New Braunfels is synonymous with German heritage and tubing (the “sport” of floating in an inner tube on the river). This town of 42,693 people just northeast of San Antonio  has been relying on its natural resources for more than 150 years, starting when German immigrants used the dependable, strong-flowing Comal Springs and Guadalupe River as a source for power and navigation.
By the mid-1800s, New Braunfels had emerged as a growing agricultural area and manufacturing center supplying wagons, farm equipment, clothing, and furniture for Central Texas pioneers. The subsequent population boom resulted in New Braunfels being the fourth-largest town in Texas in 1850. People continued to arrive after the Civil War, and the agriculture industry grew along with the population.
By the mid-1900s, the area became a recreational hot spot catering to San Antonio  residents who bought weekend or retirement homes on nearby Canyon Lake or the scenic Guadalupe River. Motels, resorts, and tubing companies soon followed, cementing New Braunfels’s reputation as a unique spot to relax on the water or spend time at the numerous antique shops and German restaurants.