Moving to Fort Worth, TX? Read Our Ultimate Moving Guide
You’ll hear a lot about “culture and cowboys” around here, both of which are waiting to welcome you to Fort Worth, the nation’s 13th-largest city. Although the city is often mentioned as part of the moniker of “Dallas-Fort Worth,” it’s 100 percent its own place. Read on for what you need to know about the city’s special blend of Texas swagger and southern hospitality, then get in touch with Suddath® to find out how our Fort Worth moving services can get you to your new destination.
Western Heritage with a Modern Twist
When you get settled after making your residential move to Fort Worth, it will be easy to see both sides of this city’s personality and culture. The Stockyards National Historic District is a good first stop to get a feel for just how deep its western roots reach. One of the most-visited attractions in the state, the Stockyards has it all: a daily cattle drive, rodeo, honky-tonk (the world’s largest!) and a railroad. It’s 98 acres and long list of activities keep residents and visitors coming back throughout the year.
The contemporary side of Fort Worth is evident everywhere, but especially in the Cultural District a few miles from downtown. Events, theater, shopping, dining and some of the nation’s best museums are all centered here.
Transportation in Fort Worth
Although the city has an impressive 300 square miles of land area, it’s rather easy to get around if you’re moving into town. Whether you need to commute to work within the city or just want to enjoy everything Fort Worth has to offer, it’s possible to do so without having to rely full-time on a car. You’ll probably want a car, however, if you need to commute to Dallas or Arlington. Want to hoof it? Visit Fort Worth offers some great walking maps that cover the Cultural District, the Fort Worth/Dallas area, downtown and the Stockyard District. And, if you prefer two wheels, bike-sharing company Fort Worth BCycle has more than 350 bikes at 40-plus stations around town.
Here are some of the public transportation options provided by Trinity Metro, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority:
- Bus service: Busses can meet most of your needs if you’re travelling within the city limits. They run every day from around 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., making stops throughout downtown. Money-saving passes are available for frequent travel, and bus rides are free inside the downtown area.
- Rail service: The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) makes getting to nearby Dallas a breeze. Use TRE to get to DFW airport, the American Airlines Center in Dallas, and Union Station. In addition, the brand-new TEXRail commuter line runs within Tarrant County for 27 miles every day of the year.
- Trolley service: From 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. you can catch Molly the Trolley to travel around downtown between Sundance Square and the Fort Worth Convention Center. It also takes you to the central station where you can transfer to bus, commuter rail and Amtrak services.
- Safari Xpress: Need an easy ride for a summer excursion to the Fort Worth Zoo? Hop on this seasonal service that runs every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
- ACCESS: This paratransit service provides door-to-door transportation for persons who have a verified disability preventing them from being able to use regular city bus service.
- ZIPZONE: Trinity Metro’s ZIPZONE on-demand rideshare program bridges the gap between riders’ homes or workplaces and the authority’s bus stops.
Fort Worth Neighborhoods
By some counts, there are 80 distinct neighborhoods in Fort Worth. Add a few more from surrounding communities and you have plenty of choices.
Here’s a quick look at a few of the more popular places to live in and around Fort Worth:
- Downtown: This very walkable neighborhood is great for those who live and work there, and public transportation options make it easy to head out of downtown. If dining and nightlife are important to you, downtown is right for you.
- Southlake: Families love Southlake for its highly rated public schools, while everyone loves it for its great eateries, convenient shopping at Southlake Town Square, and a range of housing from single-family homes to luxury condominiums.
- Bedford: Affordable homes, new construction on large lots, and an easy commute to Dallas and Arlington put Bedford at the top of many homebuyers’ lists.
- The Cultural District: Want to stroll from your door to world-class museums, live theater, and a dynamic arts scene? This is your neighborhood, where everything from high-rise condos and historic homes are on the market.
- Mira Vista: This is one of the most affordably priced neighborhoods in the area. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown, though, which is a factor in its lower housing prices.
- Arlington Heights: This affordable area is attractive for families and young professionals thanks to the easy commute it offers to all parts of the Metroplex via Interstate-30.
