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Texas Kaleidoscope Weekend trips throughout Texas, a country of its own.

Gently Resisting Change Since 1872

USA | Friday, 10 April 2009 | Views [265]

For a boot scootin' good time in Texas, there's no better place to hit than Gruene Hall (that's 'green' to y'all non-Texans out there). It's proclaimed the oldest dance hall in Texas, and it would take a pro two-stepper to navigate the ancient uneven floorboards of the Hall's rustic interior. Open to outside air on both sides of the building, it is reminiscent of the good ol' days when folks got together at the town hall to celebrate a barn raising. Live country music (and sometimes a little Tejano) is the sound of the day and plays well into the hot summer nights.

Just outside the Hall, the Guadalupe River trickles around the bend. Rocking R' rafting is just down Gruene Road, with tubes and rafts galore for the slow-moving, lazy summer river. The Gristmill (formerly the spot of the town's cotton gin) is a town favorite for good eats, with a giant patio under the shady oak trees and is within walking distance of the dancehall.

Gruene's main streets are packed with little shops full of trinkets. For those with more expensive tastes, antiquing is very popular here, with noteworthy shops such as Black Swan Antiques. Greune Haus offers a coffee fix if you need a shot of caffeine to make it down the bustling street of shops on the busy weekends. For those wishing to extend their stay, the Gruene Mansion Inn is an ancient Victorian house that's now a charming bed and breakfast.

Settled by German farmers in the 1840s, Gruene was heavily dependent on cotton. The boll weevil and the Great Depression nearly wiped out the town, but now it thrives with out-of-town visitors yearning for a nostalgic look into a simpler past.

Tags: dancing, gruene hall, river, texas, two step


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