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Texas Travel Awards crowns New Braunfels the 2024 Destination of the Year

Published Friday, February 23, 2024 12:00am

New Braunfels, TX The 2024 Texas Travel Awards selected New Braunfels as the Destination of the Year for its historical charm and modern fun, giving a nod to its vibrant downtown, the spring-fed Comal River, Gruene Historic District and Texas’ oldest dance hall, Gruene Hall.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named the 2024 Destination of the Year,” said New Braunfels Convention & Visitors Bureau President Tanya Pence. “Our team of travel industry leaders – organizations, restaurants, attractions, hotels and lodging—roll out the red carpet for our visitors, and this award is proof that their hard work and dedication have paid off.”

Widely known for the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers that intersect in the center of town, New Braunfels has been a source of water recreation for residents and visitors since its founding in 1845. The City of New Braunfels, who manages river recreation on the Comal River and tracks visitors Memorial Day through Labor Day, estimated that a quarter million visitors enjoyed the 72-degree spring-fed river during the 2023 summer.

Wurstfest, the town’s acclaimed 10-day German heritage festival held the first week in November for over six decades, welcomed over 200,000 visitors in 2023.

New Braunfels historic downtown and Gruene Historic District, which boasts Texas’ oldest dance hall Gruene Hall, provide a vast array of one-of-a-kind shops, galleries, speakeasies, craft breweries and eateries, most of which are independently owned.

Award-winning attractions Natural Bridge Caverns, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, and Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort provide an ample dose of wild adventure.

“New Braunfels has it all when it comes to satisfying a visitor’s diverse tastes and needs,” said Pence. “But what makes New Braunfels special is its people. Friendly and helpful, our residents are those business owners who wish to share the beauty of New Braunfels with guests.”

The Texas Travel Awards were selected by a panel of judges that included travel industry professionals, travel journalists, and a touring musician. They chose from sixty categories split into two sections with statewide winners and winners by three population breakdowns.

New Braunfels also has been recognized by Forbes Advisor as one of the Top 50 travel destinations in 2024.


New Braunfels

Deep in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, conveniently set astride the IH-35 corridor between San Antonio and Austin, rests beautiful New Braunfels, Texas. Founded in 1845 by German settlers, New Braunfels is overflowing with old world heritage and small-town Texas charm.

From boundless adventures on the beautiful Comal and Guadalupe Rivers to wholesome entertainment at Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch & Natural Bridge Caverns to strolls through local art and historic galleries, and diverse dining experiences, the activities and sights are endless. New Braunfels is home to Texas’ oldest bakery Naegelin’s, Texas oldest dance hall Gruene Hall, and Wurstfest, an annual German heritage celebration.