20 Best Things to Do in San Marcos, TX

San Marcos, TX
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Located in the foothills of Texas, San Marcos stands as a living example of luxurious and quality living.

San Marcos is composed of unique ingredients that make it stand apart from others.

It consists of steep hills, shopping options, and extraordinary beer.

San Marcos has increased in the past few years; it has turned more industrialized and modernized.

Despite that, it still emerges as a small quaint city with a steady life course.

It is more culturally forward as compared to other states in the region.

Parallelly, it also offers a lavish and contemporary lifestyle.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 20 best things to do in San Marcos, Texas:

Visit San Marcos River

San Marcos River
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San Marcos River is a peaceful and laid-back river.

It is a suitable place for recreation and relaxation purposes.

The water is emerald and crystal clear if you want to swim.

Scenic view of San Marcos River during dawn
Marie Shearin Images / Shutterstock.com

If swimming is not your cup of tea, you can relax at the banks and let time take its course.

It is an ideal place for reading your favorite novel or having a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved ones.

Beautiful view of San Marcos River
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Join a History Tour at Calaboose Museum

Exterior view of Calaboose Museum
Larry D. Moore, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In San Marcos in Hays County, the Calaboose Museum is a storehouse for African American culture and heritage.

The museum works to serve the San Marcos population as a hub of support via preservation, activities, and education, in addition to being a museum dedicated to African American history.

It is an essential instructional tool emphasizing local African American history from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Calaboose Museum welcomes visitors daily for free; however, visitors are encouraged to donate and check in at the entrance.

All groups are invited to participate in the history tour at the Calaboose Museums.

The Silo Gallery and Glass Studio is a vivid spot.

They showcase the works of local artists with expertise in 3D art forms.

You can get fusion glass lessons here from experienced artists. A lot of learning can happen here if you wish to do so.

It is a fun and informative place to acquire knowledge and skill.

The guide shows you around and makes you understand the piece's process and making.

There are pieces for sale, too, if you want to take some home.

The experience here will be different but remarkable.

Walk the Wetlands Boardwalk

Wetlands Broadwalk
Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wetlands Boardwalk is your stop if you want to explore some exotic species.

You may witness some exotic species in their natural habitat on your walk.

The gates are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The walk is self-guided, so you can take your route and have your own pace.

It is not usually crowded and gives a proper look into the wilderness.

You can go for an evening walk here and pump some blood by brisk walking.

Outside view of LBJ Museum of San Marcos
Larry D. Moore, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Museum of San Marcos reaches out and draws enthusiastic people and students interested in learning more about the 36th President of the United States.

Lyndon Baines Johnson-related artifacts, keepsakes, scripts, study material, artistic work, rare books, journals, pictures, and audiovisual resources are being actively sought by the group as they attempt to expand their collection.

There are both permanent and one-of-a-kind exhibits available for viewing at the Museum.

There are several programs present that can help and educate students and people of all ages.

Accessible from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, the LBJ Museum of San Marcos offers free admission.

Partake in an Adventure with Texas State Tubes

Gather your best pals and prepare for a day of leisure and adventure.

Texas State Tubes has offered a pleasant and secure place for tubing on the San Marcos River since 2012.

They are available from the first hot Saturday in March to the final Saturday in September.

They take pleasure in not only delivering you an amazing tubing experience but also in maintaining the cleanliness of the rivers.

Embark on the San Marcos River tubing experience with Texas State Tubes!

Venture into the Wonder World Cave & Adventure Park

Your adrenaline will be boosted to the highest level at Wonder World Cave & Adventure Park.

It is an adventure park with three different packages to choose from.

You have a cave exploration tour, a train ride, and one all-in-one ticket.

It is a theme-based park and attracts a lot of tourists every year.

Earthquakes naturally form the caves, and the train takes you around the park.

You can also feed the animals and enjoy some rides.

One tour guide is allotted to you, and they take you around to the best attractions.

Take the Meadows Center Glass Bottom Boat Tours

Glass bottom boat interior
Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Meadows Center Glass Bottom Boat Tours is an engaging activity.

You’d meet many aquatic species on the way.

You will be taken to the middle of the river, and the guide will tell you stories about the river and its wildlife.

It is an enjoyable experience to watch those fishes swim near you.

You’d want to gaze at them for hours together.

Glass Bottom Boat Tour in San Marcos
Matt Harriger, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The prices are pretty reasonable and worth every penny of yours.

The scenic view is enough to entice you and make your stay a little more.

The springs are crystal clear and sprawling.

Once inside, you’d be mesmerized by the view and water currents.

Play a Round at Flying Armadillo Disc Golf Club

Play and practice disc golf at the Flying Armadillo Disc Golf Club in San Marcos, Texas, a comprehensive disc golf facility.

Try out the 18 Hole Mini-Course, which has holes typically 100′ long and is suitable for beginners and children.

On the other hand, the 18 Hole Big Course lets you stretch your arm while traveling through the stunning Texas hill country landscape.

Large oak trees, dry creek beds, and constant steep inclines ensure that every hole is unique and calls for various shots.

Participate in their weekly activities, such as Sunday Morning BAG Tag Round and Friday Night Lights.

