New Braunfels

Compared to other hill country towns, New Braunfels is a sprawling metropolis. with about 50,000 inhabitants. You'll find McDonalds, Wal-Mart and outlet shopping nearby. This is not a stroll, shop and relax sort of town.

But what this town lacks in quaint and charming, it more than makes up for in cool and refreshing. New Braunfels is home to the world-famous Schlitterbahn Water Resort. A family-oriented water park that will have you feeling like a kid again. With its exciting tube rides and its lazy rivers, this park is my all-time favorite on a hot and steamy summer or fall day when the humidity leaves you pleading with the rain gods.

New Braunfels was established by German nobleman, Prince Carl, in the mid 1800's. Good 'ole Carl named the city after his hometown, Braunfels,in Germany -- then returned to Germany (probably couldn't handle the heat) and never returned.

The city is fortunate to have natural springs and two cooling rivers running through town, the Comal River (only 3 miles long) and the Guadalupe River. Opportunities for getting wet in New Braunfels are varied and refreshing.

Get Wet

The City Tube Chute is located on the Comal River: picnic areas, showers, dressing rooms, lockers, tube rentals and life jackets (Prince Solms Park, 100 Leibscher Drive). Admission Fees and Parking Fees apply.

Hinman Island Comal River. Access Area (Located on Hinman Island Drive, between Landa Park and Prince Solms Park)

Landa Park. Huge tree-lined, natural water park, situated just off I-35.

Schlitterbahn. The mother of all water parks.

Tubing on the Comal River and the Guadalupe River. Rockin R can take you upriver and rent you tubes (toobs).

Texas Ski Ranch. If you need a little more excitement -- involving motorized equipment.

New Braunfels Lodging

1847 Kuebler Waldrip Haus Bed and Breakfast: Forty-three Texas Hill Country acres with a quiet country setting just 3-5 minutes from downtown New Braunfels and Historic Gruene. Choose from the 11 comfortably decorated rooms.

Lamb's Rest Inn: Six Guest Rooms. A charming and romantic inn on the Guadalupe River in the heart of the Texas hill country. Distinctive bed and breakfast accommodations located less than a mile from the historic village of Gruene in New Braunfels.

New Braunfels Restaurants

Huisache Grill: recommended by a friend who went in for wine and the cheese platter and loved it. Upscale regional food in rustic surroundings. (303 W San Antonio St., New Braunfels PH: 830-620-9001.)

Nearby Towns

Gruene -- which is really part of New Braunfels, but a quaint, historic town in its own right. Don't miss a step into Gruene while you're here. This is a great location to slow down and grab lunch.