If you’re considering moving to Fort Worth, you’re not alone. The Dallas-Fort Worth area adds more than 250 residents per day—more than any other U. S. metropolitan area. Between its top-notch restaurants, world-class museums, live music venues and some of the friendliest residents in Texas, you’re going to love everything Fort Worth has to offer.
For those who enjoy a true taste of Texas and Western heritage, there’s nothing that embodies where the West begins quite like the Stockyards National Historic District. For those who are just looking to get a feel for one of the best downtown districts in the nation, there’s plenty to do year-round in Sundance Square. Few downtowns have achieved the cohesion between cowboy culture and urban sophistication that Fort Worth has—and that’s what makes it so incredibly unique.
Aside from its historic culture and vibrant nightlife, Fort Worth offers quaint neighborhoods, endless things to see and do, affordable living, and world-class opportunities for business. And it’s not slowing down anytime soon.
Whether you’re moving for a career or just eager to get a taste of a new city, you’ll soon find out why Fort Worth is one of America’s most livable cities. Here’s what you need to know before moving to the Lone Star State.
The Best Neighborhoods in Fort Worth
With a hot housing market and great cost of living, it’s no wonder families are moving to Fort Worth over other popular urban destinations. Out of 125 metro areas, Dallas-Fort Worth ranks 21st on the list of U.S. News Best Places to Live. Whether you’re looking for high-rise condos and lofts or southern suburbia landscapes, you’ll easily be able to find the perfect home for you and your family.
“The city and region offer significant employment opportunities, diverse and affordable housing options, and a wonderful quality of life,” says Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, assistant director of economic development for the City of Fort Worth. “All of this has been recognized nationally, and continues to draw people to our city and the region.”
Contemplating where to live in Fort Worth? There of plenty of spots to plant some roots. Here are some of the best Fort Worth neighborhoods:
- Southlake. Located only a half-hour commute from downtown, Southlake offers plenty of things to do for young professionals. From its outstanding public school systems to daily events at Southlake Town Square, you’ll never run out of things to do in this family-friendly neighborhood.
- Keller. Named one of “America’s Best Small Towns” three times in the last decade, Keller has gained national attention for its big-city conveniences and small-town roots. The area offers an excellent school system, multiple award-winning sports facilities and historic charm.
- Arlington Heights. Arlington Heights is a quaint suburb with close proximity to downtown, giving residents convenient access to everything they need. Safer than 93 percent of Texas cities and offering plenty to do, this is known as the most livable neighborhood in Fort Worth.
- Downtown. With more than 25,000 residents, downtown Fort Worth is an active and vibrant setting (and among the best downtowns in the nation). While there are endless shops, restaurants, live music halls and events to visit in the area, it’s also recognized for its cleanliness and safety.
- Wedgwood. With a population of around 86,000 residents, this vibrant neighborhood is both comfortable and friendly. Wedgwood offers an abundance of schools, parks, grocery stores, restaurants, libraries and gyms all in close distances. This is the perfect neighborhood if you and your family have an appreciation for urban living.
There are Endless Fun Things to Do in Fort Worth
Known for being both a vibrant, contemporary city while still living up to its Cowtown reputation, Fort Worth offers the best of both worlds—and there’s always something to do. After moving to Fort Worth, experience the true Western heritage at the world’s first and largest indoor rodeo or get a taste of fine art and modern architecture at one of the city’s many world-class museums.
Here are some things to do in the City of Cowboys and Culture:
Take a stroll in Sundance Square.
Recognized as one of the top downtown districts in America, Sundance Square attracts more than 10 million visitors per year. It’s a vibrant, award-winning entertainment district spanning 35 blocks in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. You’ll find plenty of local boutiques, trendy restaurants and sensational live music, yoga and outdoor movies.
Check out the Cultural District.
Known as the “museum capital of the Southwest,” Fort Worth offers a variety of world-famous museums known for their quality and architecture. Travel back in time to the mid-1800s at the Log Cabin Village, check out contemporary masterpieces at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and see Michelangelo’s first known painting at the Kimbell Art Museum.
Dig into the delicious grub.
In Fort Worth, there’s something on the menu for everybody:
- For the taco lover: Grab some delicious tortillas, fresh salsa and every topping you can imagine at Taco Heads.
