Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Gruene, TX

  • Published 2022/12/02

Gruene, Texas, is a unique place to visit, offering a one-of-a-kind-experiences—from the antique shops to the riverfront hotels and restaurants to iconic establishments.

It’s big on history, and its beautiful hills and winding river provide a scenic backdrop for exploring the district.

This charming town is the perfect destination if you’re looking for an escape from the bustling city.

Are you planning on visiting this historic district soon?

Then, read on for the 20 best things to do in Gruene, Texas!

Watch Live Performances at Gruene Hall

Exterior of Gruene Hall

Kellee Kovalsky /

A trip to this historic town won’t be complete without stopping by the historic Gruene Hall located along Gruene Road.

Gruene Hall was built in the 1870s, and it’s coined as the most famous dance hall in Texas that has been a gateway to fame for tons of artists performing at the Hall.

Exterior of Gruene Hall

Philip Arno Photography /

This iconic establishment spans 6,000 square feet of the dance hall with a high-pitched tin roof featuring the original layout of Gruene Hall.

Aside from the dance hall, there’s also a huge outdoor garden and a bar in the front, perfect if you want to enjoy the breeze while having a drink.

Watch live performances, get your groves on in the dance hall, and have an interesting chat with the locals to learn about the notable history of this lively establishment.

Name of Gruene Hall

MWaits /

Shop for Nostalgic Goodies at Gruene General Store

Name sign of Gruene General Store

Barna Tanko /

Take a trip back in time as you walk through the aisles of Gruene General Store, featuring tons of unique products that are sure to give you a rush of nostalgia.

Heinrich Gruene established the Gruene General Store during the growth of the cotton industry, the store had to close during the Depression, but it was re-opened in 1989.

Exterior of Gruene General Store with cars parked in front

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The general store remains open and continues to charm tourists and locals alike with its historical setting and ambiance.

Gruene General Store is a go-to if you want to shop for unique items and souvenirs or stop by if you’re going to have an ice cream like it’s the old days.

Don’t miss out on this charming store located along Hunter Road—you’re bound to leave with a treasure or two on your visit to the Gruene General Store.

Front exterior of Gruene General Store

Billy Hathorn, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Channel Your Artistic Skills at The Barn Pottery

Do you enjoy looking at intricate artistic details and seeing unique artistry?

If so, you should visit The Barn Pottery located along Gruene Road!

The Barn features a gallery filled with beautiful pieces of wares that are made on-site and other pieces that are made by artists across central Texas.

You can stroll through the gallery, see unique pieces of pottery pieces, and shop for the items that resonate with your aesthetics.

There’s also a studio connected to the gallery where you can come in and check out the works in progress made by artistic locals.

Enjoy Water Recreation Activities at the Guadalupe River

Colorful trees near Guadalupe River

Silvio Ligutti /

If you’re looking for some exciting outdoor adventure on your trip to Gruene, then head out to try out water recreation activities at Guadalupe River.

Guadalupe River runs through the towns of Central Texas, but one of the most popular sections is located between Canyon Lake Dam and Gruene.

Cypress trees root near Guadalupe River

Philip Arno Photography /

You can float through the Guadalupe River, where you can enjoy the calm waters along with exciting rapids that’ll take you for a heart-racing experience.

Aside from floating in the river, you can also try your luck in fly fishing at the river to score on some fresh catch.

Top half of a cypress tree near Guadalupe River

Tricia Daniel /

Marvel at the Guadalupe River’s scenic offerings like towering trees and tall limestones bluffs running through the clear sparkling waters.

Guadalupe River is the destination you sure won’t want to miss on your trip to Gruene!

Tall trees surrounding Guadalupe River

Philip Arno Photography /

Sip and Swirl Some Fine Wines at The Grapevine

Are you looking for a place where you can hang out while enjoying some drinks?

Then, you should head out for a relaxed time at The Grapevine!

Indulge in the rich flavors of Texas wines ranging from various flavor selections the winery offers.

Whether you want something oaky, full-bodied, or light—The Grapevine has something for every palate.

If you crave fizzy, cold beers, they also offer a range of craft beer flavors in their taproom for you to enjoy.

The Grapevine features a shady outdoor garden and a cozy patio where you can enjoy hanging out with friends while listening to live music performances.

This rustic, upscale wine bar is located along Hunter Road, featuring great views of the water tower and the iconic Gruene Dance Hall.

Shop for Antique Items at Gruene Antique Company

Exterior of Gruene Antique Company

Roberto Galan /

Get your shopping fix at the Gruene Antique Company, where you can scour through an assortment of precious vintage items.

Located at the historic downtown of Gruene along Hunter Road is this large antique mall that was established in 1986.

Top half of Gruene Antique Company's building

Barna Tanko /

The antique store is housed in a building built by Heinrich D. Gruene in 1903, where farmers could purchase their necessities.

Score on unique vintage items ranging from small trinkets to house decors to cowboy hats and boots.

The Gruene Antique Company is a must-visit whether you’re looking to shop for unique items or you simply want to get a glimpse of history.

