A Texas Bucket List must do for sure.
There are certain iconic places and things that a local will puff up their chest about and proudly declare it uniquely “Texan”. Gruene, TX, is one of those places.
Located near (and now incorporated into) New Braunfels, Gruene is one of those towns you hear about in Texas tales. Settled by a man in the mid 1840’s, Ernst Gruene and his two sons were German immigrants looking for their own piece of the Texas landscape to farm cotton. The second son, Henry D., built many of the present standing historical buildings in the town. They owned acres of cotton, bringing in more people to populate the area and work, plus they owned most of the businesses in the town. The family had created their own charming little corner of Texas.
But it wasn’t so charming at one point. The town thrived until the 1930’s. Between a boil weevil outbreak and fortunes changing in the area, Gruene had practically became a ghost town until it’s “discovery” in 1974 by an architectural student kayaking down the Guadalupe river.
To start your trip, on Day One, I suggest booking a stay at the historic Gruene Mansion Inn. Then take a stroll through the Historic District for shopping and a visit to the Gristmill and General Store. If you time your stay for the third full weekend of the month, you can attend Old Gruene Market Days
When I said earlier the Gruene “practically became a ghost town”, it was. Since 1878 there was only one business that remained open through the good times and the bad times, the place where locals from miles around could gather and share great Texas music, a cold beverage, and dancing. There’s only one Gruene Hall. It’s where you want to end your day for sure.
Day two? Float the Guadalupe river of course! That’s a no brainer,
but that is a different day trippin’ story for another time. Enjoy!