Rosen House Inn on the Near Southside is a delightful pet-friendly retreat and perfect for staycationing with our best family members (the four-legged ones). Courtesy Rosen House Inn

While there might not always be the cashola, there’s still always the time for a summer staycation, and in a city like ours — now the 12th largest in the country, in fact — getting out of the damn house to spend a few days and nights in new environs is as easy as it’s ever been (if not cheaper). Whether you’re staycationing with the fam, the kings/queens of your castle (your pets), your major squeeze, or your buds or are flying solo (in group formation, too), look no further than the Fort for places to rest your head between summertime excursioning. (It’s a word. Now.)



Gotta say, for whatever reason, my family and I (me, wifey, youngster) have the best times at North Texas Jellystone Park (2301 S Burleson Blvd, Burleson, 817-349-2693). There’s just something about this sprawling campground/water park/activities center in Burleson that makes us giggle like bratty schoolkids on meth. Last time we went, we stayed in the pirate ship. A hotel in the shape of a massive pirate ship, it’s walking distance from all the activities, including the playgrounds, paintball courts, and — if you visit in the fall — the haunted maze, which is absolutely terrifying and hilarious at the same time, but since this is our annual Summer Issue, you’ll want to take advantage of the water park and its enormous, death-defying slides, a.k.a. the Burleson skyline.




I’ve been out of the dating game so long, I don’t even know — do people still mosey on up to strangers and ask them for their numbers? The closest I’ve come to a good ol’ fashioned “pickup” was at Lola’s on 6th 100 years ago when some very drunk dude on his way to his Uber kept asking a young acquaintance seated nearby to plug her Instagram page into his phone? Or something? I dunno. He kept trying to hand her his phone. She kept declining, of course — I only hang with proper ladies. All I know is I’m glad I don’t have to deal with all that scheiße anymore. And while I haven’t been single in eons, I have a sneaking suspicion that young people are still going out and hooking up, so for all you solos out there who want to take a staycation that involves nightlife and handling other people’s devices, then I’ve got two indisputably classy hotels with bars for you that not even you and your bad decisions could sully.

Let’s say you’re an artiste and/or an arts appreciator. The Near Southside is where you want to be. Full of mostly independently owned bars and renowned restaurants, the area in and around Magnolia Avenue draws all manner of creatives and other victims of late-stage capitalism. Where you’ll be sleeping (alone or with a group) is right near the heart of the action. Hotel Revel (1165 8th Av, Fort Worth, 817-928-3688) is a stereotypically Near Southside-y boutique retreat because there’s no staff on-site and every transaction is conducted via mobile device — human touch is as overrated as the Springsteen song is under-, anyway. And on the first floor sits Sugarman’s, a “modern take on the classic speakeasy, giving revelers a sense of history with a contemporary spin.” Sounds great, but are the craft cocktails any good? Indeed, they are. Trust me.

Now, maybe while you’re still into Snake Season and Porah Dudette (real artists or names I just made up that sound cool and millennial-y?), you also secretly love President Business (definitely a real fictional name). I recommend the West 7th corridor for nightlife, and if you agree, Hotel Dryce (3621 Byers Av, Fort Worth, 817-330-9886) with its Lobby Bar is your first and last stop. Located in the Cultural District near Dickies Arena but not too far from all the pickup joints in and around West 7th, Dryce is a splendid locally owned boutique whose aforementioned bar oozes swank and not in a pretentious way. Are the drinks any good? Let’s just say that as far as I know, the Lobby is the only place nearby where you can order an Old Fashioned with Blackland Distillery’s scrumptious Texas Pecan Brown Sugar Bourbon. In light of that, if the option is to meet your potential paramour in West 7th or the Lobby, do I even need to say more?



One thing I like doing when getting together with my pals is gathering around the campfire late-night and passing around the ol’ git-fiddle. Lol! Just kidding. Please kneecap me if we’re ever together and I say, “Bust out your guitar.” No, but I do like a party. Lord, do I like a party. My poor liver. My poorer wallet. And while I’m not saying Hotel Otto (4400 White Settlement Rd, Fort Worth, 833-468-8639) is a frat house, the micro-resort of eight 160-square-foot bungalows crafted from shipping containers is definitely a good time. Located on the West Side near the Trinity River, the brainchild of celebrity chef Tim Love also offers a full-service “plunge” pool and a daily complimentary cocktail hour. There are also self- or private-guided activities in and around the nearby Trinity Trails, including kayaking, horseback riding, Pedego Ebikes, and more. Hanging out at Otto on a starry summer night is about as close to heaven as some of us may ever get. Just leave the guitars at home. Please. Literally begging you.

Definitely not a frat house, Hotel Otto on the West Side is still a decidedly fun retreat.
Courtesy Hotel Otto/Instagram



Clearly, if staycationing is on the docket this summer, then we can’t forget our best family members. Good thing another one of my favorite B&Bs is pet-friendly. Located in the heart of the Near Southside, Rosen House Inn (1714 S Henderson St, Fort Worth, 888-791-4850) is a proud dog-friendly property, and unlike at most hotels, you won’t have to cross rip-roaring traffic for potty walks. Nearby dog-friendly watering holes abound, especially the Chat Room Pub (1263 W Magnolia Av, Fort Worth).



It’s no secret that my favorite staycation spot on Planet Fort Worth is Three Danes Inn (712 May St, Fort Worth, 817-720-6365). Not only are the pastries from the in-house bakery (closed to outside customers now, sadly) delicious, but everything from the lovely rooms to the warm, inviting dining area exudes hygge, a Danish and Norwegian concept defined as “a cozy, contented mood evoked by comfort and conviviality.”

If a getaway is more your speed, check out our Playing Possum feature in Living Local here.