Social distancing sign near Gruene Antique Company entrance

University of College /

Delight Your Tastebuds at the Iconic Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar

Dine at one of the unique dining spots in central Texas, where you can enjoy great foods with a combination of rich history.

The Gristmill Restaurant and Bar has been serving the true Texas experience since the 1970s, nestled in a historic establishment that previously housed the Gruene cotton gin.

The restaurant is located along Gruene Road, which offers gorgeous views of the Guadalupe River and the iconic water tower.

You can dine inside their intimate dining room featuring native stone fireplaces and an indoor bar or enjoy the fresh breeze of the air in their bricked patio.

Delight your tastebuds with their classic specials and warm your heart with the restaurant’s charming atmosphere.

Never miss out on the best-tasting meal and relaxing dining experience offered by the Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar on your trip to Gruene!

Shop for Artisan Items and Homemade Goodies at Old Gruene Market Days

Get acquainted with the tight-knit community of this historic district by stopping by the Old Gruene Market Days located along Hunter Road.

The Old Gruene Market Days is typically held during the third full weekend of each month and the first weekend of December, so make sure to plan out your weekend getaway during these times to get the most out of your Gruene trip.

Shop for unique artisan items crafted by the talented locals like paintings, house decors, furniture, and trinkets.

Antiques, homemade goodies, wine, and craft beer are also offered at the Old Gruene Market Days.

Enjoy live music performances as you explore the open-air market and get that cozy feeling as you breathe in the mouthwatering smell of fresh foods from the food stalls.

Don’t forget to stop by the food stalls to get some heartwarming grubs while enjoying hearty conversations with the new people you meet.

Book Your Stay at Gruene Mansion Inn

Exterior of Gruene Mansion Inn

Roberto Galan /

If you’re looking for a place where you can rest your weary feet after your travels, then look no further than the Gruene Mansion Inn!

This charming inn is nestled in the heart of the historic Gruene district and set on the banks of the Guadalupe River.

The Gruene Mansion Inn was one of the first buildings in Gruene built in the 1870s, which was Heinrich D. Gruene’s historic estate.

Name sign of Gruene Mansion Inn

University of College /

The inn features a rustic Victorian elegance that’ll surely fascinate visitors and experience the authentic historic ambiance and serene river vistas.

Each room has its own entrance, private bathroom, and porch overlooking the town, and all of the rooms showcase different furnishings and personalities.

Exterior of Gruene Mansion Inn

Roberto Galan /

Shop and Dine at Downtown Gruene

The road of Downtown Gruene

University of College /

A trip to Gruene won’t be complete without taking a casual stroll through the downtown of the historic district.

Enjoy the welcoming ambiance of this tight-knit community and immerse yourself with the beautiful, historic facade of the town.

Welcome sign of Gruene Historic district

University of College /

Scour through eclectic specialty shops offering a range of items like antiques, trinkets, artisan crafts, and other goodies.

Don’t forget to stop by the restaurants and coffee shops to delight yourself with Gruene’s cozy and relaxing atmosphere.

A stroll through downtown Gruene is enough to take you on a time capsule where you can enjoy both modern comforts and historical offerings.

Exterior of a boutique at Downtown Gruene

Barna Tanko /

Customize a Hat at Gruene Hat Company

The Gruene Hat Company is Texas’ finest local hat shop.

It is close to Gruene Hall and is housed in the Gruene Mercantile Building.

They feature a huge selection of cowboy hats made of wool, straw, cotton, and palm leaves in addition to various western accessories, including leathers, wild clothes, and cowhide items.

Gruene Hat Company is a unique shop with just over 250 square feet where you can undoubtedly discover the right hat for you.

They provide the option to personalize all your hats, gloves, and leather items with titles, initials, and classic western signs, which is ideal for adding the perfect finish to a special masterpiece.

Browse the Products For Sale at the Best Lil Bath Haus

The Best Lil Bath Haus in the center of Gruene, out front of Gruene River Grill, offers custom-scented salt scrubs.

To make your unique, distinctive fragrance, combine up to three of their popular trademark scents!

Visit them and browse their assortment of items, which includes bath oils, perfumes, lotions, body oils, sponges, and more!

They serve you and your guests the ideal experience for your forthcoming event!

You can customize their party package, although the default features include a discount for every guest, a free in-house hand treatment, wine, and cheese.

Engage in Indoor and Outdoor Activities at the Gruene River Hotel & Retreat

Each room at the family-managed and -owned Gruene River Hotel & Retreat has a distinct personality and offers a unique experience.

Their position puts the finest of Gruene at their doors, just 100 yards from Gruene Hall, Texas’s historic dancehall, along with wine-tasting establishments, pubs, live music clubs, and boutique shops.

You’re guaranteed to feel at home in charming southern flair with a chef-prepared daily continental breakfast, free wine at night, and accommodations with river views.

In-suite fireplaces, free internet, a gaming room, own balcony, and accessibility to the Guadalupe River are just a few of the amenities.

