Hottest headlines of 2023
New hotels and Hill Country escapes arrive in Fort Worth's most-read 2023 travel stories
Editor's note: As we look back at the most-read travel stories of 2023, we wind our way through the Hill Country, venture to L.A. for a big TCU game, and eventually end back up in Fort Worth for a peek inside a sparkling new hotel. These are the 10 most popular Fort Worth travel stories of the year.
1. Fort Worth's luxury Crescent Hotel to open with restaurant and TV chef. A new luxury hotel in Fort Worth's Cultural District was set to open with a brand-name chef: The Crescent Hotel, the new property from Crescent Real Estate (Ritz-Carlton, Dallas) debuted in late fall with two restaurant concepts led by Executive Chef Preston Paine.
2. 2 Fort Worth hotels lauded in Travel + Leisure's 2023 World's Best Awards. In July, two Fort Worth hotels were among five in North Texas to earn nods in the 2023 edition of Travel and Leisure's highly coveted "World's Best" list. They were The Ashton and Hotel Drover, Autograph Collection.
3. Hill Country nature preserve steps up conservancy efforts with new wildlife plans. A Hill Country park would be getting some new features and wildlife this year. The Horseshoe Bay Nature Park, about three-and-a-half hours from Fort Worth, would be expanding its conservancy through the use of new signage, bee populations, and owls, they announced in April.
4. Winding Texas Hill Country road tracks as one of the best scenic routes in America. Cycle Trader, a classifieds sites for motorcycles, named The Twisted Sisters as one of America's best routes in their report called "Top Destinations for Your Next Motorcycle Road Trip." Located about five hours from Dallas-Fort Worth (it begins outside San Antonio), The Twisted Sisters spans about 130 miles in the Hill Country, with dozens of bends, drops, and inclines to keep drivers on their toes the entire time.
Behold the Twisted Sisters. www.cycletrader.com
5. Willie Nelson is back at the ranch with a smokin' hot lineup for 2023 Luck Reunion. Taking place on the same week as SXSW, the smaller, more intimate Luck Reunion festival has become a bit of a holy pilgrimage for Willie Nelson fans at the legend's Spicewood ranch, "Luck, TX." Returning for its 11th year, Luck Reunion expanded from one day to three, featuring one-of-a-kind culinary and music experiences, March 15-19, 2023.
6. 5 great girlfriend getaways within a 4-hour drive from Fort Worth. And just like that…summer was halfway over in mid-July. Which means the time was right to schedule a girls’ trip you. We rounded up several fun places to squeeze in a quick getaway within a short drive from Fort Worth, even if it was just over to Dallas.
7. TCU fans' guide to tailgating, parking, and parties at the CFP National Championship in L.A. Before thousands of TCU fans descended on the City of Angels to witness the Horned Frogs play No. 1 Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship, we scoured all the best parties, tailgating tips, and more.
8. First-of-its-kind Hill Country resort blends acclaimed Texas winery, brewery, and spa. A new(ish) Hill Country resort provided the perfect vacation trifecta - winery, brewery, and spa. Carter Creek Winery, Resort & Spa stands high on a hill overlooking U.S. Hwy. 290, just outside Johnson City, 30 miles east of much-busier Fredericksburg.
Carter Creek Winery Resort opened in the just-before-covid month of December 2019. Photo courtesy of Carter Creek Winery Resort
9. Texas chef Stephan Pyles to concept restaurant for MCM motel in Stephenville. A motel in the works in Stephenville drafted the services of a well-known chef from Dallas-Fort Worth: The Interstate Inn, which will debut in summer 2024, will make that debut with a restaurant called The Seeker, to be conceptualized by chef Stephan Pyles.
10. Toys R Us to open its first airport store at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Global toy store chain Toys R Us announced it would open its very first location in an airport, and that airport was our own Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Specifically, at Terminal A.