Fort Worth Stockyards

The Fort Worth Stockyards is a historic area just north of the central business district in Fort Worth, Texas. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the 98-acre area was a former livestock market that operated under various owners for more than 100 years and is the last standing stockyard in the United States today. Photo: mb1983k/Fotolia



Fort Worth became a major livestock center in 1876 with the advent of the railroad, allowing for the smooth and swift transportation of cattle all over the country. By the mid-1880s, four fully equipped stockyards had been built near the railroad tracks, and Fort Worth Union Stockyards was opened in 1890. The Union Stockyards experienced a tremendous early success, selling up to a million cattle per year within the first decade. Fort Worth remained a vital part of the livestock industry well into the 1950s until local businesses began to suffer due to livestock auctions being held closer to where the livestock were originally produced.

Today, the Fort Worth Stockyards celebrates its rich history and long-standing tradition as a center point of the cattle industry with over 40 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Replacing the grim slaughterhouses and packing facilities that once stood on the site are an array of shops, restaurants, cafés and other forms of entertainment that capitalize on Fort Worth’s ‘Cowtown’ image. Set in the middle of the action are the world-renowned boot-making company M.L. Leddy's and the Maverick Fine Western Wear and Saloon where customers sip a cold beer while taking a break from exploring the Stockyards. Volunteers still follow the practice of moving cattle drives through the stockyards, which was developed by the frontiersman Charles ‘Buffalo’ Jones in the late 19th century, who was famous for herding buffalo through the streets of Garden City in Kansas. Photo: Melastmohican/Fotolia

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»Fort Worth Stockyards Stables & Visitor Center

Fort Worth Stockyards Stables & Visitor Center

The Fort Worth Stockyards Stables were beautifully restored and reopened in 2011. The Stables are based in an original Stockyards building dating back to 1912 and offer full care boarding, hourly boarding, overnight boarding, horse rentals on the open riverside trails of the Trinity River and romantic carriage rides.

Stockyards Visitor Information Center

Located on Exchange Avenue in the center of the Stockyards, the Stockyards Visitor Information Center offers a wealth of information about the Stockyards and its rich Western heritage. Visitors can also watch traditional cattle drives twice a day (11:30 am and 4:00 pm) and find out more about upcoming events and happenings at the Stockyards. The Stockyards Visitor Information Center is open from Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Photo: philipus/Fotolia

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»Things to Do

Things to Do

The Fort Worth Stockyards offers a variety of attractions, activities, and adventures for the whole family. The Fort Worth Stockyards Museum is the best place to start to get a better understanding of the heritage of the Stockyards and the role it played in the history of the livestock industry in the country. The Museum features an array of artifacts and memorabilia from the Swift and Armor Packing plants, the Livestock Commissions and both the Stockyards and surrounding Fort Worth, including a lightbulb that has been burning for over 100 years!

Explore the Stockyards on a guided Cowtown Segway Tour which comes complete with wireless headsets for communication and professional guides to show you around the area. Catch a show or a rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum, a luxurious air-conditioned concert venue that exudes the rich history of the West. Other notable attractions in the Stockyards include Billy Bob’s Texas, Coyote Drive-In, Fort Worth Cats, Fort Worth Herd, Fort Worth Stockyards Petting Zoo, Stockyards Ghost Tours, and Stockyards Gunfighter. The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is not to be missed! The famous show features world-class livestock shows, PRCA rodeo action, daily live music, children-friendly exhibits, and a fun-filled carnival midway through the month.

Back to: Things to Do in Fort Worth Address: 130 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76164, Phone: 817-624-4741 Photo: Kim Warden/Fotolia

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Fort Worth Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas