If you're interested in renting an apartment in Grapevine, the good news is that there are plenty of 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, as well as studio apartment units in the city. You'll also find a large number of house rentals and condos for sale and rent. The best way to begin your apartment search is to taking a scouting expedition to Grapevine and check out some of the neighborhoods so you can narrow down your search. While you're driving around, keep a lookout for rental signs, because you may luck into something that hasn't yet been advertised. Be aware, however, that this is a popular resort town; if you find a rental property you like, be prepared to make a quick decision or cry into a glass of Merlot after someone steals it out from under you. You'll also need to have first and last month's rent at hand, as well as a security deposit of several hundred dollars. If you find a sympathetic landlord who really wants to rent the property, however, you might be able to negotiate a bit on your down payment.
With Grapevine's moderate climate, there's no real renter's season, but thanks to its huge resorts, wineries and historic vibe, Grapevine is a real tourist attraction, so the town caters to large crowds of visitors during the summer months. Typically this doesn't affect rents much, but some landlords choose to rent out their properties as month-to-month vacation rentals -- so you may see more availability in house rentals once the summer tourist season is over.
With its many attractive residential neighborhoods, it's almost hard to know where to begin your search, but here are a few places to keep in mind:
Main Street: In the historic Main Street section of town, you'll find a number of beautiful modern apartment complexes within walking distance of downtown shopping.
Brookside Drive: This beautiful residential neighborhood has lovely multi-level and ranch style homes for rent and sale.
Grapevine Mills Parkway: You'll find a large selection of lovely modern apartment complexes in this area, many with luxurious appointments and amenities. You'll also find some great condos and townhouses.
Turner Road: This area is home to a number of attractive apartment complexes, all at a wide variety of sizes and price points.
Austin Oaks: This lovely subdivision has 128 homes, many with wooded lots. There's also a picturesque neighborhood creek to enjoy.
Bellaire: Located conveniently close to the historic downtown district, this neighborhood has beautiful homes and is also graced with a lovely city park.
Grapevine's climate is ideal, with January highs in the mid-50s and no snow to speak of -- a measly 2 inches if there's a cold front. This is Texas, however, so be warned that the summers do get hot, with average highs in the mid-90s. Grapevine gets around 34 inches of rain a year (the U.S. average is 37), so there's just enough moisture to keep the grape vines healthy.
You can always hop on a bus in Grapevine, courtesy of the Grapevine Visitor's Shuttle, but for regular commutes it's really advisable to have a car, bike or scooter. Just outside of town, you can find rail stations with trains to take you into Dallas and Fort Worth. It's worth mentioning that the Grapevine Vintage Railroad also provides service to Fort Worth, but it's meant to be a tourist attraction, not a commuter express, so be prepared to ride very, very slowly.
For a city this size, Grapevine offers an amazing number of ways to entertain its residents and tourists. The biggest to-do in town is the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel & Convention Center, a gorgeous complex that looks like something right out of a Las Vegas commercial. It features more than 1,500 guest rooms, as well as glamorous nightclubs featuring celebrity attractions, indoor gardens, spas and restaurants. With all that, you wouldn't think that Grapevine had room for another entertainment complex, but don't tell that to the folks over at Great Wolf Lodge, a rival resort that also boasts a humongous indoor waterpark with rides of the jaw-dropping, thrill-seeker sort.
After all that excitement, how about a day of golf? Grapevine Golf Course offers 18 holes in a lush setting of rolling hills, complete with cool sand traps and devilish water hazards. If you're a football fan, there's also Cowboys Golf Club, with a course that boasts a funky NFL theme.
For oenophiles, Grapevine is a utopia, and a few of the more popular area wineries include Cross Timbers Winery, Delaney Vineyards, D'Vine Wine, Homestead Winery, La Buena Vida Vineyards, Farina's Winery and Su Vino Winery, all of which offer tours and tastings. The best way to choose your favorite is to take the popular Grapevine Wine Tour, where you can travel via shuttle to visit each of these wineries and sample the vintages.
You'll want some food to wash down all that wine, so check out Ferrari's, a local favorite serving decadent pastas, Wagyu beef steaks and delicacies such as lamb osso buco. If you're in the mood for local cuisine, Tolbert's offers a fantastic Texas-style chili con carne.
If you're a shopper, you may already know that Grapevine is a mecca for shopaholics because of Grapevine Mills Mall, an outlet mall that attracts folks from all over the state. It features more than 200 retailers, an ice skating rink, and an awesome indoor aquarium. Once you're there, check out the Legoland Discovery Center, a 45,000-square-foot celebration of all things Lego.
Grapevine is a runner's and biker's paradise, with 24 miles of hiking and biking trails. If you prefer to relax in a nearby park, you can take your shoes off and wiggle your toes in the grass at Parr Park, which is located in a picturesque setting complete with rolling hills. If you're feeling more active, visit Meadowmere Park, where there's a lovely lake just big enough for kayaking.
Unlike many a tourist attraction, Grapevine doesn't offer one face to tourists and another to its locals; what you see is what you get. In a world full of resort towns, Grapevine is something of a rarity: a popular tourist destination that's genuinely warm and friendly, where the small town atmosphere is the real deal, not a pasteboard replica.