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New Braunfels

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Hill Country : New Braunfels
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New Braunfels is a resort town in the Texas Hill Country.

Understand[edit]

New Braunfels is usually considered a vacation destination. While it has no university of its own, it has a distinct college town feel, probably due to the huge numbers of students from universities in nearby San Antonio and San Marcos. As the name implies, it has a German heritage, and many of the local attractions capitalize on this. Most of the town's revenue comes from tourism drawn by the incredible rivers, including the Comal River, which is the world's shortest, entirely located within the city limits.

New Braunfels is also the home of several other smaller "towns" within the city. One is Gruene [1], home of the Gristmill Restaurant and Gruene Hall.

Get in[edit]

New Braunfels is situated on IH-35 at SH-46, near the Comal and Guadalupe rivers. Access to New Braunfels is accessible via private plane charter, highway access, and the Greyhound Bus Line. Airport shuttles from Austin and San Antonio are available. From San Antonio, head north on IH-35 about half an hour (30 miles) until you reach the SH-46 exit. From Austin, head south on IH-35 for about an hour (60 miles), past San Marcos, and exit SH-46. From Houston, head west on IH-10 about two and a half hours (150 miles), exit SH-46, and head north for about 15 minutes (14 miles more).

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

Personal vehicle travel is the only effective motorized transportation in town. Print, download, or buy a local map and brave the roads. Traffic during summer weekends is very heavy. Parking at Prince Solms Park costs $10from Memorial Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Many tube rental shops offer free parking all day with rental and provide transportation to and from the river.

By bicycle[edit]

With heavy traffic and crowded roads, bicycle and foot are appealing travel options. There are a few bicycle rental shops in town. Remember that bicycles are considered vehicles in the eyes of law enforcement, so obey all traffic laws.

See[edit][add listing]

Rivers[edit]

The Comal and Guadalupe rivers offer beautiful sights.

Gruene[edit]

Gruene

A historic district. Visiting this little "town" situated along the Guadalupe River is like stepping back in time. Antique shops, restaurants, and niche retail stores make for unique shopping.

  • Gruene Hall, [2]. The oldest continually operated dance hall in Texas.  edit
  • Lone Star Music, [3]. A Texas Music retail store which was started on the Internet by award winning entrepreneur Chad Raney and grew into a bricks and mortar retail location.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Attractions[edit]

Schlitterbahn
  • Schlitterbahn, 830-625-2351, [4]. Consistently called the best waterpark in the world. See web site for various ticket prices, reserve rooms early to ensure availability.  edit

Tubing[edit]

This seems to be what the Comal River was created for. People rent an inner tube, hop in the water, and float a few miles down the river. The services of a tubing shuttle are often employed to get from the end back to the insertion point, but because of loops in the river it's a very short walk. Note a recent ordinances prohibit carrying coolers with a capacity over 16 quarts on the river in city limits [5], and consumption or carrying an open container of an alcoholic drink in city parks [6].

  • City Tube Rental, Liberty Ave. (Liberty, between Common and South). Run by the city of New Braunfels. Tube rental also has a $10 deposit. Parking: $7/vehicle, Admission: $5 (not required for tubing), Tube rental: $15 (plus $10 deposit).  edit
  • Comal Tubes, 664 S Seguin Ave. (a few blocks south of Downtown NB.), 830-387-4408 (), [7]. Offers tubes, shuttles, and parking. $10 per tube.  edit

Festivals and Fairs[edit]

  • New Braunfels Folkfest, 1370 Church Hill Drive, [8]. Folkfest is an annual family heritage festival celebrating the German/Anglo/Spanish heritage of New Braunfels. Most activities take place at the Heritage Village, but there is a costumed children's parade (the Kindermaskenball Parade) that takes place in Downtown New Braunfels. This is generally held the second week of April, but check the website for more details  edit
  • Comal County Fair, Fair Park - Common Street at the Guadalupe River, 830-625-1505 (), [9]. The Comal County Fair is one of the largest in Texas and is generally held the last week of September. The Friday during the fair is a local holiday with a downtown parade and other activities. Generally $3 for Adults, Children free.  edit
  • Wurstfest, 800-221-4369, [10]. German for "sausage festival", is held for ten days, beginning the Friday before the first Monday in November. Concessions are found throughout the grounds. Activities celebrating the German heritage take place throughout New Braunfels during Wurstfest (Heritage Exhibit) Admission: $8/person.  edit

Hiking[edit]

  • Landa Park, 830-221-4350 (fax: 830-608-2162), [11]. A large park along the Comal River. It has lots of trails and open spaces, but is not very secluded. It also has new and improved playground equipment!  edit
  • Panther Canyon Nature Trail, Near 350 Aquatic Circle (in Landa Park), 830-221-4350 (fax: 830-608-2162), [12]. Panther Canyon Nature Trail is a 51 acre wilderness area at the western edge of Landa Park that is excellent for hiking, geocaching, etc.  edit
  • Fair Park, Common Street at the Guadalupe River. This park also serves as auxiliary parking for Schlitterbahn during the summer months.  edit
  • Cypress Bend Park. On the Guadalupe River  edit

Tours[edit]

