Between U.S. Hwy. 80 and I-20, Forney is about 30 minutes east of downtown Dallas. The endearing small town, once an antiquing hot spot, hosts lots of family-friendly festivals, such as its massive Fourth of July celebration and a New Year’s Eve ball drop. (Yes, there’s an actual ball.) But Forney is growing quickly. Its population is nearing 40,000, and it even approved plans to build a 121,000-square-foot H-E-B last spring. Yet while many things are changing, the city’s Statue of Liberty remains a constant, although it has been moved from its original location along the highway. The 8-foot-tall replica was donated in the 1980s by antiques dealer Red Whaley. At the time, he didn’t know that the city’s namesake, John W. Forney, a Philadelphia newspaper publisher and politician, was instrumental in bringing the original Lady Liberty to New York.
6 Things to Do in Forney
In 1987, the state Legislature named Forney the Antique Capital of Texas. The city’s pride and joy was Antique Row, a long strip of dealers along U.S. Hwy. 80. Most are gone now, but a few warehouse-size shops remain, including the strip’s original draw, Little Red’s Antiques, and the 50,000-square-foot Caspar & Gerard’s Antiques.
Little Red’s Antiques, 10274 W. U.S. Hwy. 80. 972-564-2200; Caspar & Gerard’s Antiques, 12639 Reeder Rd. 972-564-6566.
Touting itself as Forney’s first brunch spot, Nina’s offers an equal amount of mimosa and espresso options. On the sweet side, you have your choice of crêpes, Belgian waffles, and French toast. (Go for the stuffed, filled with cream cheese and topped with strawberries.) The cafe closes at 2:30 pm and is almost always packed, so get there early.
471 Marketplace Blvd. 469-602-5050
On Saturdays, head to Forney’s best-kept secret. At Five Points, master distiller and co-owner Bill Wofford (a Texas Instruments physicist by day) makes Lone Elm’s wheat whiskey. Take a tour for $10, or, for $3,500, you and a group of your friends can learn how to distill your own barrel and stagger away with 150 custom bottles.
8575 Union Hill Rd. 214-430-4147
Across from City Hall, where the NYE ball sits on the roof year-round, is the Spellman Museum. Built in 1895, the two-room repository explores life on the prairie, the town’s former cotton industry, the world wars, and more.
200 S. Bois d’Arc St. 972-552-2400
This spot has solid sandwich and salad lunch fare, but you’ll want to come here for the pastries. We recommend the tres leches bundt cake, sticky buns, or any of the specialty brownies. (Keto and gluten-free options are available.)
106 E. Main St. 469-720-4529
For a small town, Forney has a surprising number of Asian restaurants, such as Tokyo Harbor and Thai Square Sushi. If you’re looking for a hearty bowl of pho—or a spicy Thai curry—then head to Thai.Pho.
426 FM 548, Ste. 126 972-552-5100