Our Favorite Things to Do in New Braunfels
June 9, 2022
photo credit: New Braunfels Convention & Visitors Bureau
As a popular destination for travelers from places both near and far, New Braunfels is home to countless fun and unique attractions.
Located in Central Texas between San Antonio and Austin, New Braunfels is a short drive from either airport. Whether your perfect vacation looks like relaxing and soaking up the sun or hitting the streets in search of adventure, New Braunfels is the perfect place to visit for year-round fun! Indoor and outdoor activities can be found in abundance in our beautiful city.
Pack your bag and get ready for your best vacation yet – here are our top 5 favorite things to do in New Braunfels! To make the most of your trip, we recommend allowing 2-3 days to fit in all of the fun and staying near the action. Sophie’s Gasthaus is located in the heart of downtown New Braunfels, just a 5-minute walk from the Main Plaza and boutiques, fine dining, bars, cafes, and bakeries.
Catch a show at the Brauntex Theatre
The Brauntex Theatre opened in 1942 as a movie theatre and delighted patrons with daily screenings over the course of fifty years. Over time, the once-popular, brand-new theatre’s crowds dwindled and the building fell into disrepair. Demolition was planned until a group of locals came together to save and restore the historic theatre. Citizens recognized that the Brauntex could serve as a home for the growing performing arts scene in New Braunfels. In 2000, the Brauntex reopened as the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre and has been a successful, fundamental piece of New Braunfels’ culture ever since. The theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
While the history and beauty of the Brauntex are reason enough to warrant a visit, the entertainment is top-notch. The theatre presents a variety of shows, including local and touring acts. Whether you want to enjoy live music, be engrossed in a play, or admire a ballet, the Brauntex has a show for you. Check out the theatre’s website to view upcoming shows or purchase tickets.
Visit the Farmers Market
It’s worth rising early on Saturday to check out the New Braunfels Farmers Market! Every Saturday from 9am to 1pm, local vendors of all sorts set up shop on Castell Avenue, just 3 blocks from Sophie’s Gasthaus. Grab your reusable totes, grab a coffee from 2Tarts Bakery on your way, and stroll on over for a delightful shopping experience.
Dozens of vendors attend the Farmers Market to offer their locally grown produce, artisanal cheeses, hand-poured candles, specialty foods, homemade soaps, fresh-baked dog treats, and other handcrafted goods and gifts. The market offers more than just shopping – it’s a favorite place for locals to hang out, chat, enjoy live music and have breakfast or lunch – if the smells of fresh pastries or a bratwurst from a nearby vendor don’t entice you, the ever-popular Krause’s Cafe is located just steps away.
Grab some goodies at Naegelin’s Bakery
Naegelin’s Bakery is known for being the oldest continuously operating bakery in Texas. The bakery first opened its doors in 1868 and has since been a staple for locals and visitors. A trip to New Braunfels simply isn’t complete without picking up a kolache, strudel (cherry and apple are the most popular), or an iconic smiley face cookie.
The bakery offers crowd favorites like donuts and apple pie as well as classic German baked goods like pfeffernüsse (spice cookies), German rye, Black Forest cake (AKA Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte), and German pretzels. Grab a treat and a cup of coffee and hang out for a while – the bakery’s central downtown location makes it perfect for people watching or taking in the stunning Main Plaza.
Visit Naegelin’s website to view their hours and menu.
Take a walking tour
Visiting New Braunfels is even better when you know its history! The saying “If these walls could talk…” rings true here – many buildings date back to the city’s founding in 1845 and hold fascinating stories.
One of the best ways to learn about and experience the rich history of New Braunfels is to take a walking tour. Choose to take a self-guided walking tour or have a friendly local, such as Jan Kingsbury with Spass Walking Tours, take you on a guided tour. You’ll feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time as you learn about the murals, historic homes and businesses, and more. If you’re looking for something a little different, book an evening tour with New Braunfels Ghost Tours to learn about downtown New Braunfels’ spookiest haunts!
No list of things to do in New Braunfels would be complete without tubing. New Braunfels is world-famous for its tubing experiences on its two beautiful rivers, the Comal River and Guadalupe River. Each summer, people come from all over the world to hop on an inflatable tube and float the cool currents of the rivers. Nothing beats the Texas summer heat like hitting the water with a cold drink in hand!
Staying at Sophie’s Gasthaus puts the Comal River in easy reach! The city river parks where most tubers start and the last public exit are both located just a mile from Sophie’s Gasthaus. For the best and easiest tubing experience, we recommend renting a tube from a local outfitter. Outfitters will also provide a shuttle service from your tubing exit back to their parking lots.
Be sure to check out the river rules and tubing information before you go at TubeInNewBraunfels.com.
Still yearning for more fun?
Venture outside of downtown to check out the oldest dance hall in Texas in the Gruene Historic District, find your new favorite craft beer on the Hill Country Craft Beer Trail, explore all 51 acres of Landa Park, splash at Schlitterbahn Waterpark, or take a day to visit Natural Bridge Caverns and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.
When you’ve had your fun and nothing sounds better than putting your feet up, return to Sophie’s Gasthaus and relax by the swimming pool with a glass of wine, chill on the porch swing, or rest your head for the night in one of our eight luxurious rooms.