- Texas Christian University: The neighborhood surrounding TCU has plenty of students in residence, of course, but it’s also attractive for families with kids (the terrific Fort Worth Zoo is nearby).
- Fairmount: This large historic neighborhood is on the rise, with a lot of new living spaces and some of the best bars and restaurants to be found anywhere in the city.
Top Fort Worth Family Attractions
We could do a guide devoted entirely to places to go with kids in Fort Worth. These are some of the don’t-miss family-friendly spots:
- Fort Worth Museum of Science and History: Excellent programs and interactive exhibits will bring you back again and again. Check out permanent exhibits such as DinoLabs and Innovation Studios, and make time for the Omni Theater, IMAX dome and the Noble Planetarium.
- Burger’s Lake: A one-acre spring-fed lake is the centerpiece of this 30-acre park, which offers sandy beaches, diving boards, a slide and a trapeze, all under the watchful eye of certified lifeguards.
- Fort Worth Zoo: The accolades say it all—the zoo has been named #4 on USA Today’s list of the 10 Best Zoos, ranked the Best Zoo in Texas by Yahoo, and taken the top spot as the #1 attraction in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex by Zagat.
- Fort Worth Botanic Gardens: The state’s oldest botanic garden has kept up with the times, keeping its programs fresh with offering such as the Backyard Vegetable Garden where families can learn to grow healthy food, the Japanese Garden where you can feed koi fish, art events, festivals and more.
- Altitude Trampoline Park: Imagine 30,000 square feet of indoor trampoline fun—your kids can! Families, individuals and groups on outings all come to bounce the day away.
- Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge: Go back in time to when prairies, wetlands and forests covered the area. More than 3,600 acres with 20 miles of hiking trails await.
Education in Fort Worth
K-12 education is provided by the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) is the largest district in the county with 139 schools. The FWISD website has everything you need to know if you’ve just moved to the city, including convenient online registration, attendance guidelines, a school locator and much more.
Private school choices include Trinity Valley School, All Saints Episcopal School, Lake Country Christian School, Fort Worth Country Day School and dozens more throughout the city. Charter schools offering specialized education in the arts, science and more include the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, East Fort Worth Montessori Academy, Harmony Science Academy, and the Newman International Academy.
More than 60 universities and colleges in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex region have a total enrollment of more than 325,000 students. Higher education institutions in Fort Worth include the Texas A&M University School of Law, Texas Woman’s University, Texas Christian University, the University of North Texas, and Tarleton State University.
Game Time: Sports in the Fort Worth Area
Texans take sports fandom to new levels, especially when it comes to college and pro football. Basketball and baseball loom large as well, so it wouldn’t hurt to get up to speed on local sports teams if you need a conversation topic at a cocktail party or in the breakroom at work.
Although these professional teams have “Dallas” in their names, their fan base encompasses Fort Worth, Arlington and points beyond:
- The Dallas Cowboys (NFL) football team
- The Dallas Mavericks (NBA) basketball team
- The Texas Rangers (MLB) baseball team
- The Dallas Wings (WNBA) basketball team
- The Dallas Stars (NHL) hockey team
- FC Dallas (MLS) soccer team
Dining, Arts, Entertainment & Shopping
As a new resident of Fort Worth, you won’t have to head to Dallas to find excellent choices in dining, culture or entertainment, and you don’t have to look any further for recommendations than Fort Worth magazine’s annual “Best of Fort Worth” list, where the winners are chosen by the readers. Here are some of the highlights to help you get to know the fun side of your new city.
Food and drink:
- Tacos: Taco Heads, a popular food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar spot.
- Vegetarian: Righteous Foods is known for its curried rice noodles.
- Seafood: Another food truck makes it big at The Dock, serving responsibly sourced, super-fresh seafood.
- Pub: Ice-cold beer and friendly service awaits at Abbey Pub, founded by an Irish expat.
- Burgers: Head to the Stockyards for “Oklahoma-style” burgers at Hooker’s Grill.
- Bakery: All-natural ingredients, organic flour, local eggs and more go into the fresh-from-the-oven baked treats at Stir Crazy Baked Goods.
