New Braunfels is a lovely city straddling the counties of Guadalupe and Comal.
It is an idyllic but surprisingly metropolitan environment of a suburb, and from 2010 to 2020, it was America’s third fastest-growing city.
Most famously, the suburb is known for its rich heritage of German-Texan culture and history, as it is one of the sites where German colonists came to settle.
New Braunfels may seem like an odd choice for a tourist draw, but it actually brings in a large number of visitors every year, especially in the summer.
With all the cold-spring rivers that run through the city, it’s no wonder that guests love vacationing here.
Many water-themed tourist hotspots really drive that point home, but there’s more than that to the city.
A mix of natural, historic, alcoholic, entertainment and shopping-related attractions ensures that there is something for everyone!
Here are the 26 best and fun things to do in New Braunfels, Texas.
1. Comal River
The Comal River has always been one of the top New Braunfels attractions, fed by the springs out of the beautiful Edwards Aquifer.
It is this river that was the greatest draw for tourists visiting the area for many, and it stretches past Landa Park, then Downtown New Braunfels, and then Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
Eventually, it merges into the larger Guadalupe River.
One of the biggest activities associated with the Comal River, of course, is the Comal River Float.
Simply put, this involved the act of floating on the river along its length.
You can do so by bringing your own tubes or renting them, or perhaps by renting a canoe or paddleboat.
There are also rope swings, places perfect to jump from, and picnic spots available all around.
Regardless, kit out in swim-appropriate clothing and enjoy the warm water as you float down the river for approximately two and a half hours.
The temperature of the water is pretty much warm through most of the year at 70-72 degrees, making it quite pleasant and refreshing, especially in the summer.
Address: New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
2. Schlitterbahn Waterpark
Schlitterbahn Waterpark is one of the most fun of New Braunfels’ places to go, with a whopping 70 acres of exciting things to occupy yourself with.
It’s a great spot for people of all ages and is owned by a family, which makes it even more interesting.
Located on the Comal River’s banks, it is constantly changing and growing and has earned a reputation as one of the world’s greatest waterparks in its 15 years of life.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark boasts 17 water slides, tubing adventures stretching 3 miles, 7 playgrounds for children, 3 uphill-coasting water coasters, the world’s first surfing machine, numerous restaurants, a selection of accommodation options, and picnic spots.
All in all, Schlitterbahn Waterpark has a total of 51 different attractions, with 72-degree water that is cool and relaxing.
Some of the most loved rides at Schlitterbahn Waterpark are the high-soaring Sky Coaster, the cheerful Boogie Bahn, and the exciting Torrent Wave River.
The adrenaline-pumping Master Blaster Water Coaster is also much loved, with 6 stories of height and more than a thousand feet of length.
There is also the Black Knight, which brings you through pitch blackness through tunnels spanning 550 feet.
Address: 400 N Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
3. Landa Park
Landa Park is one of the best things to do in New Braunfels and has become the city’s most popular reprieve from the hustle and bustle surrounding it, an urban oasis spanning 51 acres.
It was established way back in 1989 and has served locals and tourists alike, with loads of modern amenities and facilities to provide an enjoyable recreational outlet for all.
More than just a simple park in the truest sense of the word, Landa Park is the green heart of New Braunfels.
It boasts a sizable swimming pool, a lake called Landa Lake that may have trout and always has paddle boats to use, a miniature train that goes from one end of the park to the other, and two hiking trails, namely the Harry Landa Tree Trail and the Panther Canyon Nature Trail.
There is also an 18-hole golf course, a mini-golf course, horseshoe pits, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and the lovely Comal Springs!
If even with all of that, you still want more out of Landa Park, check out the beautiful William and Dolores Schumann Arboretum, which boasts 96 tree species.
You can also go to feed the ducks, bring your kids to one of four playscapes, or explore the historical gazebos and structures.
For food, you’ll love the whopping 75 barbecue grills, oak-sheltered picnic spots and tables, and more!
Address: 164 Landa Park Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
4. Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo
The Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo began simply as the Snake Farm, which was incredibly popular among New Braunfels attractions since its opening in 1967.
