Named after the native grapes that grew in the area, Grapevine is a treasure centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, and five minutes outside DFW International Airport. Grapevine offers family-friendly festivals, winery tasting rooms, holiday celebrations, art galleries, gorgeous Lake Grapevine, shopping, dining and a historic downtown area with a vintage train.
Follow our list of 10 must-see sites (in no particular order).
A Vintage Railroad
Located at the southern end of Historic Downtown Grapevine’s Main Street is one of the city’s most loved attractions, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, which travels along the Cotton Belt Route from Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards most weekends throughout the year. The railroad is serviced by two vintage locomotives: “Puffy,” the 1896 steam locomotive (the oldest continuously operating steam engine in the South) and “Vinny,” a 1953 GP-7 diesel locomotive. Climb aboard for a regular ride, a memory-making Christmas experience or special events throughout the year, when visitors have treated wine tastings and jazz music – all aboard a historic train.
There’s always something new happening in Grapevine! Don’t miss your chance to see Main Street LIVE, formerly known as The Grapevine Opry Show, at the Historic Palace Theatre. Make a splash at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center’s all-new Pirate’s Beach, a water playground featuring 30 interactive water gadgets. Soar to new heights on the all-new Howlers Peak Ropes Course at Great Wolf Lodge. And swing into fun at the new nighttime driving range at Grapevine Golf Course.
3 Attractions for Kids
Both located inside Grapevine Mills mall, SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium and LEGOLAND® Discovery Center provide some of the finest entertainment a visit or can offer a child’ all within steps of one another. Dedicated to the classic toy building bricks, LEGOLAND features more than two million LEGO® bricks, rides, brick building (you can even make your own!), a cinema and a playground. The 45,000-square-foot SEA LIFE boasts more than 30 displays housing more than 5,000 sea creatures, plus an underwater tunnel, a play area, a movie viewing cinema and a center where kids can pet a starfish.
An Unexpected Attraction
If you enjoy seeing the unexpected when you travel, this attraction is for you. While not the norm in Texas, a glockenspiel is one of the many unique attractions that make Grapevine special. Located in the heart of downtown at the home of the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau’s headquarters, the animatronic Would-Be Train Robbers, Nat Barrett and Willy Majors, emerge from the Grapevine Glockenspiel Clock Tower several times each day. The mechanical attraction tells the tale of Western lore and the robbers attempt of the perfect heist, all while teaching that crime does not pay.
Grapevine’s Urban Wine Trail
Grapevine’s Urban Wine Trail continues to expand with three new wineries coming to the city in 2014 including Messina Hof Winery, Sloan & Williams and Umbra Winery. These new wineries join Cross Timbers Winery, Delaney Vineyards, D’Vine Wine of Texas, Homestead Winery and Tasting Room and Su Vino Winery, creating a unique wine experience for visitors year-round. In addition to GrapeFest®, fans of the fruit of the vine will enjoy the Hallo-Wine Trail in October; Christmas Wine Trains in December; the Sweetheart Wine Trail in February; the Jazz Wine Trains in March; and the Blessing of the Vines & New Vintage Wine and Gallery Trail in April. Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in the country and Grapevine is the headquarters of the Texas Wine Industry.
Explore Historic Downtown Grapevine
Historic Downtown Grapevine is truly the heart of the city, with more than 80 locally-owned shops, wineries and restaurants. Park your car and stroll from one end to the other, taking in the charm of this award-winning Historic District, which boasts more than 80 boutiques and galleries, as well as locally-owned restaurants. Two of the biggest events are GrapeFest®, the largest wine festival in the Southwest which is held annually in September, and Main Street Days, which features unique craft brew experiences and takes place in May. Both festivals feature food, family-friendly fun, five stages of live entertainment, a carnival and midway, pre-festival events and much more.
Christmas Capital of Texas®
From mid-November through early January, Grapevine is transformed into the Christmas Capital of Texas®. Grapevine hosts 40 days with 1,400 events, from rides onboard the North Pole Express® to the Christmas Wine Trains to Christmas on Main. Gaylord Texan Resort brings a winter wonderland indoors with its annual “ICE!” exhibit, which features a maze of two million pounds of themed ice sculptures throughout a 14,000-square-foot exhibit hall or check out the more than 2 million lights and stunning decorations of the resort’s Lone Star Christmas. At the Great Wolf Lodge, don’t miss nightly bedtime stories, the Polar Bear Race at the resort’s indoor water park, walk through a life-size gingerbread house and visit elves at North Pole University all a part of the resort’s “Snowland.” Other events include the Parade of Lights, a 30-year tradition with more than 100 illuminated floats traversing Main Street; Main Street LIVE’s “Christmas Spectacular” at the Historic Palace Theatre and Victorian Christmas at Nash Farm.
Shop & Dine
Two favorites when traveling: eating and shopping. Grapevine has both covered. Start on the quaint streets of Main Street in Historic Downtown Grapevine. Lined with locally-owned boutiques (British Emporium, One Posh Place, The Magic Pen and Good Things for All Seasons) and restaurants (Wilhoite’s and Tolbert’s), this is the place to experience the true personality of Grapevine. Shop more than 180 stores in a 1.6 million-square-foot space at Grapevine Mills. Expect cost savings at names like J. Crew Factory, Coach Factory Outlet and Neiman Marcus Last Call, as well as Rainforest Cafe where you’ll be treated to animated animals and fish tanks while you dine. Check out Grapevine Towne Center for traditional shopping favorites such as Target and Cost Plus World Market. There’s also Grapevine Antique Mall for vintage collectors and Bass Pro Shops for anyone who appreciates camping, fishing or any outdoor adventure. And foodies will want to put Esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano and Mi Dia from Scratch on the must-visit list for authentic Tex-Mex.
The Great Outdoors
Grapevine offers many outdoor activities. The city boasts more than 22 miles of paved and natural trails for hikers and bikers. Eleven of those miles overlook Lake Grapevine, one of the major highlights of the city. This 8,000-acre recreational lake offers boating, water-skiing, wind surfing and two marinas (Scott’s Landing Marina and Silver Lake Marina). During the summer, take part in Grapevine’s annual SummerBlast, featuring fireworks over the lake every Friday at 9:30 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Find more outdoor gems at Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park, an attraction featuring gorgeous blooms along an outdoor trail. In October, enjoy Butterfly Flutterby, featuring Monarch butterfly releases and a costume parade.
Art for All
Through out the city you’ll find artistic offerings, including everything from fine art working studios to create-your-own art attractions. Take part in the free walking tour of public art, featuring 25 life-size sculptures throughout the city. Some of the best known art galleries in town include Giddens Gallery of Fine Art, Great American West Gallery, Holder Dane Gallery & Art Studios and A Touch of Paris Art Gallery. To create your own art, visit Vetro Glassblowing Studio and Gallery, where you can blow glass; Painting with a Twist, a BYOB painting studio; Grapevine Blacksmith Shop, a welding studio; and Grapevine Fine Arts Program and Foundry, where you can take art classes.