Grapevine is one of the many suburbs between Dallas and Fort Worth, and it's easy for it to get lost in the shuffle. The city is widely known for Grapevine Mills mall, the shopping center near the city's northern border that's home to Rainforest Cafe and Legoland. But if you're in the area, it's worth taking the time to get to know Grapevine. With history dating back more than 150 years, the city celebrates its roots while inviting what comes next. Whether you're catching a classic movie at a 1940s theater, tasting wine beside a vineyard or watching fireworks over the lake, you're sure to realize there's more to Grapevine than a top-notch mall.
Here are 11 must-sees for anyone passing through or sticking around.
Enjoy classic movies at the Palace Theatre
Colorful, quaint, and bustling, downtown Grapevine's historic Main Street is a hot spot of unique stores tucked in buildings that have stood for decades. And if Main Street is the heart of Grapevine, the Palace Arts Center is the heart of Main Street. Placed among the old-school shops and restaurants is the center's refurbished theater, complete with a retro marquee. The theater features older movies and live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays, playing classic films on the first Friday of each month. The theater is cozy and its staff passionate and friendly. It's the best place to go when you're looking for the entertainment of a night out and the comfort of a night in.
300 S. Main St. grapevinetexasusa.com/palace-theatre.
Ride the train at Grapevine Vintage Railroad
On the south end of Main Street, this functioning, historic train station offers rides between Grapevine and the Fort Worth Stockyards on weekends. The refurbished vintage train and station feel like you're stepping into a '30s Western movie; the station itself dates back to the early 1900s, the coaches to the 1920s and the diesel train engine to the 1950s. The train hosts special rides throughout the year, including a visit from a life-size Thomas the Tank Engine, a Polar Express-inspired pajama ride for kids during the holidays, onboard jazz and wine tasting for adults and staged train robberies during the summer.
707 S. Main St. grapevinetexasusa.com/grapevine-vintage-railroad.
See a different art form up close at Vetro Glassblowing
If you're checking out the train station, it's worth heading next door to this glass art workshop where the pieces are made in front of you. Anyone can call ahead and stop in during business hours to watch as artists with torches shape and weld the glass into bowls, vases, decorations and custom projects. After you watch the artists work, you can see finished pieces in the attached gallery.
701 S. Main St. vetroartglass.com.
Watch planes take off at Founders' Plaza
DFW International Airport is the economic center of the suburbs between Dallas and Fort Worth, but it also offers a fun, free option for locals wanting to relax outside. Open daily, Founders' Plaza lies on the edge of Grapevine and the airport, overlooking several of the northern runways. The grassy area has picnic tables, shade and telescopes surrounding an air traffic radio, historical information and a monument to the airport's founders. It's a great place for kids to let out some energy, or for adults to take a breather.
1700 N. Airfield Drive. dfwairport.com/founders.
Camp and watch fireworks at Grapevine Lake
You'll find great sites for tent, RV and cabin camping, many of which are close to the water. Even if you're just visiting for the afternoon, you can picnic in one of the parks on the shores, rent a kayak or take your boat onto the lake. The city holds free fireworks shows over the lake every Friday night from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend,which is an excellent way to end your week.
See gograpevine.com for details on the surrounding parks and campgrounds.
Explore the trails at Bear Creek and Parr Park
The Bear Creek Trail connects two of Grapevine's larger residential parks, with a long, paved 8-foot-wide path. The trail covers nearly 2.5 miles, first winding through Bear Creek's playgrounds, baseball diamonds and disc golf fields, and then alongside the network of creekside dirt trails near Parr. It opens onto Parr Park, a wide, grassy space with play sets, pavilions and a sprayground. The main trail is great for runners, bikers and dog walkers, and the offshoot dirt paths are a fun way to dig deeper into the forest.
Bear Creek Park: 3230 S. State Highway 360. Parr Park: 3010 Parr Lane. playgrapevine.com.
Taste wine and enjoy live music at Delaney Vineyards
Wine is Grapevine's namesake and claim to fame. Main Street is dotted with wineries, and the Grapevine Wine Tours visit many of the city's hot spots. But if you're looking for a one-stop shop for wine tasting and atmosphere, Delaney Vineyards and Winery is the place to go. The winery sits alongside the largest vineyard in the D-FW area, spanning 10 acres of grapevines. The building includes a large, rustic event hall, and there are plenty of events -- including the summer's Rhythm and Wine live music and tasting series -- to check out throughout the year.
2000 Champagne Blvd. delaneyvineyards.com.
Solve a murder mystery at the Texas Star Dinner Theater
Looking for goofy, off-the-wall entertainment? The dinner theater is home to Lone Star Murder Mysteries, which produces Western-themed mystery shows. Eat dinner as actors run around and among the tables, bringing the audience into the act.
816 S. Main St. texasstardinnertheater.com.
Get a taste of luxury at the Gaylord Texan
You don't have to stay at the Gaylord Texan Resort to enjoy its most beautiful areas. Anyone can pay for parking and walk through the hotel's lobbies or outdoor plazas. The real must-see is the expansive indoor courtyard in the center of the hotel, which is a hodgepodge of Tex-Mex culture. With a small river walk, lush plant life and several great restaurants, the courtyard is a beautiful way to get a taste of Texas.
1501 Gaylord Trail. gaylordtexan.com.
Have a night out at Willhoite's Restaurant
On weekends, the first thing you see driving by Willhoite's is the row of parked motorcycles outside its door. The restaurant and bar was built in 1914, and was Grapevine's first automotive garage and eventually a gas station. When it was refurbished and converted into the restaurant in 1981, the owners kept the vintage auto shop aspects to create a unique atmosphere. With live music and a cool, retro look, it's a favorite for those searching for of a different side of Grapevine.
432 S. Main St. willhoites.com.
Fall into history at Nash Farm
Essentially an outdoor, interactive museum, the farm dates back to the 1850s, and offers free, self-guided tours of the property every day. Visitors can tour the original Nash family home, feed chickens and check for eggs, see other farm animals and explore several historic sections of the property, such as the smokehouse, gardens, cemetery and farm shed. The farm also offers Living History Fridays and First Fridays, featuring additional hands-on, educational activities. With tons of chances to become immersed in history, you can see what agricultural life used to be like in Grapevine.
626 Ball St. grapevinetexasusa.com/nash-farm.