From wineries, live Opry-style entertainment, festivals, shopping and a vintage railroad Grapevine knows how to show visitors of all ages a great time!
Located just a short drive from Central Texas in the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Grapevine is a tourist haven with not only a variety of events and festivals, but also an abundance of shopping, live entertainment and cultural activities.
Known as the Christmas Capital of Texas, Grapevine is also home to the Texas Wine Industry headquarters and is recognized as a World Festival & Events City by the International Festival & Events Association.
THE ULTIMATE HOST
Grapevine was named for wild mustang grapes that covered the plains for as far as the eye could see in 1844 when the land was settled. The city pays tribute to its namesake during the annual Grapefest held the second weekend of September. Grapefest is considered the largest wine festival in north Texas.
Now in its 28th year, the four-day event offers visitors the chance to taste new wines and enjoy old favorites alongside five stages of entertainment and a children’s area to keep the little ones busy. Tennis and golf tournaments round out the festival.
For those who prefer tall mugs of cold beer to wine, Grapevine gives visitors the chance to go back to its roots with the 30th annual Main Street Days in mid-May. The three-day event celebrates American Craft-Brew Week in which restaurants offer 30 different styles of craft brews paired with a variety of foods chosen by the brewmasters and chefs. Of course, the event also offers wine events and activities for children.
As Texas’ Christmas Capital, Grapevine truly sparkles during the holidays. More than a million lights line streets, businesses and homes during a 40-day celebration offering 1,400 Christmas events starting in November and running through New Year’s Day.
Grapevine offers a variety of other events throughout the year, including Chocolate Fest the first weekend in April, a spring festival at Nash Farm the last Saturday in April and SummerBlast, featuring a fireworks display over Grapevine Lake every Friday night from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Butterfly Flutterby held in September at Grapevine’s Botanical Gardens celebrates the migration of the monarch butterfly from Canada to Mexico.
ALL ABOARD FOR ENTERTAINMENT
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad will make a train lover out of everyone. With the oldest continuously operating steam engine in the South, the railroad features a 1896 Victorian-style locomotive named Puffy and a 1953 GP-7 diesel locomotive named Vinnie. The engine keeps passengers rolling on a 21-mile round trip along the historic Cotton Belt Route between Grapevine and the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Put your hands up! Experience a real train robbery that is family-friendly starting Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. As the train chugs from Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards, all boys and girls get deputized to help the marshal as he works to catch the bandits, ultimately giving their loot to the child passengers onboard.
The railroad’s North Pole Express allows children to depart on an amazing journey in search of Santa, where they enter a winter wonderland through a Christmas tree maze, ultimately finding the bearded gift-giver by ringing their hundreds of Santa bells. The experience begins Thanksgiving weekend and runs through the weekend prior to Christmas.
SHOPPING AND RESTAURANTS GALORE
Come with a big appetite and bring your SUV when you head to Grapevine. You will definitely want to enjoy the delicious cuisine offered by more than 200 restaurants and cafes. You will have a difficult time choosing from the treasures at more than 80 locally- owned shops.
The past will surrounds you in Grapevine’s beautiful downtown as its buildings have been preserved to historical accuracy throughout this walkable area. Enjoy a morning cup of tea and a pastry at tea rooms and restaurants with outdoor seating that are reminiscent of European cafes. Visit the boutiques, custom-jewelry stores and art galleries where you can find unique gifts for yourself and others. Sites not to be missed in the downtown area include the Palace Arts Center, Glockenspiel Clock Tower, and public art that dots the downtown landscape.
If you prefer more mainstream shopping, Grapevine Mills guarantees you will find just what you are looking for and most likely some other things that you just can’t live without. Get the latest in fashion from today’s hottest designers at a fraction of the cost with many outlet stores, including Saks, Michael Kors and Neiman Marcus. Bass Pro Shops sits conveniently across the street to keep the men busy with fishing equipment, firearms and other outdoor gear while the ladies visit nearly 200 stores in the mall’s more than 1.5 million square feet of floor space. The mall also keeps the kids occupied with LEGOLAND Discovery Center, an aquarium, emporium, ice-skating rink, mini-train rides, a carousel, and 30-screen movie theater in which you can also enjoy lunch or dinner.
