On recent trips to the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, we’ve made it a point to visit an off-the-beaten-path gem that we have deemed worthy of extra time and exploration. Texas has always been one of our family’s favorite states, so much in fact, that we own a home there. There are a multitude of reasons to love the great state of Texas, including some of the kindest people on the planet, fabulous hospitality, great food, majestic sunsets and sweeping views. This picturesque destination is remarkable for those reasons and much more.
First off, Grapevine is a convenient diversion from DFW Airport, particularly if you have a long layover and want to spend a few hours enjoying its many facets. There are convenient Grapevine shuttles from the airport that will take you on tours of Grapevine and to major attractions in the area.
Once you arrive in Grapevine, you will fall in love with this arts and culture rich community. And it hosts many venues of family fun to boot.
Grapevine is famous as the Christmas Capital of Texas with its rich heritage and Main Street is so quaint that it is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Grapevine is also home to the Texas Wine Industry with plenty of opportunities to do some tasting and has quite the reputation as an agricultural hub.
We love visiting the Vetro Glassblowing Studio where kids, under the direction of local artisans, get to actually make their own gorgeous glass blown Christmas ornaments. This amazing marriage of fire and glass is educational, hands-on, and creatively captivating. We treasure our creations made there.
Another highlight is a visit to the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium. This spectacular two-story attraction appeals to all ages who love the tropical ocean tank with walk through underwater tunnel. Both oceanic and Native Texan creatures are exhibited and it’s a top notch, quality aquarium through and through.
Grapevine’s 127 foot clock tower, affectionately called the Grapevine Glockenspiel, offers an amusing and twice daily historical heist to entertain all ages on Main Street. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn local lore and that crime doesn’t pay.
Next to the Glockenspiel is the Grapevine Vintage Railroad that runs most weekends on a 22 mile route to the Fort Worth Stockyards. If time allows, plan on taking this interesting excursion or take in a special themed ride like the Jazz Wine Train or North Pole Express.
If you can plan your visit to include an overnight stay, Grapevine has options that run the gamut from Indoor Water Park accommodations like the Great Wolf Lodge, to high-end luxury accommodations such as the Gaylord Texan. We love both! The Gaylord Texan is a spectacular Resort and Convention Center so grand and magnificent that it is nearly impossible to capture its grandeur in a words.
An atrium style hotel of immense proportions, this exquisite property houses numerous restaurants, gift shops, and activity venues for every age and interest.
A spa and salon are also on property and throughout the year, the Texas Gaylord hosts world renown events like ICE where two millions pounds of ice create an interactive world of ice sculpture that reminded me of my stay at the Ice Hotel in Quebec.
The Great Wolf Lodge with its 84 degree warm massive indoor water park, arcade, Holly Wood XD motion movie theater, restaurants, Kid Spa, activities, Cub Club, Creation Station and more, is the perfect, one-stop, family-friendly destination. Rooms and suites are beautiful and at the same time, elegantly rustic to enthrall guests, yet they all offer amenities, conveniences, and comfort.
On your next long layover, or trip to the Dallas area, plan a few hours at the very least, and preferably a few days, in Grapevine, Texas for a fabulous getaway. It’s especially magical during the Christmas season!