At the time, it was a home for reptiles, snakes, and various historic mammals, and it grew into a famous roadside attraction.
Ownership of the Snake Farm changed in 2007, prompting its rebranding into the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo.
This change allowed it to expand its repertoire, providing over 500 various animals in addition to the snakes and reptiles of old.
Capuchin monkeys, longhorns, cats, exotic birds, and more filled the expanded displays.
The Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo would become an officially accredited zoo in 2012.
Today, it continues to grow in popularity, providing snake-handling events, animal feeding watch events, and animal stewardship and conservation education.
It still has a lot of the original exhibits it had back when it was just Snake Farm, all renovated and restored while providing more space for the animals within.
If you’re an animal enthusiast, you must add the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo to your list of New Braunfels’ places to visit!
Address: 5640 Interstate 35 S, New Braunfels, TX 78132, United States
5. McKenna Children’s Museum
The McKenna Children’s Museum is an extremely fun and exciting spot in New Braunfels that is perfect for children who love hands-on and interactive activities.
There’s no shortage of what to do so your children simply won’t manage to get bored!
The museum focuses on providing opportunities to learn, to encourage experimentation, and to create and foster imagination.
The McKenna Children’s Museum is targeted at kids below the age of eight years and is truly enriching for those at that age.
All sorts of things to enjoy are arranged throughout different scenarios, experiences, and displays.
For example, there is Tot Spot, Under the Comal River Exhibit, Grocery Store, Destination Space, Lend a Hand Ranch, McKenna Hospitable, and Outside the Lines Art Studio.
The McKenna Children’s Museum is all about play and excitement.
Kids will get to learn about music, space, light, languages, hospitals, rivers, animals, and more.
Your children will be able to explore the outdoors, cities, space, and towns all from the expanse of the museum as they experience simulated driving, camping, spaceship launches, and play.
Address: 801 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
6. Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre
If you’re looking for things to see that take you back in time, check out the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre, which is the best way to get a blast from the past in New Braunfels!
It’s a family-owned establishment that is open all throughout the year, showcasing three different films across three gigantic screens every Friday to Sunday night.
At the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre, you’ll get to buy double feature tickets so you can view two films at one price.
If you need something heavier to eat, a 50s-style cafe provides affordable snacks and small meals to fill your tummy while maintaining the aesthetic of yesteryears.
Address: 1178 Kroesche Ln, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
7. Canyon Lake
Want to check out some of the best places to see in the US?
It is one of Texas’ deepest lakes and is highly popular with boaters, fishermen, and more.
It provides a whopping 80 miles of scenic shoreline situated on the Guadalupe River.
The lake encompasses a surface area of 8,200 acres and dips 43 feet down beneath that surface.
All sorts of water sports can be enjoyed at Canyon Lake.
You can have fun swimming, rent some equipment to go out onto the water, or walk along the dam area.
A great thing that you can do is head to Canyon Lake Gorge.
Here, you’ll get to see fossils and dinosaur tracks dating back a hundred million years, including an entirely new pool ecosystem fed by unique waterfalls and springs.
You’ll find that five communities are scattered around the outskirts of Canyon Lake, providing you with a lot of places to stop and check out.
This includes a very busy marina, a couple of yacht clubs, spots for camping, boating, and picnicking, and an impressive eight public parks that you can explore and enjoy.
Address: New Braunfels, TX, United States
8. Faust Street Bridge
The Faust Street Bridge has been one of the top landmarks in the city of New Braunfels for more than a century, ever since its construction in 1887.
It is a simple Whipple truss bridge built in Comal County over the wide and long Guadalupe River.
It was one of Texas’ first passages over water without a toll, as a huge majority of bridges at the time were operated and owned privately.
In addition to being one of the most historic things to do in New Braunfels, the Faust Street Bridge was one of the first multi-span bridges of its construction, and now, it’s virtually one of the very few of its kind that remains in the state at all – as well as one of the last bridges of wrought iron to be built in the state.
