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Top Activities in New Braunfels

See all 61 things to do in New Braunfels

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New Braunfels Attractions

Situated halfway between San Antonio and Austin, the city of New Braunfels is a lesson in superlatives. The first German city to be established in the United States, New Braunfels—named for Solms-Braunfels, Germany—was once the fourth-largest city in Texas and, in 2015, was ranked the second-fastest growing city in the United States. Beyond the numbers, New Braunfels offers a taste of Texas Hill Country with a side Old World charm. Each year, 35,000 people flock to Wurstfest, a 10-day celebration offering endless pitchers of pilsner and tasty Bavarian treats. Whether you're an ardent history buff or you’re drawn to the region's thrilling whitewater, New Braunfels is an ideal place to satisfy your wanderlust in the Lone Star State.

Areas & Neighborhoods in New Braunfels

Willkommen to New Braunfels, where beloved local restaurants and Texas' oldest continuously running bakery stand beside a sprawling water park. The city's charming downtown beckons with a railroad museum, an opera house, and a Saturday farmers' market, while the Gruene Historic District allows visitors to peer into the past for a look at New Braunfels in its heyday.

Downtown

In the heart of Downtown, a main plaza and bandstand pay homage to the enduring influence that music has had on New Braunfels. From this idyllic green space, the city bustles in every direction. Eateries with names like Alpine Haus and the Gristmill reveal the German and Texan influences on the town, while sites like the Circle Arts Theatre and the McKenna Children's Museum appeal to travelers of all ages.

Gruene Historic District

Northeast of Downtown, the Gruene Historic District offers a look at the New Braunfels of long ago. Timber-frame houses line the lanes and a restaurant inside an 1878 cotton gin churns out chicken-fried steak along the banks of the rushing Guadalupe River. Nearby, the historic Gruene Hall hosts acclaimed American roots musicians and the Gruene General Store offers a chance to taste regional honey butters, jalapeno salsas, and fruit preserves.

Things to See in New Braunfels

In German, Braunfels translates to "brown rock"—but there's more to see in New Braunfels than rolling Texas prairie bisected by rocky riverbeds. In addition to the swing dance lessons and live music at Gruene Hall, the Brauntex Theatre showcases recitals, musicals, and concerts, with headliners like Donny Edwards and Rosanne Cash. Looking to catch a flick while you're in town? Head to the Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre, which shows feature films, rain or shine, every night of the week. Those who want to behold noteworthy artifacts and maps should head to the Sophienburg Museum and Archives, which documents the trailblazing German immigrants who established New Braunfels in 1844.

Sightseeing in New Braunfels

From turn-of-the-century structures to adrenaline-charged waterparks, New Braunfels offers a bevy of things to do in Central Texas. History buffs should begin at the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture, where exquisite pieces of German-made black walnut and pine furniture are housed inside a former log cabin. Those who want to pair their love of history with their passion for fine wine should consider a winery tour in the Texas Hill Country region. Or, choose to cool off on the action-packed rapids of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers during a guided whitewater or tubing experience. For those traveling with children, the Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort offers thrilling waterslides and tranquil kiddie pools where even the smallest sightseers can keep cool. Likewise, water sports enthusiasts can head to Texas Ski Ranch, where a wakeboard cable park promises warm-weather refreshment. For a walk on the wild side, the Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo houses exotic animals and some snakes that are indigenous to the region.

Things to Do in New Braunfels with Kids

New Braunfels is a fantastic destination for a family vacation. Bring the youngsters along and enjoy these fun family friendly experiences together:

Free Things to Do in New Braunfels

They say the best things in life are free. Check out the following around New Braunfels:

Central Texas Oil Patch Museum - Wander around and marvel at the captivating displays at this popular museum.

Faust Street Bridge - Wander around this historic site and find out some secrets from times past.

Christus Santa Rosa Hospital New Braunfels - Pull out your guidebook and learn why this place is worth adding to your travel itinerary.

Prince Solms Park - If you're into pottering about the garden, this attraction will excite your green thumb.

Explore The Neighborhoods of New Braunfels

San Marcos

Whether you attend a Texas State University sporting event or spend a day exploring the San Marcos River, this town displays Texan charm at its best.

ShoppingRiver ViewLive Music

Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake is noteworthy for its lake views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Whitewater Amphitheatre and Canyon Lake Marina.

WineriesHikingLakes

Wimberley

Wimberley is noteworthy for its river views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Blue Hole Regional Park and Central Texas Bonsai Exhibit at Jade Gardens.

River ViewSwimmingTropical

Spring Branch

Travelers like the parks in Spring Branch, and Guadalupe River State Park is a top attraction you might want to visit.

Friendly People

Gruene

River views, gardens, and shopping are some highlights of Gruene. Make a stop by Gruene Hall or Guadalupe River while you're exploring.

River ViewLive MusicGardens

Driftwood

Wineries and breweries are just a few things travelers like about Driftwood. A stop by Duchman Family Winery is also recommended if you've got time to explore the area.

Horseback RidingWineriesBeer

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in New Braunfels on a sunny day?

What to do in New Braunfels on a rainy day?

When it's pouring with rain, these fun indoor activities will keep you entertained — and nice and dry!:

Are there cheap things to do in New Braunfels?

What can you do in New Braunfels for free?

You'll hardly have time to dig your wallet out of your backpack with so many incredible free attractions:

  • San Marcos Premium Outlets
  • Texas State University-San Marcos
  • Guadalupe River
  • Landa Park