I was thrilled and over the moon excited when I was invited to attend the Travel Media Showcase (TMS) in August for two reasons. I love how TMS works with and for travel writers and I love Grapevine, Texas!
About Travel Media Showcase
Each year TMS brings together print and broadcast travel media to meet with representatives from the United States, Canada, and international destinations in an organized and business-like format. The energetic and scheduled days involve pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments and FAM tours, and is an ideal conference/opportunity for travel writers to introduce themselves to multiple destinations all in one spot.
It’s a one-stop opportunity for someone like me to meet with PR reps and network with some of the best in the travel writing industry. My very first TMS event, TMS Family Travel Conference, in Kansas City, helped me become much more confident in this profession. It helped me step over the line from little blogger to travel writer. I learned more about travel writing and running my site in those few days than I had learned in several years of blogging. TMS is run by a group that immediately makes you feel like family and traveling with family is always best! It was at that first TMS event I met the Convention and Visitor Bureau representative from Grapevine, TX who invited me to visit her great little spot and how I fell in love with Grapevine!
My TMS invitation had me taking my second trip in a year to Grapevine, Texas. I visited last year at Christmas time because Grapevine is the “Christmas Capital” of Texas. As many of you know, I fell in love with Grapevine (I wrote about it too! Get Out Your Cowboy Boots and Head to Grapevine). There is so much about the area that makes a visit a must if you are looking for that perfect vacation. Whether you are a family with small kids or teens, a solo traveler, a couple or a group of friends traveling together, Grapevine is definitely a destination that will make you all happy.
Grapevine is just a hop, skip and a jump from the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Airport. Well, actually I don’t hop, skip or jump anymore but it’s only about a 10 to 15 minute drive from the airport. Part of DFW is located in Grapevine so the commute from the airport is minimal. There are several brand hotels located right at the airport but the best places to stay are just a few minutes away at the Gaylord Texan Resort or for families, Great Wolf Lodge. There are about 20 different hotel accommodation options located throughout Grapevine, offering a wide range of services and amenities to suit any taste or budget.
I think what strikes me most about a visit to Grapevine is the open, welcoming and friendly feeling you get the minute you step into any establishment along Main Street. You are immediately treated like family by everyone you come across. Grapevine offers many events and festivals throughout the year and I like to say it’s because they want everyone to come for a visit! The Christmas events are something that anyone visiting the area should experience at least once. I am hoping to see them again this year.
The historical downtown area of Main Street offers shopping, dining and entertainment all year. You can have dinner at a murder mystery theater, ride a vintage train, shop, or visit during one of the many celebrations that take place during the year. Grapevine is a family and the entire family of residents turns up at the many events held and welcome visitors with open arms. Grapevine is the oldest settlement dating back to 1844 when Texas was still an independent nation and the residents and visitors are still celebrating! Even though Grapevine has a population of 50,000+/-, downtown Main Street remains a charming, vintage look into the past, with all the modern conveniences of the present. It’s a fascinating city that feels like a little town.
Couples, singles and groups of friends can fill their days in Grapevine taking a walking tour of the town or hopping a shuttle to take a wine tour! Grapevine is home to many award winning wineries and several area hotels offer special packages that include dinner excursions on the Grapevine Wine Tours. Restaurant choices are plentiful so be sure to wear some “stretchy” pants when you visit!
Families can keep the kids happy at Great Wolf Lodge, LEGOLAND Discovery Center or SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium before taking a vintage train ride where robbers stop the train and your little deputies can help catch the bad guys!
Grapevine is a place to make great memories, new friends, reconnect with old friends and enjoy a great big Texas welcome ~ after all, everything is bigger in Texas!
Disclosure: I was provided accommodations and a portion of my airfare cost to attend Travel Media Showcase.