by Sarah J.F. Braley | January 01, 2016
Why here?
Fort Worth's personality is a fascinating mix of cowboy culture -- well preserved in the Historic Stockyards District -- and urban sophistication, exemplified by the first-class museums in town. The city is poised for major growth, with a headquarters hotel and other expansive projects in the works.

 Vodka made from black-eyed peas is distilled in the city's Near Southside District. Find TreyMark Black-Eyed Vodka ($35) at Historic Firehouse #5.

 Headquartered in the city, Justin Boots makes premier footwear, including cowboy work boots and cowboy firefighter fireproof styles. Fancier options include the Tony Lama and Bent Rail lines.

The city's Modern Art Museum will feature a comprehensive retrospective of about 120 works by living American artist Frank Stella from April 17 to Sept. 4, 2016. (817) 738-9215

Texas Motor Speedway has unique offerings like pace-car rides on the high banks of the track, or gatherings held in one of the 22,000-square-foot garages. Go to to learn more, or call (817) 215-8593.
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Local Update
 A plan to expand the Fort Worth Convention Center is in the works, with construction expected to begin by 2022. About 280,000 to 300,000 square feet of exhibit space will be added, including a 50,000-square-foot ballroom, 80 more meeting rooms, a full catering kitchen, a mini food court, underground parking and more.

 The city wants to bring a new 1,000-room headquarters hotel to town, to be built across the street from the convention center. A request for quotes has been sent out to get developers involved.

 Plans also are in the works for a new $450 million, 14,000-seat arena and sports facility at the Will Rogers Memorial Center Complex in the Cultural District. The facility, scheduled to open sometime in 2019, will host the annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, plus concerts, sporting events and more.

 An ambitious $175 million plan to preserve and enhance the Stockyards National Historic District includes mixed-use areas and public "festival districts." In the details: The new Marine Creek District will welcome restaurants and a hotel; more shops and restaurants will be added to the Mule Barns next to Marine Creek.


The Panther Island Pavilion
on the Trinity River

 • The Trinity River Vision Project aims to create 21st-century neighborhoods directly connected to the Trinity River. A main objective is to turn Gateway Park into one of the largest urban-programmed greeneries in the nation. Also in the planning stages is Panther Island, a waterfront neighborhood with more than 12 miles of canals and walkways lined with cafés, restaurants and more. The Panther Island Pavilion already is available for groups of 1,500 people or more.

 Coming to Sundance Square is a Marriott Autograph Signature hotel, taking over the historic 1930 art deco Sinclair Building. The new property will have 165 guest rooms with a basement restaurant and a rooftop bar; the hotel will open in late 2016.