Family day trip to Gruene Texas. Visiting this historic town with unique shops and antique stores. Plus where to park when you get there.
One of my dear friends moved to the San Antonio Texas area a couple of years ago. They had just PCS’d from Germany and we visited right when they arrived stateside. No furniture, no pillows. It was camping in an empty house with Texas sized echo’s and a glass or two of wine.
That first weekend we had no idea where to start our tourist day trips, but fast forward two years and this girl was telling me all about the town of Gruene, Texas. How it would absolutely be my favorite spot and that we needed to shop and try the wine!
And she was right.
I had underestimated how much I would love this town and in the span of two days… we visited twice.
The historic district in the town of Gruene Texas only exists because of a happy accident.
In the mid 1840 a German immigrant tried to buy land in the nearby town of New Braunfels, Texas. Since acreage was hard to come by, he and his two sons purchased land down river and build the first homes in the town of Gruene (pronounced green).
In 1878 the general store was opened along with the now very famous Gruene Hall.
In the 1920’s the family business went under and the town was forgotten.
Fast forward to 1974 and an architect student, and avid kayaker, happened to float too far down the Guadalupe River where a water tower caught his eye behind the trees.
Deciding to check it out, he happily discovered these amazing historic buildings and found out that real estate developers were planning on building condominiums along the river!
Thankfully the developers allowed him to find new owners who were interested in restoring this town back into the southern gem it once was.
In 1975 it listed on the National Register of Historic Places and many of the buildings have been awarded a Texas medallion from the Texas Historical Commission.
RESTAURANTS, SHOPPING, ANTIQUES AND WINE
It’s easy to see the charm behind Gruene, Texas. The live music coming from the restaurants draws you in for a closer look. A man in a brightly colored vest stands in the street with his whistle to direct traffic and halt pedestrians with dramatic hand gestures.
Each store is a treasure trove of antique findings or trendy pieces that are one of a kind.
You can easily get lost in the Traveling Gypsy. A store that from the outside looks straight forward enough, but somehow turns into a labyrinth of amazing finds, old and new, that you just can’t live without.
We were so busy browsing the town that we never did get that glass of wine! But I’m sure we’ll be back next time we’re able to visit the San Antonio area.
And how exactly did we end up going twice in one weekend? It was my husband! He found a very cool 1958 Chevy Apache grill in an antique store that we had to go back for the next day.
WHERE TO PARK IN HISTORIC GRUENE TEXAS
Am I the only one who gets anxiety about where to park in crowded places?
Just behind the General Store is a large parking area. At first glance it looks small but if you continue back it turns to gravel and is very large. You can get to it from both Gruene Rd. and Hunter Rd.
This town is truly something special. A charming historic town that was almost lost, if not for that man who accidentally kayaked too far down the Guadeloupe.
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