- Margaritas: The winner in this category has to be good—kick back on the patio at Joe T. Garcia’s for simple margaritas made outstanding by quality ingredients.
Fort Worth nightlife:
- Live music: Spend an evening with local and national acts amid vintage auto decor at the Magnolia Motor Lounge, a car repair shop in its previous incarnation.
- Happy hour: Wind down after work at the Landmark Bar & Kitchen, especially if you’re young and don’t mind an amped-up crowd. (Mechanical bull, anyone?)
- Outdoor venue: The Panther Island Pavilion tops this list, thanks to its rare waterfront location on the Trinity River, multiple stages, and even a sandy beach.
Arts and culture:
- Festival: Billing itself as “North Texas’ most celebrated cuisine and beverage festival,” the four-day Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival is just a few years old, but it’s attracting some of the area’s most talented vintners, brewers and chefs.
- Museum: See masterpieces from Michelangelo, Matisse and more at the Kimbell Art Museum, where its “highly curated collection is known to admirers of aesthetics worldwide,” according to Fort Worth magazine.
- Art Gallery: Fort Works Art is a gallery, museum, community center and more, thanks to its programs that support and inspire through arts and creativity.
Shopping in Fort Worth:
- Western wear: If you’re a newly minted Texan and want to dress the part, M.L. Leddy’s is where you’ll find hats, boots and everything in between.
- Men’s attire: Said to be a one-stop shop for classic clothing, The Squire Shop helps menswear shoppers avoid the mall while shopping for great style.
- Women’s attire: Stop by the Hale House boutique for a one-of-a-kind outfit and browse the large selection of home accessories, jewelry and gifts.
- Home décor: Park & Eighth is in a historic 1930s building packed with an eclectic blend of antiques and vintage pieces and a curated collection of accessories and modern art by Fort Worth artists.
- Fine jewelry: Collections Fine Jewelry has been bringing the bling to Fort Worth since 1983. It’s known for going the extra mile to satisfy customers’ out-of-the-ordinary requests.
- Grocery store: Make Central Market your one-stop destination for groceries, flowers, wine, fresh sandwiches and sushi, and a playground next to a shaded patio to enjoy it all.
Important Fort Worth Links
The following links can help you get settled after moving into your new Fort Worth home:
Driver’s licenses, vehicle registration and more: Search for the nearest office where you can get your license or an identification card. If you’re near one of the Department of Public Safety’s “Mega Centers,” you can reserve a place in line online before you go to the center.
Voting information: Find polling locations, election dates, sample ballots and more at the Tarrant County elections website.
Utilities: The ChooseTexasPower.org website provides information on the electric companies that serve your ZIP code.
Garbage and Recycling: Fort Worth offers curbside garbage, recycling and bulk trash pickup for residents. Use the Solid Waste Services tool to find the pickup schedule for your address.
Emergency Preparedness: The Fort Worth Emergency Management Office has information on disaster preparedness, flood safety, and its citywide outdoor warning system, which may be activated for any kind of emergency.
Moving to Fort Worth? We’ve Got You Covered
If you’re planning on moving to Fort Worth, Suddath has all of the services you need to get there. Choose just the specific services you want or let our expert movers handle your move from end to end. Learn more about our full suite of moving services and request your free quote today.
Moving to Fort Worth, TX : FAQ
The average salary in Fort Worth is $51,455, with a cost of living only a bit higher than the national average of comparable cities. There are plenty of affordable homes, and the average price for a three-bedroom, two-bath house is around $260,000. Apartment rental prices are in line with similar cities—about $1,300 for two bedrooms. For the most up-to-date information on the cost of living, see the list of recent prices in Fort Worth at Expatistan.
The population in Fort Worth is among the fastest-growing in the U.S., and it’s often the case that crime rates rise along with the population. For the most current information on Fort Worth crime rates, the Fort Worth Police Department regularly publishes data on its website, including quarterly and annual crime rate reports, and also offers a link to CrimeMapping.com, where you can search crime information according to address proximity, date range, crime type, and more. You can also sign up for an alert system that sends notifications of recent incidents in a particular area.
