Are you looking for the best things to do in Gruene Tx?
Well, I have just what you need! Not only have I lived in New Braunfels for the last 30 years, but I am also a professional photographer and 95% of my sessions are in Gruene. And I am here to spill the tea on all the best things to do while visiting our scenic town.
From listening to the live music of Country’s hottest artists to fine dining to shopping for antiques, Gruene has it all.
I have sorted everything into 5 categories; Dining, Shopping, Where to stay, activities, and most Instagrammable photo spots.
This post is all about the best things to do in Gruene, Tx.
Where to Eat and Drink in Gruene
Dinner at Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar
Gristmill is the most iconic restaurant in Gruene and a must-visit for foodies and history buffs. When people think gurney, they automatically think, “We gotta eat at The Gristmill.”
Located in a historic cotton gin, The Gristmill boasts a stunning setting overlooking the Banks of the Guadalupe River.
Their menu features Texas Classics like, my favorite, chicken fried steak, burgers, and seafood, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
You can dine indoors in the charming rustic interior or outside on the spacious outdoor patio with breathtaking views of the river.
With so many delicious dishes to choose from and their stunning atmosphere, it’s no wonder The Gristmill Restaurant is the most popular restaurant in town.
Dinner at Gruene River Grill
I’ve always said that if you wanna eat where the tourists eat, then eat at The Gristmill but if you wanna eat where the locals eat, then eat at The Gruene River Grill.
Gruene River Grill is a charming and elegant restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere that offers a perfect dining experience. It is one of my favorite places for luncheons with friends.
Their menu features an extensive menu with a variety of dishes, including seafood, steaks, salads, and again, my favorite, chicken fried steak. I may or may not get it every time we go.
Be sure to ask for a table with a view of the Guadalupe River.
Margaritas at Cantina del Rio
Cantina del Rio is a legendary institution delighting locals and tourists alike with its Tex-Mex cuisine. This family-friendly spot serves up classic dishes like tacos, enchiladas, nachos, and even an avocado burger. But the real star of the show is their margaritas.
Their hand-crafted specialty margaritas really hit the spot on a hot summer day. My favorite is the Mangonada Margarita, mango margarita with chammy and Tajin rim. Now how good does that sound?
Can’t decide which margarita to get, you can order a flight of the most popular options, frozen sangria, prickly pear margarita, and pomegranate margarita. You can’t go wrong with any of those!
Voted Best Happy Hour in Town, Cantina is the place to be Monday thru Friday 4:00 – 6:00 pm. They also offer beer and margaritas to go 7 days a week.
See Also: The Best Happy Hours in New Braunfels
Ice cream at Gruene General Store
Getting ice cream at the old-fashioned ice cream parlor inside Gruene General Store is a delightful experience that takes you back in time. The parlor, with its wooden floors and vintage decor, creates a nostalgic ambiance that’s hard to resist. They offer a variety of classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, as well as unique options such as blackberry cobbler and peach. You can enjoy your ice cream in a cone, cup, or even a root beer float. They also have a selection of candies, homemade fudge, and other treats for those with a sweet tooth. It’s the perfect place to cool off and indulge in a sweet treat while enjoying the charming Gruene Historic District.
Morning Coffee at Gruene Coffee Haus
With delicious coffee and pastries, Gruene Coffee House is a happening place. They have a small seating area inside and a large patio with lots of outdoor seating.
My favorite is the Pot of Gold (hints of vanilla, Irish Cream, and Caramel) and a banana nut muffin. You can even buy a bag of their coffee beans to take home with you to enjoy.
One of the best things about Gruene Coffee Haus is that not only is it a great way to start your day but it is also quite an Instagram-worthy spot. They have a mural of George Strait on one entire side of their building and a neon sign inside, both of which will be attention grabbers for your social media feed.
Read more about all the best coffee shops in New Braunfels here.
Wine Tasting at The Grapevine
The Grapevine in Gruene boasts one of the largest selections of Texas wines around. Located in the heart of Gruene Historic District, it is the perfect place to listen to live music while enjoying a glass of wine or one of their specially curated craft beers.
See Also: The Best Wineries in New Braunfels
Breakfast at Buttermilk Cafe
Buttermilk Cafe is probably my favorite place for breakfast or brunch in the Gruene/New Braunfels area. And I’m not alone! You just need to be prepared to wait for a table when you go. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Tuesday in non-peak season, you will still have a wait. But it is oh so worth it!
Their menu features a variety of classic breakfast dishes, from fluffy pancakes and waffles to hearty omelets and breakfast sandwiches. Not a breakfast person? They also offer delicious lunch options like sandwiches and salads and their homemade soups are a must-try.
So whether you’re looking for a leisurely brunch with friends or a quick breakfast on the go, you absolutely must visit Buttermilk Cafe while you’re here.
