Dec 9, 2015

Christmastime in Gruene, TX

Gruene was a prominent cotton-producing town in the late 1800s and early 1900s after being discovered and inhabited by German farmers, namely Ernst Gruene. It lost popularity during the Great Depression and became a ghost town after WWII, especially since highway construction bypassed the town. Thankfully, the 1970s brought many renovations to the dilapidated small town, and it soon became a tourist attraction that still brings in many crowds today, especially to the historic downtown (source). With its old world charm and small town atmosphere, it is a great day trip from the hustle and bustle of nearby San Antonio and Austin. 

I've been to Gruene a few times and heard that there were a few Christmas-themed events happening last Saturday, so Greg and I decided to make it a date. The sun was out and it was a great day for walking amidst the beauty of this little gem in New Braunfels. 
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at my favorite restaurant in Gruene,  Gristmill  River Restaurant. It used to be a cotton gin (machines that separated the seeds from the cotton fiber) powered by the nearby Guadalupe River back in the late 1800s, but most of it burned down in a fire in the 1920s. It was renovated from its remaining boiler room in the 1970s (source).  Now, it looks like a treehouse with it's serene location under a canopy of tall oak trees. It is centrally located in historic downtown Gruene between Gruene Hall (one of Texas' oldest dance halls) and the town's water tower.
Our view from our seats on the outdoor patio in one of the ten seating areas. The place is huge!
 There is a beautiful outdoor sitting area as well.  
We walked to various boutiques and antique shops, all decked out in Christmas decor. 
We then relaxed on the porch of the Gruene Mansion Inn, a Victorian-esque house constructed in 1870s by Ernst Gruene's second eldest son. It is now a gorgeous compound that includes the historic inn as well as adjacent cottages for rent. 
 
We finished the afternoon by rocking on rocking chairs at the nearby Oma Gruene Secrete Garden for some live music and these lovebirds kept showing us young folk how to two-step like pros. They were adorable! A scoop of mint chocolate chip was also in order, since it was such a sunny December day!



Have you been to Gruene, TX or another small town with old charm? 







8 comments:

  1. What a charming town! It looks like you stepped into a time machine and went back to a simpler time in TX. Loved it. How fun that you and the hubby got to make it into a day date! Nothing like some spontaneous fun. Such a beautiful town and lovely pictures! :)

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    1. It really is like we went back in time! That is one of the main things I love about the town! So much charm!

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  2. Holy sunshine in TX. I am a little jealous as it just decided to start dumping snow on us about 15 mins ago. But I do live in Montana, so its expected :-)

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    1. Snow would be nice! Pretty slim chance of seeing snow this winter in Texas with how it's looking… I grew up in the Pacific NW so I miss cold winters with the occasional snow days

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  3. Ahhh love this! You two are so cute together! Do you like living in Texas??

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    1. Hi Katie! Thanks so much! Yes, I like it overall, though I definitely miss the Pacific NW's rustic, green beauty and charm! But it is SO awesome to finally be together without 2,000 miles apart from one another, so that makes it worth it! And there are plenty fun things to see in Texas, like Gruene! Have you moved up to Northern Cali yet? I remember you mentioning it in a post a while back?

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  4. this looks like so much fun....such a great way to explore and enjoy each other and build memories!

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  5. So pretty! What a cute town and fun adventure. :)

    <3 Have Ashley, Will Travel

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Elle Alice