The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

An Afternoon in New Braunfels, Tx

New Braunfels, a small city located northeast of San Antonio, is a great place to spend an afternoon.  It was founded by early German colonists in 1845 led by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels.  Prince Solms was commissioner general of the Adelsverein, the group which organized hundreds of German people to emigrate to Texas.  In 2010, New Braunfels became the sister city of Braunfels, German.  Located right off I-35, New Braunfels is very easy to find.  Once you take the exit towards the downtown area, you will find that the pace slows down.  It doesn't matter if you are a sports enthusiast, an outdoor nature lover, shopper, history buff, or just a sightseer, you find plenty of things to do here.

The downtown area is centered around the Main Plaza located in the middle of a traffic circle.

If you haven't had breakfast or need an afternoon pick-up, head over to Naegelin's Bakery.  Naegelin's is the oldest bakery in Texas and has been around since 1868.  You'll find delicious German, French, and Danish pastries and bread to choose from.  They also have coffee so you can relax at one of the small tables out front and enjoy the goodies.  They are famous for their strudel and numerous people came in to pick up large orders while I was there.

As you walk around the downtown area, you will notice numerous outdoor mural paintings adorning the buildings.  You will also find a number of art galleries and several antique and collectible shops.

 Another business which is even older than Naegelin's Bakery is Henne Hardware.  Texas's oldest hardware store has been serving New Braunfels customers since 1857.

Inside Henne's, you will see the original tin ceiling and wood flooring plus old fixtures like rolling ladders and money trolleys as well as new hardware products and unique gift items.

Another downtown fixture in the Phoenix Saloon which was originally built in 1871.  It was reputedly the first bar in Texas to serve women.  In the 1890's, the bar featured badger fights and an alligator pit.  Chili powder was invented here by William Gebhardt in 1894.  Prohibition closed it in 1918 but an illegal brewery operated out of the basement before a department store eventually took over the bar area.

After a two year renovation, the bar was reopened in 2010 and every thing possible was recycled.  It has been featured on the Food Network.

You will find the Seekatz Opera House just down the street.

If you are a museum lover, you'll want to stop by the New Braunfels Railroad Museum.  Of course, you'll just be touching on what is available here.  You'll also find the McKenna Children's Museum, The Buckhorn Barbershop Museum, The Lindheimer Haus, and the Heritage Village Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture.

This barely touches on what you can find to do in New Braunfels.  There are two coffee shops downtown in addition to numerous German restaurants as well as those featuring Mexican and American cuisine, many featuring well-known chefs. If you want to spend the night, you'll find plenty of motels, hotels, and bed & breakfasts.  There are also numerous RV parks and resorts in the area.

And I didn't even mention Schlitterbahn, the world's first water resort and voted World's Best Waterpark for 13 consecutive years. They have recently added a new park area called Tubenbach to their already state-of-the-art water attractions.  If you aren't in to water parks, you might enjoy their huge Christmas shop.  Next up are some of the more natural attractions for this area.


  1. I can't tell you how many times I've been to New Braunfels, and never been downtown. . .next time I will check it out.

    Great pics. . .wouldn't it be so great if they would take photographers into account when they place ugly signs in front of beautiful stuff. . .it's so hard to get a great shot. . .ie. . .the train depot is beautiful. . .the signs. . .not so much. . .but whatcha gonna do?


    1. So true Janice. It was frustrating to have power lines and signs but I didn't want to leave the murals and station out.

  2. Thanks for the tour. I never got that far when I went to C W the day that I saw you. One of these days!!!!

    1. There is more to come and you will be in the area for a while. Maybe one day we can do it together.

  3. Those murals are awesome. I love when a town decorates like that. Plus all the marvelous history.


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