When you think of Texas Hill Country, one often thinks of New Braunfels, a delicious wine or craft beer tasting room, and floating the Guadalupe River. Of course, these are just a few of the things to do in New Braunfels.
As Texas natives, we can’t help but think of all the fun to be had throughout New Braunfels — especially when traveling during Texas’ three warm seasons.
Whether you are looking to spend a romantic weekend just the two of you, or you are traveling with a group of friends, New Braunfels definitely has something for everyone.
When you combine all of the things to do in New Braunfels with the fact that New Braunfels is located about 45 minutes north of San Antonio, you are sure to be in for a fun Texas treat.
While many choose to stop into New Braunfels on the way to San Antonio, we recommend spending a few days here to enjoy all that the city has to offer.
Let’s explore all of the great things to do in New Braunfels so that you can start planning your trip!
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1. Explore Local Wineries
Living in a state whose manner of operation is hot and humid most of the time, our favorite pairing is visiting the vineyards that make the hill country famous before taking a float down the Guadalupe River or Comal River, both of which can be found in New Braunfels, TX.
Deciding which wineries to visit can be daunting, but the Dry Comal Creek Vineyards should make your list. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards is a hidden gem located a few miles outside of New Braunfels.
The vineyard boasts a completely outdoor tasting area with lush grapevines, and if you visit Dry Comal Creek Vineyards on a weekend, often has food trucks and live music. As of the date this article was published, prices for wine by the bottle start at $24 and up.
Additional wineries serving up Texas-style wines worth a stop are: Winery on the Gruene, Water 2 Wine, and La Cruz de Comal Wines.
Of course, we don’t recommend drinking and driving, so don’t forget to bring your boring friend to DD (after all, the best friend groups are made up of equal parts crazy friends and boring friends).
2. Check Out Craft Breweries
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Not into wine? Don’t worry! Plan this same adventure but plan your drink stops along the craft beer trail.
The Hill Country Craft Beer Trail is a great way to check out many of the local Texas breweries in and around the New Braunfels area.
At the time of publication, participating breweries included Big Hops, Bourbon & Branch, BS Brewing, Krause’s, and Guadalupe Brewing Company, just to name a few.
The Guadalupe Brewing Company is a great bet for those who love exploring true Texas craft beers. The Guadalupe Brewing Company prides itself creating fun and unique beers, always experimenting with different flavor combinations.
After visiting your desired drink stops, have your DD wrangle the crew and head to the river.
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3. Float the Guadalupe River
Tubing in Texas is a must! And you haven’t truly done this if you have never gone New Braunfels tubing!
One of the two rivers in New Braunfels to go tubing on is the Guadalupe.
Floating the Guadalupe can take anywhere from 2-6 hours, depending on which drop point and extraction point you plan to utilize. For this reason, we recommend planning your float beforehand to ensure you arrive with enough time and bring adequate supplies (i.e., sunscreen, drinks, and snacks!).
Visit a local vendor, like Whitewater Sports, offering river floats to learn more about the float lengths currently offered.
When we wrote this article, Texas was experiencing one of its draught years, and 2-hour floats were all that were offered on the Guadalupe— the perfect length anyway for our water & wine adventure.
If the Guadalupe River isn’t your jam, you may find the Comal River more enjoyable.
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4. Float the Comal River
120 Landa St., New Braunfels, TX 78130
The calmer of the two river floats in New Braunfels, TX is the Comal River. While the Guadalupe is known as the party river, most will find the Comal River much more family-friendly.
Launch from the Prince Solms Park Gateway River Entrance, where you will find onsite parking and tube rentals managed by the city of New Braunfels.
By comparison, the Comal River float is shorter than the Guadalupe River float, has calmer waters, and lies entirely within the city boundaries of New Braunfels.
Most known for its famous tube chute, and water that is 72 (ish) degrees Fahrenheit year-round, the Comal River float doubles as a tour of the area.
Comal is open year-round for recreational activities and only closes when river flows are unsafe. However, the city’s tube chute is only open on weekends in May and daily from June to late August.
Utilizing city resources isn’t required to float the Comal River, third party outfitters also service this float.
Visit the city of New Braunfels Comal River webpage to learn more about city resources, find links to third-party vendors, parking, and river maps, and view a helpful list of common items not allowed on the river.
