July 10, 2013
This past long weekend Adam and I went on my favorite Austin day trip and I wanted to share it with you, in case you’re looking for a quick, fun summer adventure. It has everything you need in a one day vacation: floating the river, day drinking, good food, live music and antique shopping. My friend Rachel took me on this trip a few years ago for the first time and since then it’s been my favorite fast getaway when we can’t make it to the beach or hop on a plane:) Everything you need to know about your day trip to adorable Gruene, TX after the jump.
>> Leave Early: I try to leave Austin no later than 10 AM as it’s about an hour drive to Gruene and because the tube rental place opens at 9 and it can get a little crazy the later in the day it gets. My favorite tube spot is Texas Tubes, they have their system down and it’s literally right on the water! The parking lot is about 20 steps from the river, so there’s no hassle or crazy line to stand in. If you’ve never floated the Comal in Gruene before it’s so pretty—tree lined and a big, wide river with lovely, litter-free water.
>> Pack Smart: There’s no glass/aluminum/disposable drinking containers allowed on the river. I know, it’s kind of a pain, but it really does keep the water beautiful and free of floating bud cans so it’s worth it. Here’s what we did: Fill up a plastic pitcher with your drink of choice (we used Simply Lemonade and Cinco Vodka), put it in a plastic cooler (not styrofoam! you can get a little Igloo from HEB) and cover with ice. Take along your favorite non-disposable water bottle and rent an extra tube with a bottom in it for the cooler. They’ll give you string to tie the cooler tube to your own tube and voila! You’re ready for the best float you ever did have. When you get your cooler tube, ask for a mesh bag so you can bring along your shoes and sunscreen. I recommend bringing shoes that can get wet and a change of clothes for after the float.
>>Post Float: After the float, a bus is waiting to pick you up for the quick 5 minute drive back to the parking lot and you’re all set to go to lunch. If you’re in Gruene, you must go to The Gristmill for lunch. It’s right on the water and there’s always live music and the food is delicious. After lunch there are ice cream parlors and antique stores galore, and if you want to stick around at night, head to Gruene Hall for a little two-stepping and stay at one of the many B&B’s in this sweet town.
There ya have it— my very favorite day trip from Austin! Now, what’s yours?