  • Natural Bridge Caverns, 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, 210-651-6101 (, fax: 210-651-6144), [13]. Series of underground caverns west of New Braunfels. From $9.95 to $99.95.  edit
  • Spass Walking Tours, 830-660-7263 (), [14]. Spass Walking Tours is a fun way to see and experience the culture, history, and cuisine in New Braunfels. Come walk through the past, while enjoying what NB currently has to offer. Walks are leisurely strolls, easy walking with plenty of rest stops. See some of the “hidden treasures” of New Braunfels. Price includes guided tour, food, and drink.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Old Gruene Market Days, (Gruene District - Take IH35 Exit #191and go west on Hwy 306 for 1. 5miles - Take a Left onto Hunter Road at Doug's BBQ), [15]. A variety of stores in the historic Gruene district of New Braunfels, including a winery, hand-made furniture, and arts/crafts  edit
  • Historic New Braunfels Downtown, (West San Antonio/Spur St. at Bus. 46), [16]. A large variety of shops along the streets.  edit
  • San Marcos Outlet Mall, IH-35 (About 15 min north on IH-35).  edit
  • River Ranch RV Resort, 420 Business Loop I35 N (I 35 North exit 187 Sequin Ave), (830)625-7788, [17]. On the Guadalupe River, perfect location full hook ups 20/30/50 Amps waterfront sites - beautiful state of the art RV Resort completely remodeled - free cable tv - free wi-fi - pets welcome  edit
  • River Ranch RV Resort, 420 Business Loop I35 N, (830)625-7788, [18]. Beautiful RV Resort located on the Guadalupe River with 53 - cemented full hook up sites 20/30/50 AMP paved drives, free cable TV, free WI-FI. clean bath houses and laundry facilities. Friendly and knowledgeable staff, on site manager, and array of activities and nearby attractions.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Granzin's Meat Market, 1644 McQueeney Rd. (off of IH-35 behind Bluebonnet Motors), 830-625-3510. Granzin's has the best and freshest meat for the cheapest price in New Braunfels. If you're planning a barbeque while in New Braunfels, it's is the best place to go.  edit
  • Naegelin's Bakery, 129 South Seguin (historic downtown), 830-625-5722, [19]. Naegelin's has been selling baked goods for over 140 years! The gingerbread men, apple struedel and sugar cookies are excellent.  edit
  • Gristmill Restaurant, 1287 Gruene Rd. (in historic Gruene), 830-625-0684, [20]. Alongside the river, Gristmill's large country atmosphere serves up excellent food. It's often a long wait on weekends and predominantly tourist. $20.  edit
  • Huisache Grill, 303 W. San Antonio St. (historic downtown), 830-620-9001, [21]. 11AM-10PM. An intimate and casual restaurant serving creative contemporary cuisine with fresh regional ingredients. $15.  edit
  • Pat's Place, 202 S. Union St. (Union at South, right by Prince Solms Park), 830-629-1491. Caters to tubing groups. Proper attire is of course required by law (that is, shirts and shoes), but they take to-go orders. Their burgers are great, and they have a variety of local beer.  edit
  • Oma's Haus, 541 S. SH-46 (SH-46 just west of IH-35, before Freiheit Rd./FM 1101), 830-625-3280, [22]. A Bavarian restaurant near the edge of town. The food is great, and a wide variety of imported German beers are available. $10.  edit
  • Clear Springs Cafe, 1692 S. SH-46 (SH-46 just north of IH-35), 830-629-3775, [23]. Known for its fried catfish. Amazing country atmosphere.  edit
  • New Braunfels Smokehouse, 146 S. State Hwy 46, (830)625-2416, [24]. For over 68 years, it has been the place for smoked beef jerky, turkey jerky, spiral sliced ham, peppered smoked turkey, smoked sausage, and much more.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Faust Brewing Company, 240 S. Segun Ave., 830-625-7791, [25]. New Braunfels' only microbrewery.  edit
  • Pat's Place, 202 S. Union St. (Union at South, right by Prince Solms Park), 830-629-1491. Has a full bar with several Texas beers.  edit
  • On the Half Shell, 203 S. Seguin Ave. (1/2 block south of the square), 830-627-7766. Known as the "OB" to locals, this bar has a full bar with a fun atmosphere.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

In high season, hotels can fill. If this happens to you, consider a hotel in nearby Seguin or San Marcos.

  • The Other Place, 385 Other Place Dr., 830-625-5114, [26]. Has cottages on a bend in the Comal River. Low-cost tube rentals and shuttle service are available for guests.  edit
  • The Faust Hotel, 240 S. Seguin Ave., 830-625-7791, [27]. An historic hotel, built in 1929 and decorated in 30s style. Don't forget to check out the in-house brewpub.  edit
  • The Red Roof Inn, 815 1 H 35 South, 830-626-7000
  • Sleep Inn & Suites, 1477 N. IH 35, (830) 625-7700, [28]. checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 11:00AM. Brand new hotel opened in 2008! Hotel features interior corridor rooms with an elevator, morning medley breakfast, pool and heated spa, high speed and wireless internet, business center, fitness room, meeting space, and guest laundry. All rooms feature a king bed with sleeper sofa or two queen beds. Amenities include a work desk, LCD TVs with HBO and HD channels, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, hair dryers, and iron and ironing boards.  edit
  • Executive Inn & Suites, 808 Hwy. 46 South, (830) 625-3932, [29]. checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. it is a beautiful business and leisure motel. Located on Hwy. 46, 2 blocks east of I-35. Rooms with one king or two queen beds, complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, refrigerators, wireless high speed internet, and outdoor pool with heated spa.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • San Antonio is a nearby city with a lot of history and attractions.
  • San Marcos is a college town and has larger stretches of river in a more natural state.
  • Austin is the capital of Texas, has endless quirks, and is definitely worth a visit.
  • La Grange is a unique small town Texas experience filled with history, culture, trendy shops, and delicious cuisine.


Routes through New Braunfels
AustinSan Marcos  N noframe S  San AntonioLaredo


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