Full of historic charm and activities for all age groups, Grapevine, Texas delivers family-friendly activities along with plenty of wine, shopping, galleries, museums, theaters, a Public Art Trail, and more. Centrally located about 30 minutes from both Fort Worth and Dallas by car, it’s also a short train hop from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, making it a great stop for a weekend trip or the centerpiece of an entire vacation.

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© Jacob Rhoades / Lonely Planet

Kids will love Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center,  and Peppa Pig World of Play, while adults will enjoy strolling down Main Street and letting adventure unfold. Learn about Texas wines and sip your way through seven award-winning winery tasting rooms, then explore the area’s history at Millican Blacksmith Shop or the Grapevine Historical Museum. Don’t miss a ride on the historic Grapevine Vintage Railroad, which runs to and from the Fort Worth Stockyards, for a fun day of sightseeing.

However you craft your itinerary, Grapevine is a must-see in North Texas.

Texas Tidbit: Grapevine is the Christmas Capital of Texas, so be sure to plan a visit during December for festive wine tastings, Christmas light shows, theater performances, train rides, Christmas markets, and more.

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Many of downtown Grapevine's historic structures are built from locally made brick © Courtesy of Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

Main Street

Grapevine’s downtown area, founded in 1844, is full of historic buildings that exude a sense of charm while mingling with modern urban developments. The Cotton Belt Railroad came to Grapevine in 1888, and many of the town’s historic structures are built from locally made brick. Walk through downtown and you’ll see at least 80 percent of the commercial buildings were built in this time of growth for the city.

Anchored by Main Street, downtown today is very walkable and full of restaurants, shops, cafes, galleries, live entertainment venues, antiques, and plenty of places for an afternoon glass of wine or a cocktail. Farmers Market Grapevine is open year round with seasonal produce plus local meats, cheeses, honey, and handmade gifts, while Spice and Tea Exchange has gourmet spices and seasonings, herbs, teas, sea salts, and sugars. For a trip down memory lane, stop by Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop for retro candy, fun gifts and vintage signs. For a unique gift to take back home, check out The Magic Pen for custom stationery and cards for all occasions.

Texas Tidbit: Grapevine plays host to two downtown festivals each year: Main Street Fest in May and GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest, in September.

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Grapevine is known for its award-winning wine tasting rooms and an Urban Wine Trail © Courtesy of Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

Wine Tasting Rooms

Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in the U.S., and Grapevine celebrates this vino accomplishment with award-winning wine tasting rooms and an Urban Wine Trail. In fact, the city is named for the wild mustang grapes that grew on the Grapevine Prairie.

You could plan an entire trip around Grapevine’s wine scene, which includes wine tours and even wine-centric train rides. Main Street is home to fantastic tasting rooms, including Grape Vine Spring Winery, which offers tastings from about 25 wines, plus the Night Watchman Ghost Tour, where guests sip a glass of wine while learning about Grapevine’s paranormal history.

Sloan & Williams Winery sources its selections from Texas and California and offers wine flights and tastings, plus wine ice cream. Bull Lion Winery, a working ranch for more than 25 years, began its wine journey in 2010 and showcases only Texas-grown grapes. Messina Hof Grapevine Winery features more than 50 wines from 28 different varietals. And Bingham Family Vineyards works with more than 200 acres of wine grapes in the Texas High Plains area.

At Landon Winery, owner and winemaker Bob Landon has earned numerous wine awards after learning the family tradition of winemaking in the basement of his home. And Cross Timbers Winery is a must-visit, as it’s set in the historic Dorris/Brock home, one of the oldest structures in town.

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Nineteenth-century farm life is preserved at Nash Farm © Courtesy of Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

A step back in time

For a glimpse into Grapevine’s past, check out Millican Blacksmith Shop, located in the Cotton Belt Railroad District across from the Cotton Belt Train Depot in downtown. The shop specializes in wrought iron sculptures and metal works, and offers workshops, classes, and educational programs.

Nearby, the Grapevine Historical Society operates the Grapevine Historical Museum, where visitors can check out historic artifacts related to 19th-century life on the Grapevine Prairie. The Society also operates the Torian Cabin, where guests can walk through the two cabin rooms and see 1880s period furnishings and decor that change seasonally.

To learn about Grapevine's pioneer past, head to Nash Farm, where 19th century farm life is preserved. See the original 1869 farmhouse and heritage breed livestock including turkeys, chickens, Gulf Coast sheep, and heirloom crops being raised. Self-guided tours are available, and the farm hosts events throughout the year. 

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Hop aboard an authentic 1920s Victorian train coach for a ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad © Courtesy of Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Since 1888, Grapevine has seen its fair share of railroad history, and visitors today can experience some train magic with the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Hop aboard an authentic 1920s Victorian train coach for a ride along the historic Cotton Belt Route. Standard rides are available throughout the year, and special themed train excursions include wine trains, jazz trains, and Christmas trains.

Four restored coaches from 1925 and two from 1927 are in operation for rides. Popular routes include the Cotton Belt Route, where passengers ride from downtown Grapevine through six towns and into the Fort Worth Stockyards. While aboard, help railroad detectives solve the mystery of who robbed the railroad. It’s the perfect way to take a break from modernity, without having to go too far.

Sponsored by Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

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This story was crafted collaboratively between Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau and Lonely Planet. Both parties provided research and curated content to produce this story. We disclose when information isn’t ours.

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