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Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip To New Braunfels

September 29, 2012 6:00 AM

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(credit: Gruene Historic District/Facebook)

(credit: Gruene Historic District/Facebook)

As fall settles in and the weather grows milder, the Texas hill country beckons, and New Braunfels offers an inviting escape for nature lovers and cultural history seekers alike. With its roots in the traditional German culture that the original settlers to the area brought with them, New Braunfels promises a unique experience that treats visitors to a getaway that is all at once entertaining, educational and relaxing.

Getting There

Nestled midway between San Antonio and Austin off of I-35, New Braunfels is approximately a three-hour drive from Houston. Head west on I-10 to Seguin. Take the State Highway 46 exit (exit 607) and go 15 miles north on Highway 46 into town.

Related: Fun Texas Weekend Getaways

What to Do

naturalbridgecaverns Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip To New Braunfels

(credit: naturalbridgecaverns.com)

Natural Bridge Caverns
26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road
Natural Bridge Caverns, TX 78266
(210) 651-6101
www.naturalbridgecaverns.com

Click here for prices and hours

Discovered in 1960 under a 65-foot limestone bridge, Texas’ largest show cavern now offers visitors an amazing lesson in the studies of geology and archaeology. Travel a little more than .5 miles below the earth’s surface on the Discovery Tour, or see the more recent discoveries in the Hidden Passages Tour. Along with the tours of the caverns, a canopy ropes course and zip lines offer extra fun, as do a working mining sluice and a wildlife park.

Gruene Hall
1281 Gruene Road
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 606-1281
www.gruenehall.com

A true taste of Texas culture, Gruene Hall bills itself as Texas’ oldest dance hall. Live music keeps the dance floor bustling every night of the week, but even the daytime visitors may spend hours checking out the hundreds of photos and the memorabilia of some of the A-list bands and singers that have taken the stage at Gruene Hall.

heritagevillage Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip To New Braunfels

(credit: nbheritagevillage.com)

Heritage Village
1370 Churchill Drive
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 629-6504
www.nbheritagevillage.com

Price: $5 adults/$4 seniors 62 and older/$1 kids ages 6 to 12

As the name suggests, this setting was created to offer visitors a living history lesson on the cultural and environmental influences that helped shape life in central Texas. The historic Breustedt-Dillen house is the home of the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture that German immigrants crafted after settling in the area in the 19th century. Other homes and structures in the village offer glimpses into everyday life during the early days of Texas’ history.

Landa Park
362 Aquatic Circle
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 625-8285
www.nbtexas.org/

Click here for picnic fees

Plan an afternoon hiking the nature trails, fishing in the park’s lake or getting close to nature in the arboretum. The entire family may take in a round of miniature golf or enjoy a leisurely ride on the Landa Park Railroad that winds its way through the 51-acre park. In November, LandaPark becomes the home of Wurstfest, the annual German fall festival hosted by New Braunfels.

Related: Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to San Antonio

Dining

The Gristmill
1287 Gruene Road
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 625-0684
www.gristmillrestaurant.com

With a captivating view of the Guadalupe River below, this restaurant, set on the site of an old cotton gin, is on the National Registry of Historic Places. While the vista and history attract the curious, it is the food that makes the Gristmill a favorite. Fish, steaks, chicken and a variety of burgers and sandwiches dot the menu. Save room for one of the signature desserts including fudge pie or Jack Daniel’s pecan pie.

omashouse Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip To New Braunfels

(credit: Oma’s Haus)

Oma’s Haus
541 S. State Highway 46
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 625-3280
www.omashaus.com

German for granny’s house, the name of the restaurant captures its essence. German-style schnitzels, strudels, sausages and sauerkraut are offered alongside traditional fare such as homestyle fried chicken and pork chops. The quaint gift shop is stocked with hundreds of unique mementos. Oma’s also makes 12 varieties of fudge perfect for the ride home.

Lodging

princesolmsinn Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip To New Braunfels

(credit: princesolmsinn.com)

Prince Solms Inn
295 E. San Antonio St.
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 625-9169
www.princesolmsinn.com

Prices: $125 to $175 per night (varies by room and seasonal availability)

This area landmark boasts continuous operation as a hotel in New Braunfels since 1898. The inn offers two first-floor suites and eight second-floor guest rooms that are appointed with décor reminiscent of those early days. A full country breakfast is served daily in the dining room and the courtyard or upstairs balcony are relaxing retreats.

Gruene River Inn
1111 Gruene Road
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 627-1600
www.grueneriverinn.com

Prices: $140-$280 per night (varies by room and seasonal availability)

This relatively new addition to the Gruene historic district is just more than 10 years old and offers convenient access to the shopping, dining and entertainment destinations nearby. At the same time, the vistas from the inviting accommodations transport guests away from the hustle of city life.

Lonnie King is a freelance writer living in Houston. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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