At first, the bridge was important for wagons and carriages drawn by horses, but it was eventually able to bring automobiles across its length.
In 1978, the Faust Street Bridge was damaged in a fire and was subsequently closed.
Now, pedestrians and bicycles are able to use the bridge once more.
It’s lovely to cross it when the sun sets, as it is all lit up in the dark, but even during the day, the surrounding scenery is breathtaking.
Address: New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
9. Guadalupe Brewing Company
The Guadalupe Brewing Company is currently one of the tourist attractions at the forefront of New Braunfels.
The craft scene within the city and in all of Central Texas has been booming, and this family-owned company provides lots of fun flavors and delicious, balanced, full-bodied craft beer using ingredients sourced locally.
The Guadalupe Brewing Company was founded in 2011 by Kieth and Anna Kilker.
They make use of a unique ingredient – a kind of Marion red wheat, and a type of honey harvested from and by a local community of Amish folk.
More unique flavors include S’more Bitter Stout with Marshmallow and Chocolate Pecan Stout, though many other flavors are more generic though extremely drinkable.
The reputation of the Guadalupe Brewing Company’s beer speaks for itself, distributing its wares throughout the state and focusing on creating high-quality beers.
They even donate some of their profits to research for Texas wildlife and bees.
Address: 1586 Wald Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132, United States
10. Natural Bridge Caverns
The Natural Bridge Caverns are near to New Braunfels, just about 20 minutes outside of the city in San Antonio – and if you’re willing to seek points of interest beyond the city, this is definitely one of the best to travel for.
They were properly opened and explored for the first time in the 1960s and have since become among Texas’ most visited locations for people of all ages.
As their name suggests, the Natural Bridge Caverns are all-natural, made from limestone over the course of several million years until they formed what we know now.
They are a prime spot for underground adventures, allowing you to lay your eyes on rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites of impressive beauty.
A variety of different tour options give you lots of different ways to perceive the whimsical caverns.
For example, the Discovery Tour will let you see all the different giant formations throughout the years, and the Hidden Passages Tour offers a more mysterious chance at peeking through shadows and finding hidden secrets.
You can also try the Lantern Tour for a dark spelunking experience!
When you’re done exploring the Natural Bridge Caverns, you can go around doing other things, too!
There is an obstacle course that hits 60 feet in the air and a zip line that brings you all the way back down in what is known as the Canopy Challenge.
There are also gem mining and fossil mining experiences, a lovely gift shop, and a nice little cafe.
Don’t forget to also head into the maze, which spans 5,000 square feet, named the AMAZEn’ Ranch Roundup. Kids will love it!
Address: 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, San Antonio, TX 78266, United States
Want to experience more thrill? Why not check out Texas, Austin, and Dallas? If you do plan the trip here are some cool things to do in Texas, some of the best things to do in Austin, and some top things to do in Dallas!
11. New Braunfels Conservation Society
The New Braunfels Conservation Society is a beautiful complex covering 3.5 acres of space, and its main purpose is to preserve the unique way of life and cultural history of the early settlers to the city.
It is easily one of the top ways to truly understand the city’s past in a deeper way.
The expanse of the New Braunfels Conservation Society is made up of 18 buildings, all historic and telling the tale of 1845 life.
This includes a delightful Bed and Breakfast, a one-room schoolhouse built out of limestone dating back to 1870, and the original genuine Sunday House complete with a genuine outhouse and original heirloom tools.
Other spots within the conservation society are the old-fashioned historic saloon, the working, and very quaint barbershop, a garage that holds an authentic and well-restored 1907 REO automobile, and even Stefan Haelbig’s own music studio.
Architecture enthusiasts will love viewing some of the old fachwerk, five different styles in all, that were used in the city’s earliest days.
The society itself was founded in 1964 as a means of saving the Lindheimer house, which was the most important home of historic significance in the city.
The society slowly raised more and more funds in order to rescue, restore, and even completely move or relocate structures into the 3.5-acre span of the society’s ground.
