A True Texas Gem Gets the Attention of HGTV
A lot of towns have live music, good food and piles of good ol' Texas charm, but there's one thing that sets this town apart from all the rest and it's gotten the attention of HGTV.
Gruene, Texas is over near the Hill Country, about an hour north and west of San Antonio and forty-five minutes from Austin. Gruene Hall is a Texas landmark and an icon that was built in 1878. It's attracted artists like Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Townes Van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Jack Ingram, George Thoroughgood and The Destroyers and Gregg Allman. It was also used as a set for the movie Michael, starring John Travolta.
I walked through Gruene Hall once. There was no concert there because it was 2 o'clock in the afternoon, but I felt like the presence of guitar legends and music history nonetheless. Creepy? Nope, that's just Gruene Hall.
If you've been to Gruene, you know it's pronounced "green" and anyone who isn't from around here will stand out like a synthesizer in a fiddle band when they call it "groon" or "grew-knee." And, if you've been to Gruene, you've also had the worst sunburn of your life because you went tubing down the Guadalupe River and lost track of time and had your back to the sun for six hours while you were floating and drinking fun beverages.
It might be the only river in America where the beverage cooler gets its own float. Gruene is a true original.
HGTV says Gruene is one of the Top 50 Best Small Towns in America for its boutiques, Old Gruene Market Days, tubing on the Comal River, and, of course, dancing at Gruene Hall. HGTV also said, "the original buildings in Gruene, Texas, built circa 1800 to 1900s, almost fell to developers until an architecture student from the University of Texas at Austin saved the day. His efforts helped land the town on the National Register of Historic Places."
One thing HGTV didn't get exactly right is calling it a "town," because it's actually part of the historic district in New Braunfels. But we'll let that slide. It's its own thing, for sure.
Texas will take the love from HGTV, and be proud of our friends in Gruene. Oh, and aren't we proud of that Gristmill restaurant that serves up chicken-fried steak inside of an old cotton mill. That's another true Texas original.
Gruene is one more thing to love about Texas.