No matter which river you float, this water and wine adventure is the perfect mix of indoor and outdoor activities, ensuring a fun time.
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5. Go Hiking at Landa Park
164 Landa Park Dr., New Braunfels, TX 78130
Not into leisure, don’t worry, you can channel your inner outdoorsmen/outdoorswomen by exploring one of the many trails the New Braunfels area has to offer.
Located in Landa Park, Panther Canyon draws in hikers because of its rare trees.
Panther Canyon Nature Trail, located in Landa Park, is great for those who like the outdoors but aren’t trying to get too serious.
Taking just 38-ish minutes to complete the trail, this 1.7-mile route is considered easy and great for beginners.
If you want a second hike, then check out the Harry Landa Tree Trail also. Be sure and keep your eyes out while hiking as you might spot some Texas wildlife.
Honestly, Landa Park has so much to offer visitors. Even if you don’t want to spend time hiking, just being at Landa Park is a great way to get outdoors.
I mean, you can even just spend a relaxing day at Landa Park and not exert any energy if you don’t want.
Landa Park also offers a mini golf course, tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, and paddle boats for rent!
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6. Enjoy the Natural Bridge Wildlife Safari
26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd., San Antonio, TX 78266
At Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, you will encounter gems from the animal world such as wildebeest, giraffes, ostriches & Emu (terrifying.. giant dinosaurs with feathers), wallaby, and adorable lemurs.
This safari experience is a drive though, so make sure to talk your aforementioned boring friend into driving, so no animals mess up your car. While damage to your car is unlikely (we’re just poking fun here), these are wild animals, so anything is possible.
If the idea of giant birds terrifies you as much as it does us, skip experiencing the animal world and take a trip to the Natural Bridge Caverns instead.
Be sure to visit the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch website for complete details.
7. Go Underground at the Natural Bridge Caverns
26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd., San Antonio, TX 78266
As if cave adventures weren’t cool enough, Natural Bridge Caverns offer six tour variations.
Depart from your inner basic Bear Grylls mentality and channel your inner Indiana Jones in Natural Bridge Caverns Adventure Tour, where you can experience an off-trail, wild cave experience.
Be warned, though, finding treasure isn’t guaranteed as part of this tour, so of the most Instagramable experience, you may need to BYOA (bring your own artifact).
8. Visit the New Braunfels Farmer’s Market
186 S Castell Ave., New Braunfels, TX 78130
Let’s face it, if there’s one thing Texans know, it’s how to eat. After, floating the river, drinking all the beer and wine you can handle, or interacting with the delicious-looking meaty bodies of Africa’s herbivores, you’re sure to work up an appetite.
Thankfully, New Braunfels, Texas, offers plenty of places to satiate your stomach groans.
If you’re visiting on a Saturday, swing by New Braunfels Farmer’s Market where you will find access to locally grown fruits, veggies, dairy products, baked goods, and pasture-raised meats.
The New Braunfels Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., in Downtown New Braunfels. the more than 60 vendors at the New Braunfels Farmers Market provide a great way to try local eats you wouldn’t have access to at home, and stock up your Airbnb kitchen.
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9. Explore the Gruene Historic District
1601 Hunter Rd., New Braunfels, TX 78130
You may think the “Midnight in Paris” experience is only for the movies; however, in a city rife with historic buildings and historic sites there is no shortage of things to do for history buffs.
A visit to the Gruene Historic District, which is located close to Downtown New Braunfels, will transport you into a time when buildings were full of charm.
The Gruene Historic District is perfect for architecture lovers.
Gruene Historic District features gems like a general store, souvenir shops, Gristmill and Gruene Hall — Texas’ oldest dance hall (more on that below).
10. Sophienburg Museum
401 W. Coll St., New Braunfels, TX 78130
For those looking to take a holistic view of New Braunfels, look no further than Sophienburg Museum.
Sophienburg Museum chronicles the story of the city from the time when Prince Carl and his band of German settlers set over to establish a colony on the outskirts of Native American Territory.
Filled with photographs, artifacts, newspapers, and other documents visitors will be lead through the history of New Braunfels and Comal County as a whole.
Sophie’s Shop, the museum store, offers museum goers the chance to take home unique German collectibles.
