It has been said the West begins at Fort Worth Texas. This city, also known as Cowtown, is located in the northern part of central Texas. It began as a fort during the days of cowboys and Indians. Wild West performances and bucking broncos provide exciting entertainment in this city whose history includes cattle drives and the arrival of the railroad.
Fort Worth's history and heritage as a cattle town can be seen and experienced in the Stockyards National Historic District. This 125 acre district contains cattle pens, renovated buildings that were used during the city's cattle boom days, Exchange Street lined with hitching posts that often have horses tied to them, saloons, western shops, restaurants and galleries. The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame is also located in this historic district and showcases top cowboys and cowgirls.
Each day at 11:30 AM and at 4:00 PM, legendary longhorn cattle are driven through the streets of the district. These cattle are descendants of the cattled owned by Christopher Columbus. Cowtown Coliseum, also located in this district is the site of the first indoor rodeo and the location of the first live rodeo radio broadcast.
The Tarantula Train, featuring four 1925 day coaches pulled by an 1896 steam locomotive named Puffy, tours 21 miles of the Cotton Belt Route. This route traces the trails cowboys and ranch hands used to haul cattle. The Tarantula, named for a spider because of branching train routes that resemble spider legs, passes through the communities of Grapevine, North Richland Hills and ends in the Stockyards District.