Things to Do

7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in New Braunfels

By  | 


If you have visited, lived in or hung around New Braunfels in the Texas Hill Country for any amount of time, chances are you’re aware of the time-honored lure of this historic town.

You have probably floated the crystal clear waters of both the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers, dined among the treetops along the river at the Gristmill, ate and drank your way through Wurstfest, or two-stepped around the dance floor at Gruene Hall. But if you’re looking for a new favorite place or experience, something off the grid, look no further. Here are seven hidden gems just waiting to be found.

1. Freiheit Country Store

7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in New Braunfels

Photo: Yelp/Allison T

Though its name may lead you to believe otherwise, Freiheit Country Store isn’t your average Hill Country general store. Open since 1889, Freiheit is famous for good old-fashioned comfort food like hamburgers, fries, chicken fried steak, and homemade pies. Outback you will find plenty of picnic tables, country musicians, local talent, and karaoke on any night of the week.

Freiheit Country Store, 2157 FM 1101, New Braunfels

2. Rita’s Natural Food Market

7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in New Braunfels

Photo: Facebook/Rita’s Natural Food Market

Rita’s Natural Food Market opened in 2009, yet somehow remains hidden from the public eye. The owners pride themselves on impeccable taste when it comes to brands and also manage to keep prices sensible. From coffee to kombucha to chicken and beef, this is your one-stop shop for health food.

Rita’s Natural Food Market, 111 Interstate 35 South, Suite B, New Braunfels

3. Stars & Stripes Drive-In

7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in New Braunfels

Photo: Yelp/Frank E.

Nothing screams “classic entertainment” more than a drive-in movie theatre. Thankfully, Stars & Stripes Drive-In has maintained its excellence in vintage outdoor entertainment for more than ten years. Stars & Stripes aims to help reclaim this unique part of American entertainment and history. So whether you are having a family night or a date night, skip the usual popcorn-and-cinema experience and try a 50’s-style food and a movie under the stars of the Hill Country.

Stars & Stripes Drive-In, 1178 Kroesche Lane, New Braunfels

4. Herbert’s Taco Hut

7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in New Braunfels

Photo: Facebook/Herbert’s

Whether you want a great place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner Herbert’s tops the list with great Mexican food any time of the day. The owners of Herbert’s Taco Hut believe family is a priority so they created their Mexican restaurant to reflect just that. The outside patio boats an excellent play place for the kiddos while the adults enjoy delicious beverages. Check their calendar for entertainment dates.

Herbert’s Taco Hut, 1440 North Walnut, New Braunfels

5. Lake Dunlap

7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in New Braunfels

Photo: Flickr/Larry Miller

A large reservoir on the Guadalupe River, Lake Dunlap is known for an abundance of large fish – largemouth bass, white crappie, catfish, and sunfish. The reservoir was formed in 1931 by the construction of a dam to provide hydroelectric power to the area. Experienced and novice fishers alike can test their line in the placid waters and enjoy a variety of aquatic life.

Lake Dunlap, New Braunfels

6. Fickle Pickles

7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in New Braunfels


Have you ever heard of pairing pickles and antiques? Well, you may never find it again but at Fickle Pickles, located in Gruene just 10 minutes drive from New Braunfels, that’s exactly what Mrs. Billie A. Shaw did back in 1987. With antiques for a backdrop, the Pickle Lady created a “sweet, crunchy, spicy” taste that folks just couldn’t get enough of.

In 2004, the Pickle Lady retired and her daughter, known as “the Pickle Lady’s Daughter,” took over and now Fickle Pickles are shipped to Alaska and our troops in Iraq.

Fickle Pickles,  1720 Hunter Road, Gruene.

7. Unique and Fun Festivals

7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in New Braunfels

Photo: Flickr/Jimmy Smith

Did you know that New Braunfels offers an assortment of unique, fun festivals throughout the year? Checking the calendar, you will find the Gruene Wine & Music Festival, the Crawfish Festival of New Braunfels, Folkfest, Kidsfest, the Wein & Saengerfest, the Texas Clay Festival, Hair of the Dog Day, and Taste of the Town, among many others.

Thank you, Keller Williams Realty in New Braunfels for your tips on hidden gems in the Texas Hill Country.