I was invited to take a “Top to Bottom” tour of Texas and during that trip I spent a few days in Grapevine. I have been to Grapevine before and I always look forward to visiting the area again. No matter what time of year I have visited, Grapevine offers lots to do and see, welcomes everyone with open arms and provides a wonderful experience for all!
A Few Days is Never Enough
Small western-town America meets modern world luxury is how I think of Grapevine, Texas. It’s a perfect family vacation spot, as well as a perfect couples/friends vacation spot. Multi-generational traveling families will be thrilled with Grapevine since there is so much 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. I had stayed at the Gaylord several times on previous visits so this time I headed to the Great Wolf Lodge. There are also several large brand hotels in the area such as the Hyatt, Hilton, Comfort Suites and Holiday Inn.
Because of how close Grapevine is to the airport (part of the airport actually sits in Grapevine), you can also take advantage of “Layover Packages” available that will let you spend a few hours in town instead of sitting in the airport! The center of Grapevine is just minutes away from the airport.
The historical downtown area of Main Street offers shopping, dining and entertainment all year. You can have a casual or fine dining experience, 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 visit over and over again. Everyone local you meet has a smile on their face and a kind welcoming word!
The area is easy to get around – from one spot to another – by riding on the Grapevine Visitors Shuttle. The Grapevine Visitors Shuttle takes passengers to restaurants, shopping, and attractions from local hotels throughout the day, seven days a week. A day pass is an inexpensive $5 for individuals and $10 for families. Passes can be purchased on board the shuttles, at Grapevine Visitor Information Center on Main Street, or at participating Grapevine hotels.
With over 200 restaurants in the immediate area, Grapevine offers visitors an eclectic mix of world-class cuisine, family-friendly and affordable dining locations. Good old-fashioned comfort food is the only way to describe some of the spots along Main Street like the Main Street Bistro & Bakery, Tolbert’s Restaurant (be sure to taste the Donkey Tails!) or the Back Porch Grill & Tavern.
One of my favorite stops this trip for a pre-dinner snack and cocktail was Mi Dia From Scratch for their table-side guacamole. Made fresh at your table and topped with your choice of toppings – all for only $15 – The guacamole is the freshest and tastiest pre-dinner snack and large enough for at least 4 people to share. Pair it with one of their specialty margaritas (watermelon was the best!) and you may end up not leaving for quite a while!
Some of the great food sampled while visiting Grapevine – because you know I always say a picture is worth a thousand words!
For wine lovers, Grapevine is home to the Urban Wine Trail and a yearly wine festival held each September – GrapeFest. 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!). Or spend a weekend getaway in Grapevine and hop aboard one of the vintage trains for a wine tasting! There are also several spots along Main Street such as Messina Hof Grapevine Winery or Grape Vine Springs Winery offering tastings for wine lovers that gives you a great way to spend an afternoon.
Grapevine is also home to Uncle Buck’s Brewery and Grapevine Craft Brewery. Don’t leave town without trying one or two of the local flavors!
Things to Do and See
Shopping alone Main Street is always fun with so many unique shops to choose from. On of my particular favorites is the Texas General Store. The store is full of Texas themed gifts, clothes, home decor and souvenirs and you can surely find something for yourself and for anyone else on your shopping list. On this trip I found an adorable Texas cross to add to my collection and hang on my porch and some really spicy goodies for my kids! Each time I look at the cross, it reminds me of the great visits I’ve taken to Grapevine. You can even get yourself a cowboy hat and some boots!
I can’t visit Grapevine without a stop at Dr. Sue’s Chocolate Shop. Dr. Sue, a physician makes healthy chocolate! All natural dark chocolate with some of the most unusual additions and flavors make it difficult to pick just one!
Nash Farm offers special events, interpretive programs and education tours. The remaining 5 acres of the original 110 acre farm along with the original home of Thomas Jefferson Nash still stands in the heart of Historic Grapevine and is an entertaining way to spend an afternoon. The Grapevine Heritage Foundations’s goal is to teach current generations about the way of life of the original settlers of Grapevine.
Settlement to City Museums is made up of a collection of historic houses originally located on the Grape Vine Prairie. Grapevine artifacts and vintage treasures tell all about the settlement of Grapevine. You can even ring the bell on top of the old schoolhouse!
Vetro Glassblowing Studio and Gallery is also a spot I like to visit each time I’m in Grapevine. You can actually participate in glass blowing and make your own special pieces when you participate in one of their classes or workshops. The live demonstrations are interesting and sometimes even comical! Their shop full of beautifully created and colorful pieces will leave you with a tough decision of what to buy.
Two great rainy day adventures: SeaLife Grapevine Aquarium offers visitors a look at some of the most fascinating sea creatures and takes you on a journey through absolutely amazing and beautiful underwater scenery. Legoland Discovery Center is always lots of fun for the entire family – you’ll think you have stepped into a giant box of Legos!
If you happen to be strolling along Main Street at just the right time, you’re in luck! High on top of the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau sits a beautiful clock tower that comes to life. Two 9-foot movable figures walk out of the Glockenspiel-style clock to re-enact a fictitious train robbery, complete with a gunfight. After watching the show stop into the Convention and Visitors Bureau to pick up some brochures and get tips on the area from some of the nicest people you will ever meet!
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad hosts several events throughout the year so no matter when you visit, you can have the opportunity to hop on-board! I highly recommend the Jazz Wine Train for a great night of fun.
- 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 is known as the the Christmas Capital of Texas because the town offers over 1,000 holiday and Christmas themed events in a 40 day period. The entire town is decorated and joins in all the celebrations.
There is so much I love about visiting Grapevine, Texas. It makes the perfect spot for a family vacation, couples weekend or friend’s getaway. You will never be disappointed when you visit Grapevine! I’m ready to head back again!
Disclosure: I was provided with accommodations, meals and other compensation for the purposes of this review by the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau. All opinions are my own and my review has not been influenced in any way.
You can read more about my visit to Texas here: