Planning a trip to America’s deep south and looking for the best things to do in New Braunfels? You’ve come to the right place.
Founded by German settlers in 1845, New Braunfels is a charming city located between Austin and San Antonio in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Although it’s not typically on every traveler’s itinerary, New Braunfels draws a huge number of tourists every year.
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Things to Do in New Braunfels
Despite its relatively small size, New Braunfels offers countless things to do. Whether you’re into outdoor adventures or prefer relaxing in a brewery or vineyard, there are plenty of options.
Here’s our list of 18 of the best things to do in New Braunfels, USA. Let’s dive right in!
Please note – Some of our selections contain affiliate links. These allow us to earn a small percentage every time you make a booking. Using our links enables us to provide all the information found on this site free of charge.
Spend the Day Exploring Landa Park
A visit to Landa Park is one of the best things to do in New Braunfels and a popular spot for locals and tourists seeking a breath of fresh air. The park covers 51 acres of land along the river and features various entertainment and recreation facilities.
Inside Landa Park, you’ll find a large swimming pool, a lake where you can go paddle boating, a mini-golf course, a tennis court, and much more. If you’d rather just take a relaxing stroll around the park, there are two hiking trails you can embark on. Don’t forget to bring a packed lunch to eat in the picnic area shaded by ancient oak trees!
Get Set to Get Wet at Schlitterbahn Waterpark
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort spans 65 acres of the banks of the Comal River. This scenic area offers stunning natural beauty and endless hours of fun.
Not only is this waterpark one of the best things to do in New Braunfels but it’s also been recognized as the best waterpark in the world for the past 15 years! Slip and slide your way down seventeen water slides, have a go on the world’s first surfing machine, and wind your way down the river with over three miles of tubing adventures.
The resort offers a range of accommodation options and restaurants. You can also bring your own food and set up a spot on the grass for the day. The resort is open all year round.
Catch a Flick at the Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theater
Looking for one of the best things to do in New Braunfels in the evening? Head to the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre for a blast from the past.
The theatre is open from Friday to Sunday evening and showcases different films across three screens. There’s also a 50s-style cafe nearby for snacks and drinks!
Go Tubing Down the Comal River
The Comal River is one of the top attractions in New Braunfels. People travel from all over the country to float along the river in large rubber hoops! The Comal River stretches through the city, eventually merging into the Guadalupe River.
Choose to float down the river in a rented hoop, canoe, or paddleboat, or bring your own. It takes about 2.5 hours to float down the whole river, and you can rent equipment from Texas Tubes or Comal Tubes at affordable prices.
There are also plenty of great spots for taking a dip and cooling off, as well as picnic areas for taking a lunch break.
Visit the Natural Bridge Caverns
Natural Bridge Caverns is one of the best things to do in New Braunfels for outdoor enthusiasts. This treasured attraction provides a great day out for the whole family.
Explore the caverns and marvel at the stunning stalactites and stalagmites, and unique rock formations. If you’re really brave, you can climb the 60 ft obstacle course and take the zip line down!
Once you’ve had enough of rocks and caves, head to the on-site cafe for a bite to eat or buy a souvenir in the gift shop to commemorate your trip.
Hill Country Craft Beer Trail
Want a true taste of Texas? The Hill Country Craft Beer Trail makes for a great day out. Visit and sip on delicious craft beers at the numerous breweries in Hill Country.
Join one of the many tours and ride from brewery to brewery on a comfortable shuttle bus. You’ll get complimentary food and drinks along the way, while you take in the spectacular sights of the Texas countryside.
Have Some Outdoor Fun at the Texas Ski Ranch
Texas Ski Ranch is an outdoor sports complex that spans over 70 acres of ground. Set on the banks of a man-made lake, the Texas Ski Ranch provides hours of fun for all ages.
Try your hands (and feet) at water activities like boating, water skiing, or wakeboarding. Or, if you’d rather stay dry you can also enjoy paint-balling, skateboarding, snowboarding, and much more.
Spend the Day at Canyon Lake
Canyon Lake is one of the deepest lakes in Texas and lies close to New Braunfels. Offering 80 miles of shoreline, it’s a popular spot for fishermen, sailors, and water sports lovers. If you’re visiting New Braunfels in the summer, Canyon Lake is a great place to spend the day.
Explore the lake and the five communities scattered along the outskirts, taking a dip in the cool water here and there to cool off. Be sure to add Canyon Lake Gorge to your itinerary. Here you’ll find fossils and dinosaur tracks that date back hundreds of millions of years.
Explore Downtown New Braunfels
If the weather’s not great during your stay, there’s plenty to explore in downtown New Braunfels.
Explore the historic streets, admire the architecture, and snag yourself a bargain at one of the quaint antique stores. There are also loads of museums to keep you entertained, and a range of restaurants and bars to grab a bite to eat.
At the center of the downtown area is the Main Plaza, which features a beautiful historic fountain, sculptures, and a music pavilion. There are plenty of events and concerts taking place throughout the year, so be sure to check them out when planning your trip.
