When I set out on my journey from South Carolina to Grapevine, Texas – I didn’t know what to expect. I go into each adventure with an open mind, a desire to learn as much as I can about a new area and an almost child-like excitement to see everything I can see and experience all that is offered.
How would I describe Grapevine, Texas? Small western-town America meets modern world luxury is how I would sum it up. Perfect family vacation spot. Perfect couples vacation spot. Perfect multi-generational vacation spot. Perfect friends get-away spot. Grapevine, Texas offers something for everyone!
Just minutes from the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, Grapevine offers many area accommodations along with two of the best well-known resorts – Gaylord Texan Resort and Spa and the Great Wolf Lodge. Both are stunningly beautiful properties. Both are the types of resorts that you can arrive at, check-in and not leave for days because of what is offered on-site. However, visiting Grapevine and all that this area offers will have you spending your days touring, enjoying and having a great time. I wish I had more time to spend several days exploring Main Street and the many shops and restaurants offered along the way.
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. It seems like Grapevine offers festivals and celebrations galore – why? Because Grapevine is the oldest settlement dating back to 1844 when Texas was still an independent nation and the residents and visitors are still celebrating! With 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 little town that I can’t wait to visit again.
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad is led by “Puffy”, an engine built in 1896. The engine was originally purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad and used in California for passenger and freight service. Puffy also served as a fire train and then used as a ceremonial engine before ending up in a private collection where Walt Disney was eyeing her for a railroad project that never came to be. Puffy arrived in Grapevine in 1993. Helping Puffy shoulder the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s passenger load is Diesel 2199, a GP-7 (meaning general purpose) built in 1953 and originally operated by the Santa Fe Railroad called Vinny. Puffy and Vinny pull the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s luxurious Victorian coaches (4 in all) that were built in 1925 and used as day coaches, along with two 1927 open-air touring coaches. All four day coaches have been restored to their full Victorian-era glory and the two open-air coaches are extremely popular in the spring and fall months.
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad hosts several events throughout the year:
- North Pole Express
- Christmas Wine Train
- Halloween Treat Train
- Murder Mystery Train
- Train excursions to Fort Worth Stockyards (another great afternoon for the family)
- The Grapevine Vintage Railroad is also available for group events and private parties
- Jazz Wine Train
Grapevine Wine Tours is another great way to spend a day. Grapevine, Texas is home to several wineries and tasting a little from each can actually fill up more than one day! When you take the Grapevine Wine Tour, you will sample vintages from only three of the area’s wineries. Because Grapevine is home to more than can be explored on one tour, the itinerary is rotated daily, so you can take the tour on consecutive days and have completely different experiences! You’ll even be able to vote for the Most Outstanding Wine of the Year. You will ride aboard a shuttle that will take you from one tasting room to another with a knowledgeable guide that is able to share not only the history of wine making in Texas but also the unique history of the wineries you will visit. Grapevine Wine Tours offers both lunch and dinner tours on most days.
The annual Main Street Fest is three days (mid-May) of craft brew tastings, food, live music, wine and children’s activities. The event coincides with American Craft Beer Week and features Texas brews along with regional craft beers. You can learn about brewing and meet brewmasters in the Craft Brew Experience. Dozens of specialty vendors from shops, galleries and boutiques around the area are also set up during the festival that takes place along Main Street in Historic Downtown Grapevine. Other event highlights include cask tappings, pairing dinners, and wine tastings in the Texas Wine Terrace. Entertainment areas include the Carnival with rides for kids and adults, the Midway featuring competitive games, and KidCave, a children’s entertainment zone with a LEGO-building competition, sea creature touch pool and much more.
Texas Star Dinner Theater, in the heart of Grapevine, hosts a fabulously funny, interactive and entertaining murder mystery dinner and will have the entire family working together to solve the who done it! All while enjoying a delicious meal!
Each year you can head to Grapevine for the Annual Grapefest, a four day festival to celebrate wine! While you’re there – why not try your hand (or feet) at some wine making by entering the GrapeStomp! You never know – you just might receive the coveted “Purple Foot” award which is a beautiful glass foot made for the event at Grapevine’s Vetro Glassblowing Studio (yet another great way to spend an afternoon – at the glassblowing studio!).
There is absolutely something for everybody in Grapevine and over the next few weeks I will be sharing so much more with you. The list of things to do in Grapevine is long, the locals are welcoming and location is ideal. Discover Grapevine ~ You’ll be glad you did! I can’t wait to go back!
Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau provided my transportation, accommodations and meals, however, opinions are my own.