Yes, truly, in New Braunfels life is beautiful. After living here for nearly twenty years I wish to share my town from a tourist perspective. After all, this is a destination town in south central Texas where loads of folks visit year round. Let me begin with the jewel of the town, Landa Park.
The 196-acres composing Landa Park come with a long history.
It was a popular indian campsite, the location of a Spanish mission, the site of a saw mill, a grist mill, and a cotton gin. During the Civil War saltpeter, an ingredient for gunpowder used by the Confederacy made from bat guano was produced on site. It gained park status after the International and Great Northern Railroad built a spur there. After a long and varied history the city purchased the initial acreage becoming today’s park.
Comal Springs, the largest group of natural springs in Texas, gurgles up from the Edward’s Aquifer to form the 14-acre Landa Lake and the head waters of the Comal River.
Blessed with an abundance of water the park is carpeted with oak, juniper, and pecan trees. Actually, the park was designated as an arboretum in 1982 with over 80 species of trees. The Founder’s Oak located in the middle of the park has served as an important meeting place for over 250 years.
With over 300 picnic tables, including areas for large groups and covered pavilions, the park is a popular spot for many people, not just New Braunfelers. Because of its popularity, one should come early to pick out a good picnic space. Rangers come by periodically to collect the $10 fee during peak season from out-of-town folks. The fee for the first table is waived for citizens of New Braunfels showing proof of residency.
Families with small children, or adults who still love a train ride, are drawn to the Landa Park Railroad, a miniature train that circumvents the park. Tickets are $3 and the train runs daily during the summer. With its steam locomotive design, clanging bell, and tooting horn, kids are naturally drawn to it.
The city just completed a $5-million river front rehabilitation project that included significant refurbishment of the Wading Pool. Another fun, and free, activity for kids, and adults, too, the Wading Pool is in close proximity to the Comal Springs. That makes it the coolest place in the park to splash around in during the hot summer. Of course, one can always make use of the Aquatic Park that includes the spring-fed pool, zero depth pool, and Olympic pool. Fees are $5 per adult and $4 per child (3-12) and seniors (60+).
And, don’t forget to take a paddle boat ride.
This is a great place to spend a day with the family. One can fish in the river, play volleyball on the sand court, play miniature golf, horseshoes, and barbecue on one of the over 75 grills. Of course for those who love golf, the Landa Park Golf Course received a $3-million renovation a couple of years ago making it more challenging and appealing.
Come on over and enjoy New Braunfels, where life is beautiful