Some of the best attractions in the state are in Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding areas, according to the 2023 Texas Travel Awards, which "shine a spotlight on the most exciting, innovative, and inviting places around the state."
The Texas Travel Awards were created by Austin Monthly, San Antonio Magazine, and Texas Music publishers, and the winners are decided by a panel of industry professional judges, travel journalists, and a musician. The awards are bestowed in "by population" categories (small, mid, or big market), as well as in statewide and people's choice categories.
In all, the Dallas-Fort Worth region won 14 accolades this year, which highlights just how positively travelers perceive the Metroplex. The winners of these prestigious awards - including spots in Arlington, Mansfield, Grapevine, Granbury, and even Mineral Wells - offer some of the most unique experiences in Texas for travelers.
However, there is one big and inexplicable oversight - Fort Worth itself was shut out entirely. No awards for Stockyards, Cultural District, festivals or other events. Makes one think the judges have never heard of the place.
Despite that malarkey, here's who did win across North Texas ....
The only Dallas attraction to win a best "by-population" award was the 561-foot-tall iconic Reunion Tower, in the category for the most Instagrammable "Big Market" Spot. (The storied Dallas landmark will surely draw even more Instagram attention now that it's home to a new restaurant.)
The remaining awards all fell to the 'burbs and two outlying cities.
The town of Grapevine took home three" by population" awards in this year's rankings, which is one more than last year's awards. For the second year in a row, Third Rail and MagnumSpeakeasy won Best "Mid Market" Live Music Venue and Best "Mid Market" Bar. Magnum opened in 2021 at the height of the speakeasy trend that took over Dallas-Fort Worth, as did Third Rail, and have been popular additions to the city's nightlife scene.
And what do they have in common? They're both conveniently located in the Best "Mid Market" Hotel: Hotel Vin, Autograph Collection. It is the only boutique hotel in Grapevine, mixing luxurious accommodations with classic Texan hospitality.
The city of Mansfield earned two accolades in this year's awards, after not gaining any in 2022. The "Love Your Vibe" mural won most Instagrammable "Mid Market" Spot, and Music Alley Music and Arts Festival won the title for Best "Mid Market" Music Festival or Event.
Arlington took home one award in the "by population" category for Best "Big Market" Food Festival or Event. The city's #SaveTheTacos Contest won the award, where several local restaurants add new, specially-made tacos to their menus and compete to become the city's favorite taco.
One up-and-coming city that earned one statewide award and two by population awards is Mineral Wells, located 50 miles west of Fort Worth. Mineral Wells' downtown area earned the statewide Best Revitalization award, while its visitor center won the Best "Small Market" Visitor Center. In the category for Best "Small Market" Under the Radar Activity, Mineral Wells Fossil Park was awarded that accolade.
For the second consecutive year, the Texas Travel Awards created People's Choice awards for the public to vote on the best destinations in four categories: arts and culture, families, foodies, and outdoor adventures. And Dallas-Fort Worth cities swept in the category, leaving other Texas cities in the dust.
Dallas was named the Best Destination for Arts and Culture, and Grapevine won the award for Best Destination for Families. The outlying southwestern city of Granbury, which is located less than 40 miles from Fort Worth, won Best Destination for Foodies, and Mineral Wells earned the title of Best Destination for Outdoor Adventures.
Elsewhere in Texas, the Hill Country city of New Braunfels just outside San Antonio took home 12 awards, the most out of any Texas city in this year's rankings.The full list of winners in the 2023 Texas Travel Awards can be found on their website.