Address: 1300 Church Hill Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
12. Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre
Watching a performance at the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre is one of the most fun stuff to do in the lovely city of New Braunfels, providing high-quality entertainment and modern technology hand-in-hand.
It is on the National Register of Historic Places and it was opened at a crucial time – just as Pearl Harbor was attacked, plunging America into war.
People came to the theatre to seek reprieve from the painful realities of the world.
The Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre opened as a cinema, or a movie theatre, in 1942.
This was right after another theatre had burned down in the area, meaning more audience members were naturally drawn to it.
When it was almost left to rot, locals pooled together to save it, and in the late 1990s, it was preserved, restored, and reopened as a performing arts center – which is how it remains now!
The Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre is one of the area’s chief destinations for performance arts.
The theatre boasts more than 605 seats and mixes lush art-deco architecture with high-tech modern technology.
Performers of all kinds, from comedians to bands and from singers to acting troupes, come to showcase their art and talent here every year.
Address: 290 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
13. New Braunfels Farmer’s Market
The New Braunfels Farmer’s Market is a delightful place to go to if you want to get deeper in touch with the locals.
You can find virtually anything here, from the typical produce of vegetables and fruits to baked goods, cheeses, and meats.
There is chocolate to sample, pizza to eat, skincare items to try, and hot food to enjoy.
You can purchase products for your home, too.
With over 75 vendors at the New Braunfels Farmer’s Market, there’s no end to what you can explore and try out.
Live entertainment will serenade you as you feast your eyes.
Better yet, the market is open without fail every Saturday, so you can check it out this weekend as one of the things to do in New Braunfels!
Address: 186 S Castell Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
14. Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture
The Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture is pretty much what it says on the tin, but also a little more.
It is a fun way to learn about the history of New Braunfels and the rest of Texas and its German immigration, told through the “words” of furniture that the German settlers made.
The building of the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture was once the home of Nan and Bill Dillen, a pair of furniture collectors who managed to amass more than 70 unique pieces of genuine antique furniture of Biedermeier make.
This collection is what is now displayed in the museum, as well as other interesting pieces like English ironstone, handmade quilts, accessories from the period, and more artifacts of German-Texan culture and the Biedermeier era of Central Europe.
Within the 11-acre property of the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture itself, there are other places to visit.
A summer kitchen, a shop that sells cabinets, and a log cabin can all be toured.
This museum’s beautiful hand-crafted creations are a true sight to behold, each one made from master carpenters, or Tischlermeisters.
Address: 1370 Churchill Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
15. The Sophienburg Museum
In Central Texas, German settlers came to establish a brand new colony, and the best way to learn about their actions and history is at the Sophienburg Museum.
The museum is home to a wide array of information, artifacts, maps, articles, and photographs relating to those colonists as they made their way into America into what was, at the time, referred to as Indian Territory.
The Sophienburg Museum allows you to trail the tracks of Prince Carl and his fellow settlers with more than a million different items on display.
Lectures, research material offerings, and events are provided and held regularly so you can learn even more about the city’s heritage, as well as the heritage of the surrounding Comal County.
Address: 401 W Coll St, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
16. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards
The Dry Comal Creek Vineyards are a chic, award-winning boutique winery that is one of the definite things to see for wine-drinkers and alcohol connoisseurs alike.
The land for them was purchased in the 1970s by Franklin Houser as a family getaway.
Upon his retirement from law in the 1990s, he decided to devote his life to wine.
Since then, the vineyards have kept going and, after being sold to the Romero Family, it has stayed a family business.
Famous for pioneering Black Spanish wines in Texas, harvested and produced from a special native grape, the Dry Comal Creek Vineyards produced flora, fruit-forward, oaky, and smooth wines that have tantalized tastebuds for years.
You’ll enjoy the lavish atmosphere of the tasting room, which offers gorgeous scenery that looks out over the wonderful land of the property.
Address: 1741 Herbelin Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132, United States
Want to explore more? If you have the time, why not check out El Paso, Fort Worth, and Galveston? If you do plan the trip, here are some of the best things to do in El Paso, some cool Fort Worth attractions, and some of the top things to do in Galveston, TX!
