The summer is in full swing, and tourists are pouring into New Braunfels like hipsters into a music festival. Cluttering the launch area are droves of wild, sunscreen-covered, sweaty travelers who probably didn’t make room for any food inside their tailgate-sized ice chest. And while the tourism industry is good for the town, the crowded Comal can be frustrating for locals who just want to enjoy the beauty of New Braunfels in peace.
But, if you don’t mind making a little drive, here are a few more spots where you can get your Hill Country waterway fix when the Comal gets too crazy!
San Marcos River, San Marcos
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Only a few minutes up the highway from New Braunfels is the booming city of San Marcos. This town has become a clear choice for many college students...especially considering a sparkling river runs through the campus. The San Marcos River has something new about it at nearly each turn. Begin at the headwaters of Spring Lake Falls, where you can relax on the banks or make the 12-foot jump into the chilling spring-fed waters. Take the current underneath the road to enter Sewell Park, a student and alumni park where you will find people tanning, playing frisbee, and riding the current through the winding curves of the river. If you are thinking about floating, the Lion’s Club will provide you a tube which you can take through the rapids of Rio Vista Park and beyond. Best of all, there is plenty to do around the river, so you can spend the whole day in the area without having to pack up just to grab a bite to eat.
Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs
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Who knew driving 60 miles north of New Braunfels would bring you to a slice of heaven! Tucked away in the corner of Dripping Springs, Hamilton Pool is a jaw-dropping swimming hole west of Austin. Adding to the magical aesthetic is the half-mile hike from the parking lot to the pool, which opens to a beach that invites you into some of the coolest, clear waters in the area. A modest waterfall drips over the cave roof into the pool, which is such a lovely little cherry-on-top. Take a swimming break and walk under the rock overhang that has a walkway for brave explorers to look around at the beautiful geological miracle that is Hamilton Pool. Be sure to get your reservations online before you go because this place fills up fast.
Blue Hole, Wimberley
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Wimberley is the perfect day trip from New Braunfels for a weekend getaway. Right off of the Wimberley Square is Blue Hole Park, a community treasure for the Wimber-folk. Bring the kids to Blue Hole, where they can enjoy the playscapes and rope swings and make new friends. Bring out your inner child and try the rope swing yourself! Wimberley is known for its laid-back attitude, and Blue Hole is no different. Take some towels and a picnic and enjoy yourself for the day as the sun beats down and the river flows. The blue-green water will feel as cleansing to your soul as it is to your skin because there really is something magic about this place. The people of Wimberley are very protective of this place, so please follow all of the rules and be a kind friend to our Hill Country neighbors! After you’ve dried off, head to the square and get some good food and drinks.
Guadalupe River State Park, Spring Branch
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Take Highway 46 about 30 miles west, and you will run into Guadalupe River State Park in Spring Branch. If the Comal River is too public for you (and you’re looking for something a little more reserved and wooded), this is the place for you. Make it an entire weekend and take a camping trip to Guadalupe River State Park so you can camp right next to the beautiful Guadalupe River. The water is perfect for swimming, fishing, tubing, and canoeing and is an ideal place for a family trip. In some parts of the park, the river has beaches to spend the day staring up at huge rock faces that trace the waterway.
Blanco State Park, Blanco
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If the idea of camping has piqued your curiosity, then you should consider running out to Blanco State Park for a weekend. This park is nestled up to a one-mile stretch of the Blanco River where you can swim, fish, paddle, and boat. Swimmers will take delight in the spring-fed water that stays at a chilly 68 degrees...the perfect temperature for when our heat index soars beyond the triple-digit mark. The featured spectacle of Blanco State Park is the beautiful waterfall dam that is shallow enough in some areas for even the little kids to enjoy. If you are looking to bring the RV, they have several hook-up sites with water and electricity, and they also provide screened shelters to set up camp in that overlook the river. For more information on camping reservations, visit the w ebsite.
Canyon Lake, Canyon Lake
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Canyon Lake is the friendly next-door neighbor to New Braunfels. It is one of the deepest lakes in Texas and has over 80 miles of beautiful shoreline to enjoy. This is a great lake for people who love to bring the boat out and wakeboard, water ski, tube, and all other sorts of boating activities. Rent a house overlooking the lake or go camping! Either way, you are sure to wake up to a beautiful view. There is so much to do at Canyon Lake, and it is all just a hop, skip, and jump away from New Braunfels! Give the Comal River a break and head out into the Hill Country to see the other fun waterways that just might make you fall in love with a new favorite spot.
And if you’re interested in owning an affordable property of your own in the New Braunfels area, we’d love to show you around town. Contact a lender today to see how much you can afford, and talk to a REALTOR ® to get started!