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11. New Braunfels Conservation Society
1300 Churchill Drive, New Braunfels, TX 78130
After visiting the museum, head over to the New Braunfels Conservation Society and New Braunfels Conservation Plaza.
The plaza features historic German homes and historic buildings gifted to the New Braunfels Conservation Society instead of being destroyed completely.
Many of these acquired buildings feature the lost German art of Fachwerk construction — rife with adobe brick, waddle and daube, rammed earth, fieldstone, and cut stone.
There is no fee to visit the New Braunfels Conservation Society Plaza, but donations are appreciated.
Tours of the area are provided during regular business hours by appointment. The quaint buildings are easy to appreciate.
If you are a lover of local history, then be sure to add this to your things to do in New Braunfels list.
12. Dance the Night Away at Gruene Hall
1281 Gruene Road New Braunfels, TX 78130
Slide on your cowboy boot and get ready for a night of boot scootin’ fun when you visit the ‘Oldest Dance Hall in the state’ (according to the Gruene Hall website).
Gruene Hall is the perfect place to enjoy a night of live music in Central Texas. We love that the circa-1878 building is still very much like it was in its inception.
The open-air venue is a fun nod to its past and well worth being on your list of things to do in New Braunfels, Texas.
13. Visit the New Braunfels Fire Museum
169 South Hill Avenue, New Braunfels TX 78130
The modern day New Braunfels Fire Museum is located in the city’s former Central Fire Station that was in use from 1918 until 1985.
Thanks to the commitment of the Battalion Chief at the time, Darren Brinkkoeter, the Fire Museum opened in 1995 on the city’s 150th anniversary!
Adding the fire museum onto your list of things to do in New Braunfels gives you the opportunity to feel like you have taken a step into firefighter history.
Amongst the old tools, helmets, and clothing, you will find some unique and interesting memorabilia.
One such item to note is the Bucket Brigade Buckets which were used for fire extinguishing far before the modern technology of fire fighting took place.
Don’t miss the 1886 Hose Cart, the 1931 American LaFrance, or the 1950 Ford Pumper during your visit to the New Braunfels Fire Museum as well, all pieces of firefighting history.
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14. Spend Time on Canyon Lake
As one of the most beautiful lakes in Texas (and one of the deepest lakes in Texas), Canyon Lake is well worth adding to your list of things to do in New Braunfels!
Canyon Lake encompasses over 8,000-acres of surface area in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. That means that there is plenty of room for most any type of lake recreation that you can think of!
Noted throughout the state for its crystal clear blue water, Canyon Lake is truly a sight to behold.
In addition to swimming, fishing, and skiing, Canyon Lake is also a popular lake for diving. The clear water means there is usually excellent visibility, making this a popular recreation sport to do while in New Braunfels, TX.
If you are visiting during a time when it is too cold to swim, then be sure to head to one of the numerous parks and beaches on Canyon Lake. I mean, it is know to have some of the best beaches near San Antonio!
Another popular spot to visit in this area is Canyon Lake Gorge.
The gorge was created in 2002 when a flood caused the waters of Canyon Lake to spill over its dam for more than six weeks straight!
The gorge is the perfect place to hunt for fossils, look for dinosaur tracks, and to see local wildlife.
This is also a great place to see Texas bluebonnets if you are visiting during the springtime.
15. Visit the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo
5640 Interstate 35 South, New Braunfels, TX 78132
What originated in 1967 as a snake farm has since grown into a center housing several hundred animals, thus creating the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo that you can visit today.
At its inception, the Snake Farm Zoo was home to snakes and reptiles. Thanks to its popularity as a roadside attraction in New Braunfels, it grew, and in 2007, the owners expanded and changed its name to the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo.
Today, the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo is an accredited zoo and is home to over 500 animals!
While you still see a nod to its past when you visit many of the original exhibits, you will be happy to know that the owners have since revamped the space to ensure the animals have the best possible enclosures.
In addition to the reptiles on property, you can also see longhorns, cats, Capuchin monkeys, and exotic birds.
Be sure to visit the nice petting zoo that is on the property during your time there as well!
Animal lovers will definitely enjoy adding this to their list of New Braunfels attractions.
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16. Cool Off at Schlitterbahn Waterpark
400 W. Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130
If you want a cool place to escape from the sweltering Texas heat, then you will definitely want Schlitterbahn Waterpark to be on your list of things to do in New Braunfels.
