by Wendy Jackson Slaton
photos courtesy of Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau
Looking for a family road trip this summer? Travel north to Grapevine,Texas! Known for its restored 19th- and 20th-century buildings, where many any of these are on downtown’s Main Street, which is lined with restaurants, galleries and shops. The Cotton Belt Railroad District is home to artisans’ workshops, including a glass-blowing studio, a blacksmith and a bronze foundry. The 1888 Cotton Belt Railroad Depot is the starting point of the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.
Today, Grapevine is a thriving community with many attractions including The Palace Theatre, in the art deco–style Palace Arts Center, where country music shows and classic movies can be enjoyed. The Urban Wine Trail features wine-tasting rooms throughout the city. With trails winding around its shores, expansive Grapevine Lake attracts hikers and water sports enthusiasts. Just outside of town, there is Legoland Discovery Center, with a water park and cinema, and the Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium, with stingrays, sharks and sea turtles. Here are some of our favorite places not to miss. grapevinetexasusa.com
What to do
Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Located in the heart of Historic Downtown-GVR offers a unique experience on authentic 1920s Victorian coaches. You’ll find a train ride celebrating every holiday and season. Check out the Steam Team Tour pulled by the star of Nick Jr.’s Thomas & Friends. See the life-size Thomas the Tank Engine roll into Cotton Belt Depot, climb on board for a 25-minute train ride and blow off more steam during all-day playtime with a huge model train layout, a sandbox dig and puppet and magic shows in the Imagination Station.
Urban Wine Trail
The ever-expanding Urban Wine Trail is a collection of ten winery tasting rooms located within close proximity of one another, many in Historic Downtown Grapevine. Known as the headquarters of the Texas wine industry, Grapevine is favorite destination to experience the best of Texas wine trails and Texas wine culture.
33rd Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience
September 12, 13, 14 & 15
This iconic event is not to be missed! Sample premium Texas wines and champagne while enjoying live entertainment, delicious food and so much more! With complimentary air-conditioned shuttles to the festival, GrapeFest® is a sure bet for a fun weekend experience for your whole family!
This is a must-see! Learn about Grapevine and the city’s heritage at this historic landmark. Purchased by Thomas Jefferson Nash in 1859, Nash Farm brings history to life through exhibits, interpretive programs and touchable displays. The farm grounds are open for self-guided tours during regular business hours, and admission is free. The historic structures and exhibits are open during special events or during a scheduled tour and participation fees may apply.
Events and Activities throughout the year include First Fridays at the Farm, Farmhouse on the Grape Vine Prairie, Frugal Farm Wife, Spring into Nash, Fall Round-Up, Dairy Day, Victorian Christmas and many more. Attend one of our events or programs and spend your time touring the buildings, experiencing farm life, learning about farming and doing hands-on activities.
Group tours are available of the 5.2-acre farm, which centers on the Farmhouse Thomas built in 1869, the Historic Barn and a historic cemetery. Pack a picnic and take advantage of the Pole Barn Pavilion following your tour.
Lake Grapevine is located in the heart of Dallas/Fort Worth on the northern border of the City of Grapevine. The roughly 8,000 acre lake is home to some of the most enjoyable outdoor activities including fishing, recreational boating, camping, hiking and much more. Before you head out on the lake, make a stop at Scott’s Landing Marina, where you’ll find Big Daddy’s Ship’s Store and Galley. This tiny restaurant-snack shack offers dine-in or alfresco seating on the floating patio with a great view of the marina and Lake Grapevine. Enjoy live music from the patio most weekends in the summer months.
For the Kids
Legoland Discovery Center
Is your child crazy for Legos? Then, this is the place for you! There are 12 great family attractions in LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Dallas / Fort Worth. The LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a world of color, creativity and fun for children aged 3 to 10. They offer a wealth of attractions, two rides, 4D cinema and more. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon! ** Tip – plan on being there a while! This is not a quick in & out
Old West Cafe
Saddle up for some of the best cooking around! Home of the Big Signature Pancakes and French Toast, the breakfast menu offers everything from Eggs Benedict, to Cinnamon-Swirl Pancakes, and special banana-nut pancakes served with peanut-butter syrup, to quesadillas n’ skillet bowls, and so much more! The lunch menu is just as impressive! oldwestcafe.us
Built in 1914, the building first served as a dry goods store and was used for a time as a theater. In 1919, it was transformed into the first automotive garage in Grapevine. Where diners eat now may have been the wash rack, oil storage area, or beside the indoor kerosene pump. Offering more than just a Texas-sized buffet and wonderful menu, you’ll leave with a bit of history of Grapevine’s finest.
Meat U Anywhere BBQ & Catering
Home of the best Jalapeño Mac n Cheese, Meet U Anywhere is known for their famous slow-smoked meats with seasoned oak & hickory wood, awesome sides, and the ultimate breakfast tacos. You’re guaranteed to leave full of great-tasting food, and a little inspiration from owner Andy Sedino’s journey, whose passion and faith built this Grapevine favorite. meatuanywhere.com
WHERE TO STAY:
Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
Overlooking beautiful Lake Grapevine, the magnificent Gaylord Texan Resort pays tribute to everything Texas on a grand scale. Gaylord Texan resort features the 10-acre Paradise Springs water park, Glass Cactus nightclub, magnificent accommodations and amenities. You will never find yourself looking for something to do with all the surrounding restaurants, shopping and unique entertainment.
Great Wolf Lodge
Stay and play at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine! The resort offers recently renovated suites, indoor water park fun, and dry-land adventures for the entire familyThey feature kid-friendly activities, cabanas, a range of dining options, an adult-friendly wine down service, and more all under one roof. Your stay includes access to the 80,000-sq. ft. water park, kept comfy at 84-degrees year-round.
The Vineyards Campgrounds
Well-known for its peaceful setting, lovely grounds, lakefront views and accommodating staff. The Vineyards Campground & Cabins offers something for everyone. Your family will enjoy any number of fine amenities, including many spacious Pull-thrus and cozy, fully-furnished Cabins. Once you get checked-in, take the kids to the playground or grab your swimsuit and head down to the private sandy beach to enjoy Grapevine Lake.