One of our many highlights (and I am sure it would be one of yours) during our trip to the Hill Country of Texas was when we stopped off at New Braunfels and the small historical town of Gruene (pronounced Green)
A 45 minute drive from Austin, the contrast between the two locations couldn’t have been more different. Gruene was what I had imagined an authentic Texan town would look like before our trip and is famous for its legendary dance hall, iconic water tower and really friendly welcoming people.
We all really fell in love with this quaint little town, Holly in particular loved the historic Gruene Hall where live country music was playing. This is the oldest dance hall in Texas and where music legends like Willie Nelson, The Dixie Chicks and Garth Brooks have played down the years.
As we walked in a circle around the town we came across so many boutique and cool stores, many of which are in old homes – kids in particular will love the quirky little toy shop called Got Toys which is full of unique and retro toys. For adults check out the wine tasting at the Grapevine, offering one of the largest wine selections in Texas.
It really does feel like you are on a movie set here, at the general store which was full of unique Texas souvenirs, we stopped off for soft drinks at their soda and ice cream bar before trying on cowboy hats and boots at the store across the street.
Beneath the water tower is the Gristmill River Restaurant, which I would highly recommend when visiting Gruene.
If the weather is good I would ask to sit out on the deck like we did as it offers great views of the Guadalupe River. The meals here are delicious and very reasonably priced and like everything in Texas the portion sizes were huge – check out the size of the onion rings.
We really recommend visiting Gruene when in Texas, it was one of the highlights of our Texas road trip.
Another town that was recommended to us in the Hill Country was Fredericksberg, a historic town of German heritage along with visiting Enchanted Rock and climb to the top of the pink granite dome.