The 70-acre Schlitterbahn Waterpark is loaded with tons of wet and wild attractions suited for the entire family.
The New Braunfels Schlitterbahn Waterpark is located on the banks of the Comal River and offers up 17 water slides, numerous play areas for children, 3 uphill water coasters, and picnic areas.
One of the highlights of the park is the surf machine where guests can hang ten (or fall like I did)!
The 72-degree water is extremely refreshing, making it one of the best ways to cool off during your summer visit to New Braunfels.
Overall, there are over 50 different attractions in the park for visitors to enjoy!
Be sure to visit their website for prices and operating hours.
17. McKenna Children’s Museum
801 W. San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, TX 78130
If you are traveling with children and they love hands-on activities, then you have to take them to the McKenna Children’s Museum.
The museum’s main target is children under the age of eight and it focuses on helping them explore the world around them by fostering and encouraging imaginative play.
With a focus on culture, space, and technology, the McKenna Children’s Museum is sure to have something that will spark the interest of your little one.
I love that the activities simulate everyday life. For example, a child can choose to get creative in the art studio, work or shop at the grocery store, or explore outer space in Destination Space. (Honestly, I think the Destination Space area is one of the most popular!)
The McKenna Hospital section even allows kids to see what goes on in providing patient care at a hospital. We are talking everything from the ambulance to a patient’s room.
The McKenna Children’s Museum certainly sparks imagination and is a great addition to your things to do in New Braunfels if you have children.
Please visit the McKenna Children’s Museum website for more information.
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18. Check Out the Faust Street Bridge
Add the Faust Street Bridge to your list of things to do in New Braunfels if you are looking for a great photo spot!
Faust Street Bridge, which was built in 1887, rises over the Guadalupe River in Comal County and served as the first toll free passage over the waterway in Texas!
In addition to that little piece of history, the bridge’s design is also historic as it was one of the first multi-span Whipple truss bridges.
Throughout its history the bridge carried passengers in horse drawn wagons and on horseback until eventually vehicles started crossing it. Unfortunately, the bridge caught fire in 1978 and it at that time it was closed to traffic.
Today, the bridge is open to pedestrian traffic on bicycle and foot, and is a great place to practice some of your photography.
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19. See a Performance at Brauntex Performing Arts Center
290 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels, TX 78130
We love seeing live performances in small town theatres while touring Texas. If that is you as well, then add the Brauntex Performing Arts Center to your list of things to do in New Braunfels.
Built in 1942 as a movie theater, the Brauntex Performing Arts Center has been a staple in the New Braunfels Community for years.
In the late 90s, community members raised money to preserve the theater and turned it into a performing arts center.
The art-deco style theater holds just over 600 visitors and hosts numerous types of performances throughout the year.
Take a look at their line-up to see singers, comedians, bands, and plays. Once you have found the perfect performance for your night out, then you can purchase tickets either online or at the box office.
20. Visit the New Braunfels Railroad Museum
302 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels, TX 78130
You will find the New Braunfels Railroad Museum located inside of the restored International & Great Northern, Missouri Pacific, and Union Pacific Depot building (man, is that a mouthful).
This free museum includes exhibits that tell the history of the railroad in not only this area, but in all of Texas.
At the New Braunfels Railroad Museum, you can see items such as a 1950 caboose, a restored Pullman dining car, and, of course, loads of artifacts and relics related to trains.
In addition, kids (and kids at heart) will love taking control of the miniature train that is on site. I think kids of all ages love driving the miniature train!
There is also a library with over 600 railroad-related books on site. Of course, the museum also hosts numerous events throughout the year.
Be sure to check out their website for complete details.
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21. Have Fun at Texas Ski Ranch
6700 Interstate 35 North, New Braunfels, TX 78130
If you are in the need for something more adventurous, then add the Texas Ski Ranch to your list of things to do in New Braunfels, Texas.
The Texas Ski Ranch boasts 70-acres of outdoor sports. We are talking wakeboarding, boating, paintball, and waterskiing, just to name a few.
There is also an outdoor skate park where skaters of all ages can try their skills before hitting the “slopes” to learn to snowboard.
