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Winter solitude in Texas

Author: nmcmom
Date of Trip: October 2002

You can see all the historic sights without the added roar of the river crowds. The architecture, and the same places on the river that usually house screaming hordes of tubers are beautiful in peaceful winter days. The weather is not that extreme, and hotel rooms are easier to get. It also makes a nice stop off on extended trips. I stayed there in between appointments in Austin and San Antonio. The added charm of the abandoned resorts are that you can see the natural features of the river and enjoy the silence. The spring trip we made one year gave us a spectacular show of fireflies at the Maricopa Lodge while we barbecued on the patio.

Quick Tips/Suggestions:
I like staying by the lake at Canyon Lake. There are many areas of town that have the hotel rooms on the freeway, and the lack of traffic noise out by the lake is worth the added drive time. you can also find hotel rooms out here during the summer. My favorite has been the Maricopa Lodge. It is on the Guadalupe River at the start of the Horse Shoe section, and is a short walk from the end of that same section. It is not truly expensive, and has rooms with Kitchenettes. The place has not been remodeled in a while, and has a 70’s feel, but has always been clean and friendly.

Maricopa Lodge
Always clean, and family owned. Has tube rental and kitchenettes, right on the river at the starting point of one of the best short trip sections. Within walking distance of the endpoint. The patio and rear yard are a place to play, relax, and barbecue.

Schlitterbahn Water Park
There are activities for every whim. Signs at the beginning of the rides tell you about each ride’s level of difficulty. You can float the lazy river, fly down the water slides, hang out in the largest hot tub I have ever been in, or float the river style rides. The busiest days are Saturdays, and the early morning is the best way to see the most of the waterpark. This park grew up from the original schlittercoaster, and has taken over a large area of the town around that original site. The resort has many places to stay so that you are close to the fun.

Oma’s Haus Restaurant
Great German Food in a restaurant that has served this community for as long as I can remember. I have to go there every trip I make through New Braunfels. The service is friendly, and even the take out is good. They also cater.

There is one major experience that I have enjoyed in New Braunfels: Wurstfest the annual festival that explores the German heritage of the town. Landa Park is transformed into an authentic German festival. The sausage, beer, and traditional clothing are everywhere. Every year there are thousands of people from all over the country who come to Wurstfest. This is an interesting time for people watching and I enjoyed the party atmosphere here on two occassions. I hope to get back again someday. The yodeling, the foot stomping polkas, the beer, the food,..what more could you want? This year the festival is the first 10 days of November. It is not too late to go, and even if the hotels there are full there are many towns nearby in which to stay. It is a short commute from San Antonio to the South and San Marcos to the North on IH-35.

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