Friday, June 2, 2023


Gruene Historic District in Central Texas

Gruene (Texas) Historic District at the Water Tower.  (Julianne G. Crane)

(Updated 3/25/2017) A relaxing and fun place to spend an afternoon and evening is Gruene, Texas. It is a perfect destination for a couple of snowbirds or an active family to leisurely meander through this “Historic District at the Water Tower.”

Jimmy and I first heard about Gruene from RVers Joy and Terry Walden of Vancouver, Wash., who have spend more than 15 years living in or traveling around the Lone Star State.

Gristmill Restaurant, former cotton gin.  (Julianne G. Crane)

 “You have got to go to the Gristmill River Restaurant for lunch,” said the Waldens. “And, then stop by Gruene Hall for a late afternoon drink and maybe catch the nightly entertaining practicing.”

We did stop by the Gristmill Restaurant … beneath the water tower … for a delightful lunch on a weekday afternoon. We were amazed by the character and ambiance of the sprawling complex. The restaurant includes part of an old cotton gin overlooking the Guadalupe River.  The hostess said that the place could easily seat just under 1,000 diners.

Gruene Hall historic bar, open daily. (Julianne G. Crane)

 Less than a hundred feet from the Gristmill is the incredible and historically famous, and infamous, Gruene Hall–The Oldest Texas Dance Hall.

Built in 1878, Gruene Hall has hosted such acts as Willie Nelson, George Strait, Townes Van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Hal Ketchum, Gregg Allman and many more. It was also used as a set for Michael, starring John Travolta.

More information:

— Text and photos:  Julianne G Crane.

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Map: Courtesy of Click on images to enlarge.

Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”


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