Kids ages six and up will also want to visit the indoor trampoline park during their time at the Texas Ski Ranch.
The facility also offers after-school programs, birthday parties, and even private lessons. The fact that the park is open year-round means it is always a good time to visit!
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22. Shop the Downtown Antique Mall
209 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels, TX 78130
Visiting the Downtown Antique Mall in Downtown New Braunfels, Texas is a treasure hunter’s dream!
With over 6,000-square-feet of space housing over 60 vendors, the Downtown Antique Mall houses loads of antiques just waiting for a new home.
During your visit, be sure to notice the building that houses the Downtown Antique Mall. Originating from the early 1900’s, the building itself is a a local treasure as well.
Inside you can browse everything from antique furniture to vintage coins. I especially love seeing all of the antique toys and lunch boxes!
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23. Learn From Locals at Spass Walking Tours
To learn more about the city of New Braunfels, Texas, then you will definitely want to book a tour with Spass Walking Tours.
This local tour agency offers up several different tours for you to choose from.
You can enjoy learning about the historic sites of downtown New Braunfels, or take a walking tour to explore the murals in the city.
They also offer a downtown scavenger hunt and tours where you can sample some of the local food and drinks in the area.
Spass Walking Tours should definitely be on your list of things to do in New Braunfels, Texas!
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24. Visit the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture
1370 Churchill Drive, New Braunfels, TX 78130
The Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture is a unique museum located in New Braunfels, Texas that allows guest to dive deeper into the history of the German settlers that first settled New Braunfels.
What was once the home of furniture collectors Nan and Bill Dillen is not the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture.
The museum showcases the Dillen’s collection of over 70 pieces of antique Biedermeier furniture.
In addition to the furniture, guests can also see period accessories such as handmade quilts. The property is also home to a log cabin, a cabinetry shop, and a summer kitchen.
Take it from us, if you are a history lover, then you will want to add the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture to your list of things to do in New Braunfels, Texas.
25. See a Show at Stars and Stripes Drive In Theatre
1178 Kroesche Ln., New Braunfels, TX 78130
As you have probably realized from reading this post, New Braunfels, Texas loves to honor its past, and that is definitely apparent when you visit the Stars and Stripes Drive In Theatre.
Plan your visit to New Braunfels, Texas on the weekend so that you can enjoy watching a movie under the stars at the Stars and Stripes Drive In Theatre.
This family-owned establishment boasts three movie screens each featuring three different films each night. The best part is, your ticket is good for a double-feature, so you get two movies for the price of one.
Grab some treats from the 50’s themed cafe and curl up with your loved ones to enjoy a nostalgic movie experience at the Stars and Stripes Drive In Theatre!
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26. Catch a Live Show at Circle Arts Theatre
124 Elizabeth St., New Braunfels, TX 78130
Another live performance venue in New Braunfels, Texas is the Circle Arts Theatre.
Since its opening in 1968, the Circle Arts Theatre has put on more than 130 productions for the New Braunfels community.
Their productions range from dramatic plays to lighthearted comedies, so they truly offer something to appeal to everyone.
Be sure to visit their website for more information and then add this to your list of things to do in New Braunfels, Texas.
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27. Visit Wurstfest
To truly immerse yourself in the German culture that helped to create New Braunfels, Texas, then you have to plan a visit to the annual celebration of all things German, Wurstfest.
The festival is the perfect combination of German and Texas heritage all mixed into one.
Every year, the festival hosts fun games, carnival rides, and live performance that get the crowd laughing and, even participating!
Of course, Wurstfest also serves up some delicious German food like sausages and strudels.
The location on the headwaters of the gorgeous Comal River help to set the scene for this fun annual event!
In our opinion, Wurstfest is one of the most fun things to do in New Braunfels, so don’t miss it!
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About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.
Saturday 4th of March 2023
I’m now dreaming of warmer days as currently in the winter in the Alps! A very detailed and interesting article thank you for sharing :)
Tuesday 7th of March 2023
You and me both, Hannah. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!
Saturday 4th of March 2023
I had no idea Texas had wineries! A few tastings and a float down the river sound like the perfect Saturday afternoon! 🍷
Saturday 4th of March 2023
I want to go tubing in Texas! One of my fav things is tubing on vacation. What a great list of things to do in New Braunfels.