If you are in the great state of Texas and plan to visit Austin or San Antonio or both, you should definitely consider taking a side trip to Gruene, Texas (pronounced green).

An hour south of Austin and 45 minutes north of San Antonio, Gruene is right off Interstate 35 near the town of New Braunfels, Texas and can easily be visited as a day trip from Austin or San Antonio.

So, what are the things to do in Gruene Texas? Let’s get into it, but first – why visit Gruene?

What’s so special about Gruene you may be thinking?

While both Austin and San Antonio have amazing and unique things to offer – Gruene feels like a step back in time and is so authentic – you may decide to buy yourself a pair of boots, a cowboy hat and declare yourself a Texan there on the spot!

Heck – their town slogan is “Gently Resisting Change Since 1872”.

Gruene is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was once a German settlement that saw its growth during the cotton boom until that ended and the town began to dissolve. 

Although the now preserved Gruene has had a bumpy history one thing always remained & has stood the test of time – Gruene Hall. Gruene Hall, built in 1878, is the oldest operating dance hall in Texas and truly is the heart of this quaint town.  It’s a must-see for a boot scootin’ good time!!

Things to do in Gruene Texas

Wondering what to do in Gruene? Here’s a few ideas.

Music at Gruene Hall

Besides unavoidable repairs, Gruene Hall is virtually unchanged. The German-style beer garden is not to be missed. Have a beer & take in a show – they have live music every day! Known as a starting point for up-and-coming performers, many greats have been discovered here including George Strait, Hal Ketchum and Lyle Lovett. Several other famous music performers also choose Gruene Hall as a venue like Garth Brooks & Willie Nelson. Check out www.gruenehall.com for the music calendar.

Things to do in Gruene Texas
Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas


Gruene General Store – selected as one of the 40 best places to visit in Texas, there’s a fantastic selection of Texas souvenirs and absolutely something for everybody

Gruene Haus – Texas gourmet food store featuring salsas, jellies, jams and other tasty treats

Good Eats

Cantina Del Rio – yummy Mexican food & great outdoor deck overlooking the river

Cooper’s BBQ – the Texas Hill Country is known to be the BBQ Capital of the World & Cooper’s is named one of the “Best of the Best”

Gristmill River Restaurant – delicious American country food & located in an 1870’s cotton gin underneath the Gruene water tower

Mozies – classic American food & a cool bar

River Rafting

Gruene River Co. and Rockin ‘R’ River Rides can help outfit you for a half or all day excursion on the Guadalupe River with float essentials and river gear such as tubes, rafts or canoes

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort

In nearby New Braunfels, Schlitterbahn has been dubbed America’s favorite among water parks with over 3 miles of tubing adventures, 17 water slides and the world’s first surfing machine.


  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.