If you are in the great state of Texas and plan to visit Austin or San Antonio or both, you should definitely consider taking a side trip to Gruene, Texas (pronounced green).
An hour south of Austin and 45 minutes north of San Antonio, Gruene is right off Interstate 35 near the town of New Braunfels, Texas and can easily be visited as a day trip.
What's so special about Gruene you may be thinking?
While both Austin and San Antonio have amazing and unique things to offer - Gruene feels like a step back in time and is so authentic - you may decide to buy yourself a pair of boots, a cowboy hat and declare yourself a Texan there on the spot!
Heck - their town slogan is "Gently Resisting Change Since 1872".
Gruene is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was once a German settlement that saw its growth during the cotton boom until that ended and the town began to dissolve.
Although the now preserved Gruene has had a bumpy history one thing always remained & has stood the test of time - Gruene Hall. Gruene Hall, built in 1878, is the oldest operating dance hall in Texas and truly is the heart of this quaint town. It's a must-see for a boot scootin' good time!!
THINGS TO DO:
Music at Gruene Hall:
Besides unavoidable repairs, Gruene Hall is virtually unchanged. The German-style beer garden is not to be missed. Have a beer & take in a show - they have live music every day! Known as a starting point for up-and-coming performers, many greats have been discovered here including George Strait, Hal Ketchum and Lyle Lovett. Several other famous music performers also choose Gruene Hall as a venue like Garth Brooks & Willie Nelson. Check out www.gruenehall.com for the music calendar.
- Gruene General Store - selected as one of the 40 best places to visit in Texas, there's a fantastic selection of Texas souvenirs and absolutely something for everybody
- Gruene Haus - Texas gourmet food store featuring salsas, jellies, jams and other tasty treats
- Cantina Del Rio - yummy Mexican food & great outdoor deck overlooking the river
- Cooper's BBQ - the Texas Hill Country is known to be the BBQ Capital of the World & Cooper's is named one of the "Best of the Best"
- Gristmill River Restaurant - delicious American country food & located in an 1870's cotton gin underneath the Gruene water tower
- Mozies - classic American food & a cool bar
Gruene River Co. and Rockin 'R' River Rides can help outfit you for a half or all day excursion on the Guadalupe River with float essentials and river gear such as tubes, rafts or canoes
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort:
In nearby New Braunfels, Schlitterbahn has been dubbed America's favorite among water parks with over 3 miles of tubing adventures, 17 water slides and the world's first surfing machine
Written and contributed by Lauren DiMarco