10 fun things to do downtown on Main Street in Grapevine, Texas
plus an extraordinary place to stay nearby
If you have a 4-plus-hour stopover at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, consider shuttling in to stroll Main Street in Grapevine’s Historic Downtown. Or extend your stay for 24 hours and spend the night at an extraordinary mega resort. All of these places except the resort are within easy walking distance of each other.
|Main Street in Grapevine, Texas|
1. eat a deep-fried stuffed avocado. Well known and long-loved Esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano occupies a renovated late 1800s house and is famous for its margaritas and Tex Mex dishes.
|stuffed avocado at Esparza's Restaurante Mexicano in Grapevine, Texas|
2. have a down-home experience at an old-time farm. A visit to Nash Farm takes you back to 1859. You’ll see heritage breed farm animals and docents dressed in era clothing. More.
|picking peaches at Nash Farm in Grapevine, Texas|
3. visit a complex of historical museums. The Settlement to City Museums operate within old town buildings here that include a replica ice house, a house museum, a schoolhouse, and a cotton ginner’s museum. Each holds specific collections.
|Settlement to City Museums in Grapevine, Texas|
4. witness an Old West shoot-out between Glockenspiel characters in a clock tower. The 127-foot-high Clock Tower atop the Grapevine Visitors Information Center is home to two 9-foot tall characters--would-be train robbers Nat Barrett and Willy Majors. They emerge for a 5-minute scheduled show most days, but unfortunately, when I visited, they were no-shows.
|exterior of Grapevine Visitors Information Center in Grapevine, Texas|
5. taste quality dark chocolate in a shop operated by an M.D. Operating within a cool little shop, Dr. Sue dispenses “chocolate you’ll feel good about eating.” Dr. Sue’s Chocolates aims to promote a healthier lifestyle and uses no artificial ingredients or “GMO anything.” Everything is also gluten free. I adore the cherry-pecan chocolates.
|cherry-pecan chocolates at Dr. Sue's Chocolates in Grapevine, Texas|
6. take a ride on a vintage railroad. Climb aboard the Grapevine Vintage Railroad for a ride in old-time 1920s rail cars along the historic Cotton Belt Route to the Fort Worth Stockyards. The engine is sometimes Puffy, an 1896 steam locomotive, and sometimes Vinny, a 1953 GP-7 diesel locomotive.
|Grapevine Vintage Railroad ticket office in Grapevine, Texas|
7. view a gigantic miniature railroad layout. Back at the stellar Grapevine Visitors Information Center you can enjoy a massive 1,000-square-foot interactive model train layout and a kid’s train yard-themed play area.
|lobby of Grapevine Visitors Information Center in Grapevine, Texas|
8. go wine tasting. Though it is a surprise to many people to discover there are no vineyards in Grapevine, there are seven winery tasting rooms located along Main Street. My favorite was Messina Hof Winery Grapevine, which is located in the replica 1920s Wallis Hotel. I especially liked the GSM (Grenache/Syrah/Mavedre) and the Italian Sagrantino--both are dry, delish, and drinkable.
|wine tasting at Messina Hof Winery Grapevine in Grapevine, Texas|
9. make your own blown-glass ornament. The state-of-the-art facility that is the Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery is the perfect place to try glass-blowing or to just see how it’s done.
|working on ornament at Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery in Grapevine, Texas|
10. get in the Christmas spirit. Visit the official Christmas Capitol of Texas in December. That’s when more than 1,400 events are scheduled over 40+ days.
And while you’re here, spend the night in the mega Gaylord Texan Resort. With 1,814 rooms spread though 9 floors, this extravaganza has 4.5 acres of lush indoor gardens and a seasonal water park with indoor and outdoor pools. Christmas here is a sight to behold--you’ll see more than 2 million twinkling lights, 15,000 ornaments, and a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree--even snow tubing and a carved ICE! exhibit held inside a 9-degree ice tent!
|atrium at Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas|
Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.
images and video ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers