Photos by Wes and Karen Altom
Grapevine is a suburb in the Mid-Cities region between Dallas and Fort Worth. It is the largest local contributor of land to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, adjacent to a large recreational area on Grapevine Lake, and is headquarters to Game Stop and Kubota Tractor corporations. The local economy is largely centered around tourism, so there is no shortage of chain accommodations and eateries, but we will focus of a few of the unique. One thing is certain—this city of about 50,000 has much more to offer than you have probably heard about through the… well, you know.
- In October 1843, General Sam Houston camped at Tah-Wah-Karro Creek, also known as Grape Vine Springs to meet with leaders of ten Indian Nations. The meeting resulted in a peace treaty which opened the area for homesteaders.
- The name Grapevine is due to the large quantity of wild grapes that grew in the area.
- On Easter Sunday in 1934, the Bonnie and Clyde crew gunned down two state troopers here who were investigating a suspicious car which turned out to be occupied by the Barrow Gang.
Where to Stay
- Standing on the shores of Lake Grapevine with 490,000 square feet of event space, 4.5 acres of indoor gardens, 10 restaurants, seasonal water park and two pools, the Gaylord Texas Resort & Convention Center is a testament that everything is bigger in Texas.
- Known as a kid-friendly destination, Great Wolf Lodge offers activities, cabanas, a range of dining options, an adult-friendly wine down service and access to their 80,000-sq. ft. water park, kept comfy at 84-degrees year-round.
Where to Eat
- For a great combination of food, service, value, and atmosphere, Café Italia fits the bill. If you like Italian where “sauce is the boss,” this place is for you! Delightful romantic and casual setting, with a large selection of pasta dishes, including vegan and gluten free options.
- Fusion of the past and present is the fare at Mi Dia From Scratch, where the menu blends recipes from Mexico City, modern Santa Fe, and Tex Mex. Duck Carnita street style tacos, anyone? Named one of the top ten best Tex-Mex in Texas by USA Today.
- With a mantra to Meat U Anywhere, this barbecue and catering eatery is a local favorite, and even ships meats all across the country. They smoke their meats with seasoned oak and hickory, and offer unique sides such as Jalapeño Mac N Cheese (with bacon) and Notcha Mommas Slaw.
What to Do
If you aren’t much on hopping from place to place, you can pretty much find it all at Grapevine Mills. The indoor mall features 180 stores and multiple attractions.
- Shopping – Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Neiman Marcus Last Call, VF Outlet, Burlington, Old Navy Outlet, Ross Dress for Less, and more; also, numerous specialty stores like, Coach Factory Outlet, Michael Kors, Bose, Disney Outlet, and Under Armour to name a few.
- Dining – In addition to numerous food court options, Rainforest Café and Chili’s.
- Entertainment – LEGOLAND Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Aquarium, AMC 30 Dine-In theater, The Escape Game (#1 escape room in America), and Round 1 Bowling and Amusement Center.
Concentrated along Main Street, the Grapevine Historic Main Street District is a walkable, preserved historic area home to winery tasting rooms, the Palace Arts Center, the Grapevine Glockenspiel Clock Tower, one-of-a-kind shops, live entertainment venues, restaurants, and art galleries. Not just a location, but more of a destination, it’s easy to spend an entire day, or weekend. At the clock tower, watch for Nat and Willy, two mechanical train robbers who emerge from the clock twice a day.
Also downtown is The Grapevine Vintage Railroad, a family-friendly attraction upon which passengers can travel on authentic 1920s-era Victorian train coaches along the historic Cotton Belt Route to the Fort Worth Stockyards, or on shorter Grapevine or Trinity River excursions. In addition to regular fares, there are frequent special event trains. The coaches are pulled by one of two vintage locomotives: an 1896 steam locomotive nicknamed “Puffy” and a 1953 GP-7 diesel locomotive nicknamed “Vinny.”
Focus Find: Corky’s
Ever been to a gaming bistro? I didn’t even know that was a thing! Corky’s Gaming Bistro features 4 themed escape rooms, 10 axe throwing lanes (yes, you read that right), a large assortment of classic arcade games, and (of course) food and drink.
With a wide bar and grill menu variety, including burgers, wings, appetizers, sandwiches, street tacos, and salads, there’s something tasty for any size appetite and dietary need.
We loved the classic arcade games and took advantage of the lunch special which came with a card for 30 minutes of playing time. One-hour and four-hour cards are also available for purchase. Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Galaga, Space Invaders, Donky Kong, Pac-Man…just a few of the 78 classic arcade games and 12 pinball machines that will take you back to your days of mastery at these time-proven classics.
Who knew that axe throwing is the new bowling? Yes, you can rent a lane by the hour, learn how, compete against friends or family, or enter a league. The activity is well-regulated for safety and is available to minors 11 and up with parent/guardian present. Each guest undergoes a briefing and training session, and Corky’s Axeperts supervise every session.
Corky’s has four themed escape rooms for 2-6 participants. Current themes are Alcatraz, Hopeless, Journey to the Jungle, and Jack the Ripper. Do you have what it takes to solve and escape in 60 minutes?
Corky’s is a non-smoking establishment, a great place perfect for birthday parties, work outings, team-building exercises, bachelor or bachelorette parties, or just plain, everyday fun. For additional information, go to corkysgamingbistro.com.