Are you planning to make a trip to America’s deep south and into Central Texas? New Braunfels, TX should feature prominently on your itinerary, and with good reason.
New Braunfels was set up by German settlers in 1845. You will find this charming city with a small-town vibe between Austin and San Antonio, in the heart of Texas Hill Country. It is just a day trip from San Antonio.
New Braunfels is relatively small in size but has countless things to do. Here you’ll find outdoor activities, adventures, amazing restaurants, historical sites, shopping, and so much more.
Here are 21 things to do in New Braunfels, Texas that we know you’re going to love.
COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN NEW BRAUNFELS
- Best Family-Friendly Resort: With fully furnished cottages to rent, this New Braunfels RV resort is just a 10-minute drive from the Schlitterbahn Water Park. Sun Outdoors Texas Hill Country features two indoor pools, an outdoor pool with a hot tub, an arcade, a massive playground, gem mining, lawn games, and a fitness center.
- Best At The Waterpark: Located in New Braunfels within the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, The Resort at Schlitterbahn offers free WiFi and a hot tub. Rooms, suites, and apartment lofts are available at The Resort at Schlitterbahn and include a microwave, refrigerator, and cable TV.
- Best Tried and True: Located off the Interstate 35, Fairfield Inn New Braunfels offers modern accommodations. It features an indoor pool with a hot tub and a well-equipped gym.
EXPLORE NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERNS
Natural Bridge Caverns is excellent for outdoor enthusiasts. Your whole family will have fun at this New Braunfels attraction.
Take one of the guided tours offered here and learn about natural rock formations, like stalactites and stalagmites, when exploring the caverns. Push your fear of heights by climbing the obstacle course 60-feet high. Why stop there? Get your adrenaline rush by taking the zip line down!
All the climbing and exploring will leave you hungry. Once you’ve had enough of rocks and caves, head to the onsite cafe for a bite to eat, or head to the gift shop for a souvenir.
Details: 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, San Antonio, TX 78266 | Website
SHOP AND EAT AT GRUENE HISTORIC DISTRICT
Established in 1872, Gruene (pronounced “green”) was first populated by German cotton farmers, dating back to the Civil War. Nowadays, the area is a thriving hotspot and one of the best things to do in New Braunfels.
Spend the day wandering its charming streets and admiring the historic buildings of Gruene. Visit Gruene Hall, and catch a dance performance or some of Texas’ best country music in the evening.
FLOAT DOWN THE COMAL RIVER OR THE GRUENE RIVER
The Comal River is one of the top attractions in New Braunfels. The Comal River stretches through the city, eventually merging into the Guadalupe River. People travel from all over the United States to float along the river in large rubber tubes.
Choose to float down the river in a rented tube, canoe, or paddleboat, or bring your own. It takes about 2.5 hours to float down the whole river, and you can rent equipment from Texas Tubes or Comal Tubes at affordable prices.
There are also plenty of great spots for taking a dip and cooling off, as well as picnic areas for taking a lunch break.
Details: 1405 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
SPLISH SPLASH AT SCHLITTERBAHN WATERPARK
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort spans 65 acres of the banks of the Comal River. This scenic area offers stunning natural beauty and endless hours of fun.
Not only is this waterpark one of the best things to do in New Braunfels, but it’s also been recognized as the best waterpark in the world for the past 15 years! Slip and slide your way down 17 water slides, have a go on the world’s first surfing machine, and wind your way down the river with over three miles of tubing adventures.
The resort offers a range of accommodation options and restaurants. You can also bring your own food and set up a spot on the grass for the day. The resort is open all year round.
Details: 400 N Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
Read More: MAKE A SPLASH AT THESE 34 WATER PARKS IN TEXAS
GRAB A BITE AT NAEGELIN’S BAKERY
The oldest bakery in Texas is located in New Braunfels, and the town’s heavy German influence is present in the bakery’s selection of fresh-baked goods.
Arrive early at Naegelin’s Bakery for the best selection of treats. There’s everything from donuts and kolaches, to more traditional German baked goods, like pretzels and strudels.
Details: 129 S Seguin Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
CATCH A FISH IN CANYON LAKE
Canyon Lake is one of the deepest lakes in Texas and lies close to New Braunfels. Offering 80 miles of shoreline, it’s a popular spot for fishers, sailors, and water sports lovers. If you’re visiting New Braunfels in the summer, Canyon Lake is a great place to spend the day.
Explore the lake and the five communities scattered along the outskirts, taking a dip in the cool water here and there to cool off. Be sure to add Canyon Lake Gorge to your itinerary. Here you’ll find fossils and dinosaur tracks that date back hundreds of millions of years.