17. Downtown Antique Mall
The Downtown Antique Mall is a haven for antique hunters and collectors of trinkets and treasures.
It sits in an early 1900s building that has been restored to a lovely 6,000 square feet of fun and exciting shopping space.
More than 60 different vendors take up space in this New Braunfels trove, which is a must-do for anyone who wants to sate their shopaholic urges!
What can you expect to find at the Downtown Antique Mall?
You’ll spot collectibles, furniture, coins, memorabilia, depression glass, jewelry, art, books, silver, linen, pottery, records, toys, primitives, tools, and much more!
You’ll spend hours of your time this weekend basking in this neatly organized gem!
Address: 209 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
18. Spass Walking Tours
Looking for things to do in New Braunfels that will allow you to get up-close and personal with its culture, history, cuisine, and more?
Check out Spass Walking Tours!
The word “Spass” translates to “fun”, and it certainly lives up to that name here.
The tours bring you through the city, educating you on history and culture and stopping at popular sites for food and excitement.
Spass Walking Tours offers many different kinds of tours, all of which involve exploring the city and all it has to offer.
The Downtown Art Murals Tour grants insight into the many beautiful murals scattered about the downtown area, who made them, and what they mean.
The Historic Downtown Tour and Historic Cemetery Tour let you explore the histories of different parts of the city.
The Taste of New Braunfels Tour is a great way to try the greatest local food and the Prost!
Saloon Tour is ideal for craft beer lovers.
There is also the scenic Landa Park Tour & Hike, spanning two miles to immerse you in nature and the city’s beauty.
Want something more interactive?
The Downtown Scavenger Hunt is a team-building type of activity that’s perfect for learning about the city in an engaging and interesting way!
Address: New Braunfels, TX, United States
19. New Braunfels Fire Museum
The New Braunfels Fire Museum opened in 1995 after the Battalion Chief at the time, Darren Brinkkoeter, put forward the suggestion for its creation.
He and many other firefighters pooled together to make this dream a reality, allowing the museum to open on the city’s 150th anniversary.
Before being converted to its new purpose, the New Braunfels Fire Museum was the original Central Fire Station of the city that was used from 1918 to 1985.
Within it, you’ll see why it’s one of the most interesting tourist attractions in the city, as it contains all sorts of genuine artifacts and memorabilia.
Among the items you’ll see at the Fire Museum are an 1886 Hose Cart, a 1923 LaFrance Pumper, a 1931 American LaFrance, a 1950 Ford Pumper, and various Bucket Brigade Buckets, all used in the transportation of equipment for fire extinguishing.
You’ll also spot old tools, communication devices, clothing, and helmets!
Address: Hill Ave., New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
20. Texas Ski Ranch
The Texas Ski Ranch is a prime spot for water activities and has a reputation for being one of the world’s greatest locations for such sports.
The outdoor sports complex covers 70 acres of ground set on a man-made lake perfect for people of all ages.
At Texas Ski Ranch, a wide range of sports in the water are offered.
You can go boating, wakeboarding, or water skiing as intensely as you like.
There are also other sports, like skateboarding, paintball, skating, snowboarding, and even a trampoline park.
Private lessons are offered throughout the year for grown-ups and kids alike, so you’ll always get the chance to learn.
An immensely exciting location and one of the city’s key points of interest, the Texas Ski Ranch also boasts Loki’s Axe Haus, where you can throw axes, and the Ironsides Craft Bar for delicious beer.
There’s even a beach near the edge of the water that is a great way to take some steam off when you’re done with all that excitement!
Address: 6700 I-35, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
21. Winery on the Gruene
Winery on the Gruene is named after its location in the historic area of New Braunfels’ Gruene.
It is a family-owned boutique winery that has won multiple awards, and it creates more than 30 different kinds of wines.
Production at all stages is performed within the property, ensuring high-quality authenticity!
Winery on the Gruene provides daily tastings without the need for reservations, and its delicious wines of various notes and flavors have made it one of the popular New Braunfels attractions for couples and wine-loving adults.
