Texas Travel Awards Crowns New Braunfels as 2024’s Top Destination

The Texas Travel Awards selected New Braunfels Destination of the Year, while Austin, Georgetown, Bastrop, and San Antonio were also recognized for their accomplishments.

The awards’ organizers chose New Braunfels as the winner because of the city’s “vibrant downtown” and “historic architecture housing one-of-a-kind shops, art galleries, speakeasies, craft breweries, and eateries.” They also remarked that New Braunfels combines its European roots with the splendor of Texas Hill Country.

The awards are sponsored and managed by the publishers of Austin Monthly and Texas Music magazines, and they are intended to “shine a spotlight on the most exciting, innovative, and inviting places around the state,” according to the awards’ website.

The awards organizers asked the public to rate cities in four categories: best destinations for arts and culture, families, foodies, and outdoor activities. A panel of travel industry executives, journalists, and a musician also evaluated cities in 45 different categories.

Here are the categories in which each Central Texas city excelled.

New Braunfels

  • Best big market bar (Phoenix Saloon)
  • Best big market community event (Thru the Chute Cardboard Boat Race)
  • Best big market “Instagrammable” spot (8Sages – The Dolly Cottage)
  • Best big market outdoor activity (Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch)
  • Best big market under the radar activity (Thru the Chute Cardboard Boat Race)
  • Best iconic tourist attraction (Gruene Hall)
  • Best shopping district (Gruene Historic District)
  • Best winery (Dry Comal Creek Vineyards)


  • Best big market hotel (The Otis Hotel)


  • Best small/medium market destination social media account (@VisitGeorgetownTX)


  • Best small/medium market music festival or event (Bastrop Music Festival)
  • Best destination for families
  • Best destination for outdoor adventures

San Antonio

  • Best zoo/aquarium (San Antonio Zoo)

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