If you’re in San Antonio, a day trip to the quaint, easy-going town of New Braunfels - which is only about 30 minutes away - is just the thing to break up the monotony of big city life.
Gruene, which is now a district within the city limits of New Braunfels, has a picturesque main street lined with fun shops and antique stores and is the perfect way to start out your day trip.
After you’re tired from all the antiquing, you can practically throw a stone and find a yummy German food restaurant. Many people aren’t aware that large parts of Texas were settled by German immigrants. In fact, New Braunfels (once spelled Neu-Braunfels) still has a rather sizable German Texas community and is therefore known for their authentic German food.
A local’s favorite is the Gristmill, although they lean towards American fare such as chicken fried steak and fresh trout. However, the best part of the Gristmill is the tree-covered deck and excellent view of the Guadalupe River. It’s the ideal place to kick back with a cold beer and drink in your surroundings.
After such a filling meal, you’re probably thinking there’s nothing you’d rather do than float down a river in the warm Texas sun. Lucky for you, that’s what’s next on the itinerary!
Teams paddle down the Guadalupe River with Rockin' R River Rides — Photo courtesy of Rockin' R River Rides
There are a few companies that offer river tubing along the Guadalupe, but the favorite is Rockin’ R River Rides. For just a few bucks, you can rent a tube and blissfully float for a good two to four hours down a beautiful tree-lined river. Most people like to bring a big cooler packed with some frosty beers, tie their tubes together and just float to their heart's content.
If you’ve still got some energy left, next head to Gruene Hall for some live music, dancing and nighttime revelry. Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is considered the oldest running dance hall in Texas. It's also the Central Texas birthplace to many famous songwriters and musicians, including George Strait, Ace in the Hole, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Hal Ketchum, Bruce and Charlie Robison and many more. If you plan to go, you should check out their website to get tickets ahead of time. Some of the best acts that blow through here sell out rather quickly.
Stick to this guaranteed fun itinerary, and it will be a day to remember for a very long time!