Hottest headlines of 2021

Most-read Fort Worth travel story of 2021 moseys into the Stockyards' sparkling new hotel

Most-read Fort Worth travel story of 2021 moseys into the Hotel Drover

Hotel Drover
Hotel Drover opened March 22 in the Fort Worth Stockyards.  Photo courtesy of Hotel Drover
Choctaw
It's a popular destination for North Texans. Photo courtesy of Choctaw Resort and Casino
Puerto Vallarta
Be in Puerto Vallarta in time for the sunset. Getty Images
Fort Worth highway, traffic
Drive defensively out there.  Getty Images
McDonald Observatory
There's nothing like stargazing at the McDonald Observatory. Photo by Ethan Tweedie Photography, McDonald Observatory/Facebook
Hotel Dryce rendering
The buzzy new hotel opened this year across from Dickies Arena. Rendering courtesy of Bennet Benner Partners
Saint Lucia Caribbean
This island paradise became just six hours away. Photo courtesy of Saint Lucia Tourism Authority
Hamilton Pool
Condé Nast Traveler says Hamilton Pool has unrivaled “storybook majesty.”  Photo by Deborah Stachelski
Avid Hotel lobby
The bright, fresh lobby is where you get a free breakfast at the new Avid hotel. Photo courtesy of Avid Hotels
Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival
Is there anything more Texas than a field of bluebonnets? Facebook/Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival
Hotel Drover
Choctaw
Puerto Vallarta
Fort Worth highway, traffic
McDonald Observatory
Hotel Dryce rendering
Saint Lucia Caribbean
Hamilton Pool
Avid Hotel lobby
Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival

Editor's note: As we look back at the most-read travel stories of 2021, it's clear readers were yearning for both quick, nearby getaways and far-off, beachy destinations. But most of all, they wanted to know about the new hotels opening around Fort Worth (and there were a lot). A story about the new "crown jewel" of the Stockyards was our most popular travel story of the year.

1. Fort Worth's Hotel Drover debuts as ritzy Stockyards retreat with fun backyard surpriseThe long-awaited Hotel Drover debuted March 22 in the touristy Fort Worth Stockyards, ready to host out-of-towners from San Antonio to San Francisco. But with five snappy bars, a chef-driven restaurant, and a sprawling backyard entertainment area that opens to the Trinity Trails, the upscale “urban ranch oasis” was sure to become the coolest new hang for locals, too.

2. Choctaw resort debuts new hotel and casino 2 hours' drive from Fort Worth. An entertainment destination for many North Texans opened a much anticipated major expansion in September: Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, debuted the new Sky Tower Hotel and a casino, expanding its status as a quick getaway destination.

3. Low-cost airline launches direct flights from Dallas-Fort Worth to 2 beachy destinationsIn May, a low-cost air carrier announced two new flight plans from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and in both directions, you'll find a beach. Minneapolis-based Sun Country Airlines jetted off on new nonstop flights from DFW to Santa Ana, California and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

4. 2 Dallas-Fort Worth freeways crash onto new list of deadliest roads in the U.SSeveral of the most clogged roads in the U.S. crisscross Texas. Now, two major highways in Dallas-Fort Worth qualify for another dubious distinction: They’re among the 10 deadliest roads in the country. In a recent study from Austin-based insurance marketplace The Zebra, Interstate 20 ranks as the country's second most deadly road on a per-mile basis. I-35 appears at No. 5.

5. 5 Texas road trips for a fun and easy spring getaway from Fort WorthFrom charming Hill Country getaways to secluded seaside vacations, there were some great bets for an easy road trip away from Fort Worth in the spring, whether you want to drive a few hours or take most of the day to meander along the open Texas roads.

6. Fort Worth boutique hotel checks in among Forbes' most anticipated 2021 openings. Fort Worth’s Hotel Dryce hadn’t even opened its doors yet, but it was already generating some serious buzz. In a January 23 Forbes article, travel journalist Roger Sands listed Hotel Dryce, across from Dickies Arena, as one of "the world's most exciting hotel openings" in 2021. 

7. American Airlines romances DFW with new nonstop flights to Caribbean honeymoon paradise. In time for summer wedding season, American Airlines lifted the veil on its first-ever nonstop flights from Dallas-Fort Worth to the romantic Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. The inaugural American Airlines A321 service started June 5, departing Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) on Saturdays through August 14.

8. Stunning Hill Country pool cannonballs onto Condé Nast Traveler list of top swimming holes. As Mother Nature cranked up the heat in Texas in June, it was time to think about a getaway to cool off in the country’s best swimming holes. A list in Condé Nast Traveler magazine crowned Hamilton Pool in the Hill Country — west of Lake Travis and north of Dripping Springs — as one of eight “stunning” swimming holes in the U.S. 

9. Modern new Fort Worth hotel opens with 2 things avid travelers want most. A new hotel in far north Fort Worth called Avid dispensed with fancy-schmancy "extras" and focused on a few basics that they say every traveler wants: namely, a good night's rest and free breakfast the next morning. Avid Hotels, a new IHG Hotels & Resorts brand "for the modern traveler," opened its first North Texas property April 21 in the Fossil Creek area of Fort Worth.

10. Where to see beautiful bluebonnets in Dallas-Fort Worth and around Texas this springApril is that magnificent month when bluebonnets blanket fields, pop up in parks, and dot roadways in every corner of Texas. Our beloved state flower got a later start this year, and early plants got walloped in February's winter storm. Here were some areas in DFW and around Texas where folks had reported beautiful bluebonnets already, or where they're reliable for gorgeous photos every spring.