Experience luxury, delicious Texan cuisine, and a brief step back in time in the historic & charming town of Grapevine in North Texas...
All accommodations, meals, & experiences were provided courtesy of Travel Media Showcase & its sponsors. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.
Last month I had the pleasure of attending Travel Media Showcase for the first time in the lovely city of Grapevine, Texas, which is located halfway between Dallas & Forth Worth. While I spent a good part of my first visit to the state of Texas at the actual showcase events, I did get a little time to explore the resort we were staying at and to experience the charms & tastes of Grapevine.
But before I get into the details of my Grapevine Getaway, let me tell you all a little bit about Travel Media Showcase (TMS). The showcase (which is in its 16th year) is an opportunity for travel writers, journalists, & bloggers to network and learn from each other as well meet and interact with representatives from convention & visitors' bureaus (CVB's) from across the country. Not only are those in travel media given the opportunity for one-on-one meetings with the CVB's of their choice, but the showcase provides plenty of opportunities for writers and CVB reps to interact and get to know each other on a more personal level whether that be over a cocktail or as part of a local tour of the area. The connections that you can make at the Travel Media Showcase with other travel writers as well as with those representing the visitors' bureaus are simply invaluable. So much better than a back & forth over email, don't you think? ;)
Though my visit to Grapevine was far too brief, I did come away with a few travel nuggets to share with you all about the area...
Stay at the Gaylord Texan Resort.
No, seriously. You have to stay at the Gaylord if you are traveling to Grapevine, Texas. Trust me on this... ;)
The Gaylord Texan Resort is the absolute embodiment of the whole "everything is bigger in Texas" phrase. With over 1500 guest rooms, 4 1/2 acres of indoor gardens & waterways, and over 400,000 square feet of meeting space, the Gaylord Texan is definitely Texas BIG. When booking your stay, I highly recommend snagging one of the Center Atrium view rooms...
This was the panoramic view from the private balcony of my guest room. It was so nice to sit out here each morning of my stay sipping on a warm cup of coffee that I brewed right in my room.
Though the Atrium (which is currently sporting an Alice in Wonderland theme) is definitely a must-see during the daytime, be sure to also take a stroll through the atrium at night and don't forget to look up. ;)
The Gaylord Texan offers four restaurants as well as a handful of coffee shops and bars in it's main building, but be sure to catch the shuttle and visit the Glass Cactus Nightclub if you will be staying at the resort on a Friday or Saturday night. Not only can you enjoy specially crafted cocktails and creative cuisine at the Glass Cactus, but you can also take in beautiful views of Lake Grapevine from their outdoor deck.
The 170 year old historic town of Grapevine, Texas is a traveling foodie's dream come true. Most of the locally owned restaurants, shops, and winery tasting rooms (aka, the Urban Wine Trail) are within walking distance of each other so you can easily make a full day out of exploring the town's local culinary scene. Though I didn't get to taste & drink everything that Grapevine had to offer, I did enjoy a nice sampling of the town's local flavors during one of the foodie centered tours offered by the showcase...
What is a trip to Texas without the BBQ? You just have to get some BBQ when in Texas, and Meat U Anywhere BBQ did not disappoint. Andy and the friendly folks at Meat U Anywhere slow smoke all their meats over seasoned oak and hickory for hours. The result? Tender, juicy briskets, pulled pork, ribs, sausages, and turkey full of rich, smoky flavor. Be sure to also order a couple of their house made sides like their Jalapeno Bacon Mac & Cheese and Cowboy Campfire Pinto Beans.
If you are in the mood for a made good from scratch margarita during your adventures in Grapevine, then be sure to stop in at Mi Dia From Scratch. Mi Dia's menu is a delicious fusion of flavors from Mexico City, Sante Fe, and of course traditional Tex Mex. But the real stars of their menu are their extensive list of made from scratch margaritas (no pre-made mixes here, folks!) and their table side guacamole which is custom made right at your table. I kind of consider myself a connoisseur of guacamole, and I have to say that this is some of the most delicious and freshest guacamole I have ever had! :) Definitely a must-order when dining at Mi Dia From Scratch. (CLICK HERE to see the table side guacamole making in action.)
After partaking in Texas BBQ and fresh made margaritas and guacamole, you will probably be ready to satisfy that sweet tooth. Head on over to Dr. Sue's Chocolate for a chocolaty treat that you can actually feel good about indulging in. Dr. Sue (who happens to be an honest to goodness practicing physician) makes her all-natural dark chocolate confections with a goal to show everyone that decadent can also be healthy. With offerings such as Toasted Almond Smoked Sea Salt (my personal favorite) and Midnight Mocha Bark, Dr. Sue's Chocolate is a dark chocolate lover's absolute dream. :)
Catch the train.
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad train that is!
Take a trip back in time by buying yourself a ticket on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Utilizing both an 1896 steam locomotive and a 1953 diesel locomotive, ticket bearers can grab a seat for a great train robbery, a little wine & jazz, or even catch a ride to the North Pole! Being the history buff that I am, I may have just been a tad bit excited for our ride on the vintage Jazz Wine Train. We sipped on local wines from Messina Hof while listening to a live jazz band as the train meandered it's way through Grapevine.
Just like everything else in Texas, the sunsets are definitely bigger in Grapevine.
Make sure to set some time aside in your Grapevine Getaway travel agenda to take in a sunset or two. Grapevine sunsets definitely do not disappoint, folks.
Have you ever visited Grapevine, Texas before?
What are your must-do's and must-see's in Grapevine?
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