This past weekend my boyfriend and I took a road trip to New Braunfels with our friends to float the river so I decided to make a guide on what to do, where to eat, what you must pack and more! In this post, I’ll also be giving you an insight on my experience floating the river. I know here in Texas, floating the river is a popular activity to do so hopefully this is helpful for you!
I’ve only been to the river once before this past weekend (tragic, I know). But it was last year when I experienced floating the river for the first time at the San Marcos river & I LOVED IT! It’s definitely a river to “party” at since its close to so many colleges, you’re surrounded by crazy fun college students. Not just that but the float is a pretty long so you don’t have to worry about the hassle of getting off & going back in the river for another round. But, since this year we were in New Braunfels, we floated in the Comal River, and due to my experience… I HATED IT. LOL. Let’s just say I thought I was going to die from drowning. You’re reading this & thinking it’s because I probably had some drinks before & was drunk so I couldn’t swim since that’s what a lot of people do at the river, is drink right? Well, WRONG (in my case) I went to the river 100% sober & this happened at the very beginning. So if you’ve been to the Comal River, you know they have “chute’s” (I’ll post a pic of a chute down below). A chute is basically a sloping channel or slide for conveying things to a lower level, yes I just gave you the exact definition from google. Well, this river is actually really popular for their chute’s because a lot of people find them to be fun & honestly I probably would think that too if I didn’t almost die trying to go down one.
When going to the river, you typically tie your tubes together so you don’t float away which is exactly what we did. BIG MISTAKE. We did not tie ourselves in an organized line, it was kinda all over the place because we were trying to form a big circle, you know to talk & stuff. Again, BIG MISTAKE. Before starting the actual float, you’re in the water with a bunch of other people waiting to go down the chute to officially start. Somehow my tube is at the very end from my group of friends and as we are about to enter this slide of death, my boyfriend is in front of me & I see his tube barely makes it in because for some reason our tubes started going towards the right instead of staying center to go down the slide (chute) & when I see how his face almost hits the edge because he was so close to the wall, I immediately knew my tube just wasn’t going to make it. I’m going to try to explain what happens next but it was one of those you had to be there moments. My tube drifted to the right causing my tube to be half in the slide, half out. The water is forcing my tube to go in causing it to flip over! (THANK GOD I WORE A ONE PIECE or else I would have flashed everybody) Imagine being in a tube that flips over & knocks you out of it all while going down this chute where the water pressure is intense. I’d like to think of myself as a pretty good swimmer. When I was younger, I used to do triathlons so I’m familiar with being in water that has pressure coming from all area’s but this river was nothing I prepared for. It all happened so fast where I can barely grasp the details but after flipping out of my tube into the water, I surprisingly was smart enough to hold onto the tube while my body and face were under water but my arms were not. I kept telling myself to come up for air but the water was SO strong, it kept pushing me down. Thankfully I was able to come up for air but right back down I went. As we get to the bottom of the chute and into the river where the pressure felt stronger, it pushes me causing me to let go of my tube and basically fly away to who knows where because obviously I can’t see anything but water. Throughout this whole time of the water pushing me wherever it wants, my boyfriend and friends see all that’s happening to me and they’re trying to save me by jumping out of their tubes into the water to get me but it just wasn’t happening. Finally, I guess the water pushed me back towards them in their direction where one of his friends is able to grab me as I passed by him. THANK GOD! Who know’s how much longer the water would’ve had control over me before I was able to get out of that area where the water pressure is so strong. It takes me a while to finally catch my breath and thanks to our awesome friends, they put me in a tube that’s in the middle and not at the end and we attempt to get away from the pressured water but that didn’t happen. Lol. I think our group was so big that even though some of us would get away, the others wouldn’t and they’d get back into the pressured water, causing us all to go back. Next thing you know another one of us flips over and out of her tube, we save her and that’s when a friend makes an executive decision to cut the rope. GREAT DECISION. We float away from the group and finally, they’re able to get out of that circle of death and catch up with us. We waited for them of course because no way would they be able to catch up to us if we continued to float. Anyways after all is said and done, I realize my ray-bans are no longer on my face, I’m not holding my water bottle and a nail broke completely off + 2 cracked nails. I’m not kidding when I say all I cared about was the fact that I lost my sunnies lol UGH just talking about it right now upsets me. They were these hot pink & gold aviator’s that I only bring out on special occasions. And I know you’re probably thinking to yourself “who brings expensive glasses to the river!?” okay well I DO! Because after my experience last year floating the San Marcos River, I was like why not? That river is relaxed where there are no chutes so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into this time around but I can tell you I’ll never ever bring an expensive pair of sunnies to the river again with or with no chutes. Lesson learned.
So as you can see we had a rough start to floating the river. It also went by pretty fast so we went for a round two which cost us an extra $5 to float all day. You do have the option to float the river just once for $20 & we rented our tubes with Rockin’ R and they were amazing! Their customer service was the best! I definitely recommend renting your tube with them. They also take you on a bus to and from the river.
Overall, after I finally got over my broken nail and lost a pair of sunnies, my friends and I had a blast! We floated the river 3 times in a row. Probably one time too many since we lost two soldiers LOL on that last float along with ID’s, cards, sunnies, almost my life & more. The river is pretty and has clean water which is a plus. Would I go back? Yeah. Is it my first suggestion on which river to float? No.
WHAT YOU MUST PACK:
WHERE TO EAT:
Buttermilk Cafe – went here for breakfast & it was good! Expect a wait.
Rushfords River House – came straight here after the river, burgers are yummy
Rhea’s Ice Cream – this is right next to the burger place listed above, perfect for dessert!
Scoop Street – tasty ice cream
2tarts – the cutest bakery with the cutest sweets! So much talent behind those bakers.
OTHER FUN STUFF TO DO:
Schlitterbahn – this is obvious! I didn’t go this trip but I’d like to go back soon & go there!
Gruene Hall – this is a must!! This is the oldest dancehall in Texas. It’s known for a few George Strait performances & did you know John Travolta starred in a movie filmed there? #funfact I’m so bummed we didn’t go here one of the nights but we were so exhausted from the river, we all stayed in. I did make a stop before heading home though & I’ll definitely go back at night next time!
Gruene Historic District – a lot of fun shops, antiques, restaurants & history
Wineries & Breweries
Ghost & Vampire Tours
Drive in theater
I hope you enjoyed reading this longer than the usual blog post. I tried to give as many details as possible so you could understand how intense the moment was when my tube & I flipped over, lol. All in all, I had a blast with such a great group of people and I’m actually planning to go back to New Braunfels before the summer ends! I went thinking there would not be much to explore but I was wrong!
Xx, Es <2