I just love New Braunfels. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend planning a trip, particularly in the summer time when the river is cold and the tubin’ is easy. Home to the original Schlitterbahn water park, New Braunfels has great German food, fantastic coffee, and pastries galore. I spent quite a lot of time in New Braunfels last summer for work but recently had the pleasure of playing in New Braunfels with my friend Jessica of mycurlyadventures.com. Here’s a recap of all the fun things we did!
We stayed at Marglin Ranch, a true Texas Airbnb experience about fifteen minutes out of town. A working cattle ranch, guests can help feed the cows and enjoy the sun rising over the pasture while sipping their morning coffee. There are multiple vacation rentals on the property, including a large ranch-style house with pool, a smaller pool house, a ridiculously charming log cabin, and the Ranch Hand House, which is where we stayed. The cozy house was recently renovated with rustic chic touches. The best part? Marglin Ranch horse Six greets you when you come and go!
Speaking of horses, this is actually a horse vacation rental, meaning if you are in town for a horse show, you and your horse can stay comfortably at Marglin Ranch and practice for the big day in the 20,000 square foot covered arena.
Tubing the Comal River
Tubing down the Comal River is an absolute must when you’re in New Braunfels. The Comal stays a cool 70 degrees all summer long and its crystal clear waters beckon you to tube the day away. We went tubing with Rockin’ R River Rides, a tour company that supplies tubes and picks you up after your allotted time. Just look for signs along the river to know where your pick up points are.
The Comal is wooded along much of the tubing areas. We even saw a family of deer grazing alongside the river! The river was pretty smooth and slow at most points but there were three fun adventurous drops so hold on to your ice chest!
Cooper’s Pit Bar-B-Que
Cooper’s Pit Bar-B-Que offers – BBQ that this Texan devoured. My favorite meats were the pork ribs and brisket. Goodness gracious, that’s good BBQ. Cooper’s slogan is “it’s all about the meat” and they are not fooling around. That’s the best brisket I’ve ever had. The blackberry cobbler is also incredible if you have any room left.
Natural Bridge Caverns
I had the best time 200 feet below exploring the Natural Bridge Caverns! Hands down, this is one of the best things I’ve ever done in Texas. We took the Discovery Tour, which is about a 3/4 mile hike over about 75 minutes. The caverns are 70 degrees, which sounds cool but with 99% humidity, it feels like a sauna. It’s a great little workout and really fun to explore if you want to feel like Indiana Jones! I can’t wait to go back and try the Hidden Passages tour.
Natural Bridge Caverns also has zip lines, lantern tours, mazes, and more for a whole day of fun.
This little gem serves up cupcakes, pies, cookies, coffee, freshly squeezed lemonade, and more in a cheerful space. I had the silkiest chocolate cream pie at 2Tarts and didn’t leave a single bite on the table!
New Braunfels Coffee
I dream about the cinnamon dolce latte at New Braunfels Coffee. This adorable coffee shop is in the historic downtown area of New Braunfels. They make a mean egg sandwich but my favorite pastry is the blueberry danish. It’s creamy, flaky, and bursting with Texas blueberries. It’s a perfect pastry.
I have wanted to go to Schlitterbahn for well over a decade. My regular readers know how much I love theme parks and Schlitterbahn is one of the best water parks in the country. Fed by the Comal River, the water is naturally a cool 72 degrees. With fifty-one attractions across two parks on seventy acres, it would be easy to spend a whole weekend exploring Schlitterbahn.
Come hungry for dinner at Alpine Haus! The authentic German restaurant is located in a darling home in historic New Braunfels. The wiener schnitzel is crispy and light and comes with your choice of several toppings. (Try the sour cream sauce!) If you can make room, try the fried brie with black forest ham to start. It’s divine! And you absolutely must save room for dessert. The black forest cake is not to be missed.
Naegelins Bakery is famous for being the oldest bakery in Texas. Naeglins has been serving handmade strudel, cookies, pies, kolaches, and other assorted pastries since 1868. I highly recommend the maple doughnuts. They’re thick and fluffy and not too sweet but pack plenty of deep maple flavor. The muffins are also incredibly moist!
I’ve never had a bad dish at Huisache Grill. It’s a fun menu celebrating fresh, regional cuisine. You can get everything from fried oysters to a blue cheese steak. The crunchy, warm fried brie is served with candied pecans, granny smith apples, and crackers swimming in a sweet and spicy raspberry chipotle sauce. It’s a must try!
Bonus: Historic Gruene, Texas is within the city limits of New Braunfels. Go see Hannah at The Grapevine for a strong pour, visit the famous Gruene Dance Hall, have some delicious pizza, and stroll around enjoying the architecture.
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