Visiting Gruene, Texas (part of New Braunfels) is the perfect weekend getaway from most major cities in Texas. Just a four-hour drive from Dallas and only an hour from Austin you will find yourself in a late 1800’s German cotton community turned entertainment, dining, and shopping destination! Here in this walkable city you will find more than 20 locally owned shops and boutiques. Now, don’t assume this is just a German town now. Although that is the way it started this town is Texan on every level. If you are looking for a super “Texan” experience this town is it. Pack your boots cause you are going to wear them a lot!
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Take a Gruene Weekend Fall Getaway
I recommend visiting Gruene pronounced “green” in the fall when the temperatures are a little cooler and they have their annual Gruene Wine and Music festival. This year the 36th annual Gruene Wine & Music Fest benefitting United Way of Comal County kicks off October 6 (Columbus Day Weekend) and features four days of music and wine in the quaint town of Gruene. Over 20 + Americana artists will take the stage at Gruene Hall with wine and craft beer tastings offered at The Grapevine.
Things to do in Gruene, Texas
Visit a Unique Craft Brewery
New Braunfels Brewing, known for its infamous sour pickle beer, it is one of 19 Texas craft breweries that are part of the Hill Country Craft Beer Trail. Ten craft beer bars and 4 distilleries also participate in the Hill Country Craft Beer Trail that stretches from New Braunfels to Blanco and everything in between. They have giant Jenga and giant connect four.
Visit a Winery
Grapevine: If you only have enough time for one winery consider the Grapevine. It offers one of the largest selections of TX wines in the state with selections from over 25 TX wineries including the special wine Llano makes just for Gruene! It’s open 7 days a week and located right in the heart of Gruene. Most of the day they have live music. So while you enjoy your wine flight you can also enjoy some local music.
Listen to Live Music
It doesn’t really matter when you visit, there seems to be live music almost 24 hours a day in Gruene. But no visit would be complete without visting Texas’ Oldest Dance Hall, Gruene Hall. Not only is it historic, it’s also some of the best live music in the state of Texas and that’s saying something. We have no shortage of good live music in our state.
Float the River
If it’s warm enough a fun way to spend the day or even just half the day is floating the Guadalupe river. There are lots of places to float the river in this area, including many outfitters that will pick you up and bring you back to where you started.
If you’ve never floated the river read our post: How to Float the River. This will give you all the information you need for a successful float trip.
Where to Eat in Gruene
Gristmill River Restaurant
Located in the ruins of an 1878 cotton gin, now celebrating 45 years in business; serving up an array of Texas classics like ribs, chicken fried steak and onion rings.
Mozie’s is a great place for lunch with good salads and sandwiches. Start out with the onion ring appetizer. They are super thin but super tasty and they go great with a spicy margarita.
Myron’s Prime Steakhouse
It’s hard to say what time of day I best recommend dining here. It’s much quieter at brunch on the weekends than in the evenings when there is live music. No matter when you visit though, you are going to have a great meal.
Where to Stay in Gruene
I personally recommend staying at Gruene Mansion Inn. This inn was one of the first buildings in Gruene in 1872 and served as H.D. Gruene’s historic Eastlake Victorian home and cotton plantation. I stayed in one of their rooms overlooking the river. The porch was divine. I sat out there rocking away with my guest listening to the nearby music coming from Gruene Hall. Despite having late-night music on both sides once inside you couldn’t hear a thing. They provided earplugs, but there wasn’t much need for them. There are also a couple of local bottles of wine in your room. Perfect for enjoying on the patio on a nice night.
They do have a small on-site eatery, the Pantry located inside the historic inn. They serve up diverse and locally sourced charcuterie boards, fresh pastries, and cookies as well as breakfast and lunch items. There’s no room to eat inside but you can take it back to your room or enjoy it outside somewhere. They have plenty of random outdoor seating sprinkled throughout the property. They do offer coffee for $3 a cup but your room also has a coffee maker with local coffee to brew.