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“Willkommen,” “Howdy,” “Welcome” — to the Heart of the Texas Hill Country

Program Number: 9051RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/17/2013 - 2/22/2013; 2/21/2016 - 2/26/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
Price starting at: $684.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

“Guten Tag, Y’all!” Come witness the continuity of the Deutsch Kultur deep in the heart of Texas. Dive into 19th-century German immigrant life from restored homesteads to period furniture makers. Experience historic first churches, the railroad museum and the historic fire museum. Meet and visit with “locals” and learn what life is like in New Braunfels today and what it was like for their ancestors. Learn how the cold spring-fed rivers helped revitalize a former ghost town, and revel to the sounds of “Oompah” during a Sangerfest of song and dance.


• In two authentic and historic German enclaves, discover settler culture such as fachwerk design, Biedermeier furniture and samples of Bier, Wein and sausage at a mini-“Wurstfest.”
• Hear the story of the trials and tribulations experienced by the German immigrants in the Texas frontier
• Explore the Comal Springs where Spanish settlers camped on the historic Camino Real (Mission Trail).

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1.5 miles a day; stairs avoidable.

Coordinated by New Braunfels Historic Museums Association.

New Braunfels

Settled by German immigrants in the mid-19th century, New Braunfels provides a taste of old Germany in the middle of the renowned Texas Hill Country. Beer gardens and "oompah" music combine with the beauty of south central Texas with its cool blue lakes and broad rivers to create a unique locale and culture.

Hotel within walking distance of the downtown historic plaza.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Barron Schlamaeus

Barron Schlamaeus is a descendant of 1850s German immigrants, was raised on a large family ranch in Hill Country and attended a one-room rural schoolhouse. A Naval air intelligence officer on the USS Saratoga, he served 27 years in the service. Barron has lived in New Braunfels for 49 years and is active in historic conservation and civic endeavors. His musical acumen ranges from playing clarinet in high school, the accordion for 40 years, choral singing for 44 years and now light piano.
Meals and Lodgings
   Faust Hotel
  New Braunfels, TX 5 nights
 Faust Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Treat yourself to dazzling old world charm in the heart of New Braunfels, Texas. Experience the 1930's elegance of the Hotel Faust. In city center, within walking distance to historic plaza, German bakery, Art League Gallery, antique shops and bank. Originally opened in 1929 as the Travelers Hotel, the building and rooms have been completely renovated in the original decor providing today's traveler with the ultimate in comfort while maintaining the antiquity and authenticity of days gone by. You will experience the craftsmanship of fine furniture, enjoy the tradition of Texas hospitality and take home memories of a wonderful stay at the Hotel Faust.
  Contact info: 240 S. Seguin Avenue
New Braunfels, TX 78130 USA
phone: 830-625-7791
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable TV, ceiling fans, telephones.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: To add a private bath during remodel, a step-up was needed to accommodate the plumbing. The bath is small, but adequate.
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $65 per room Contact hotel
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $65 per room Contact hotel
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in at 3 PM. You will be staying at Faust Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after morning lecture on Friday. You will be staying at Faust Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking
To Start of Program
  Location:  New Braunfels, TX
  Nearest city or town:  San Antonio, TX
  Nearest highway: Highway 35
  Nearest airport:  San Antonio International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: New Braunfels, TX
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

San Antonio


From Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Private car service with Faust Hotel
phone: 205-908-2893
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$50.00 for one way car.
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


45 minutes from San Antonio 




30 miles from San Antonio


It is necessary to schedule airport transportation before leaving home. Make your reservation with Doug Blank. Call him at 205-908-2893

