Nestled in the heart of Texas Hill Country, New Braunfels is the ideal destination for outdoor fun, family activities, and fascinating local history. From tubing calm spring-fed rivers to screaming down epic waterslides, New Braunfels offers an incredible variety of things to do for visitors of all ages and interests. Read on for a guide to the top ten best and most fun things to do in New Braunfels to help you plan an unforgettable Texas vacation full of adventure.
Here are 10 best and fun things to do in New Braunfels during your visit:
1. Comal River
Floating along the pristine Comal River is one of the most popular things to do in New Braunfels. You can tube, paddle, or swim in the cool, clear spring-fed water surrounded by the beautiful landscape of Texas Hill Country.
Several outfitters in town will set you up with tubes, life jackets, snacks, and shuttles to put in and take out spots along the river. Popular spots are the tube chute near the Landa Park entrance, where you can lazily drift in the slow current. Or head upstream for a more adventurous float over small rapids and rocks past scenic parks and golf courses.
The best way to experience the Comal is by parking, putting in your tube upriver, and then floating downstream back to your start point. Along the way, you’ll pass lush trees, limestone cliffs, and springs bubbling up from below. The consistent 72-74 degree water provides refreshing relief from the Texas heat.
Spending a few hours floating on the Comal River is one of the top things to do in New Braunfels.
2. Schlitterbahn Waterpark
Schlitterbahn features over 40 family-friendly rides and attractions themed after the hill country landscape with German architectural details. From massive waterslides like the Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster to kid-friendly areas like Blastenhoff, there’s something for all ages.
Check out highlights like the world-record-holding Venus Slydetrap waterslide, surfing on the Boogie Bahn, cliff jumping at the Aqua Blaster, and tubing through caves and rapids on the Lazy River. When you need a break, float the river, wander the lush grounds, or refuel at one of the restaurants.
A day at Schlitterbahn Waterpark is one of the most entertaining things to do in New Braunfels during the hot Texas summers.
3. Landa Park
Situated along the Comal River, Landa Park is a lovely green space in the heart of New Braunfels, spanning over 50 acres. It contains several spring-fed swimming pools that stay cool year-round and picnic areas perfect for an afternoon lunch.
Walk along the scenic paths under soaring bald cypress trees draped in Spanish moss. Let the kids burn off energy at the large playground. Enjoy mini golf, paddle boating, and feeding ducks in the pond. See exhibits on the area’s heritage in the Landa Haus Museum.
Landa Park also provides the most convenient access point for floating the Comal River within city limits. Visitors of all ages will find plenty of fun things to do in this beautiful central park.
4. McKenna Children’s Museum
If you’re looking for indoor activities with the kids, head to the McKenna Children’s Museum in downtown New Braunfels. This non-profit museum provides hands-on exhibits on science, math, literacy, and culture.
Kids can run a farm stand with pretend fruits and veggies, climb a two-story treehouse, and build towers from giant Imagination Blocks. Exhibits on simple machines teach about physics and engineering. Water tables, musical instruments, and a buzzing beehive keep little ones occupied.
Parents will also appreciate the museum’s education programs and summer camps. Getting immersed in interactive play and learning is one of the top things to do in New Braunfels with kids.
5. Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo
Don’t miss the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo along the Comal River for close encounters with exotic animals worldwide. This animal park cares for over 500 animals, spanning over 250 species, from reptiles and arachnids to mammals and birds.
You can safely view dangerous snakes like rattlesnakes and mambas in secure displays. Watch a bird or reptile show in the Snake Pit theater—hand-feed friendly animals like kangaroos, deer, and lemurs in the petting zoo. Say hello to playful otters, lounging alligators, majestic tigers, and more.
Visiting the Snake Farm Zoo provides a memorable wildlife experience. It is one of the most unique things to do in New Braunfels for animal lovers of all ages.
6. Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre
For a nostalgic night out, catch a movie outdoors at the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre, just a short drive out of town. This old-fashioned drive-in has operated since 1952 and remains a quintessential American experience.
See first-run blockbusters and family films from the comfort of your car on weekends. Arrive early to snag a front-row spot, bring snacks from home, or visit the concession stand. Enjoy classic intermission cartoons and an old-school atmosphere under the stars.
With space for over 500 cars, the Stars and Stripes Drive-In is one of the most classic things to do in New Braunfels to enjoy an evening out.
7. Faust Street Bridge
In the historic Faust Street Bridge, you’ll find the perfect riverside spot to watch tubers float along the Comal River that passes right underneath. Built in 1925, this charming low-water bridge is now a pedestrian walkway providing prime views.
Grab an ice cream or treat in downtown New Braunfels, then stroll onto the bridge. Wave to folks in tubes, rafts, and paddleboards drifting underneath in the clear water. It’s a perfect place for photos and enjoying this idyllic slice of Texas scenery.
Watching the crowds float by from above on the Faust Street Bridge is one of the most entertaining things to do in town.
8. Canyon Lake
Just north of New Braunfels lies the sparkling Canyon Lake, a reservoir on the Guadalupe River formed by a dam built in 1964. The lake provides excellent fishing, boating, swimming, and watersports.
Rent a ski boat, jet ski, or pontoon to explore the miles of shoreline dotted with coves. Go fishing for local catches like bass, catfish, and crappie. Relax on the white sand beach at the Cranes Mill Park swim area. Several parks around the lake offer hiking trails with scenic overlooks.
Soak in Hill Country views, cool off with water activities, or drop a line – spending the day at Canyon Lake makes for an easy day trip and a fun way to enjoy the outdoors near New Braunfels.
9. Natural Bridge Caverns
To marvel at wondrous rock formations hidden below ground, schedule a tour of magnificent Natural Bridge Caverns just north of New Braunfels. This immense cave system winds underground for over 10,000 feet.
Journey 180 feet below on a guided tour to see mind-boggling formations millions of years in the making. Gaze up at towering stalagmites, shimmering flowstones, and thick stalactites in rooms with evocative names like the Hall of the White Giants and Castle of the White Giants. Feel the chill in the chilly Mirror Lake room.
Natural Bridge Caverns provides an unforgettable adventure exploring the geological wonders, from vast chambers to narrow squeezes. It’s easily one of the top things to do in the New Braunfels area for nature lovers of any age.
10. New Braunfels Farmer’s Market
For delicious local flavors, head to the New Braunfels Farmer’s Market held every Saturday morning in downtown Historic Main Plaza. Rain or shine, you’ll find over 60 vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, arts and crafts, and more.
Sample juicy peaches, creamy goat cheese, vibrant sprouts, and organic honey from local Texas farms. Browse stalls for handmade soaps, jewelry, pottery, and artwork from area artisans. Grab breakfast from food trucks and listen to live music performances.
Experiencing the bustling community atmosphere at the farmer’s market is one of the most enjoyable things to do in New Braunfels to support local businesses and pick up artisanal treats.
New Braunfels has an incredible variety of attractions, from the calm spring-fed waters of the Comal River to the epic thrills of Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Learn about heritage at museums, take in a drive-in movie, marvel at Natural Bridge Caverns underground, or cheer on craftspeople at the local Farmer’s Market. Fantastic activities exist for families, couples, and friends of all interests. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the swimming, tubing, hiking, and boating opportunities just minutes from downtown. When visiting this Hill Country jewel, add these 10 best and fun things to do in New Braunfels to your Texas itinerary!
Let me know if you need any other New Braunfels trip planning tips or details on the attractions and activities mentioned here.