What makes New Braunfels special for both residents and businesses? That’s a question with a lot of answers — and which one you Neice Bell-squareget probably depends upon who you’re asking. 

For many, it’s our thriving downtown district. While many cities have watched their downtowns empty out – leaving only vacant buildings and memories – downtown New Braunfels is not just alive but booming. If you haven’t been out and about in our inviting downtown lately, you are missing out. 

There’s a diverse group of shops, restaurants and bars that are totally unique to New Braunfels. Most of these establishments are locally owned and operated. They have invested in our community. They are your neighbors, friends and family members. Their kids go to school with yours, they sit next to you in church and you see them at the grocery store.

For many, it’s the Gruene area. Like downtown, Gruene is always full of life and offers plenty of fun. Whether that’s live music, plenty of shopping, or more kinds of food than you can shake a stick at, there’s just about something for everyone in Gruene.

For many, it’s Main Plaza and the small-town feel that surrounds you when you’re there. That’s particularly true during the holidays when the area is bathed in lights and the Christmas tree stands proud and tall in the center. 

It’s a special place where we gather to mark important events and to salute those who have served this nation in the armed forces, as we just did for Veterans Day. It’s the type of spot that not every town has, and we are lucky to be able to enjoy it.

While I love each of those things, and a never-ending list of so many more, the best answer for me would be the people.

New Braunfels is made up of amazing people from all different backgrounds and cultures. These people chose to live here for a reason. It could be the beauty, the location or because their job brought them here. It could also be because there are so many things to do here, like the plethora of ever-present festivals. This town does know how to throw a good party.

Whether you’re living here and all of these people are your friends and neighbors, or you’re operating a business here and these people are your employees, your customers — and still very much your friends and neighbors — the people make it a great place.

Even though New Braunfels is experiencing tremendous growth, it’s the people who help maintain that small-town, hometown feel. They are the ones who make New Braunfels unique. They are the ones who make it special.

I’m glad to be a part of it as a business and as a resident.

Neice Bell
Board Member, New Braunfels Chamber
Publisher, New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung