I visit my hometown of Lewisville often, but growing up in the sprawling suburb, Historic Downtown Lewisville—which encompasses the intersection of Main and Mill Street—never garnered much attention. Back then, much of my time was preoccupied by visiting the local malls, and in all fairness, the historic area didn’t have much in the way of entertainment. Boy, have things changed.
While walking down West Main Street recently, I noticed the old buildings have been refurbished into trendy, Craftsman style coffee shops, restaurants, and boutique stores. Beer fans can now enjoy libations at Cobra Brewing Company such as Dawn of the Dank (Double IPA) and Donut Dunker (hazelnut coffee porter). And foodies of all ages will love Twisted Root Burger Co. featuring a large, dog-friendly patio and ample seating indoors. Try the toasted marshmallow s’mores shake (my son’s favorite) or order my pick, the Big Tex burger, a delicious belt-buster.
As you stroll through downtown, check out the art galleries and local shows at MCL Grand Theater. The main hall is home to the Lewisville Lake Symphony and several other performing arts groups. With each new development, I’m even more excited to visit my hometown.
Nearby Grapevine has had a charming historic downtown for as long as I can remember. For visitors to DFW, I recommend putting this locale high on your destination list. Grapevine Vintage Railroad offers a step back in time through a 1920s-era Victorian coach that takes visitors to the Fort Worth Stockyards and back most weekend.
Each Christmas, I take my son to Vetro Glassblowing Studio where he designs and helps create a glass Christmas ornament. For a glimpse of life from frontier Grapevine, stop by Torian Cabin, built in 1845. Of course, rounding out the downtown experience are dozens of restaurants and boutique wine shops.
The city we know as Fort Worth began as distinct areas (Niles City, Stockyards, Arlington Heights, downtown) that slowly coalesced through growth and annexations over the past century-and-a-half. Digging into this city’s history takes a few trips, but it’s well worth it.
When you think of historic Fort Worth, The Stockyard National Historic District in the city’s Northside comes to mind. Twice-daily cattle drives, rodeos, museums and bustling saloons and restaurants keep that heritage alive. The Stockyards Museum offers a great overview of the area’s history through photographs and time period artifacts. Most of the buildings along West Exchange Avenue and North Main Street date back a century or more. Horseshoe Hill Cafe offers some of the best cowboy cuisine and makes one of my favorite chicken fried steaks in DFW, while Cowtown Winery offers wine tasting, local wines, and (gasp) ghost tours.
Visit downtown and follow the Fort Worth Heritage Trails maps for a walking tour of historically significant buildings and areas in and around downtown Fort Worth, including a JFK Tribute, Hell’s Half Acre (Fort Worth’s historic rough-and-tumble red light district), and scenes of infamous gunfights.
Arts District at 15th lies in the heart of Plano’s historic downtown—offering pubs, pizzerias, art galleries, several theatre troupes and more. Nearly every day is booked with special events. One must-try spot, XO Coffee Company, is building its brand with superlative java and chef-driven dining options.
McKinney Main Street has made historic preservation its mantra. Historic walking tours offer a healthy way to take in the scenic streetscape. Craft sandwiches at Butcher Board, wood-fired pies at Cadillac Pizza Pub and fine dining at Eclair Bistro are just a few of the choices to consider at this evolving and historic gem.