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Grapevine Review and Rating

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Grapevine
Grapevine, TX
Website
Texas Outside Rating: 7.3

Acres Of Water & Miles Of Shoreline
7,380 acres and 60 miles of shoreline

Links

Brief Overview:

Grapevine Lake is a relatively small lake just north of Grapevine. This Corp of Engineers lake has some good campgrounds, a fun restaurant and bar, excellent bike/hike/equestrian trails, and lots to do nearby. As you can see from these lake pictures, the water level was way down during the drought of 2006 which meant there were lots of shallow spots and some of the ramps were closed.

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A Typical Texas Outsider Day

We like to camp at The Vineyards on Lake Grapevine (read a review of The Vineyards) or Twin Coves (read a review of Twin Coves) and typically start the day looking for some calm water, which you can usually find by the dam, in some of the small coves, or at the north end of the lake (be careful it is really shallow at this end of the lake). You can ski or cruise by some humongous houses on the east side of the lake. Also check out the Gaylord Texan and their new bar/restaurant on the lake (being built during 2006), which on the south side of the dam.

After a day of skiing, fishing, swimming, and cruising we always stop by Little Pete's (we understand that Little Pete's has closed!) which is next to Twin Coves Park tucked in along side the marina.

There is a fantastic biking trail that goes from Rockledge Park all the way to Twin Coves. Make sure you stop at Little Petes for a cold beer and burger and some music on the deck.

We always try and squeeze in a round of golf and you've got lots of choices nearby. At the bottom of the dam are two fantastic golf courses - Grapevine Municipal and Cowboys - try to play them both, you'll love them.

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Other Cool Things To Do:

Hike, ride horses, or bring your bike and enjoy one of the three excellent mountain bike trails -- get more information including maps and a brief review of the trails by clicking here.

The Corp of Engineers is investing $3 million in 2006 to redevelop Murrell Park for camping and day use.

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What To Do If No Boat:

If you don't have a boat, there are some excellent day use areas for picnics, swimming, fishing, or relaxing on both sides of the lake -- click here to get a listing of the parks and facilities on the lake.

If you want to get out on the water, then stop by Silver Lake Marina and rent a ski boat, party barge, waverunner, or pontoon boat, or charter their 100 person private charter boat. 

Nearby Activities:

You have a lot of choices here. Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine, and more fun cities are within 20 minutes of the lake. You can find more information in the Discover Texas section of Texas Outside. You can explore the new Gaylord Texan on the southwest side of the lake, golf at two excellent courses at the dam -- Cowboys Golf Club and Grapevine Golf Course. Click here to read a review of both courses, visit their website, or find other nearby courses to play. 

Grapevine Mills Mall is 5 minutes from the dam and has all the shopping you could possible want from Neiman Marcus to Bass Pro Shops plus plenty of choices for restaurants - one of Texas Outside Favorites is Love & War in Texas and their great chicken fried chicken and outstanding live country music.

Use this map of Grapevine to help you find some fun stuff to see and do and check out our Top Ten list. 

Restaurants, Bars, & Music:

Little Pete's is the only restaurant and bar that you can boat to and eat on the water. The Gaylord Texan has a huge nightclub and bar overlooking the lake, but last time we were there it hadn't open and we're not sure if you can boat over to it.

Big Daddy's Ship Store has been grilling Grapevine's best hamburgers since 1997. Come visit Grapevine's best kept secret.

Wake Boarding & Skiing:

You should be able to find some calm water by the dam, at the north end (be careful, it's shallow and stumps at this end), or in one of the coves.

Fishing:

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, largemouth bass are the most popular sport fish in the reservoir. The slot length limit is designed to encourage harvest of the smaller bass. White bass, white crappie and channel catfish are also popular with anglers. The Twin Coves area has a large amount of flooded timber. Numerous areas of the lake have shoreline with large boulders. Boat houses in McPherson Slough attract fish. Grapevine Lake has many dropoffs and underwater structure changes that hold largemouth bass. Rocky shorelines and boathouses are also good spots for largemouth bass. The water intake near the dam has a air injection area that attracts white bass. Twin Coves and the rocky shoreline around this area are good for catfish and crappie.

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Catfish
Crappie
White Bass

*Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Camping, Waterfront Lodging, and Day Use Parks

To our knowledge, there are no lake rental properties on Lake Grapevine. The Gaylord Texan, which doesn't have any direct access to the lake, is the closest hotel. A Texas Outside Favorite, Great Wolf Lodge, is two minutes from the Lake Grapevine dam. So not only do you have excellent access to the lake, but you can enjoy their fabulous waterpark, tons of kids activities, good food, unique accommodations, and very good service. Check out our review of Great Wolf Lodge.

A Texas Outside Top Ten Campground is The Vineyards at Lake Grapevine which has some excellent sites right on the water (if the water level is normal), nice cabins, boat ramp, and very nice amenities. Texas Outside likes enjoys camping at Twin Coves campground (primarily to enjoy the bike trails) -- find a review of The Vineyards and Twin Coves and other nearby campgrounds here.

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Ramps & Marinas

Texas Parks and Wildlife has a listing but there are some errors and name changes, so call first.

Texas Outside Rating of Grapevine
Beauty: 
Water Clarity: 
Water Conditions: 
Skiing & Board Conditions: 
Beaches: 
Cruising & Touring: 
Restaurants & Bars: 
Safety Level: 
Lake Lodging & Camping: 
Fishing: 

More Pictures

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Texas Outside Lakes Rating Scale

Texas Outside rates lakes on a 1 to 10 scale based on:

  • Beauty: high scores are given for lots of trees, hills, or pretty houses
  • Water Clarity: if you’re standing in two feet of water and can’t see your toes or the water has a deep brown color, we’re talking a 1
  • Water Conditions:  rough water with waves over a foot (good for PWCs or surfing) due to consistent wind or boat wakes don’t rate high on our scale
  • Skiing & Board Conditions:  on the weekends if you can typically find a good cove or part of the lake with glass, we’re talking a 10
  • Beaches:  don’t you hate those beaches when you step into the water you sink in mud up to your knees and loose your flip-flops or it’s all slime and weeds or small rocks – if so, that’s a 1
  • Fun Scale: lakes scoring a 10 have fun restaurants and bars, great coves for raft ups or swimming, and fun rental toys
  • Cruising & Touring:  if you can cruise the lake and look at beautiful houses, nice marinas, pretty coves, or anything similar it will score high
  • Restaurants & Bars:  nothing better than cruising over and having some good food and listening to some great music on the deck of a fun restaurant – the ride back with smooth water and a fun moon is also pretty cool – we’re talking a 10
  • Safety Level: lakes with lots of wild and crazy jet skiers or fast cigarette boats will score low
  • Camping:  we’re looking for beautiful spacious sites right on the water with a nice sandy beach to swim and park the boat
  • Fishing:  the bigger the better and they have to be easy to hook

 

*Fishing information was provided with permission of the Texas Parks and Wildlife (www.tpwd.state.tx.us) in 2006. Texas Parks and Wildlife does not endorse Texas Outside or information presented on texasoutside.com. ©Copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.