5 Unexpectedly Cool Things to Do in Grapevine, Texas

5 Unexpectedly Cool Things to Do in Grapevine, Texas

WWhen I told my Dallas friends that I had just returned from a five-day trip to Grapevine, Texas, I was met with some incredulous variations of “What’s there to do in Grapevine?” I understood what they meant because I would have responded the same way until recently.

The last time the small town had been at the forefront of my mind was when I was growing up in Dallas. As the home of the Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine played host to all the most epic, summer-filled birthday parties. But once I aged out of birthday parties at the water park, the city fell off my radar completely.

After my last trip, I now know I’m lost. Kid magnets like Great Wolf Lodge, Legoland, or Gaylord Texan’s microcosm of Disneyland are just the beginning. The small town also boasts a quaint, walkable Main Street, a notable wine scene, and plenty of unique, under-the-radar activities.

These, my dear disgruntled Dallas and Fort Worth friends, are just a few of the unexpectedly cool things to do in Grapevine.

Toast to the Urban Wine Trail, right in the heart of Grapevine. (courtesy of Visit Grapevine)

A Texas Wine Tour on Main Street

Walking down Grapevine’s historic Main Street, you’ll find old-fashioned storefronts housing a host of independent shops—cute boutiques, a specialty olive oil shop, and a dive bar with dollar bills hanging from every inch of the ceiling. You’ll also find six tasting rooms and small wineries on Main Street (and even more just a short distance away), making for the perfect Texas wine tour you can walk.

Start with Landon Winery – after diligent testing, it’s safe to say their red blend “The Texan” is my personal, local favorite – and hit all the tasting rooms in between before ending at Messina Hof with a flute of their signature Sparkling Almond.

Karaoke Band Live on the Third Rail

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a rock star, this is for you. Harvest Hall’s Third Rail hosts an epic version of karaoke every Thursday where performers are invited on stage to sing their favorite songs accompanied by a full band. I’m not sure how the band seemed to know every song in the world or how so many of the brave singers had such incredible voices. What I do know is that this karaoke scene was a very fun atmosphere, whether you plan to step into the spotlight or sit back and enjoy the show with a cocktail in hand.

Vin – dramatic lobby space
The dramatic lobby space of Hotel Vin.

Wine tasting at Hotel Vin

Refined, wine-focused hotel, Hotel Vin hosts a monthly tasting in partnership with Riedel Glass to demonstrate the importance of using the right glass for the respective wine. As someone who previously suspected that the various shapes of wine glasses were primarily for decorative purposes, this experience blew my mind. The experience of tasting the same wine between different vessels was like night and day. Good wine, beautiful surroundings and fascinating knowledge. This is a tasting that was not only enjoyable, but greatly informed my knowledge of wine.

Take the Vintage North Pole Express Railway at Christmas

There’s something so nostalgic yet exciting about train travel – especially when it’s on vintage 1920s carriages like the historic Grapevine Railroad. When you take the train to the Fort Worth Stockyards for the daily cattle drive or a rodeo, the journey is as memorable as the destination.

For a little more magic, the railroad transforms into the magical North Pole Express during the holidays where passengers are encouraged to wear festive pajamas and enjoy chocolate chip cookies and Chocolate Frosty Milk served by Mrs. Claus herself. It’s an experience made for kids, true, but the experience is sure to warm the heart of even the most shy Christmas Scrooge.

Glass Blowing Vetro in Grapevine, Texas | politeness

Take a glassblowing class

Grapevine has several art studios that are fun to wander along Main Street, but when you enter the Vetro Glassblowing Studio and Gallery, chances are you’ll see more than just their colorful artwork on display. In the back room there is seating for visitors to watch the artists at work, heating and shaping the glass. You can even sign up for a glassblowing class to learn the art form yourself and create your own unique masterpiece to take home.

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