SAMPLE YOUR WAY THRU THE HILL COUNTRY CRAFT BEER TRAIL
Want a true taste of Texas? The Hill Country Craft Beer Trail makes for a great day out. Visit and sip on delicious craft beers at the numerous breweries in Hill Country.
Join one of the many tours and ride from brewery to brewery on a comfortable shuttle bus. You’ll get complimentary food and drinks along the way while you take in the spectacular sights of the Texas countryside.
ALL ABOARD THE NEW BRAUNFELS RAILROAD MUSEUM
If you’re interested in locomotives, visiting the New Braunfels Railroad Museum is a must. Learn about Texas’s railroad history as you wander around this delightful museum.
The museum features a mixture of full-size and miniature locomotives, and you can even drive a model train! It’s also completely free, making it an excellent activity for anyone traveling on a budget!
Details: 302 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
CATCH A WAKE AT TEXAS SKI RANCH
Texas Ski Ranch is an outdoor sports complex that spans over 70 acres. Set on the banks of a man-made lake, the Texas Ski Ranch provides hours of fun for all ages.
Try your hands (and feet) at water activities like boating, water skiing, or wakeboarding. Or, if you’d rather stay dry, you can also enjoy paintballing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and much more.
No boat? No problem! Wakeboard and waterski on the cable lakes at TSR. They pride themselves on having one of the top-ranked facilities in the world with some of the best coaches and southern hospitality that can’t be beat.
Beginners can learn to ride on the ‘Lil Bro or take a private lesson on System 2.0. More advanced riders can enjoy the ever-changing lake of features full of rails and kickers or challenge themselves to amp it up and catch some air. The cable park at TSR is truly perfect for all abilities and ages. Plus, those who aren’t into the action can lounge on the beach or grab a seat up at Sylver Spoon and enjoy the show.
Details: 6700 I-35, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
BOOT SCOOT AT GRUENE HALL
Not much has changed, design-wise, inside this historical hall, so you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back into the 19th century during your visit to Gruene Hall.
Listening to live, country music is undoubtedly a clear winner when it comes to favorite things to do in New Braunfels at night. Experience authentic Texan entertainment when you dance the night away in this hall.
Details: 1281 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
GRAB SOME VITAMIN D AT LANDA PARK
A visit to Landa Park is one of the best things to do in New Braunfels and a popular spot for locals and tourists seeking a breath of fresh air. The park covers 51 acres of land along the river, and features various entertainment and recreation facilities.
Inside Landa Park, you’ll find a large swimming pool, a lake where you can go paddle boating, a mini-golf course, a tennis court, a miniature train, and much more. If you’d rather just take a relaxing stroll around the park, there are two hiking trails you can embark on. Don’t forget to bring a packed lunch to eat in the picnic area shaded by ancient oak trees!
Details: 164 Landa Park dr., New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
TALK TO THE ANIMALS AT ANIMAL WORLD AND SNAKE FARM ZOO
What started in 1967 as a popular snake farm, became a fully accredited zoo in 2012. The Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo in New Bruanels still has lots of snakes and gators, but it now also boasts more than 500 different animals, most of which are rescues. You can come and see primates, such as cute capuchin monkeys, exotic birds, cats, longhorns, and much more. Visitors can watch animal feeding or even handle snakes at specific hours.
Feeding the wild animals is not allowed, but there is a nice petting zoo where kids can enjoy handing out snacks to the animals. The zoo encourages “adoption” of animals by asking for financial assistance in feeding them, and they stress animal care, conservation, and environmental stewardship.
Details: 5640 IH 35 S, New Braunfels, TX 78132 | Website
BIKE OR WALK FAUST STREET BRIDGE
Visiting the Faust Street Bridge is one of the best things to do in New Braunfels. It’s long been one of the city’s top landmarks, while also being one of its most historic sites. Built in 1887, the bridge crosses the wide Guadalupe River and was one of the first toll-free passages over the water for Texans. It was an important thoroughfare for wagons and carriages, and, later on, automobiles.
Now, it’s one of the last wrought iron bridges in the state and opens for pedestrians and cyclists to use. Time your visit to the bridge at sunset for a spectacular view over the river and surrounding scenery.
PULL INTO THE STARS AND STRIPES DRIVE-IN THEATRE
Looking for one of the best things to do in New Braunfels in the evening? Head to the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre for a fun blast from the past.
The theatre is open from Friday to Sunday evening, and showcases different films across three screens. There’s also a 50s-style cafe nearby for snacks and drinks!