You can also explore some of the finest food and entertainment choices.

Learn Something New while Shopping at Gruene Outfitters

Gruene Outfitters has been providing services to the hill country area for over 30 years and is situated in the center of historic Gruene, Texas.

Their store sells men’s apparel, accessories, and fly fishing gear out of a sizable, historic structure.

If living an outdoor lifestyle appeals to you, they have the brands and expertise to get your hook in the waters and your drink cool.

They are always happy to share advice and ideas at their fly store on anything from tying knots to choosing fly.

Ask for advice from reading the water to line casting, whether you are new to fly-fishing or merely a visiting fly-fisher.

Delight in a Relaxing Afternoon at Gruene Coffee Haus

The popular business Gruene Coffee Haus is family-run and located in the historic town of Gruene, Texas.

They passionately keep all the coffee new and only roast it when necessary while proudly roasting their best beans and serving them daily.

Feel free to observe and take in the scents as they roast in their modest store.

The coffee shop offers a comprehensive espresso menu, premium drip coffee options, cold brew coffee available around-the-clock, several frappe varieties, milkshakes, Italian sodas, sweets, and tons of space to stretch out and work.

While exploring Gruene, they also have craft beer and mimosas you can order to go.

Gruene Coffee Haus has everything for everyone, including pet goodies.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Hike through the Trails of Landa Park

Body of water at Landa Park

Silvio Ligutti /

If you’re looking for a destination near Gruene where you can take a relaxing hike and enjoy the outdoors, then you should visit Landa Park!

Located 10 minutes outside of Gruene is Landa Park in New Braunfels, which features tons of recreational activities you can enjoy with the family.

Geese swimming on Landa Park waters

Iron_Danz /

Go on a hike, have a dip at the aquatic complex, play miniature golf and ride the miniature train with the youngsters, go paddling and fishing in the river, and see the reach flora at the arboretum.

There are picnic areas overlooking the river, so you can enjoy a relaxing lunch under the shade while listening to the flowing waters.

Land Park is the ideal destination to enjoy the outdoors with the entire family, which will delight the young and the young at heart.

A big oak tree in Landa Park

Steve Tafoya /

Get a Rush of Adreline at Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Tall waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark

CJ TravelTips, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cool off from the scorching summer heat on an exciting trip at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels.

This expansive water park is located in North Liberty Avenue, 15 minutes outside Gruene, featuring 51 attractions consisting of thrilling river rides, pools, and waterslides.

People in line at Schlitterbahn Waterpark's waterslide stairs

CJ TravelTips, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Schlitterbahn Waterpark is a must-visit for thrill-seekers and families traveling to central Texas with the youngsters.

This water park has been voted as the world’s best waterpark for 23 years with its world-famous attractions and epic experiences from mild to wild.

The waterpark features an on-site resort which is perfect if you want to stay in for the night and enjoy the fun for more than a day.

People swimming at Schlitterbahn Waterpark

CJ TravelTips, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Meet the Animals at Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo

Meet the animals and support the cause to protect the wildlife at Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels.

Located 15 minutes outside Gruene is this roadside attraction along Interstate 35 that brings wild, exotic experiences in central Texas.

The Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo is home to wild animals ranging from furry, feathery, hairy, and scaly ones.

This zoo offers a one-of-a-kind experience for families looking to learn about the animals and habitats.

The zoo allows visitors who want a close encounter with the animals and have a wholesome time at the petting zoo.

Learn about the German History of Texas at The Sophienburg Museum and Archives

Exterior and entrance of The Sophienburg Museum and Archives

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you can’t get enough of the region’s rich history, then dig deeper into the German heritage of central Texas at The Sophienburg Museum and Archives.

This quaint museum is located in West Coll Street in New Braunfels, just a 15-minute drive from Gruene.

The Sophienburg Museum & Archives houses the city’s local history and the German cultural heritage.

The museum was established in 1933, featuring interactive exhibits and a collection of artifacts and archives.

Don’t forget to check out the interesting items in their gift shop and shop for a souvenir to commemorate your trip.

Have a Picnic at Fischer Park

Top part of a windmill at Fischer Park

Allen R. Dulaney /

Get out in the sun and have a vibrant time outdoors with the entire family at Fischer Park.

This expansive park in New Braunfels is located along Hilltop Summit Road, just a 15-minute drive from the historic district.

Fischer Park is the largest park in the city, offering an array of amenities like two-mile greenway trails, two fishing ponds, a playground with water features, and an education center.

Enjoy hiking, swimming, playing under the sun, and setting up a picnic to take in the relaxing breeze of fresh Texas air.

This charming park has got everything covered to keep your trip brimming with fun experiences that are sure to delight the entire family.

Final Thoughts

Gruene’s rich heritage and tight-knit town atmosphere will surely fill your trip with interesting experiences and exciting adventures that you can only experience in central Texas.

So if you’re planning a trip to this charming city soon, don’t forget to bookmark this list so you won’t miss out on exciting adventures.

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