- For the burger bro: Need a burger fix? Chop House Burger will satisfy your craving in no time.
- For the pizza people: When it comes to pizza, it’s ok to be a snob. Pizza Snob offers the freshest, fanciest toppings for your favorite kind of ‘za.
- For the Italiano: Looking for pasta and fine Italian cuisine? Vivo 53 has it all.
- For the foodies: From juicy steaks to seafood options, to jalapeno mac’ and cheese, Del Frisco’s never disappoints.
Head to the Fort Worth Zoo.
If there’s anything you don’t want to miss in Fort Worth, it’s the Fort Worth Zoo—which has been named the Best Zoo in Texas by Yahoo Travel and the No. 1 attraction in the Metroplex by Zagat. Since its inception in 1909, the Zoo has grown into a nationally ranked facility, housing more than 7,000 native and exotic animals. The Zoo is the only one in the United States to house representatives of all Great Ape species and it’s one of only five locations in the world to display more than one rhino species.
Saddle up for Western heritage.
What was once an Army outpost has evolved into an electric, cultural city that still celebrates its Western heritage. Fort Worth—”where the West begins”—offers the Fort Worth Herd, daily cattle drives at the Stockyards National Historic District, shopping for handcrafted hats and cowboy boots, and live rodeos every weekend at Cowtown Coliseum. Looking for fun things to do in Fort Worth with kids? Head over to Six Flags Over Texas or the Noble Planetarium for endless amusement.
Let’s Talk Cost of Living
While Fort Worth home prices have climbed over the past few years, they remain affordable. The cost of housing in Fort Worth is 21 percent lower than the national average.
Since the Fort Worth area has become such a popular place to live, it’s definitely a seller’s market. When it comes to housing costs, Fort Worth is a relatively inexpensive place to live. According to Zillow, the median home price is just over $260,000
Compared to the national average, the cost of transportation in Fort Worth is much lower. Due to oil being a major industry in Texas, a gallon of gas costs around $2.37 compared to the national average price of $2.65. If you don’t own a car, Fort Worth also offers a bus system (the T) that provides public transportation around the city.
Although utility costs in Fort Worth are one percent higher than the national average, housing expenses are five percent lower than the national average, according to PayScale.
If you’re moving to Fort Worth, you’ll need to have an idea of your daily, weekly and monthly spending. Below is a breakdown of average expenses based on 2019 costs:
One month of utilities (gas, electric): $214
Apartment rent: $785
Average mortgage payment: $895
One cocktail in a downtown club: $11
Basic dinner out for two: $37
Wondering if you should buy or rent in Fort Worth? With both home prices and rental prices rising over the last year, real estate experts recommend that if you plan on staying seven years or more, buying is worth it in the long run.
It’s Easy to Find Jobs in Fort Worth, TX
If you’re moving to Fort Worth in the near future, landing a job is most likely on the top of your priority list. You’re in luck: between its central location, affordable living and world-class opportunities for business, Fort Worth is among the top career destinations in the world. In fact, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex ranks among the top five in the nation for its concentration of Fortune 500 company headquarters.
Over the last four decades, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has become a multibillion-dollar economic engine for the area. The fourth-biggest airport in the world (and tenth busiest international gateway in the U.S.), it’s home to the world’s largest airline and carries over 60 million passengers a year. Almost 60,000 people go to work at the airport each day.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area boasts a 3.9-percent growth rate in jobs compared to a national average of 1.8 percent. In addition to being a major trade center and distribution hub, the Fort Worth area is also the state’s telecommunications center. Emerging economic sectors also include semiconductor manufacturing, communications equipment manufacturing, corporate offices and distribution.
Some of the best companies to work for in Fort Worth are:
- BNSF Railway
- Pier 1 Imports
- Lockheed Martin
- Exxon Mobil
- American Airlines
Not only is Fort Worth home to more than 80,000 businesses, but it also boasts an impressive school system. From pre-kindergarten to graduate school, Fort Worth offers a wide range of educational resources to its residents.
Here are some of the noteworthy schools in Fort Worth, TX:
The largest district in Tarrant County, The Fort Worth Independent School District contains 139 K-12 schools with more than 84,000 students. If you’re interested in public schools in Fort Worth, check out the complete list and map of Tarrant County.
