like the quintessential experience of the Wild West of Texas, without leaving the city, and is perfect if you don’t have the time to actually visit a real Texas Ranch!
And that’s exactly how Ty and I spent a fun-filled morning in Fort Worth. The Stockyards Station is a National Historic District that was once the busiest and largest cattle, horse, mule, hog and sheep marketing centre in the South-West. Today it brings to life and exemplifies the Old West and it literally feels like you are walking around an old western cowboy film set!
As I love thematic outfits and any opportunity to dress up, Ty and I wore our country best…my outfit consisted of a chambray shirt tied at the waist and a pair of jeans (that was about as ‘country’ as I can pull off, despite growing up in an Australian country town) but at least Ty’s flannel shirt was slightly more convincing.
Wardrobe issues aside, we were excited to see the Station and the world’s only daily longhorn cattle drive (have I lost you yet?)!! Upon arriving at the Station at around 10.30am, we parked the car on the cobblestoned street and that’s when I spotted Big Jake and just new I had to ask his extremely friendly and well-dressed handler if I could have a picture with him!
I swear Big Jake’s handler made me pose like this...
(Side note: while travelling, I’ve come to realise many things about myself. One of those things is that I get a ridiculous amount of enjoyment out of doing super gimicky, touristy things, and my ever-encouraging, trusty fiancé is right there to capture the moment forever on film! And I love it! I mean, when else would I ever get the chance to pretend to ride a bull?! You only live once right!)
After that excitement passed and we said goodbye to Big Jake, we spent time visiting the Cowboy Walk of Fame and the Cowboy Hall of Fame, and while we didn’t recognise any of the names listed, it was still really nice to appreciate the history and the lives of cowboys past and present. We strolled down the cobblestoned street, visited the stables, the Cowtown Coliseum and the livestock exchange.
Check out Ty’s extremely oversized boot spur! Ahhh this picture still makes me laugh!
After that, it was time to watch the Fort Worth cowboys drive the longhorn cattle herd down the historic Exchange Avenue. While it was over pretty quick, it was worth the trip just to get a glimpse of the beautiful horses and cattle and the cowboys dressed up in their western finest.
Here they come!
Those horns help you to appreciate why they are called longhorn cattle
A cowboy riding a horse that reminded me so much of growing up with our family’s horse Henry
I like to think these two are identical twins
After we watched the drive, we wandered past all the restaurants at the Stockyards (there are so many, so they cater to any taste), and finally decided on the Mexican restaurant right at the end of Exchange Avenue where we had a super delicious lunch.
If you ever get the chance to visit the Stockyards Station in Fort Worth, I’d recommend not arriving too early before the cattle drive (which runs daily at 11.30am and 2pm) to avoid waiting for what is essentially a short drive that’s over fairly quickly. But there’s a lot to do and see there, it’s free (especially if you park a little way up Exchange Avenue where you don’t have to pay for parking) and a really fun experience that Ty and I enjoyed immensley.
Have you ever been to the Wild Wild West?
With love, Carly xo
Linking up with Nicole for Treat Yo’ Self Thursday today!