Rooted in rich German heritage, New Braunfels is a charismatic town nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Renowned for its beautiful rivers, hot summers offset by refreshing water activities, and the iconic Schlitterbahn waterpark, the town presents an inviting blend of culture, cuisine, and natural beauty.
However, it’s not without its challenges, from dealing with tourist traffic to grappling with rising living costs. This insightful narrative, shared by a long-time local, offers an in-depth look at life in New Braunfels, exposing its charms and peculiarities alike.
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Before we delve into the finer details, here’s a look at the key takeaways from our interview with Stacy.
Life in New Braunfels At A Glance
- New Braunfels has a strong German cultural heritage, enjoyed through festivals and local cuisine.
- The town is home to two rivers and the Schlitterbahn waterpark, which provide a variety of water activities, especially during the hot summers.
- Despite being a popular tourist destination, the town retains a small-town feel with a family-oriented community.
- It is located conveniently in the Texas Hill Country, close to San Antonio and Austin, opening up additional job opportunities.
- The cost of living and housing is relatively higher than in other Texas areas but is offset by the town’s amenities and quality of life.
- Public transportation is limited, making personal vehicles a necessity.
- The local job market primarily revolves around the tourism industry.
- Healthcare is adequate, but insurance costs can be high.
- The town experiences all four seasons with hot summers and mild winters, springs, and falls.
- A common misconception is the incorrect pronunciation of “New Braunfels” by many outsiders.
Pros of Living in New Braunfels
- German Town – Strong sense of culture and heritage
- Two Rivers – Comal and Guadalupe Rivers both offer lots of options for water activities from tubing, rafting, swimming, paddle boarding
- Food – We have some incredible restaurants – everything from Tex-Mex to Texas barbecue
- Location – Perfectly located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country – only 30 mins from San Antonio and 1 hour from Austin
- Great Weather – Our summers are hot but we have the rivers to cool you down and our fall, winter and spring weather is incredible
- Schlitterbahn – the first waterpark of its kind is a very nice benefit, especially when raising kids in New Braunfels
Cons of Living in New Braunfels
- Hot summers – Our summers are pretty brutal but luckily we do have many ways to cool off
- Tourist Traffic – New Braunfels is probably the number 1 tourist destination in Texas so we get quite a bit of traffic in the summers
That’s pretty much it! Everything is great:)
Seasons in New Braunfels
Falls are nice with temperatures ranging from 72-82 °F. This is when we have one of our most famous German Festivals – Wurstfest (Sausage fest), welcoming more than 240,000 people and serving a whole lot of sausage and authentic German food.
Winters can get cold but typically only for a couple of days and temperatures range from 40-72 °F with a few days that may dip down into the low 30s and high 20s – but typically only 3 days a year.
Spring is beautiful with temperatures ranging from the upper 50s to the mid-80s – This is the time everyone works in their yard, planting gardens and flower beds.
Summers are our most brutal of the seasons. Temperatures can soar into the 100s. This is the time we try to stay indoors or in the water. With two rivers and Schlitterbahn in town, we have numerous options when it comes to keeping cool.
Summers are also when what seems like the whole state of Texas arrives. Tourists come from all over to float on our rivers and ride the slides of Schlitterbahn.
Cost of Living in New Braunfels
The cost of living in New Braunfels is higher than most of the neighbouring areas but still substantially lower than much of the country. Although with the recent real estate increase, houses have increased in value tremendously. I would say by 25 to 35 %.
Essentials and Utility cost breakdown
Fresh Bread – $3.50
A gallon of Milk – $6.20
Eggs 18 – $4.30
Potatoes – $2.97 – 5lb russet potatoes
Lettuce – $1.80 – head of Romaine
Chicken Fillets – $13.00 for 2.85 lbs
Utility Bills – $450
I’m really not familiar with the tax system. Our property taxes are 2 times that of Florida and 4 times that of Arizona. Our governor is trying to pass legislation to lower our property taxes right now.
Opinion About Healthcare in New Braunfels
I guess health care is OK. We don’t really use it very often. I do know that we pay a lot of insurance and it never seems to cover much. But I don’t think that’s specific to New Braunfels or Texas.
Thoughts About Housing in New Braunfels
As I said earlier, housing here is probably on the higher end compared to the rest of Texas. A 4,000-square-foot custom house would sell for around $ 800,000 to 1.5 million depending on the age and finishings.
Transportation in New Braunfels
New Braunfels really doesn’t offer much in the way of public transportation. Unless you consider Uber. This area of Texas is really spread out so having a personal car is a must.
The Job Market in New Braunfels
We don’t have any huge industry in New Braunfels. Our largest industry is probably the tourism industry. But, as a suburb of San Antonio and a manageable distance to Austin, there are many job opportunities within driving distance.
Food Scene in New Braunfels
Our German food makes New Braunfels unique with Krause’s Bier Garten serving 33 different German beers on tap as well as a menu featuring Bavarian pretzels, Kartoffel poppers (potato pancakes), Weiner schnitzel, Sausage plates, and many more German and American favourites.
But the real star of the show may be our Tex-Mex cuisine. New Braunfels has some incredible Mexican food restaurants.
Must Visit Places in New Braunfels
You will definitely want to float in the Guadalupe or Comal Rivers as well as visit Schlitterbahn. Schlitterbahn’s slogan is “It’s the hottest, coolest time in Texas” and it really is.
One of the best times to go is on the Sunday after a holiday weekend. Most of the visitors are heading home so you can enjoy shorter lines and fewer people.
Common Misconceptions About New Braunfels
Most people in Texas pronounce it New Braunsfels. But there is no ‘S’ in the middle. Alex Mixner (a famous Accordion player who plays at Wurstfest each year) actually wrote a song about it.
Advice For Anyone Moving To New Braunfels
Even though New Braunfels is one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States, it still feels like a small town. It’s very family-oriented and everyone knows everyone.
You will always see a friendly familiar face at the grocery store or dinner at the restaurant.