Friday

A Day Trip To Gruene, Texas

Day trips can be a great way to discover new places.  Joyce and I like to take day trips, usually under 100 miles from where we are staying, sometimes taking a picnic lunch with us.  Although fuel prices are high these days, day trip’s can still be an economical way to have some fun.  So far we've taken you to Goliad and Luckenbach...
Gruene Mansion
now follow us on a day jaunt to Gruene (pronounced Green), Texas which is a small township just northeast of New Braunfels, about 50 miles up I-35 from Hidden Valley RV Park.  Gruene was established in the mid-1840’s by Ernst Gruene, a German immigrant, and his bride Antoinette along with his two sons.  His second son, Henry D. Gruene, built his home here (now Gruene Mansion Inn) and planted his surrounding land with cotton.
Gruene Hall
Gruene is now a tourist area with great little shops, stores, restaurants and the main attraction, Gruene Hall which is the oldest dance hall in Texas.  Browsing around in the shops seems to be the main sport in Gruene as it is in other tourist areas, but here you just might find something other towns don’t have.  Need some great salsas or jellies for your next party?  How ‘bout some pots or a special antique chest to help you decorate your living room?   Want a new shirt that screams Texas when you wear it?  You guessed it, it’s all here in Gruene.


Gruene Hall
Birthplace to many famous performers











 It seems that every little town in Texas has a dance hall and Gruene is no exception.  In fact, Gruene Hall is the oldest continually running dance hall in the state.  The Hall was was built in 1878 and has been the birthplace to many great songwriters and musicians,   including George Strait and  Ace in the Hole, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and many more.  Just belly up to the bar, order a cold one and you’ll feel the history of this great place.  Joyce and I have tickets to see Randy Travis here on March 6th.
DanceHall
OK girls.  How ‘bout some shopping.  Here is just a small sample of the stores in Gruene:
Gruene General Store is a great place to pick up a souvenir, some homemade fudge, a Texas cookbook or maybe have a cold soda.
Gruene Haus isn’t just for the ladies.  Hey guys, how about some great salsas, BBQ sauces, pickled products and much more.  Heck, with all of the free samples you can have an afternoon snack in this place.
At the Fickle Pickles Antiques and Pickles you just might find something to put on that table sitting in your living room and then pick up some of the best pickles you’ve ever tasted.
Cotton Eyed Joe’s.  You can do the dance or shop for t-shirts here.
The Man Cave at Pookie Jane's Boutique
Pookie Jane’s Boutique.  OK guys.  Get your lady a new shirt, a nice pair of jeans, maybe a new necklace or a great bling belt here.  And while she is shopping for just the right outfit, you can hang out in Man Cave, have a cold beer and watch some sports.  Now that’s my way to do some shopping!  Say Hey to Keri and tell her Barry and Joyce sent ya.
After all that shopping you might want to get something to eat before heading back to the RV park.  There are several places to satisfy anyone's palate here in Gruene.  Joyce and I have only eaten at The Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar but there are others to enjoy.
The Gristmill, converted from the original cotton gin, is located just behind Gruene Hall and is a full-service eatery with a great menu of steaks, chicken dishes, sandwiches and much more.  Chose to eat inside or even better, on one of there patios overlooking the Guadalupe River, weather permitting.
 
So, if you are looking for something to do for a day, put on your walking shoes, take your dancin’ boots with you and head on up the 35 Interstate to Gruene.  There's something there for everyone and it's less than an hour from Hidden Valley RV Park in the San Antonio area.  

Submitted by Barry and Joyce Crocker
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