As you sample different notes, you’ll get to stare out over the stunning scenery of Greune and the adjacent Guadalupe River.
Address: 1308 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
22. New Braunfels Railroad Museum
The New Braunfels Railroad Museum is a delightful location that is perfect for locomotive aficionados.
If you’re looking for places to go that’ll give you insight into Texas’ railroad history, then well, you’re in the right place!
It is made up of a former depot building that has been restored.
Specifically, the building was used for the Union Pacific, the International & Great Northern, and the Missouri Pacific lines.
Completely free to enter and explore, the New Braunfels Railroad Museum gives you the chance to view a mix of full-size and miniature locomotives.
You’ll get to see a genuine 1950s caboose, a restored authentic Pullman dining car, and a tourable railcar and engine.
You may even have the chance to drive a model train, watch a train show, or visit the library, which houses an impressive 600 or so books related to railroads and locomotives.
Address: 302 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
Wurstfest is a celebration of the history and deliciousness of sausages, and it’s been one of the most fun things to do in New Braunfels since its conception in 1961.
In the beginning, the festival was just a one-day, simple event with a few visitors, but today, it is a 10-day extravaganza of music, culture, heritage, and food drawing visitors from across the state and even the country.
With thousands of annual visitors, Wurstfest offers a taste of German culture mixed delightfully with Texas rowdiness.
If you’ll be in the city this weekend, why not check out one of New Braunfels’ biggest events by taking a large appetite along to sample some sausages!
There will even be games, carnival rides, performances, and beer from Texas and German brewers!
Address: 178 Landa Park Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
24. Mill Street Art Gallery
If you seek places to visit related to art and culture, the Mill Street Art Gallery is a relaxing and simple option in New Braunfels.
It is home to a wide range of sculptures and works of fine art from both local Texas artists and artists throughout the country.
Its many items are on display for perusal and even for purchase.
In 2014, the original historic building for the gallery burned down, but that only gave the Mill Street Art Gallery more of a chance to showcase unique architecture.
The result was a downtown commercial-style building with antique butter bricks and packed with meaningful design elements.
Notably, the Mill Street Art Gallery has homey floors made of salvaged wood and unique features like a cistern conference room table.
Address: 387 W Mill St, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
25. Prince Solms Park
Looking for more options for what to do outdoors in New Braunfels with your children?
Prince Solms Park is a quaint little choice!
It’s essentially a large playground covering 19 acres of ground, boasting courts for basketball and tennis, a 9-hole course for disc golf, and a big area for play.
The Prince Solms Park also boasts direct access to the gorgeous Comal River, providing opportunities to float down the river from here.
A lovely “tube chute”, which is a slide into the water fitted into the river dam’s side, provides a unique way to access the river, and there are some swimming holes further upstream.
There are also some great picnic areas so you can watch the river flow by and relax!
Address: 100 Liebscher Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
26. Circle Arts Theatre
The Circle Arts Theatre was founded in 1968 by a divorced mother who was taking a massive leap of faith.
She had two children with special needs and was quitting her more stable job in nursing to open what was then known as the Community Actors Theatre, which she built in the fairgrounds within an old exhibition hall.
Three years later, Elizabeth was approached by the WurstFest Association to host a play for the festival in return for the ability to use a building in Landa Park.
She agreed, and since then, the theatre has only grown.
Its first full season was in 1972, with the number of plays increasing each new season, and by 1978, it was hosting classes in the performing arts for children.
Today, the Circle Arts Theatre has grown into a great New Braunfels spot for a good night of fun performances and engagement through shows of all kinds.
The theatre and its troupe have won many awards across different categories and topics and have grown to include touring companies, summer camps, and numerous events!
Address: 124 Elizabeth Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
Start Planning Your Trip To New Braunfels
New Braunfels is a fun location for visitors of all preferences.
Whether you’re here for the cool waters, the natural parks and features, the historical heritage, or something else, you’re sure to find many options for what to do in New Braunfels.