Rich in history and culture, Grapevine is a top destination for tourists and local day trippers that would like to experience a small-town atmosphere. Though you won’t find many vineyards in Grapevine, when the city was founded in the 1840s, wild mustang grapes were abundant in the area, but the wine made from them was sour. Nevertheless, those wild vines lent the town its name.
Grapevine is located only 30 minutes west of Dallas and 10 minutes from Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Let me show you how to spend a perfect day in historic Grapevine.
Things To Do In Grapevine
Just a few blocks from Main Street, Nash Farm is one of the best historic sites in North Texas. The original homestead, built in 1869, has been perfectly restored right down to the color of its paint — a shade of green that is so vibrant, I was amazed at the ability to create such a vibrant color in the 19th century.
Set on 5 acres, in addition to the house, the farm includes a family cemetery and barns. The farm maintains heritage animals like chickens, turkeys, and sheep, and everyone who works at the farm dresses in period clothing. There are daily activities and monthly events which you’ll find on the website. The day we visited, the theme was knot making, and there were docents demonstrating how to create knots for various tasks. A visit to Nash Farm is a wonderful opportunity to learn about how life was lived on the prairie. This is definitely the place to bring the kids and grandkids. I had a great time trying to relearn a simple finger weaving technique from my school days.
Pro Tip: Nash Farm has an annual harvest supper with everything served raised on the farm.
Vetro Glass Blowing Studio And Gallery
You don’t have to go all the way to Murano, Italy, to learn about the fine art of glass blowing. Vetro Glass Blowing Studio and Fine Art Gallery organizes workshops, allowing visitors a hands-on glass blowing lesson. Every lesson has a theme, and several designs you can choose from to create your very own work of art to take home. The designs change monthly, so one month visitors may learn to make stemless glasses, while the next month the design will be different. You can also shop the gallery for original art and gifts. Be sure to book it in advance.
Vetro Studio is located next to the train depot.
In 1843, Sam Houston, president of the Republic of Texas, met with and addressed 10 American Indian chiefs somewhere in the vicinity of what is now Grapevine. The exact location is not known — what is known is that there was fresh flowing water nearby and wild grapes growing abundantly.
The purpose of the meeting was to encourage the tribes to sign a peace treaty that would safely open the area to new settlers. Houston was also hoping the Comanche chiefs would show up and sign the treaty — they did not.
Peace Circle is 11 larger-than-life bronze figures, created by Grapevine sculptor Linda Lewis, and forged at the Grapevine Foundry. It is located on the corner of Dallas Road and Main Street just in front of Harvest Hall. There are signs explaining who each statue represents and some of the details of the tribe like their wardrobe, hair, and other accessories.
An annual event, Grapefest brings thousands of tourists each year to Grapevine. The wine business noticed, and today there are nine tasting rooms on Main Street. Be sure to try these established winemakers’ wine for a taste of Texas.
Bingham Family Wines is a well-known Texas winemaker, though they were first known for the high-quality grapes they grow and sell to other Texas wine producers. Another respected Texas winery is Messina Hof. They grow all of their own fruit at the original winery in Bryan, Texas. Bull Lion Ranch, Cross Timbers, and a few others have all opened tasting rooms in Grapevine, making it a premier wine tasting destination in North Texas.
If beer is more your style, Hop and Sting Brewery is the top brewery in the Metroplex. Hop and Sting is conveniently located across from the Hotel Vin.
Grapevine Vintage Train And Cotton Belt Depot
The Grapevine Vintage train is a fun way to explore the area and the kids will love it, too. The 1920s and 1930s cars are restored and serviced by a steam locomotive from 1896. The train runs from Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards daily. You’ll have 2 hours to walk around the stockyards before you reboard the train for Grapevine.
What better way to get to know a place than the local farmers market. This is an indoor market with everything from fresh eggs, meats, locally-made cheese, produce, and cashew milk ice cream. Yum! The market is open every day and also sells gift items like beeswax candles, candies, and local honey.
Magnum is Grapevine’s first speakeasy. Unique and highly sought-after spirits and liqueurs are shaken and stirred into some very quaffable creations. Once a bottle is emptied, that’s it. Reservations are highly recommended as there is only seating for 18 people.
Best Restaurants In Grapevine
Bacchus bears the name of the Roman god of wine and viticulture, though he was originally a Greek god. Located at the Hotel Vin, Bacchus is currently Grapevine’s most upscale dining experience but the atmosphere is relaxed, not stuffy.
The menu is modern American with an Italian accent. We tried the baked sea bass with perfectly creamy risotto and the seafood ravioli topped with chunks of lobster. Our sides, roasted Brussel sprouts and whipped mashed potatoes, were delicious and large enough to share. I paired my sea bass with a Loire Valley chablis that worked well with the Brussels sprouts.
Harvest Hall is both a food hall and an entertainment venue. There are currently seven restaurants and a bar with live entertainment. Start at the Main Line Coffee Bar for your morning latte or espresso. For lunch and dinner options, choose from Latin, Italian, Chinese, or southern chicken and biscuits. All of the vendors are local owners and many have successful satellite restaurants around the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Harvest Hall is the gateway to Grapevine. Adjacent to the TEXRail it can be accessed from Main Street or from the Hotel Vin. This is a lovely building designed to look like an 1800s-era train station with replicas of train trestles supporting the ceiling and a gorgeous tile floor.
Brew And Batter
Brew and Batter is the place to go for gluten-free and dairy-free coffee, waffles, and other breakfast specialties. All the drinks are oat milk-based but you will also find oat milk alternatives. There are gluten-free and vegan waffles; the options change monthly. Brew and Batter is just off Main Street in a 1930s bungalow. It feels a bit like Austin in the good old days when it was still weird.
Farina’s Winery And Café
Farina’s serves Italian American favorites in a casual atmosphere on Main Street. Classic entrées include shrimp scampi, baked lasagna, and Italian meatballs. There are burgers, salads, and flatbread pizzas, too with an option for a gluten-free crust. We shared the spaghetti pizza, which I confess, I thought sounded awful, but I was wrong. It was so good that I ate half of it. This is a cute place in a historic building with plenty of indoor seating and a few tables outside, when the weather permits.
Main Street Bistro
Perhaps one of the most well-known places on Main Street, this little French bistro is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. I recommend you go there for the infamous cronut, a deep-fried donut-shaped croissant filled with crème brulée and topped with a salted caramel glaze. Or, opt for the chocolate-filled croissant, which also sells out. Get there early!
Other Restaurants On Main Street
Grapevine is a fun destination for casual food options that you won’t find anywhere else. You could easily spend a couple of days just eating at all the different restaurants!
Tolbert’s Restaurant and Chili Parlor is famous for what they call a Bowl of Red. Frank X. Tolbert started the Terlingua Chili Festival and wrote the famous Bowl of Red cookbook over 50 years ago.
In 1952, Weinberger’s Deli started in Chicago and opened in Grapevine in 2002. They make delicious traditional deli-style sandwiches, as well as some special sandwiches adapted for the local clientele.
Make It An Overnight Stay
The Hotel Vin, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, is a 120-room boutique hotel that opened in 2020. If you’re in Grapevine for the weekend, I highly recommend staying here for convenient access to all that the historic downtown has to offer. The location, in the heart of the historic district, is perfect for a convenient getaway. If you’re driving, you can park the car in the garage for the duration. If you arrive via Dallas-Fort Worth, take the shuttle.