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Just an hour outside of Austin, the city of Gruene, Texas looks like a film set rather than a real town. Not sure where to dine, shop, or simply experience the city? That’s what we’re here for! Here are all the best things Gruene has to offer.
Located on the banks of the Guadalupe River, this tiny Texas town has been gently resisting change since 1872. With a handful of restored turn-of-the-century buildings, it’s no surprise that the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Be sure to snap a pic in from of the infamous Gruene Hall where legends like Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, George Strait, and Lyle Lovett have all played. It was also a filming location for the film Michael starring John Travolta.
In case you were wondering about how to pronounce ‘Gruene,’ it sounds like the word ‘green.’
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started…
Here’s your guide to the Best of Gruene, Texas!
Eat & Drink
But first, coffee. Gruene Coffee Haus is a family owned and operated hole-in-the-wall in Historic Gruene. They provide a full espresso menu, gourmet drip coffee selections, 24 hour cold brews, many frappe flavors, smoothies, Italian sodas, pastries made from scratch by Hope Haus Bakery in New Braunfels. They also offer locally brewed beer and wine from Dry Comal Creek Vineyards as well! Beer and wine can be taken to go while you walk around town. They’ve got you covered from morning til evening. If you’re looking to spend the day in the Gruene Lake Village area start your shopping trip off with Kora Kora Coffee. They serve an array of espresso drinks, smoothies, and light fare.
Photos courtesy of Gruene Coffee Haus and Kora Kora Coffee’s Instagram accounts
For a small town, Gruene still has plenty of dining options! Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar being one of the most well known. Located beneath Gruene’s landmark water tower, in the ruins of an 1878 cotton gin overlooking the Guadalupe River, the Historic Gristmill is considered one of the most unique dining spots in Texas for nearly half a century. A rare combination of history, location, and turn-of-the-century architecture create the Gristmill’s legendary Texas experience.
With the slogan of “Sliders, Dogs, Whiskey” you can’t go wrong with Mozie’s. Located in the heart of the historic district, it’s great if you’re trying to stick to the town square.
And if you’re looking for a place to eat in the Gruene Lake Village area, we suggest The Gruene Door. It’s also a great spot for more of a luxurious culinary experience.
For the traveler looking for healthier fair, try Naturally Cafe.
Photo courtesy of Mozie’s, Naturally Cafe, and the Gruene Door’s Instagram accounts.
For all you wine enthusiasts out there, there are two great places for you to try: The Grapevine and Winery on the Gruene. Both smaller scale wineries are located in the historic district. Don’t miss this opportunity to support local wineries!
Photo courtesy of The Grapevine’s Instagram
Gruene Hat Company is located in the Mercantile Building right in the heart of the Historic District. Gruene Hat Company boasts a wide array of felt, straw, hemp, and palm leaf hats along with other fun western items such as wild rags, leather gloves, and cowhide products. Occupying less than 250 square feet, Gruene Hat Co. has a 4:1 Hat to square foot ratio making it “The Best Little Hat House in Texas.”
Looking for the perfect place to rediscover your childhood or to find a gift for the children in your life? Since 2009, Got Toys has strived to find unique toys and gifts that put a smile on everyone’s face! They carry a large line of books and retro toys, such as wind-up tin robots and retro games, Spirographs, Lite Brights, and even Strawberry Shortcake and Monchichi!
Of course, no Texas road trip is complete without antiquing. For the best antiquing in Gruene we suggest, Rusty Bugs and Roosters.
Photos courtesy of Gruene Hat Company, The Pomegranate, Gruene Outfitters, Rusty Bugs and Roosters, and Got Toy’s Instagram accounts.
Gruene Hall is considered “Texas’ Oldest Dance Hall.” This famous dance hall has seen its fair share of musicians over the years and, as previously mentioned, it was the locale for the dance scene in the 1996 movie Michael starring John Travolta. And just last year, Garth Brooks included the hall in his Dive Bar Tour!
If you’re wondering about the abundance use of “haus” throughout this town, we’ve got your answer. German farmers settled here in the 1840s and the town has kept its charm ever since. Learn all about the towns history here.
Believe it or not, there’s still more to do! You can shop, eat, and experience all at the picturesque Gruene Lake Village, which you’ll definitely want to revisit during Christmas! You can even spend a beautiful day outdoors at Launda Park. Where you can enjoy a round of miniature golf, relax at the playground, walk the trails, and even take a miniature train ride!
Photos courtesy of Gruenelakevilliage.com and NBtexas.org
With so much to see and eat, you may want to spend more than one day in Gruene! Why not make where you sleep just as unique as the city you’re staying in? With the creation of Airbnb, finding unique places to stay has become both trendy and convenient. Tiny homes, shipping containers, and rustic farmhouse decor are the latest trends and this town fits that trend to a ‘T.’ The difference here is that you’ll get more of the historic B&B experience. We recommend; Gruene B&B, Gruene Gusthaus, or Gruene Mansion Inn. Click the links above to check their availably.
Photo courtesy of Airbnb and @GrueneMansionInn
Featured photo courtesy of @GrueneTX