Driving Directions
  I-35 and TX 46 FROM I-35 exit #187. Go west on Seguin Ave. approximately 1 mile, look on the left side of the street at 240 S. Seguin for the Hotel Faust. FROM TX 46 enter New Braunfels west, turn left on Landa St toward city center. Street name will change at RR underpass to N Seguin. Continue a few blocks to the Plaza and go halfway around and continue to 240 S Seguin. The Faust Hotel is on the right in the middle of the first block.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation
(Sunday, February 17)
 Afternoon: Hotel check-in is 3 p.m. Program registration begins at 4 p.m. in lobby. Program orientation starts at 5 p.m.
 Dinner: 6 PM Dinner in the hotel followed by introductions.
Accommodations: Faust Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Visit the Sophienburg Museum, First Protestant Church, Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and City Fire Museum. Enjoy a morning driving tour of the city and afternoon walking tour of the historic downtown.
(Monday, February 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: New Braunfels; "The City of a Prince". The morning's conversation with a stimulating local historian focuses on the need to leave 1840's Germany, the hazardous trip to the Texas shore and the trek to this frontier area led by "the Father of Texas Botany".
 Lunch: The first authentic Geman meal of the week is served at the First Protestant Church.
 Afternoon: Docents highlight the preservation, research and exhibition of information and artifacts concerning aspects of the religious foundation of New Braunfels.Tour the First Protestant Church, on the National Register of Historic Places, to see the irreplaceable stained glass windows and the silver chalice given to the first settlers by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels. At Sts. Peter & Paul church learn about the founding of the first Catholic Chruch. Visit the City Fire Museum . Hear stories of the early volunteer fire fighters and see early pumpers and steam engines. Enjoy a walking tour of downtown New Braunfels. You may stop at Henne Hardware, the oldest operating hardware store in the state of Texas and other interesting and unique stores.
 Dinner: Dinner in the historic, well known Clear Springs Cafe, which features a "barrel wood ceiling". A menu and setting to please most tastes.
 Evening: Free time.
Accommodations: Faust Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Restored 1850's German Village/Outdoor Art Museum/Evening sing along
(Tuesday, February 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Spend the morning in a restored 1850's German village built around an antique rose garden. You will learn about and consider the aspects of daily life as experienced by the cabinet maker, the music teacher, the school master and the on-site blacksmith. We will visit the homestead of Ferdinand Lindheimer:The Father of Texas Botany at his restored home on the Comal River and uncover why the Indians looked on him as a shaman.
 Lunch: Enjoy Karttoffelsuppe, Kochcase und Wurst on dunkles Brot in a "fachwerk" general store. The store was built with no nails in the framework of cedar and filled in with adobe brick.
 Afternoon: The New Braunfels Historic Outdoor Art Museum perserves local history and heritage with outdoor art. They will provide a slide show of the outdoor canvases and historic motifs.This informative show will be followed by a walking tour of several murals, starting with "The City of a Prince", which portrays the founding of New Braunfels and commemorates the arrival of the settlers in 1845. "Spass und Gemutlichkeit" is another mural that highlights the rich tradition of sausage, bread, beer and wine.
 Dinner: Experience the cuisine of a local Mexican Restaurant with a good variety of menu choices.
 Evening: An evening Sangerfest of German music and song!
Accommodations: Faust Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lindheimer: The Father of Texas Botany/Priceless buildings and artifacts of the distinct New Braunfels heritage/lLanda Springs, Landa Park and Wursthalle
(Wednesday, February 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Study the design and construction of the handcrafted Biedermeier furniture made in this area between 1840-60 and displayed in the home of a prosperous cotton farmer built in 1858. The New Braunfels Heritage Village is the home of the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture which features a collection of fine German-Texan Biedermeier furniture and accessories. The Reininger log cabin features handcrafted furniture.
 Lunch: Sample local German cuisine at Freisenhaus Restaurant.
 Afternoon: Landa Park is home to Wursthalle and Wurstfest, an annual celebration of German culture filled with Texas fun. The Comal Springs are the largest springs in Texas and the American southwest. Seven major springs and dozens of smaller ones occur over a distance of about 4,300 feet at the base of a steep limestone bluff in New Braunfels' Landa Park. The Springs and the Comal River are home for a federally endangered species, the Fountain Darter. An on-site lecture points to evidence of dinosaurs, ice age mammals, Indian trade area, Conquistadors and exposes you to present ecology and water issues that impact the Edwards Aquifer.
 Dinner: The Pullman Dining car at the New Braunfels Railroad Museum is the setting for a delicious dinner.
 Evening: Dinner will be followed with tales ranging from train robberies to modern day train modeling. Museum members show off a variety of railroad related historic displays in the restored Victorian station, an operating HO-scale model train layout, a real Mopac caboose and a saddle-tank steam engine.
Accommodations: Faust Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: When Cotton Was King in Gruene/Time to don your Tyrolean hat, German togs and dance to a featured accordian player. Mini-Wurstfest with wein, bier and wasser!
(Thursday, February 21)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: After a briefing by a descendant of the Gruene family, you will explore this 1870's "company town" and discover how this former ghost town became the tourist destination that it is today.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Gristmill, a well known area restaurant, overlooking the Guadalupe River.
 Afternoon: A scenic drive along the Guadalupe River to Canyon Lake will contrast heritage hill country ranches with creeping urban development. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District will explain their mission to provide flood damage reduction to the Guadalupe River Basin below Canyon Lake, supply water to local municipalities and offer some of the best water recreation in Texas. Upon returning to the hotel, the Comal County Engineer will explain the history of flooding and the value of the dam to the flood prone New Braunfels region. Following the slide show will be a visit to the Historic Faust Street bridge.
 Dinner: Time to don your Tyrolean hat, German togs and dance to a featured accordion player for our Mini-Wariest. Happy hour treats prior to the final German meal of the week served in the Forke Store at Conservation Plaza.
 Evening: A fun sing-along concludes the evening.
Accommodations: Faust Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: As we review and wrap up the week, we will learn about the entertainment and recreation the early German immigrants enjoyed, bringing us to contemporary times, helping to understand why New Braunfels has become the tourist destination it is today.
(Friday, February 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: The final lecture of the week will be in held in the hotel. Learn about traditional to contemporary entertainment and recreation the German community has enjoyed
 Lunch: Program ends following morning lecture at 10:30 a.m.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  New Braunfels, TX New Braunfel Chamber of Commerce
Phone: 830-625-2385 For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Germany and Texas

Author: Glen Lich

History of New Braunfels and Comal County

Author: Oscar Haas

History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831 - 1861

Author: Leopold Biesele


Author: Ferdinand Roemer

What’s included in this Road Scholar program?

Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

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