Visit Gruene Historic District
Established in 1872, Gruene (pronounced “green”) was first populated by German cotton farmers dating back to the Civil War. Nowadays, the area is a thriving hotspot and one of the best things to do in New Braunfels.
Spend the day wandering its charming streets and admiring the historic buildings of Gruene. In the evening, visit Gruene Hall and catch a dance performance or some of Texas’ best country music.
Grab a Pint at Guadalupe Brewing Company
Guadalupe Brewing Company is a popular brewery that makes drinkable craft beer from locally sourced, natural ingredients. Their beers are quickly gaining a great reputation in the craft beer world, and are distributed in New Braunfels, Austin, and San Antonio.
What better way to cool down after a day on the water than heading to the brewery to sample some of the most delicious craft beers around?
Get Merry at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards is a boutique winery that has won awards for the delicious wines produced there. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or you just enjoy a glass here and there, this makes a great day out.
The tasting room offers breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery and a great atmosphere for relaxing. So head on down, grab a glass, and get merry—you deserve it!
Visit Faust Street Bridge
Visiting the Faust Street Bridge is one of the best things to do in New Braunfels. It’s long been one of the city’s top landmarks while also being one of its most historic sites. Built in 1887, the bridge crosses the wide Guadalupe River and was one of the first toll-free passages over the water for Texans. It was an important thoroughfare for wagons and carriages, and, later on, automobiles.
Now, it’s one of the last wrought iron bridges in the state and open for pedestrians and cyclists to use. Time your visit to the bridge for the sunset for a spectacular view over the river and surrounding scenery.
Catch a Show at the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre
The Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in Downtown New Braunfels opened in 1942. It operated as a movie theatre for decades before it was transformed into a performing arts center. It’s one of the best spots in New Braunfels to catch a performance and showcases artists of all kinds, including musicians, comedians, and acting troupes.
Keep an eye on the Brauntex Performing Arts Theater website to see what coincides with your visit.
Meet the Locals at the New Braunfels Farmers Market
Worried about missing your weekly local farmer’s market while you’re away? Don’t worry because New Braunfels is home to its very own.
The New Braunfels farmers market is open every Saturday (rain or shine!) and boasts a huge range of local stalls selling everything from fruit and vegetables to skincare products and homeware. It’s also a great spot to chat with the locals or listen to some live entertainment while you shop.
If you want a truly local souvenir, we highly recommend spending the morning browsing the farmer’s market. Plus, you’ll be supporting local businesses!
If you’re looking for the best things to do in New Braunfels and you want to learn more about the city and its history, visit the Sophienburg Museum. Here you’ll discover a range of artifacts, photos, and articles relating to the German colonists who settled in New Braunfels.
The museum also hosts regular events to learn even more about the heritage of New Braunfels and Comal County. It’s a great way to spend a rainy day!
Explore on Foot with a Walking Tour of New Braunfels
We’re huge advocates of discovering new places on foot, which is why we think a walking tour is one of the best things to do in New Braunfels!
Discover the historic sites and culture of New Braunfels with Spass Walking Tours. Choose from a variety of easy walking tours that’ll take you all over the city. Tour the top sites in New Braunfels, or explore downtown and all it has to offer. They also offer a scavenger hunt which is a fun activity to do if you’re in a large group. Check out their website for information about the different tours on offer and their prices.
New Braunfels Railroad Museum
If you’re interested in locomotives, a visit to the New Braunfels Railroad Museum is a must. Learn about Texas’s railroad history as you wander around this delightful museum.
The museum features a mixture of full-size and miniature locomotives, and you can even drive a model train! It’s also completely free, making it a great activity for anyone traveling on a budget!
Places to Stay in New Braunfels
There are plenty of places to stay if you’re visiting New Braunfels. Whether you’re looking for a luxury dwelling for a few nights or need something a bit more budget-friendly, there’s something to suit your needs.
Here are a few of our top recommendations for places to stay in New Braunfels:
- Gruene Cottages: This hotel is ideal for travelers looking for a mid-range accommodation option. Located 3.7 miles from Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, Gruene Cottages features charming rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, and free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
- Comal Inn: If you’re looking for an affordable accommodation option, then you can’t go wrong with Comal Inn. This property offers a range of stylish rooms, a garden and terrace area, and free Wi-Fi. It’s located within walking distance of the Guadalupe River and Schlitterbahn Waterpark, making it a great spot to explore New Braunfels.
- Hill Country River Condo: Want to splash out on private accommodation? Stay in the Hill Country River Condo for a few days and take advantage of this modern holiday home. Enjoy free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a charming garden for hosting barbecues.
Things to Do in New Braunfels Wrap-up
There you have it! 18 of the best things to do in New Braunfels, Texas.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend away or are keen on some adventure, there are plenty of things to do in this Southern city. You’re going to love it—trust us!
As always, happy travels, and we’ll see you on the road!