Details: 1178 Kroesche Ln, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
TOAST TEXAS AT DRY COMAL CREEK VINEYARDS
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards is a boutique winery that has won awards for the delicious wines produced there. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or you just enjoy a glass here and there, this makes a great day out.
The tasting room offers breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery and a great atmosphere for relaxing. So head on down, grab a glass, and get merry—you deserve it!
Details: 1741 Herbelin Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132 | Website
TOUR THE NEW BRAUNFELS FIRE MUSEUM
This is a free museum affiliated with the New Braunfels (NB) Fire Dept. It is located next to fire station #1 on S. Hill Ave, and there are no specific hours. Just go to the fire station and ask if someone can give you access to the museum.
The building itself is a bit over 100 years old and was replaced by the new station sometime in the 1980s. The musuem houses four old fire engines and several smaller hand or horse-drawn auxiliary pieces. We had friends from out of town, including a retired Battalion chief, and thought he might enjoy the stop, which he did. There is also a book and photo room that would interest history buffs. Most of the items that I saw were from 1930s to 1960s.
This is perhaps a 10 to 15 min stop and could easily be added to a visit to the Railroad Museum, which is less than a block down the street.
Details: Hill Ave., New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
TASTE THE GRAPES AT THE WINERY ON THE GRUENE
Winery on the Gruene is the only winery located in historic Gruene! This award-winning boutique winery specializes in making wine from all over the world.
At Winery on the Gruene, they blend, ferment, age and bottle over 30 different wines.
Visit here and enjoy a wine tasting of any four of their wines. Tastings are offered daily, and no reservation is required. They have lots of outdoor seating and limited seating upstairs. Their outside areas are family and pet-friendly.
Details: 1308 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
PLEASE THE KIDS AT MCKENNA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
McKenna Children’s Museum offers kids interactive, hands-on exhibits that focus on culture, technology, and space to encourage and unleash learning and imagination. The range of exhibits is enormous, and there is something for everyone. The activities are linked to scenarios of everyday life that kids can explore, such as the Lend a Hand Ranch, Grocery Store, Outside the Lines Art Studio, Tot Spot, Destination Space, and so much more.
Destination Space is particularly popular because it takes the kids out of their world into another. They learn fun facts about space, have a light and music adventure, and even dress in special clothes for their space exploration.
In the Grocery Store, they play at running a store and learn to count and speak Spanish. At McKenna Hospital, they learn about what goes on in hospitals, inpatient rooms, or in an ambulance. The Under the Comal River Exhibit teaches kids about creatures living in rivers and other waters.
Details: 801 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
EAT YOUR VEGGIES AT NEW BRAUNFELS FARMERS MARKET
Worried about missing your weekly local farmer’s market while you’re away? Don’t worry, because New Braunfels is home to its very own.
The New Braunfels Farmers Market is open every Saturday (rain or shine!) and boasts a huge range of local stalls selling everything from fruit and vegetables to skincare products and homeware. It’s also a great spot to chat with the locals or listen to some live entertainment while you shop.
If you want a truly local souvenir, we highly recommend spending the morning browsing the farmer’s market. Plus, you’ll be supporting local businesses!
Details: 186 S Castell Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
ADVENTURE WITH SPASS WALKING TOURS
We’re huge advocates of discovering new places on foot, which is why we think a walking tour is one of the best things to do in New Braunfels!
Discover the historical sites and culture of New Braunfels with Spass Walking Tours. Choose from a variety of easy walking tours that’ll take you all over the city. Tour the top sites in New Braunfels, or explore downtown and all it has to offer.
They also offer a scavenger hunt, a fun activity to do if you’re in a large group. Check out their website for information about the different tours on offer and their prices.
LEARN ABOUT THE PAST AT THE SOPHIENBURG MUSEUM
If you’re looking for the best things to do in New Braunfels, and you want to learn more about the city and its history, visit the Sophienburg Museum. Here you’ll discover a range of artifacts, photos, and articles relating to the German colonists who settled in New Braunfels.
The museum also hosts regular events to learn even more about the heritage of New Braunfels and Comal County. It’s a great way to spend a rainy day!
Details: 401 W Coll St, New Braunfels, TX 78130 | Website
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO TEXAS
- SAN MARCOS: 15 Fantastic Things To Do In San Marcos, Texas
- LUBBOCK: 18 Amazingly Fun Things To Do In Lubbock, Texas
- PORT ARANSAS: 22 Super Fun Things To Do In Port Aransas, Texas
- AUSTIN: 36 Best Things To Do In Austin, Texas You’ll Love
- TEXAS WATER PARKS: Make A Splash At These 34 Water Parks In Texas
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