With the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport just 10 miles away, Grapevine is ideally located for meeting and convention groups from around the country. “We’re a four-hour plane ride from every major U.S. city,” says Leigh Lyons, director of communications at Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Grapevine is centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth and offers plenty of options for meeting planners. The city has 800,000 square feet of meeting space, 20 hotels and 11,000 hotel rooms within 15 minutes of its historic downtown, from the Hyatt Regency DFW and the family-friendly Great Wolf Lodge to the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center and the Embassy Suites North DFW at Outdoor World. Grapevine also has more than 200 restaurants, several of which offer live entertainment.
The Grapevine Convention Center offers more than 14,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and can accommodate up to 900 people.
Other venues include the Palace Arts Center, a restored art deco-style building that is home to the Palace Theatre and the Lancaster Theatre. Both theaters, built in 1940, were acquired by the Grapevine Heritage Foundation and are recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. The facility provides 15,000 square feet of rental space for private events in both theaters.
The city will soon have even more guest rooms and meeting space to offer.
The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, which currently offers 1,511 guest rooms and suites, will break ground on a $120 million expansion this fall to add more guest rooms and meeting space to its inventory. The expansion will make the Gaylord the second largest hotel in the state and one of the largest nongaming hotels in North America.
Grapevine’s historic downtown includes shops, restaurants, public art and the 127-foothigh Clock Tower Glockenspiel. The glockenspiel features two larger-than-life, 9-foot-tall characters 75 feet in the air known as the “would-be train robbers,” Nat Barrett and Willy Majors.
Grapevine offers three golf courses, each ranked among the top 50 golf courses in the United States, as well as the 8,000 acres of Lake Grapevine. Grapevine is also known for its festivals throughout the year, including GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the southwest, and Main Street Days. Grapevine also offers 1,400 events in 40-plus days as part of its moniker as the Christmas Capital of Texas.
“People really have a fantastic time here,” Lyons says. “Whatever the purpose of their travel, there are unique offerings, along with first-class amenities and attractions, making Grapevine the ideal Texas destination.”
Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center
The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, which opened in 2004, will soon be expanding its guest room inventory. The resort, which includes three glass atriums, will soon break ground on a fourth tower to add about 300 additional guest rooms and almost 90,000 square feet of meeting space. “The expansion will take us to almost half a million square feet of meeting space,” says Martha Neibling, director of marketing and public relations.
The new meeting space will include a 30,000-square-foot ballroom and 29 new breakout rooms. The resort plans to break ground this fall, and the expansion is scheduled to be done by 2019.
The Gaylord Grapevine follows the Gaylord brand, “Everything under one roof.” The resort, which is located a five-minute drive from DFW airport, is connected to the Gaylord Convention Center via walkway. The 400,000-square-foot convention center includes a 180,000-square-foot exhibit hall and 17 loading docks, making it convenient to host large trade shows.
The Gaylord itself offers 62 event rooms, including multiple ballrooms and meeting rooms, and the almost 180,000-square-foot Longhorn Exhibit Hall. Guests can enjoy 4.5 acres of indoor gardens within the resort inside large, glass atriums.
Outside the main atrium structure, guests will find the Gaylord’s 39,000-square-foot night club, Glass Cactus. The Gaylord also offers a 10-acre waterpark, which was expanded in 2016. The waterpark was built for buyouts, says Neibling, and offers water play structures, water slides and private cabanas, which include shade, soft seating, fans, a refrigerator, TV and other amenities. It also includes a lazy river and a 6,000-square-foot lagoon with zip lining, another water slide and a toddler pool. There are 1,500 seats at the pool.
Expanding the waterpark allowed the resort to better serve leisure travelers, families who join a family member for a meeting or travelers who have extended their business stay to the weekend. “Everything we do is to accommodate both business and leisure,” Neibling says.
For dining, don’t miss Gaylord’s The Old Hickory Steakhouse, as well as Zeppole, a coastal Italian restaurant set in the resort’s Hill Country atrium. “You can dine in a courtyard setting with white lights above you,” Neibling says.
Guests can also enjoy the Riverwalk Cantina in the Riverwalk Atrium, designed to look like the San Antonio Riverwalk. The restaurant offers Tex-Mex with an expansive space for groups. There’s also the Texas Station sports bar, with a 52-foot screen and 50 flatscreen TVs.
“The amount of flexible meeting space and venue space is huge, and the way they’ve built the resort, we can accommodate one group for the entire resort or 40 groups in one day without making small groups feel like a little fish in a big pond,” Neibling says.
Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Looking for a venue that’s exciting and different? Lyons recommends the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, featuring an 1896 steam locomotive.
The railroad, which makes round-trip excursions from Grapevine’s Cotton Belt Railroad Depot to Fort Worth’s Historic Stockyards, is the oldest continuously operating steam engine in the Southwest. The railroad is available for private charter and can accommodate 396 passengers.
The train is pulled by one of two locomotives—“Puffy,” a 1896 steam locomotive and the oldest continuously operating steam engine in the South, and “Vinny,” a vintage diesel locomotive from 1953.
Passengers ride in the authentic 1920sVictorian-style coaches to experience the glory days of the West.
The train also offers several special events, including the Jazz Wine Trains, North Pole Express and Christmas Wine Trains.
Urban Wine Trail
Texas is the fifth largest wine-producing state in the United States, and Grapevine is the headquarters of the Texas wine-tasting experience. The city has provided award winning festivals and celebrated wineries and winemakers for more than 25 years. When looking for a unique venue, Lyons recommends considering one of Grapevine’s several tasting rooms.
Grapevine’s wineries range from newcomer Wine Fusion, offering wines to novice and experienced palates, to Messina Hof Winery Grapevine, one of the state’s most prestigious award-winning wineries. Homestead Winery is located in a 120-year-old Victorian home one block off of Historic Main Street, while Grape Vine Springs Winery offers custom winemaking experiences. Delaney Vineyards & Winery is the largest vineyard in north Texas, set on 10 acres of land.
Art galleries and clothing shops are nearby, giving guests an opportunity to browse, shop and taste wine all along Grapevine’s historic Main Street.
“What makes the Grapevine Urban Wine Trail so unique is that most of our tasting rooms are within steps of each other,” Lyons says. “Scattered around the winery tasting room are art galleries and clothing shops. It’s a really fun and exciting walking environment, and many of the winery tasting rooms can also serve as a unique venue for events.”