Gaylord Texan Resort
Everything is big in Texas and the Gaylord Texan Resort makes the list. With its nearly five acres of gardens and winding walkways within the hotel itself, you never have to leave the resort grounds to relax or enjoy leisure activities in Lake Grapevine which flanks the hotel. Within a one-mile radius, the hotel offers water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, bike rentals, bowling and golfing at the Cowboys Golf Club, the only NFL-themed course in the country. Full spa and sauna amenities are also available at the resort, which also features the 10-acre Paradise Springs Waterpark, ranked the No. 1 Top Aquatic Resort by Waterparks + Resorts Today in 2011.
Enjoy food at one of the many eateries on the Marriott property with a variety of cuisines including Angus steak, barbecue, TexMex, Italian, casual hamburgers and sandwiches, a full bar resembling a saloon from the Old West and a coffee house. The Glass Cactus includes four liquor bars and offers food in a club setting along with musical entertainment from country to top 40 to rock.
Great Wolf Lodge
A great place to take the entire family (where you never have to leave the grounds) is the Great Wolf Lodge, offering a splashing good time 365 days of the year in its indoor water park. The water in the 80,000-square-foot facility is kept at a warm 84 degrees.
The waterpark offers attractions including a four-story tree house with a two-story double slide exit, a six-story funnel, a raft ride through a canyon, and a four-story waterfall that drops thrill seekers straight down into the pool. For the little ones, a wave pond, activity pool, agility water challenge and a slide built specifically for guests under 48 inches tall will make it hard to get the toddlers out of the water at the end of the day.
Great Wolf offers its own version of Dungeons and Dragons with MagiQuest, which is perfect for every girl who dreams of being a princess and every boy who dreams of being a hero battling dragons. A children’s spa, arcade, XD theater and creative daily activities will tucker out the youngsters just in time for dinner, followed by a bedtime story by the fire in the lobby each night.
All food options at the lodge meet the preferences of the kids with everything from burgers, pizza, snacks and sweet treats.
Garden Manor Bed and Breakfast Inn
Calling itself one of the best bed and breakfasts in Texas, this Southern Georgia-style home is the only place to stay overnight in the downtown historic district of Grapevine. Guests are literally steps away from a paradise of shopping, eating and sightseeing options. The B&B offers five guest rooms, each decked in its own unique décor, and private bathrooms. With four guest rooms on the second floor, the remaining guest room, the Carriage House, is on the first floor providing a very secluded stay with a view of the beautiful backyard gardens. It offers a reprieve for a couple seeking a weekend of romance with it’s a two-person whirlpool tub and a private breakfast on the patio.
There are numerous packages available at the B&B that include accommodations and attractions. Excursions range from a day of sailing including dinner, a romantic riverboat cruise, Texas Motor Speedway races, wine tour, dinner theater, shopping and spa treatments.
The Vineyards Campground and Cabins
For those who love the great outdoors, The Vineyards Campground & Cabins are lined along the private sandy shore of Lake Grapevine and back up against the Cross Timbers Forest. Enjoy fishing, hiking one of the trails, or paddling around the lake in one of the kayaks or paddle boats provided onsite. Bicycle rentals, basketball, volleyball, board games and regularly planned activities are also available. Cabins are completely furnished and complimentary Wi-Fi is available. The grounds also offer a pavilion perfect for family reunions or other meetings.
FUN, FUN, FUN
One of the best things about Grapevine (and that’s hard to choose based on all the fun things to see and do) is its convenient location- smack-dab between Dallas and Fort Worth, literally five minutes from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
To find more information and fun tips on planning a vacation to Grapevine, visit the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau online at grapevinetexasusa.com.