New Braunfels is a perfect location, being only a short half hour drive from either Austin or San Antonio. There are lots of big, healthy, old trees throughout the area casting shade over the river and nearby Lakes: Placid, Mcqueeney, Dunlap, and Canyon Lake. The deservingly famous Gruene Historical District is also only a few minutes away, and floating the nearby Copal river is a staple of any true Texan.
The most notable landmark of New Braunfels is certainly the river running along Historic Gruene. Floating down the river is unlike floating along any other river and is a unique and authentic experience in its own right. One of the best places to jump in is at the foot of a slide at nearby Schlitterbahn Water Park, a colossal water park, the first of its kind, with dozens and dozens of attractions, rides, and more.
Schlitterbahn has won Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award 16 years running, and prides itself on having something for everybody. The town's treasured Gruene Historical District actually feels like a walk back in time, and also includes perhaps Texas' most famous music venue and dance hall, the Gruene Music Hall, which features live and original Texas music every day and often draws in big acts as well. New Braunfels because of its location and history also has an impressive wealth of antique stores, small museums, wineries, and charming family run eateries scattered throughout. With three surrounding lakes, a zoo, its own drive-in theatre, and neighbors like San Antonio and Austin, you will never want for something fun to get into.
As you can imagine, touring old town Gruene on foot, exploring the sprawling water park that is Schlitterbahn, or losing yourself in antique shopping can work up an appetite. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the portions of the home-style country cooking served up around here. You're much more likely to leave with a handful of boxes than hungry. One of the city's best is Gristmill, a shady spot overlooking the river with indoor and outdoor seating and a variety of seafood and classic Texan dishes. Along the lines of everything bigger, it's worth it at least for first-timers to check out the colossus of a rest stop that is Buc-ee's, which includes every kind of Texas Souvenir, delicacy, and miscellaneous goodies that you could imagine. For a genuine Texas barbeque experience, Cooper's Old Time BBQ Pit is the place to go - you'll likely have to wait - but the aromatic smell churning out of the classic bbq joint is enough to curb your appetite alone, and their famous "Big Chop" ought to knock out even the biggest appetites.
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