There are more than 60 top private schools in the Fort Worth area covering many faiths and teaching philosophies. The largest private schools in Fort Worth include Fort Worth Christian School, Fort Worth Country Day School and Trinity Valley School.
Colleges and Universities:
Due to numerous educational opportunities around Fort Worth, high school students don’t need to travel far to pursue a college degree. The region offers more than 60 colleges and universities, ranging from public and private schools to medical and technical training. In Fort Worth, you can explore Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University and Tarrant County College. In the surrounding areas, you’ll find the University of North Texas, Texas A&M University School of Law, Southern Methodist University and more.
Fort Worth is a Music and Art Lover’s Dream
While Fort Worth may be known for its cowboy culture, it boasts one heck of a performing arts scene. When you’re in the mood for a great show, the full range of live music in Fort Worth has you covered.
Choose from any of these popular venues:
Main Street Arts Festival
Rated the No. 1 arts festival in Texas (and third in the entire country), this annual four-day event features live music, an art fair, street performers and loads of family fun. Join music and art fans from around the country as they celebrate a tradition that’s been going on for nearly three decades. The best part? It’s entirely free.
Bass Performance Hall
Named one of the Top 10 Opera Houses in the World, Bass Performance Hall is located in the historic Sundance Square District downtown. It seats over 2,000 people and is home to Broadway shows and many performing-arts organizations including Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
Fort Worth Stockyards District
When it comes to Fort Worth nightlife, the city comes alive. The Stockyards District embodies the true Western heritage, featuring bull riding, great concerts and championship rodeos. Billy Bob’s Texas claims the world’s largest honky tonk and hosts regular concerts by popular country artists.
Lone Star International Film Festival
Considered the City of Cowboys and Culture, Fort Worth is the perfect spot to host the Lone Star Film Festival. Held every year in Sundance Square, the five-day festival presents some of the most anticipated films of the year. It has also been named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.
Some other live venues worth checking out in Fort Worth: Magnolia Motor Lounge, Wild Rooster, Capital Bar and Fred’s Texas Cafe.
Fort Worth Offers Plenty of Free Fun
When you live in Fort Worth, you don’t have to spend a pretty penny to have a good time. The city offers an abundance of fun things to do that are completely free. Whether you want to soak up the sun in the great outdoors, take in the culture or treat the kids to a family-friendly event, you have abundant options.
Check out these free activities that allow you to see the city without breaking your budget:
Reflect at the Fort Worth Water Gardens
In the heart of downtown Fort Worth, you’ll find more than just sparkling skyscrapers—you’ll also discover a refreshing oasis of calming water features. The Fort Worth Water Gardens is an architectural and engineering masterpiece that includes a landscape of vortex-like pools. You’ll want to take plenty of pictures at this urban park containing more than four acres of waterfalls, pools and fountains.
Hop Aboard Molly the Trolley
Zipping around Fort Worth is fun—and totally free—on this vintage-style trolley. The trolley runs daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m, traveling from the Fort Worth Convention Center to Sundance Square every 10 to 15 minutes. Rides are free thanks to subsidies from Sundance Square, Visit Fort Worth, Downtown Fort Worth Inc. and downtown hotels.
Stroll Through West 7th
Fort Worth locals have come to love West 7th for its abundance of dining, shopping and entertainment options all within walking distance. This pedestrian-friendly area spans five blocks and bridges downtown and the Fort Worth Cultural District. It doesn’t cost a thing to browse through retail and fashion hotspots such as Domain XCIV, FIG Designers and Flirt Boutique. You can also stop for a light bite to eat or a cold drink at one of the local eateries or bakeries.
Moving to the Dallas/Fort Worth Area?
Now that you know everything there is to know about America’s 13th largest city, it’s no wonder you’re seriously considering becoming Fort Worth’s newest resident. It’s tough to say no to the city’s class, culture and cowboys.
Whether you’re moving cross-country or just a short drive away, the moving process can be quite stressful. From packing supplies to truck rentals and more, Life Storage offers a wide range of self storage options in Fort Worth to make your move a breeze.
Are you and your family moving to Fort Worth? Get started by grabbing our free moving checklist and free moving printables kit.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 14, 2017, and was revised on November 24, 2019 with new information from Fort Worth expert, Audrey Sellers.