What to do & See in New Braunfels
Just west of San Antonio and Austin lies the section of central Texas where New Braunfels is located. It’s known as Texas Hill Country, and it was settled by German immigrants in the mid-19th century. Today, visitors flock to the region to enjoy its natural beauty, to take advantage of its plentiful opportunities for water recreation, and to explore small Texas towns where residents remain proud of the German culture of their forefathers. Many houses and condos in New Braunfels are located close to or directly on one of two rivers that flow through town, so it’s common for rentals to include a view of the water along with cable television service, internet access, a fireplace, a washing machine, and a deck equipped with a grill.
New Braunfels Family Attractions
Schlitterbahn Water Park
With water attractions and rides suitable for all ages, Schlitterbahn offers 70 acres of pools, slides, tube chutes and rivers of every kind, from pulse-pounding to gentle and relaxing.
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
The ranch is home to many non-indigenous and endangered species including zebras, giraffes and ostriches. Animals can be seen and fed in the petting areas or while on a safari ride through the property.
Outdoor Activities in New Braunfels
Natural Bridge Caverns
Several options are available for exploring this system of underground caverns including tours focusing on spelunking or on exploration of hidden passages. The facility also offers zip-lining and a large outdoor maze challenge.
Rivers and Canyon Lake
The Guadalupe River flows through Canyon Lake on its way to New Braunfels where the Comal River joins it as a tributary. It’s no surprise, then, that water activities are a big draw; the lake offers fishing, boating and swimming, and there is tubing, paddle-boarding, canoeing, kayaking and rafting on both rivers.
New Braunfels Historic Landmarks
Although Gruene started out as a separate town in the 1870s, the Gruene Historic District is now within New Braunfels city limits. Part of the National Register of Historic Places, the district is home to a collection of carefully restored 19th century buildings which include Gruene Hall, an old-fashioned Texas dance hall featuring live country music, and Gruene Mansion, now a bed and breakfast inn. Antique-hunting and wine tasting are popular pastimes here.
Golf in New Braunfels
Landa Park in New Braunfels has a recently renovated 18 hole public course situated along the Comal River bank. Golfers enjoy scenic views and often spot wildlife such as deer.
Best Season to Go
Wintertime highs in Texas Hill Country are usually in the 50s, and it does occasionally dip below freezing. Summer highs can reach up in to the 100s. There is precipitation all year, with the largest amount of rainfall taking place in May and June. However, the hot weather offers a great excuse to cool off with a dip in the river, and the cold weather perfectly suits the holiday decorations that go up on downtown streets. Spring is very attractive, as it is wildflower season, and fall is when the ever popular New Braunfels Wurstfest is held. This is a 10 day celebration that includes plenty of German sausage and beer as well as carnival rides, dancing, music and games.
Getting to New Braunfels
New Braunfels lies along Interstate 35 between Austin and San Antonio and can be reached by flying into either city’s airport. San Antonio International Airport is closer; it has both rental car agencies and shared shuttle service. Taxi cabs pick up fares outside the baggage claim area. Private limousines and town cars can also be booked, and ride share drivers from Uber and Lyft are permitted to travel onto airport property to pick up passengers.