Last weekend we loaded up the car, the kids and guests from out of town and took a road trip to Grapevine, TX. From Houston its about a 3.5 hour drive on I-45 North, depending on the time of day, traffic conditions and number of stops you make along the way. We stopped three times for diaper changes and to get a bite to eat and arrived in Grapevine about 4.5 hours later.
Grapevine, TX is located between Dallas and Ft. Worth and is a small, vintage town that’s BIG on charm and activities. The average temperatures in Grapevine run around 95° during the summer, 50° during the winter, and 65° in the spring and fall. Between its ideal location, just a few miles from the DFW airport, outside of the hustle and bustle of Dallas and the wide variety of attractions and seasonal festivals, this little town offers something for everyone. Grapevine has been dubbed the Christmas capital of Texas for its huge celebration with over 1400 events over 40 days during the Christmas season. I’ve lived in Houston for over five years now and had no idea there was such a large Christmas festival so close to us!
Where should you stay? We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge for two nights, Sunday and Monday and it was perfect for a family trip! But there are lots of other places to stay. We took a quick drive through the Gaylord Texan Resort which was just across the street from Great Wolf. There’s not a whole lot to see from the outside except that it’s huge and sits right on beautiful Lake Grapevine. But apparently it has a 25,000 square foot spa, six retail shops and a 10-acre resort pool and lazy river. Can you say girls weekend? A few other close places to stay are: Hilton DFW Lakes on 40 acres of forest, Hyatt Regency at DFW just two miles from historic Grapevine or the Garden Manor B&B, only a block from Main Street. The Garden Manor B&B is the only B&B in Grapevine and has four romantic guest rooms with private baths. I’ve never stayed at a B&B before but they look so charming and quaint, definitely on my Bucket list.
What is there to see and do? The answer to this question depends on whether you’re visiting as a family, with your spouse/significant other or just a group of friends. There are numerous activities for everyone.
Families can take the kids to play at LEGOLAND Discovery Center where there are more than two million LEGO bricks, see and explore over 5,000 creatures at Grapevine Sea Life Aquarium, go for a ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad to the Stockyards or visit Nash Farm and check out one of their special events. Grapevine Vintage Railroad travels the historic Cotton Belt Route between Grapevine and the Fort Worth Stockyards, 21 mile route. The train is pulled by two locomotives ,”Puffy” (1896), the oldest continuously operating steam engine in the South and a vintage diesel locomotive (1953). The Railroad has several special events including A Day Out With Thomas and North Pole Express with a visit from Santa!
Now for the adults the options are endless: wineries, Grapevine Opry, Nightlife, shopping on Main St. or at the Grapevine Mills Mall. Golfers can tee it up at the Bear Creek Golf Course named one of the “10 Great Places to Play Golf” by the Wall Street Journal or play a round at the Cowboys Golf Club, the world’s first NFL themed course. If you love the water you can take a sailboat tour, rent a party boat, or go fishing in Lake Grapevine. There are several winery tasting rooms throughout Grapevine: Cross Timbers Winery, Delaney Vineyards & Winery, D’Vine Wine of Grapevine, La Bodega Winery the world’s first and only winery in an airport, La Buena Vida Vineyard and more.
Where should you eat? During our short visit to Grapevine we ate at a couple of major chains and a few local spots. We had some amazing pizza delivered to our hotel from Palio’s Pizza. (I love pizza, but everyone said how good this pizza was) And we enjoyed a nice breakfast at Old West Cafe, the pancakes are as my husband said the size of hubcaps. We wanted to try some BBQ from Bartley’s BBQ as it came highly recommended but they’re not open on Sunday or Monday. Tolbert’s is famous for their chili, Esparza’s for their margaritas and Dino’s Steak and Clawhouse for steak, seafood and fine dining.
Special Events/Festivals The Grapevine Wine Trail has events several times a year that include entertainment, food tastings, and giveaways. But if you’re not visiting during one of their events you can always take a Grapevine Wine Tour, with daily lunch and dinner tours offered. Grapefest, an annual event in September, is the largest wine festival in the Southwest and offers fun for the whole family. Other events include: Main Street Days, ChocolateFest, Summer Blast, Jazz Wine Trains, Christmas Capital of Texas and more!
Unfortunately, on our trip we didn’t have much time to explore but as we drove through downtown Main St. I was thinking this is a great detination for a girls weekend or a romantic getaway without the kids! And I can’t wait to go back and do some shopping, check out a winery and relax.