Great Things to do in Grapevine, USA
Have a few days to spare or even several hours while waiting for a flight from Dallas – jump on a train to nearby Grapevine, a dynamic city in North Texas that has plenty to do and loads of character.
Centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, it’s a dynamic mix of small-town charm and urban style.
Grapevine is the oldest settlement in Tarrant County, dating back to 1844 when Texas was a republic before statehood in 1845.
The wild mustang grapes that were abundant on the prairie gave the area its name, Grapevine.
Once the stomping ground of robbers, Bonnie and Clyde, legend has it their gang robbed the Grapevine Bank – they didn’t participate as they had many friends in the area who had money deposited there.
Today, it is the site of Bermuda Gold & Silver, a family-owned custom-design jewellery store on Main Street.
Grapevine is also known as the Christmas Capital of Texas with 1400 events in 40 days and loads of Christmas spirit.
Best Bird’s Eye View
For lofty 360-degree panoramic views of the city and beyond, take Observation Tower Tour at Grapevine Main Station, the city’s newest striking landmark.
Reminiscent of grand rail stations, the new Grapevine Main Station is a $114-million-dollar public/private sector transit-oriented development project.
Located at the intersection of Main Street and Dallas Road in Historic downtown Grapevine, the spacious rail station features Harvest Hall, a European-style food hall with seven globally- inspired kitchens; Third Rail, an indoor/outdoor entertainment and event venue, expansive outdoor plaza and the 45-metre Observation Tower.
It’s all connected to Hotel Vin, a six-story, 120-room Marriott Autograph Collection property. grapevinetexasusa.com/grapevine-main-station
Peace Circle Monument
Part of the city’s eclectic arts trail, the Peace Circle Monument took four years to complete and features 11 larger than life bronze statues commemorating an extraordinary moment in Texas history. It pays tribute to Sam Houston’s historic meeting with ten American chiefs representing the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni Biloxi and Cherokee nations. In 1843 the leaders met on a Grapevine prairie to collaborate for a better future.
The Peace Circle meeting later led to the signing of the Treaty at Bird’s Fort on September 29, 1843.
Main Street Walking Tour
Wander down the cutest main street ever, stopping at boutique shops, art galleries, cosy eateries and wine tasting rooms. It’s an easy place to explore on foot.
It’s home to the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, the Palace Arts Centre, the Grapevine Glockenspiel Clock Tower, one-of-a-kind shops and live entertainment venues.
When you want a break, there’s a pretty park where you can sit in the shade and watch Grapevine life go by.
You can catch a movie at the Palace Arts Centre, known for its restored 1940s art deco architecture.
Relive those days on the prairie by taking a look at Torian Cabin that was built in 1845 and occupied by the Torian family from 1886 until the 1940s. It’s been relocated and rebuilt log by log in the main street to preserve a snapshot of life in those early days. You can also experience late 19th-century farm life at historic Nash Farm.
Enjoy a Festival
Grapevine is the home of many festivals – from the annual family-friendly Main Street Fest and Craft Beer Experience which started in 1985 to the much-loved Grape Fest – A Texas Wine Experience as well as other year-round festivals and events.
The Grape Fest started in 1987 and is now the largest wine festival in the southwest. It’s a four-day celebration with Texas wines – the state has more than 400 wineries plus blushes, bruts and blends from throughout the world. There’s everything from a grape stomp to a champagne cork shoot off.
The night watchmen patrolled Grapevine for nearly 50 years before the city founded its police department in 1956.
While they are now long gone, the Grapevine Nightwatchman still watches over the city.
The bronze sculpture, made by artist Jack Bryant, honours the men who served the city for nearly half a century.
Next to the Grapevine Depot, you’ll see a two-piece sculpture that pays homage to the military. Created by Michael Pavlovsky, the first piece of the sculpture depicts a soldier returning home from service and being greeted with a warm embrace.
Chocolate that’s Good for You
Never heard of chocolate that’s good for you – step into the beautiful Dr Sue’s Chocolate on Main Street. Wholesome ingredients are at the heart of Dr. Sue’s Chocolate. All natural fruits and local honey are used to enrich these confections. The figs, blueberries and cherries are chosen for both their rich flavour and nutritional integrity.
