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Thriving Grapevine Becomes its Own DFW Metroplex Destination Stop

August 24, 2023 Texas, Member Spotlight

Grapevine, once a dusty crossroads haunted by the likes of Bonnie and Clyde, has transformed itself in recent decades from an agricultural hub into a thriving business and residential community with popular festivals, attractions, and activities that make it a destination stop for Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex visitors.

“Grapevine earned its reputation as a premier destination in Texas, and developers aren’t about to surrender that vision,” says the Grapevine Economic Development 2022 Year in Review. “Entrepreneurs and corporations continue to choose Grapevine for its ideal location and tight-knit community culture.”

Grapevine’s momentum does not appear to be stopping anytime soon as the city saw the recent completion of a $140-million commuter rail station (complete with its own attached hotel and indoor food hall), and 1 million square feet of new development worth $147 million in new construction including companies relocating to the city such as Kubota Tractor Corp’s North American headquarters, and Paycom Software’s regional office.

Almost Half of DFW Airport Located in Grapevine

Almost half (some 8,000 acres!) of DFW Airport -- the second largest airport in the U.S. and second business airport in the world with 73 million passengers per year -- are located inside Grapevine.

Grapevine had a population of just over 7,000 when DFW opened in 1974, but between 1980 and 1990 the population exploded from 11,800 to 29,200.

Soon the days of being known for its “Cantaloupe Festival” were gone, and the vibrant area with just over 50,000 people now plays host to more than 7 million visitors each year, attending such popular events as the upcoming GrapeFest (September 14-17, 2023), the largest wine festival in the southwest.

“Wine lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and shopaholics will find something to love about the quaint town of Grapevine,” says Tour Texas. “Stroll along Grapevine’s historic Main Street, home to charming shops, unique restaurants, and eight wineries; enjoy nature at Lake Grapevine or one of the town’s golf courses; and visit big-name retailers at Grapevine Mills.”

Beer lovers needed fret, too, as each May Grapevine plays host to the Main Street Fest which features craft brew in the Historic Downtown district.  

Vintage Texas Town Also Popular with Families

While it's natural that Grapevine would be popular with wine lovers – the town’s name after all comes from the wild mustang grapes that still grow wild in the area – it is also a popular destination for families.

In fact, last month Grapevine was named the People’s Choice “Best Destination for Families” in the 2023 Texas Travel Awards. It won the accolade in an online vote against other Texas cities.

“There are so many things to do with your family in Grapevine. Enjoy world-class shopping at Grapevine Mills and portal into a new dimension at the all-new Meow Wolf Grapevine. The Real Unreal is the 4th permanent installation from the cult phenomenon and its guests will enjoy a 29,000-square-foot immersive, interactive psychedelic art wonderland that will expand minds and fuel imaginations,” says Travel Texas. “There’s also LEGOLAND Discovery Center where kids can build to their heart's desire and SEA LIFE GRAPEVINE Aquarium where kids can explore under the sea and even visit with endangered, rescued sea turtles.”

Grapevine also delights families each winter as the “Christmas Capital of Texas” with 40 days of unique and traditional events.

Grapevine Got Its Start Before Texas Joined the U.S.

Grapevine, according to the Texas State Historical Society, got its start in 1844, a year before Texas joined the U.S.

The “Missouri Colony”, a group of families from Platte County, Missouri, settled that year along Denton Creek near present-day Grapevine. The settlement was made possible after Sam Houston and representatives of the Republic of Texas met with members of 10 American Indian nations to sign a treaty of peace and friendship at Grapevine Springs in 1843.

Finalized at Birds Fort and called the Treaty of Birds Fort, the document opened north Texas for settlement in places such as Grapevine.

Soon came the log schoolhouse (1846) and first church (Grapevine First Baptist Church 1854). The area was big enough for its own masonic lodge in 1866 and independent school district in 1869.

Prior to the Civil War, and thanks to Grapevine’s proximity to the Fort Worth Stockyards, cattle drove the local economy. Later Grapevine became a cotton hub with gristmills, cotton gins, and the arrival of the St. Louis, Arkansas, and Texas Railway in 18988.

The town of “Grape Vine” was incorporated in 1907 with the name changed to Grapevine in 1914.

Grapevine had slow, if unspectacular, growth in its first century, with 681 residents in 1910 and 1,043 in 1940.

Change came to Grapevine in 1948 when the United States Army Corps of Engineers began construction on the Grapevine Dam which created Grapevine Lake. Completed in 1952 the lake, with nearly 60 miles of shoreline, has become a popular boating, fishing, hunting, and camping playground with 30 miles of natural surface trails, including nature, biking, and equestrian trails.

Grapevine’s strategic move in the 1960s of annexing land assured almost half of DFW would be in the town’s city limits, and the airport has brought incredible economic growth to the area with it still being Grapevine’s largest employer.

What to Do When Visiting Grapevine

For a town of just 50,000 people, Grapevine has an amazing number of attractions. A long weekend (or week!) in Grapevine could include:

o   NORTH HALL: Looking out over Grapevine’s train station, the North Hall features three kitchens, large panoramic windows, and an inviting patio area.


o   GREAT HALL:  The Great Hall features unique art installations, as well as four kitchens, a main bar, and the Visitor Information desk for the city of Grapevine.


o   SOUTH HALL: An intimate space ideal for a business lunch, work session, or lounging during the day. At night the South Hall transforms into a hip and inviting space for live music, food pairings, private events, and much more.

The restaurant choices here range from A (Arepa TX Latin and Mexican street food) to Z (Zatar Mediterranean Kitchen).

Harvest Hall is connected to Hotel Vin, and both are a part of Grapevine Main, a $114-million-dollar transit-oriented development, which also features a 552-space parking garage and a 38,000-square-foot expansive outdoor plaza that will be large enough to accommodate 3,500 guests, yet intimate enough for small groups.

  • Nash Farm: Experience 19th-century farm life at historic Nash Farm with special events and interpretive programs, as well as educational tours.
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center: Located at Grapevine Mills (180 stores), this $12 million, 35,000-square-foot attraction features more than two million LEGO bricks and has rides, multiple interactive play areas, and a 4D Theater.
  • Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium: Features Texas’ only 360-degree ocean tunnel. The 45,00-square foot aquarium has exotic saltwater and native freshwater sea life.
  • Meow Wolf Grapevine: A massive collaboration between Texas and Santa Fe-based artists, Meow Wolf Grapevine features immersive art and storytelling in an interactive artscape.
  • Settlement to City Museums: A collection of 19th-century structures representing Grapevine's unique history. Experience skills and trades of early Grapevine through the printing press at the Keeling House, Donald School House, and the Cotton Ginners Museum.
  • Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park: Award-winning gardens are a favorite backdrop for locals to take milestone photos.
  • Urban Wine Trail: Grapevine is home to a vibrant and growing urban wine trail that features daily wine tastings and special events throughout the year.

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