Gruene, Texas (pronounced "green") is a Historic District located within the city of New Braunfels, about one hour from Austin. Established by Henry D. Gruene in 1872, this thriving district was originally populated by German cotton farmers dating back to before the Civil War.
Despite its growing population during the mid to late 1800s, Gruene's population diminished after the boll weevil plague that hit the small town in the 1920s. Today, Gruene is known for its rustic Texas feel that attracts visitors from around the state and around the globe. If you're interested in exploring small town Texas during your visit to Austin, then Gruene is the ideal place for your next day trip.
Gruene. Courtesy of The Gruene Historic District.
Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is the oldest dance hall in Texas. With past performances from the likes of Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman, Hal Ketchum and more, you can enjoy a fun-filled night of dancing at Gruene Hall with some of the best country musicians in Texas.
Although very little has changed since the Gruene General Store was established in 1925, it remains as one of the most popular tourist attractions in town. Here you can find souvenirs from key chains and post cards to cowboy hats and candies for the whole family. Plus, it produces some of the best handmade fudge, honey butter and salsa around.
If you are a coffee aficionado, then Gruene Coffee Haus can solve all your caffeine needs. Here you can find freshly brewed coffee from Kenya, Guatemala, Brazil and Ethiopia. Its small-town Texas charm also makes it one of the best places to get together with friends and socialize.
Due to warm temperatures from spring to early fall, the Texas Hill Country is home to some fantastic fly fishing spots and many warm water species. Located on the main square, Gruene Outfitters sells all of the outdoor clothing and gear that you need for a fly fishing trip on the Guadalupe River. Chat with their knowledgeable staff for insider advice on gear, nearby waters and local guides.
Gruene Tower and Gristmill. Courtesy of The Gruene Historic District.
The Gristmill Restaurant represents a bit of the town’s later history. Built 1977, the current structure is a replication of the original Gruene cotton gin which was in operation until it was destroyed by fire in 1922. This restaurant is now as famous for it's stunning tiered patio along the Guadalupe River as for its mouthwatering burgers and chicken fried steak.
This wine tasting room is located right off of the main street and offers a huge selection of local wines for visitors to try. Sample a few wines inside the shop and then head out to the patio to enjoy a glass under the oaks, accompanied by some live music. The Grapevine is the perfect stop for anyone who loves to discover new wineries.
This antique store offers 6,500 square feet of antiques and collectibles for visitors to explore. At Gruene Antique Company, visitors can also get a sense of the town’s history as well as what makes central Texas so unique.
Gruene is not only known for its quaint and historically rich environment, it also boasts tons of excitement on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers, where visitors can cool down on sizzling hot days. Rockin’ R is the place for visitors to get their tubing equipment and experience the fun of tubing or kayaking down the Guadalupe River.
Contributed by Ivan Savinon, Visit Austin Marketing Intern.