Dark chocolate is rich in cacao flavanols, which recent studies suggest may improve wellness. The luscious dark chocolate is paired with other “superfoods”, like blueberries and ginger, to create delicious chocolates you can feel good about eating.
There are more than 200 restaurants and award-winning winery tasting rooms in Grapevine, so the hardest decision is where to dine.
We started our day at the Old West Café, 600 West Northwest Hwy.
What a spread – no wonder they say things are bigger in Texas.
From Eggs Benedict to cinnamon-swirl pancakes, and special banana-nut pancakes served with homemade peanut-butter syrup, you will be tempted.
Chez Fabien at 316 S. Main Street
Check out the award-winning pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches, and try the almond croissant. The menu is inspired by cuisine from the many unique regions in France.
Executive Chef Fabien explored different regions in France for inspiration for the current menu. He wanted everyone to enjoy French cuisine his way: simple and delicious amongst friends and family.
For a touch of Italy – Farina’s Winery & Café boasts a menu is inspired by the fresh tastes of Italy. It has a following for their famous pizza, lasagne, fresh salads, spaghetti and meatballs, sandwiches and desserts.
Buzzed Bull Creamery 419 S. Main St
Get creative here with more than 30 flavours –liquid nitrogen is used to create fresh ice cream and great tastes.
They hand-craft each ice cream and milkshake.
For adults, there’s alcohol-infused ice cream and milkshakes and it’s delicious.
Step into the Vetro Glass Blowing Studio and Gallery for a class with the experts. I made a blue and white stemless wine glass which is being sent and will forever hold fond memories of Grapevine.
It’s all about hands-on experience and expert guidance. At this nationally recognised studio you can also make paperweights – it’s a fun activity that inspires me to discover more about the ancient art of glass blowing. The experts make it look easy and are extremely patient.
The gallery is full of mind-blowing glass creations and the good news is they will pack and send to your home.
In case you are wondering – vetro is Italian for glass.
Ride the historic Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Relive the golden age of the railroad on a Grapevine Vintage Railroad excursion. The railway in the heart of the CBD offers three weekly experiences on the authentic 1920s Victorian coaches. History and hospitality combine for a fun day out. Climb aboard and you’ll immediately be swept back in time inside authentic 1920s coaches – they have added air conditioning.
For more than 30 years, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad has delighted visitors looking for an authentic rail experience. The Tahwahkarro Creek Train excursion is perfect if you have limited time. Another popular trip is to the Historic Cotton Belt Route that heads to the Historic Stockyards Station in Fort Worth.
Chicken N Pickle, Pickleball
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the US.
Learn the new skill of pickleball and enjoy some finger-licking chicken and a great cocktail. It’s taken off in Grapevine and it’s a fun family activity. Brush up on your ball skills and check out the rules before you hit the court.
Wine tasting, Messina Hof
Messina Hof is located in the replica of the Wallis Hotel in historic Downtown Grapevine, it’s like stepping back in time but the wines are fabulous.
Messina Hof Winery, one of the most highly regarded and awarded Texas wineries, is a family-owned business that has been crafting Texas wines for more than 40 years.
Featuring more than 50 wines from 28 different varietals, favourites include Private Reserve Papa Paulo Port, Private Reserve Cabernet Franc and Blanc Du Bois. Be sure to check out their Wine on Tap and all the unique wine accessories they offer. Head up to the balcony for great views over Main Street and relive some of the early days of Grapevine.
Hilton DFW Lakes is next to Grapevine Lake, near Grapevine Mills Mall, Legoland and Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium. Historic downtown Grapevine is a short drive. The free shuttle service will take you to DFW International Airport in 10 minutes. There’s a tennis court, jogging trails , an outdoor pool and all-day dining.
The free shuttle service stops at Grapevine Main Station and other town attractions.
The Low Down
The Grapevine Visitor Information Centre offers daily tours of Grapevine Main Station, the Observation Tower, Harvest Hall Hotel Vin, Peace Plaza, Peace Circle Monument and a ride to the Observation Tower. It’s 20-25 minutes and $3 per person.