Three cultured, well-traveled women give their picks for a weekend of adventure and fun with your BFFs
The holidays are over and the warm days of summer are months away. It’s the perfect time to escape the winter doldrums with a girls’ weekend in New Braunfels.
This town in Central Texas is a one-of-a-kind combination of laid-back and sophisticated, rustic and luxe, Texas Hill Country and European culture. It’s the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable weekend of fun, pampering and exploration.
To make your adventure even easier, we’ve asked local experts for their best tips for a weekend of fun in New Braunfels. Read on for itinerary tips and must-do’s from three notable New Braunfels women.
Kat Balmos’ long weekend in New Braunfels
Kat Balmos is the owner of three boutiques in New Braunfels: The Local, Lot 59, and Heritage Supply Co. Each offers an eclectic mix of artisan-made goods, apparel, accessories, books, art and gifts (be sure to add all three to your shopping itinerary).
Friday evening, enjoy dinner at the Huisache Grill, a quaint, cozy bistro with a regionally inspired menu. Then make a trip to Sidecar (reservations required), a dimly-lit underground speakeasy-style jazz club at the Prince Solms Inn for live music and cocktails.
Start the next day at the New Braunfels Farmers Market, where more than 60 vendors will tempt you with locally grown produce, flowers, baked goods, fresh cheeses, wines, eggs and more. It’s open year-round every Saturday morning, rain or shine.
Right next door is Krause’s Café, a German-themed taproom and restaurant with a Texas flair. Stop by for a mimosa before beginning a shopping odyssey downtown. Be sure to check out Max’s Haus Mercantile, Adele Kerr & Co., the Downtown Antique Mall and the Dancing Pony Boutique. In the afternoon, head to historic Gruene Hall to take in some live music as you soak up the ambiance of Texas’ oldest dance hall, which dates back to 1878. Be sure to check the calendar to see the lineup of shows – there’s live music daily here, from local heroes to national headliners.
When hunger strikes, head across the street to Mozie’s for drinks and dinner (specialties include sliders, dogs and whisky) in a casually elegant setting.
Sunday, it’s brunch with a Cajun twist at McAdoo’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, located in the beautifully restored historic Post Office building downtown. From there, head to beautiful Landa Park and indulge your inner child with a ride on the miniature train under the giant oak trees of the 51-acre grounds. If relaxing by the river is more your style, rent a riverside cabana at the Float In on the Comal, where you can enjoy food, drinks and watching the world go by.
When evening rolls around, it’s dinner, bowling and games at Downtown Social, where a full menu is served with a side of pool, ping pong, arcade games and more to make a few more memories before heading home on Monday.
It's easy being Gruene for Crystal Kinman
Crystal Kinman is an events and promotions manager for the Gruene historic district in New Braunfels. She shares her recommendations with a warning: “One weekend may not be enough!”
Her ideal girls’ weekend would start in historic Gruene, Texas (naturally). This 15-acre settlement on the banks of the Guadalupe River is a National Historic District, with shops, restaurants and entertainment venues located within the walls of the original township buildings. For more than 30 years, Gruene Market Days has captivated shoppers one weekend a month with roughly 100 artisans displaying uniquely crafted items, along with live entertainment.
After working up a thirst, Gruene offers plenty of options to refresh yourself as you enjoy live music. Relax with a glass of wine under the oak trees at The Grapevine, with wines from more than 25 Texas wineries, other New World wines and curated craft beer. Or whet your whistle at the Gristmill Restaurant & Bar for jalapeno margaritas in a historic building overlooking the
Guadalupe River. Stay at the Gristmill for a true Texas experience at dinner, with an extensive menu, roaring fireplaces and turn-of-the-century architecture.
Spend an afternoon exploring downtown’s many independently-owned shops and boutiques, then wander over to the historic Black Whale Pub for a signature Bloody Mary, craft beer and munchies or a meal from their full kitchen. Or maybe try dinner at Muck & Fuss, a lively spot serving chef-inspired burgers and nearly 40 beers on tap (and, because this is New Braunfels, live music too).
Add some adventure to your weekend with a nighttime kayak float on the Comal River with PaddleTx. This outfitter offers evening floats in glass-bottomed boats lit by LED lights to experience the river in a whole new way.
Jennifer Singleterry’s picks for a memorable weekend
Jennifer Singleterry knows a few things about New Braunfels. As the executive director of the Sophienburg Museum & Archives, Singleterry helps share the city’s history since its founding in 1845, when German immigrants settled along the banks of the Comal River. Here are her additions to a weekend with BFFs:
Start with breakfast or lunch at Buttermilk Café for comfort food with an upscale twist. You’ll be properly fueled up for a scenic hike at Panther Canyon. Landa Park is home to the trailhead for this 1.6-mile hike that takes you over more than 49 acres of natural terrain. Later, plan on a drive on River Road, an inspiring, scenic 11-mile drive that follows the Guadalupe River between New Braunfels and Canyon Lake Dam.
Lodging options that blend history, charm and luxury
For lodging, our experts recommend a couple of options particularly well-suited to an adventure with girlfriends. Sophie’s Gasthaus is an impeccably decorated 8-room luxury boutique hotel in
downtown New Braunfels, just off Main Plaza (the hot tub is a great place to unwind after your fun-filled days). Gruene Mansion Inn is located on the Guadalupe River, a short walk to everything historic Gruene has to offer. Lodging options here include century-old barns and homes restored to Victorian rustic elegance (several rooms have their own fireplaces).
When you’re ready to plan your own adventure #InNewBraunfels, head to https://www.playinnewbraunfels.com/ for everything you need to create the ultimate girlfriend getaway!