New Braunfels, TX

New Braunfels is well known and loved by Texans, songwriters and tourists alike. A significant part of the German heritage Texas, the town has retained its charm and beauty since its beginnings in the early 1840s. Originally designated as “way stations” for German immigrants heading to land grants on the Upper Colorado and Llano Rivers, New Braunfels along with Fredericksburg grew in their own right. Named after Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels whose arrival came shortly after the annexation of Texas with the US, New Braunfels grew to become the 4th- largest town in Texas during the Mexican-American War (1846–1848),and the US Civil War (1861–1865).  

New Braunfels Courthouse,

Today, even though overshadowed by larger metropolis’s in Texas, New Braunfels remains one of the best stopping off places around. As the county seat for Comal County, a Romanesque Revival style courthouse was erected in 1889. During this time of growth many magnificent Victorian homes were also built, giving New Braunfels lasting charm.

One of the more interesting bridges in this part of Texas is the old Faust Street Bridge c.1887 over the Guadalupe River. The bridge underwent restoration in 1998 with benches added for fish watching.   
Old Faust Bridge, Courtesy of CC Wang

New Braunfels and Gruene
Gruene is now a part of New Braunfels but once was its own community turned Ghost Town. Originally called Goodwin, H.D. Gruene and his family purchased large tracts of land and leased out to sharecropping families. Gruene then built a company store, cotton gin and later he constructed a theatre for local entertainment. The town was revitalized in the 1970s and now sits on the National Register of Historic Places.

Downtown Gruene, Courtesy of CC Wang

Along with its historic districts, New Braunfels has great museums, performing arts and walking tour. Two clear, clean rivers wind through town - the Comal and the Guadalupe - and Canyon Lake just minutes away. Fishing, rafting, kayaking, skiing, tubing, or swimming are all available in the area. Schlitterbahn Waterpark is one of the best rated in America with 65 acres of water slides, tube chutes, three uphill water coasters and a wave pool.

Popular attractions
Many popular attractions include the Natural Bridge Caverns ,  the largest show cave in Texas, check-out the special boutiques, dance at Texas’ oldest Dance Hall at Gruene Hall, or witness Historic outdoor murals, art galleries, and the oldest German bakery in Texas Naegelin's Bakery.

Guadalupe River, New Braunfels, Courtesy of CC Wang