New Braunfels is a town built on German heritage, and nestled in the heart of Texas Hill Country about 2.5 hours from Houston. In my opinion, this is some of the prettiest landscape in Texas. It’s a popular place for tubing down the Guadalupe and Comal rivers, or going to the Schlitterbahn waterpark, and there are plenty of places to stay. However, if you’re looking to do something a little different…
Start your day off at The Downtowner Kitchen for breakfast. The Downtowner is a modern dive with a cool vibe and great service. The Avocado Toast with eggs are fantastic, and the coffee is smooth and rich.
On the weekend, you can walk next door to the farmer’s market for organic foods, arts and crafts. Pick up some awesome Brazilian Cheese Bread for baking later on, and fresh fruit for the next part of this adventure.
After about an hour at the market, head out to nearby Canyon Lake. A hidden and under utilized gem in the middle of the Hill Country. This lake has beautifully clear, cool water and plenty of room for your favorite water sport. Rent a boat for a couple hours, throw in a inner-tube for good measure, or for a little less action, just stop while out on the lake and take a dip in that cool water, and enjoy the fresh fruit you picked up at the market.
After that, head to this great little winery called the Dry Comal Creek Winery and Vineyards. They have wine tastings, indoor (air conditioned) and outdoor sitting areas as well. We were able to walk the grounds, cool off inside and learn a little about the history of the winery. I can totally see why the locals like to hang out in the garden in the evenings, and enjoy the Sangrias or chilled Dry Comal Red Blend, but we have other things to do, so off we go…
Take a drive through town on your way to Gennaro’s La Cucina Italiana for dinner, and you’ll see several restaurants and parks where the locals hang out. I grabbed this shot while passing over a bridge with a view of the river.
There are actually 2 locations for Gennaro’s. However, the original location on Startz Rd near Canyon Lake, is extremely hard to get into. On the weekends, you are looking at upwards of a 2 hour wait! Go to the location on East Common Street, and sit at the bar in front of the Pizza oven if there’s any kind of wait. Chat with the pizza chef Michael. He comes from Naples as do the owners, and was taught to make pizza by his grandmother. Nuff said. This oven gets so hot, the pizza literally takes 60 seconds or less to be fully cooked! Mind officially blown. The pizza was really, really good, and I’m kinda pizza-picky so I don’t say that lightly.
Enjoy your day!