Best Shopping in Gruene
From antique stores and specialty stores to Old Gruene Market Days, Gruene offers some of the best places to shop.
Gruene General Store
Gruene General Store in Gruene, Texas is a historical gem that has been a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike since it first opened its doors in 1878. It has preserved its original charm, complete with wooden floors and creaking ceilings, and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. It’s filled to the brim with a variety of unique gifts, souvenirs, and Texas-inspired merchandise. Be sure to set aside plenty of time to peruse the isles during your visit. You’re sure to find something you can’t live without.
Pro Tip: Their dips, jams, and jellies are incredible and they also ship all of their products so when you get home and need some more, you can order extra from their website.
If you live an active life, then you are going to want to stop by and check out Gruene Outfitters and Pomegranate. They are sister stores carrying many of the same brands, Pomegranate carries items for women and Gruene Outfit carries items for men.
This is one of my absolute favorite stores anywhere. They carry all the best brands and have a huge selection to choose from.
Need some Chocos for your day at the river? Gruene Outfitters and Pomegranate have a huge selection to choose from. Do you love Birkenstocks as much as I do? Again, Pomegranate has the largest selection I have ever seen. And, that includes Nordstrom.
Old Gruene Market Days
For nearly 30 years, Gruene Market Days has been a monthly event held every 3rd full weekend from February through November. It showcases nearly 100 artisans who offer an array of handmade items including uniquely crafted goods and packaged Texas foods. This free event provides both free parking and admission, as well as live entertainment.
Buy a Piece of Handmade Pottery at The Barn Pottery
This unique shop is a great place to get that unique gift for yourself or your family. It is housed in a historic barn and features a variety of handmade pottery pieces crafted by local artists.
you can browse through shelves filled with beautiful plates, bowls, mugs, vases, and other decorative items, all of which showcase the artists’ talents and creativity
Their working studio is connected to the gallery so you can watch as they make the beautiful pottery.
Whether you’re looking for a special gift or something to add to your home decor, The Barn Pottery is a must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates handmade craftsmanship.
Shop for Antiques at Gruene Antique Company
As you step into Gruene Antique Company, you’re transported to a world of vintage treasures and rare finds. It is full of antique furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles, and memorabilia that will catch your eye.
My first time shopping there, I literally spent an hour just walking up and down all the isles and reminiscing about my childhood.
Whether you are just browsing or looking for something in particular, you will definitely find something here that will touch your soul.
Shop for a new outfit at one of the many boutiques
The quaint shops in Gruene offer a variety of unique clothing, jewelry, home decor, and gift items that you won’t find anywhere else. Each boutique has its own style and personality, giving shoppers a chance to explore and discover something unique with every visit.
Where to Stay in Gruene
Gruene Mansion Inn is located in a historic building that dates back to the 1850s and has been beautifully restored to provide you with modern comforts while preserving its original charm.
The rooms are individually decorated with antique furnishings and each one has its own unique character.
Its location in the heart of Gruene allows you to explore the charming town on foot and enjoy live music and delicious food at nearby restaurants.
A stay at Gruene Mansion Inn offers a one-of-a-kind experience that combines history, comfort, and hospitality.
Gruene River Inn
Gruene River Inn is a peaceful and scenic getaway. It is situated on the banks of the Guadalupe River and offers breathtaking views of the water and the surrounding Texas Hill Country.
The rooms are beautifully decorated with a blend of rustic and modern elements, and some have private balconies overlooking the river.
Its location provides easy access to the Gruene Historic District, Restaurants, shops, and music venues.
A relaxing weekend spent at Gruene River Inn won’t soon be forgotten.
Best Activities in Gruene
See one of the country’s hottest artists in concert at Gruene Hall
Gruene Hall is the oldest continually running dance hall in Texas. It has been a legendary music venue since 1878, hosting countless famous performers over the years. Some of the biggest names in music have graced the stage at this historic venue, including Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Lyle Lovett, and Merle Haggard, just to name a few. The hall’s intimate setting and exceptional acoustics have drawn countless musicians and fans alike, making it a must-visit destination for music lovers. Whether you enjoy country, blues, or rock and roll, Gruene Hall’s rich musical history and impressive list of past performers make it a true Texas Gem.
Check their calendar and book your trip when they have a big name in town.
Pro Tip: Often times the performers will stay at the Gruene Mansion Inn, so book your room there and who knows, you may be rubbing elbows with the stars.
Go Dancing at Gruene Hall
Gruene Hall has been a beloved spot for live music and dancing for over a century, drawing crowds from near and far. The large wooden dance floor has seen countless pairs of cowboy boots and western dresses over the years, as visitors enjoy a range of music styles from country and western swing to blues and rock and roll.
Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or a first-timer, the lively atmosphere and energetic music will keep you on your feet and create unforgettable memories. Dancing at Gruene Hall is a quintessential Texas experience that should not be missed.
Grab a Beer and Listen to Live Music at Gruene Hall
Don’t feel like dancing? You can still have a great time and enjoy Gruene Hall. Just grab an ice-cold beer at the bar and enjoy the live music.
Sipping on a cold beer while enjoying the live music and vibrant atmosphere of the dance hall is what Gruene is all about.
Whether you’re a local or just passing through, having a beer at Gruene Hall is a must-do activity that will give you a taste of Texas culture and hospitality.
Wine Tasting at Winery on the Gruene
Be sure to stop by Winery on the Gruene and taste some of their delicious wines that are made on-site. Wine tastings are offered daily and no reservations are required. You can even create a case of your very own custom-label wines.
Read more about wineries in the New Braunfels area here.
Walk Down to the Bridge to See the Guadalupe River
One of my favorite things to do is to take a short walk down Gruene Road to the bridge overlooking the Guadalupe River. This is a very peaceful and relaxing area. Be advised that this is private property and you shouldn’t cross over any fences to get to the water.
Best Photo Spots in Gruene
With its historic buildings, unique shops, and lively atmosphere, Gruene is full of incredible photo ops.
George Strait Mural
On the side of the Gruene Coffee Haus building, there is a HUGE mural of George Strait. This is a perfect place for a photo. The best color to wear for this picture is white so you don’t compete with the colors in the mural.
Any picture with Gruene Hall is a perfect photo op. One of the best ways to photograph Gruene Hall is to actually stand away from the building so you can get the entire Gruene Hall and maybe even the water tower in your shot. If you stand too close, you end up being tiny in the picture or you aren’t able to get the entire building in your picture.
White Shack – Things to Do in Gruene Tx
The white shack behind The Gruene Antique Company is probably one of the most photographed places in Gruene. It has a great rustic vibe and looks great with whatever color you are wearing.
Gruene General Store Ice Cream Parlor
This is always a fun picture to take. Grab a couple of hand-dipped ice cream cones and you are ready! How easy is that? The atmosphere in Gruene General Store is perfect for that Instagram shot, doesn’t really matter which angle you shoot from. When I took my son and daughter-in-law’s engagement pictures, refinished up here and I absolutely LOVE those pictures.
Read all about my favorite photography spots here!
The Best Things to Do Near Gruene
Spend a Day at Schlitterbahn Water Park
It doesn’t matter how old you are, a day at Schlitterbahn is always a great time.
Float the Comal River
The crystal clear water and gentle currents of the Comal River make for a relaxing and refreshing ride. Along the way, you can take in the beautiful scenery and work on your tan.
What is Gruene Known for?
Gruene, Texas is known for its well-preserved 19th-century buildings, unique shops, and restaurants. But the star of the show is Gruene Hall, Texas’s oldest dance hall.
Gruene also hosts various annual events, such as the Gruene Music & Wine Fest, and the Texas Clay Festival.
What is the Famous Dance Hall in New Braunfels?
The famous dance hall in New Braunfels is Gruene Hall, located in the historic district of Gruene, Texas. Built in 1878, it’s the oldest continuously operating dance hall in Texas and has hosted legendary musicians such as George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Willie Nelson. It remains a popular venue for live music and dancing, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Does Gruene Hall serve Alcohol?
Yes, Gruene Hall serves alcohol. It has a bar that serves a variety of beers, wines, and spirits. You can enjoy your favorite drink while listening to live music and dancing on the iconic wooden dance floor.
Are kids allowed in Gruene Hall?
Yes, children are allowed in Gruene Hall when accompanied by an adult. The venue is family-friendly and hosts events such as Sunday afternoon gospel shows, where kids are welcome to attend. however, due to the nature of some events and the late-night atmosphere, parents should use discretion when bringing children to Gruene Hall.
Is Gruene Hall cash only?
Gruene Hall is not cash only, but it does accept cash as well as credit and debit cards for payment. The bar and merchandise counter both accept credit cards, and there is an ATM machine on-site for those who prefer to pay with cash.
Where is the George Strait Mural in Gruene?
The George Strait mural in Gruene is on the side of The Gruene Coffee Haus.
This Post was All About The Best Things to Do in Gruene, Tx.
Gruene, Tx is a must-visit small town just outside of San Antonio. From sipping on Texas wine at local wineries to enjoying live music at big-name venues like Gruene Hall, there is something for everyone in this charming town.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend or a fun day trip, Gruene is a popular spot that won’t disappoint. Take a stroll down the historic district, grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants, or simply soak in the small-town charm. Gruene is a hidden gem that is definitely worth exploring.