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Looking for a new city to check out? Or maybe you want to visit the San Antonio or Hill Country area of TX area but want to stay somewhere a little different? We absolutely loved our visit and stay in New Braunfels, TX. Here are all the things we did in the area as a couple who loves the outdoors, good food (one of us is gluten-free), and exploring new places.
Where to Stay in New Braunfels, TX
We stayed at Camp Fimfo right on the Guadalupe River. We had only stayed on a property similar to Camp Fimfo a couple of times so weren’t completely sure what to expect. It is seriously the perfect “home base” for exploring the area or just having a fun vacation with your whole family!
We actually stayed in a Riverview Cabin which is basically a step up from camping (we love to camp) but they also have some gorgeous cabins open now that can sleep bigger families. They also have RV sites if you travel with an RV. I’d recommend going for one of the bigger cabins (that have bathrooms, kitchens etc) unless you’re driving in and can bring your camping “must-haves” to stay in the Riverview Cabins. Since we wanted a more outdoorsy experience this was perfect for us but if traveling with friends or family the bigger cabins or an RV would be a better choice.
Camp Fimfo has a ton of fun amenities for the whole family. A full waterpark, food, a bar, activities all throughout the day, and easy access to the river to play, fish, or float! The whole vibe is retro summer camp but with better amenities.
We recommend renting a golf cart to get around the larger property at least for the day(s) you plan on hanging around camp. We LOVED the access to the river and, bonus, the Riverview cabins are right next to the Whitewater Amphitheater which meant we got to listen to Willie Nelson right from our cabin when he was in town.
The river access is also a huge bonus even if you’re not visiting in prime floating season. Check out their current offers here.
*Tip – make sure to stop for water and groceries before you check-in. The gift shop has some adorable souvenirs and you’ll want to check it out but the food and drink prices are pretty steep (as is usual for this type of shop) so plan on stocking up before heading in like you would when camping or renting a short term vacation rental.
What to do in and around New Braunfels, TX
We stayed for a few days and wanted to fit in some sightseeing, outdoor activities, and a bit of relaxing. Here is what I researched and/or what we did in the area:
- Float! We visited in the Fall so just after floating season but floating on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers is super popular in the area.
- Fishing – we are fly fishing fans so we hired Lone Star Fly Fishing to take us out on the Guadalupe River. Just the float was worth it for me, it’s absolutely gorgeous but I also caught my first fish fly fishing!
- Visit the historic downtown New Braunfels – this is such a cute town with tons of amazing restaurants, shops, live music, museums including a free railroad museum, we just loved walking around and popping in and out of shops!
- Visit the historic district in Gruene – we actually went here twice during our stay! Between Gruene Hall (Texas’ oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall), all the shops, and the great restaurants there are lots of things to check out in this area. Just be prepared to walk outside a bit as you’ll likely need to park and walk around. Check the event calendar before you go to be sure you don’t miss anything.
- Visit Buc-ees if you’re like us from the West Coast & have never seen one. It’s crazy how big it is!
- Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo – if you like animals (especially reptiles) definitely stop here. We are big fans of reptiles & loved this stop! You can buy the tickets on your phone before going.
- Canyon Lake – there are many areas around Canyon Lake to explore depending on what you want to do. We decided to check out the Overlook Park that offers a scenic view of the park and a walking trail over the dam. If you have only a short period of time to visit this is a great spot.
- Natural Bridge Caverns
- Take a day trip to San Antonio
- Stay at Camp Fimfo and join in the camp activities, play mini-golf, play in the pool or at the waterpark…
Where to Eat in New Braunfels, TX
There are so many great food options in and around New Braunfels, TX. I always visit Yelp, Google Reviews, or OpenTable when traveling to get reviews on local places. We also try to stick to small businesses instead of chains. Here’s where we ate while in town:
- Gruene River Grill
- Krause’s Biergarten & Cafe
- 2 Tarts Bakery
- Get some BBQ (we tried Blacks & was basically like Rudy’s which we have here in Phoenix so I’d like to try something smaller when we go back)
- The River House
- The Gruene Door
- 188 South
- Buttermilk Cafe
How to Get to New Braunfels, TX
If you live nearby you can always drive. It’s a 2 day drive from Phoenix. A stop in El Paso, TX is just about halfway. You can also fly into San Antonio airport and rent a car. I always recommend checking Costco Travel car rentals first. If rental prices are high, try checking one outside of the airport.
Another option is to fly into San Antonio and out of Dallas. We rented a car outside of San Antonio (it was WAY cheaper) and did a road trip from New Braunfels to Austin to Waco to Dallas. It’s about a 4-hour drive if you don’t stop so definitely doable in a day or over 2 days if you want to see more of the stops. We highly recommend this if you want to see more of the state and love a good road trip!