What you should know

Grapevine has small-town flair but, with several full-service properties (including mega-resorts like Gaylord and Great Wolf), it’s no stranger to meetings and conventions. It’s halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, with easy airport access. A visitor shuttle provides all-day transportation to key areas throughout the city for $5 per person, and offers discounted group rates. The Grapevine CVB offers planners value-added perks for meeting in the area. Its “Burgundy Brigade,” a 75-person event staff, provides registration assistance and more; there’s a CVB kiosk in the Gaylord Texan Convention Center that is staffed during key events; and for events that are open to the public, the CVB will distribute press releases beforehand to help spread the word. For more information or planning assistance, contact the CVB or Travel Texas.

The 411

  • 5,000+ guest rooms downtown; 11,000 additional rooms within 15 minutes
  • 400,000+ square feet of meeting space in the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
  • 200+ restaurants
  • Best values: Memorial Day-Labor Day and Christmas season

Where to meet

Great Wolf Lodge, known for its massive, 80,000-sq. ft. indoor waterpark, offers more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space, 605 spacious rooms and complimentary Wi-Fi. Meeting venues include a 7,350-sq. ft. ballroom (capacity: 500 banquet; 685 theater-style), two boardrooms, six meeting rooms and outdoor function space. The 40-acre campus of the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center includes horseback-riding trails, indoor and outdoor pools, basketball and tennis courts, four restaurants and a private fishing lake. The property, minutes from the historic downtown and DFW International Airport, has 393 total rooms and an IACC-certified conference center with 63,000 square feet of space, including a 14,400-sq. ft. exhibit hall, three amphitheaters and 26 meeting rooms. Team-building packages are available; nearby attractions include wineries, Austin Ranch and the Grapevine Mills shopping center. The Glass Cactus at the massive Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center is a 40,000-sq. ft. entertainment complex with four bars, a large dance floor and 13,000 square feet of patio space overlooking Lake Grapevine. The Palace Arts Center  has two historic theaters, the Palace and the Lancaster, that are next door to each other. Meeting space includes a 435-seat auditorium, a 180-seat performance room and indoor/outdoor event space.

Where to wine it up

Grapevine is the heart of Texas’ winemaking industry. Groups may travel the Grapevine Wine Trail, which changes themes throughout the year. Conduct tastings in the wine room at the Cross Timbers Winery (capacity: 250), or meet on the porch, grounds or patio of its historic Dorris/Brock house. The Delaney Vineyards & Winery’s chateau offers the largest wine-themed meeting and private dining space, with a barrel tasting room for 400, reception-style, and a tank room that seats 40. Don’t want to leave Main Street? D’Vine Wine accommodates groups of 60 or fewer. Farina’s Winery & Cafe offers private dining space as well as a wine tasting menu. Groups can bottle custom-labeled wines at Su Vino Winery (capacity: 35). A block off Main Street, Homestead Winery (capacity: 50) is known for its weekly “wine downs” and 1890s Victorian home.

Where to play

Lake Grapevine and Nash Farm lend themselves to outdoor events. The Historic District hosts festivals and has shops, restaurants and a studio where attendees can watch glass-blowing demonstrations at Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery, which also has team-building packages. The Grapevine Vintage Railroad links Grapevine to Fort Worth with regular trips to the Stockyards. The train can be chartered for special events and parties. Consider booking a private room at a winery for a meal function or treatment rooms at a day spa to pamper attendees. Austin Ranch, one of the oldest dude ranches in Texas, accommodates 50 to 1,000 people for private events; attractions include gunfight re-enactments, cookouts, live music, dancing and roping. Three local golf courses rank among the Top 50 public courses in the United States.

Where to eat

The best local eateries are steakhouses. Take VIPs to Boi na Braza, the Silver Fox Steakhouse or the Old Hickory Steakhouse. Other options: the Texas Star Dinner Theater, and Love & War in Texas, a nightclub with live music, Texas-themed menus and private dining space for small groups.

Where to shop

Grapevine Mills, an outlet center, features brand-name merchandise at discount prices. Shops in the Historic District sell art, gifts, Americana and British imports. The open-air, European-style Grapevine Market, open April through October, hosts vendors selling jewelry, fine art, home décor, antiques and specialty foods.

When to celebrate

Join in the Blessing of the Vines and tour the New Vintage Wine and Gallery Trail in April. Grapevine’s July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza is one of the largest in Texas. In September, visitors can stomp grapes (and win awards for their purple feet) at Grapefest, one of the region’s largest wine festivals.