San Marcos, New Braunfels and Gruene, Texas
No matter where you are, your Texas vacation will probably be easily accessible to the New Braunfels area.
This area of Texas was settled by German immigrants in the 1800’s. It is popular today because this is a beautiful area, and right on Interstate 35 between Austin and San Antonio. Part of the famous Texas Hill Country, you can use the area as a “home base” while visiting the region.
North of New Braunfels is San Marcos. It is home to Texas State University’s Aquarena Springs.
Aquarena Springs was once a theme park, complete with a diving pig and mermaid shows. I have fond memories of visiting while growing up. Today the springs are cared for by the university.
What brings visitors to Aquarena Springs today is what brought many to the springs in the past. The lake is crystal clear, and glass bottom boats that glide over the lake give you a view of fish, turtles and other aquatic life, along with plants and the springs themselves, bubbling up from the depths of the lake.
We really enjoyed the glass-bottom boat tour, and even got to see some scuba divers working in the clear waters of the lake.
West of San Marcus you’ll find the charming town of Wimberley. Don’t miss it!
Inner Space Caverns
North of San Marcos and to the north of Austin is Georgetown. Here on Interstate 35 you’ll find Innerspace Caverns, which is one of our favorite caves in this area of Texas. Look for the “kissing column”, see prehistoric animal bones, and see some stunning formations in this cave that is easy to get to. The gift shop has some really nice, affordable items as well to take home as souvenirs.
New Braunfels has a great park, named Landa Park. You can hunt for crawdads, play on the playground, and ride on a little train.
New Braunfels is also home to German food, and a water park named the Schlitterbahn.
New Braunfels might best be known, however, for tubing opportunities. The Comal River and Guadalupe River are big tubing destinations in Texas. You’ll find no shortage of tube rental shops!
Nestled into the area is the historic district of the little town of Gruene (pronounced “green”). It is a sweet “old town”, full of great shopping! We loved visiting the General Store. The Gruene Hall has played host to many music performers for over the one hundred years. The town has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. For lodging, you can even stay in the historic home of the town’s founder .