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Guest Blog: Family Travel Writer, Barb Likos

Hometown: A born and raised desert dwelling Phoenix girl transplanted to the snowy plains outside Denver, CO

Occupation: Director of Social Influence for Traveling Mom, Travel Blogger at Mom Off Track

Describe Fort Worth in three words: charming, welcoming and full of character!

What is the number one thing you need to know when traveling with a teenage boy? Where to eat, of course. Fort Worth certainly has no shortage of answers to that question. Breakfast at Paris Coffee Shop is the way to start off the day with groggy, hungry teenagers.  Nothing gets their day started off right more than a little pie after a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon. It’s OK. You are on vacation. No one will judge your parenting skills although I may have to judge you if you leave there without at least a little piece of owner Mike’s coconut pie which is made fresh daily by 11 am.  

I travel frequently and I love nothing more than to sneak one of my teenage sons into my suitcase whenever I can. We were excited about seeing the cowboy culture in Ft. Worth, but didn’t realize until we got there for the Family Travel Conference that we would be eating like cowboys—just the way teenage boys like.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at Joe T. Garcia’s where we had probably the best chicken tortilla soup we have ever had. It reminded me of the authentic Mexican food I grew up eating in Arizona. The patio was gorgeous and the margaritas were the perfect way to top it off for mom. I would have loved more time to just sit there and enjoy a second margarita. But, alas, teenagers are always on the go!

For dinner we headed over to the Stockyards area for some BBQ Texas style, (dry rubbed, not wet) at Riscky’s. There are lots of things on the menu but my teen went right for the All You Can Eat Beef Ribs. For $9.95 you can actually afford to feed a teenager here! After a few plates he slowed down and we decided to walk it off strolling through the Stockyards. He had a blast riding a mechanical bull and having his picture taken on a real one. We took a walk over to Billy Bob’s, billed as the world’s largest honkey tonk, where we took some great photos and bought some fun, logo t-shirts as souvenir’s.

Besides the constant worry of where your teenager will graze, what is the second most important thing you need to know about Fort Worth? There is plenty to do here! We enjoyed several of the museums in the Cultural District. The small cultural district is home to six world class museums. What I loved is that they are so close together that you can just walk from one to the other. So convenient and easy. One of our favorite Cultural Districts museums was the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History where we were able to see the amazingly powerful Titanic Exhibit which closes March 24, 2013 so if you have an early Spring Break, make this a must see on your itinerary.  I wasn’t sure how much my 16-year-old boy would enjoy the National Cowgirl Museum Hall of Fame would be for a 16 year old boy buy we went anyway because we had some time to kill. Turns out he enjoyed it because of the several interactive audio-visual exhibits. He really had fun making a video of himself riding a mechanical horse that he could share with his friends.

During our trip here we also enjoyed visiting JFK Tribute located at the southeast corner of Main and 8th Streets, in downtown’s General Worth Square. This is the last place the nation heard the 35th President speak and the life-sized bronze sculpture commemorating that moment is stunning.

And, because he’s 16, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a college tour. We chose Texas Christian University because of its small size and community feeling.  TCU students showed the warm and welcoming feeling we felt throughout all of Fort Worth. The campus was beautiful and we enjoyed learning about the history and tradition of the school. We were even able to rub the TCU mascot, The Horned Toad’s, nose for good luck.

The only unfortunate part of our trip was that we were only here for a day and a half. Those of you planning your Spring Break trips have the lucky ability to plan a much longer, relaxed trip. The Fort Worth Zoo was ranked one of the top 5 zoos in the nation by USA Travel Guide and is top of my list for when I have the chance to return. No matter how many days you have the good fortune to stay, I am certain you and the teens will have plenty of fond memories of Fort Worth just like Connor and I have.

Fort Worth Travel Collage

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