How to Spend 12 Hours in the Cultural District

By: Sarah Jane Grisham

World-class museums just minutes from one another, a robust performing arts scene, and roots in Fort Worth’s history make the Cultural District unlike anyplace else in the city. Centrally located just minutes from downtown, the city’s cultural hub has an unending list of things to see and do, making it easy to lose track of 12 hours.

These are some of our top picks; comment and let us know your favorite places in the Cultural District.

8 a.m. | First things first.

Photo from Montgomery Street Cafe Yelp

Step back in time at the Montgomery Street Cafe, where a homestyle, no-frills breakfast is served. Sit on a barstool at the counter, and sip on bottomless coffee while you wait for your meal. Order a plate of eggs, bacon and hashbrowns or the biscuits and gravy, or treat yourself to both —  its menu is very wallet friendly. After fueling up with a hearty breakfast and more than enough coffee, make your way up Montgomery Street to spend the morning in the finest museums in the Fort.

10 a.m. | Get cultured.

Photo by Walter Burns Photography

Nothing says “hip and culturally relevant” better than an Insta-story chalked full of tastefully formatted pictures and Boomerangs of your morning dabbling in the arts. Check out some of the intimate art galleries in the area like Fort Works Art and the Cydonia gallery, then make your way to a few of the world-class museums that have bestowed the name “Museum Capital of the Southwest” to the city of Fort Worth.

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is home to many paintings, sculptures, and publications by artists like Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Next to the Amon Carter you will find the the Kimbell Art Museum. Here, you can admire the intricate details in Michelangelo’s The Torment of Saint Anthony and gaze up at the Velázquez’s dominating Portrait of Don Pedro de Barberana, among other works.

From the Kimbell, cross Van Cliburn Way to get to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It boasts almost 3,000 artworks from the post-World War II era. The reflecting pool located adjacent to the lobby is a pleasant place to take a moment of stillness before grabbing your midday meal.

1 p.m. | Lunch with a view.

Photo from Cafe Modern Facebook page 

Overlooking the water through expansive, floor to ceiling windows, is the museum’s own culinary masterpiece: Cafe Modern. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and produces a seasonal menu made from fresh and natural ingredients primarily sourced from locals.

In the summer, expect to see a salad with ingredients like green beans, sweet corn, local tomatoes, freekeh green wheat, Honey Doe Farm goat feta, toasted sunflower seeds, bibb lettuce and lemon oil vinaigrette; or, the Flatiron Steak Sandwich that is served with housemade potato chips and topped with ‘Nduja spread, creamy avocado aioli, arugula, and heirloom tomatoes on ciabatta bread. 

3 p.m. |  Oldies and goodies.

Photo from Montgomery Street Antique Mall Facebook page

Driving south on Montgomery Street, you will run into the Montgomery Street Antique Mall. The store is massive —  61,000 square feet to be exact. Browse through American and European furniture, posters from the ‘50s and quirky trinkets to boot. You’ll see everything from old Coca-Cola machines to vintage fishing gear. Seriously, whatever it is you’re looking for, or not looking for, you can find it here.

Just up the road you'll find your reward for all of your walking throughout the day, and it comes with a side of chips and guacamole.

6 p.m. | Let’s taco ‘bout it.

Taco Heads serves 12 all-natural tacos each day. The Nuevo Leon Al Pastor taco is topped with freshly sliced and grilled pineapple, onion, cilantro, red cabbage, adobo and queso fresco. Wash it down with a made-to-order Jalapeño Margarita, filled to the brim with freshly-squeezed lime juice, premium tequila, cointreau and agave syrup. This is (in my humble opinion) one of the best margaritas in town.

Crossing Montgomery Street, you’ll see the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

7 p.m. | Catch a show.

The Omni Theatre, located within the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, boasts the largest IMAX dome west of the Mississippi River. It shows a variety of films, from documentaries to Hollywood box office hits. If you're looking for an authentic western experience, the Will Rogers Memorial Center nearby hosts national and world championship horse shows throughout the year. And if your visit falls on certain months with performances in season, Casa Mañana is a great choice for Broadway show-lovers.