This is one category where it’s hard to separate Dallas from Fort Worth since so many people commute between the two cities, so we’ll refer to the entire Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex here.
In late 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics put out numbers showing that Dallas/Fort Worth had added the most jobs and had the highest job growth rate among the 12 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. the prior year. More recently, the Bureau released a report showing that nonfarm employment rose here at almost double the rate of the national growth rate.
The Metroplex has the fourth-highest number of Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation, including companies such as ExxonMobile, AT&T and Texas Instruments.
These companies topped the 2018 list of the area’s largest employers:
• American Airlines—25,000
• Lockheed Martin—13,690
• Fort Worth Independent School District—12,000
• Texas Health Resources—12,000
• City of Fort Worth—6,161
• Cook Children’s Health Care System—6,042
• Tarrant County College—5,999
Don’t have a bachelor’s degree? According to the Dallas Business Journal, the highest-paying jobs in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex that do not require more than a high school or associate’s degree are:
• First-line supervisors of police and detectives
• Property, real estate, and community association managers
• First-line supervisors of firefighting and fire prevention workers
• Detectives and criminal investigators
• Postmasters and mail superintendents
• First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
• Real estate sales agent
• Nuclear medicine technologists
• Diagnostic medical sonographers
• Dental hygienists
• Radiation therapists
Fort Worth has the plusses and minuses that all large American cities have. Here are few to be aware of if you’re on the fence about moving to Fort Worth.
• Big cities nearly always offer excellent choices in dining, shopping, arts and culture, and events, and Fort Worth’s urban center has it all. With its proximity to Dallas, you’ll never run out of places to go and things to see.
• Even though it’s 300 square miles and the population is growing, Fort Worth retains a certain Western charm and a casual vibe. You can enjoy all of the benefits of a metropolis without ever feeling like you don’t belong.
• By recent measures, Fort Worth’s cost of living was only 2% higher than the national average.
• It’s a culturally diverse city, so you’ll find terrific authentic food and a slate of annual cultural festivals throughout town.
• The high number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex provide good job opportunities.
• Fort Worth isn’t as expensive or as crowded as Dallas, but you can take advantage of everything Dallas has to offer pretty easily.
• If you love to travel, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is your ticket to nearly 200 domestic destinations—with every major American city accessible within four hours—and 65 destinations around the world.
• There’s no local or state income tax in the state, so you’ll have a little more money in your pocket at tax time.
• If the “cowboys” part of “culture and cowboys” isn’t your thing, it will still be inescapable. Fort Worth, after all, prides itself on being “where the West begins.”
• Texas summers are hot and humid. The average daily high temperature in summer months stays above 90 degrees, which can take some getting used to if you’re coming from cool northern climes.
• A recent economic development study commissioned by the city put a spotlight on Fort Worth’s lack of initiatives to drive creative and entrepreneurial forces. This may be due in large part to Fort Worth’s non-diverse tax base, which depends on residential rather than commercial growth. According to the report, “The city has increasingly become a bedroom community for the rest of North Texas, which explains why Fort Worth is also an afterthought to many executives seeking to expand operations or even relocate here.” The upside, of course, is that Fort Worth may be a more peaceful place to live than other area cities.
With a reasonable cost of living compared to other large cities, great transportation, medical care at Baylor University Medical Center and the UT Southwestern Medical Center, and a wide range of affordable housing choices, Fort Worth can be a good place to enjoy your retirement years. You’ll need to be able to tolerate the summer heat, but that may be a desirable change if you’re tired of living with snow.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Texas is “a haven for retirees,” and several cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have high rankings on Niche.com’s list of 2019 Best Cities for Retirees. These include Richardson and Plano, both of which are about 20 minutes outside of Dallas. Richardson (which tops Niche.com’s list of Texas cities) offers retirees an affordable median home price of $209,500, access to excellent health care, and plenty of arts, culture, restaurants and shopping. Plano was named one of the “Best Run Cities in America” and one of the “Safest Cities in America,” according to Plano.gov. Both of these cities give you the best of a close-knit community while being just minutes from everything that the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has to offer.