The Disc Golf Club is available to the general public every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Grab Some Beers at the Middleton Brewing

The best way to start your day in San Marcos is to visit Middleton Brewing.

They freshly brew great beer in the city.

They have a unique collection of 13 different beers for visitors.

The brewing starts around 2 p.m. and lasts till 10 p.m.

The atmosphere is gratifying, and the lights ignite the mood.

Along with the beer, they serve complimentary popcorn as well.

We suggest you go at night, as live music is played to enhance your experience.

Also note that Mondays have an open mic session, so if you’re interested in that, schedule your visit accordingly.

You can taste different drinks before choosing one.

You are granted the liberty to try as many as you want.

It is a great place to spend an evening sipping beer and talking about life.

Shop at Premium Outlets

Outlet Mall in San Marcos
AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA / Shutterstock.com

This is the place where you can fulfill your shopping cravings.

It consists of everything, right from small stores to big brands.

Over the years, many offers have been provided to customers.

Shops at Premium Outlets
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

These discounts lure tourists to go shopping and catch hold of everything excellent.

Even if you don’t want to shop, you can do window shopping and be satisfied.

Designer brands at Premium Outlets
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Appreciate Art at Wimberley Glassworks

Wimberley Glassworks is Texas's leading handmade glass lighting and art glass studio.

It is situated close to Austin and San Antonio in the stunning Texas hill region bordering San Marcos and Wimberley.

Since 1992, they have produced unique vases, sculptures, plates, glassware, presents, and lights.

Their team of artists skillfully crafts every vase, bowl, and sculpture by hand.

Explore the art installations and take in the patio beneath the oaks outdoors.

Drop by the gallery to see them produce in a real-time glassblowing demonstration.

See the Artwork at Wittliff Collections

The Wittliff Collections is nothing but extravagance.

It holds precious collections of artists and literary masterpieces.

There are different exhibits, each segregated according to the genres and artists’ era.

You can get a personal walk-through in the location.

The collection is rare and is worthy of human attention.

Go Kayaking at San Marcos River

Paddling in San Marcos River
Valerie Johnson / Shutterstock.com

As noticed, the San Marcos River is calm and composed.

Paddling through the river is easy and fun.

You should go riding in the night under the moonlight.

It will turn out to be an ethereal experience for sure.

The volunteers help everyone and teach the basics.

Since the water is calm, you can paddle swiftly.

Standup paddle boarding at San Marcos River
Qijuan Fang / Shutterstock.com

When you tour at night, it becomes a mystical experience.

The stars gleam above your head, and the darkness will impart solitude.

After having a fulfilling dinner, you can take some desserts and go paddling.

This will be the experience of a lifetime for you.

See the Murals around the City

Art holds a prominent position in the city of San Marcos.

As you would notice, it will be visible in some form or the other around the sprawling city.

There are small sketches drawn in the nooks and corners of the street.

There are giant murals covering a building present there too.

Watching those pieces convey a story about the city and its people are a delight.

You’d be amazed at the detailing of the work and would want to snap a picture or two near the murals.

It is a haven for all those who indulge immensely in aesthetics and styling.

Squeeze some time out for this, as you will thoroughly enjoy it and reminisce about it for years to come.

Explore the Spring Lake Natural Area

Boardwalk at Spring Lake Natural Area
Tricia Daniel / Shutterstock.com

Adjoining spring lake is the Spring Lake Natural Area.

You can do a lot of activities here.

You can go hiking, photography trail, biking, or anything that suits your needs.

The trails are open from March to October.

The road is marked well for visitors.

Truly, it is a good place where you can exercise and let off steam.

Check Out the Commemorative Air Force Exhibit

Exhibit at Commemorative Air Force Exhibit
Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Commemorative Air Force Exhibit is home to the world's oldest airplanes and aviation technology.

They also display things that had been used in wars before. The airplanes are a complete vintage edition.

They take you on tour and make you understand the technicalities of the aircraft's working.

Exhibit at Commemorative Air Force Exhibit
Shannon Lucas, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The volunteers stir the history lessons interestingly, which attracts the audience.

You’ll learn the heroic tales of the fighter pilots and the plane. You will also get a close-up look at the aircraft and would discover the parts and working of it.

Experience Rhea’s Ice Cream

Rhea’s Ice Cream serves the best ice cream in town.

They are open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., so you can go for a treat in the scorching afternoon or a late-night dessert.

They offer a wide range of flavors and toppings to have a look at.

All the flavors on the menu are worth trying out.

Visit Rio Vista Dam

View of Rio Vista Dam
CMBJ, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Rio Vista Dam is a jewel in the city of San Marcos.

This place is your refuge on a sultry heating day.

The dam is brimming with water throughout the year.

The atmosphere is peaceful, and the voice of flowing water makes it altogether more soothing.

You can also do water sports in the outer regions of the dam.

You’ll experience a pang of exhilaration and rejuvenation.

You can also sit there and inhale fresh air if not for water activities.

Soak the heat and let water splash on your feet.

Final Thoughts

San Marcos is a rapidly expanding city that aspires to technical advancement while preserving its legacy of historical landmarks, natural sanctuaries, and cultural hubs.

Numerous unique, one-of-a-kind attractions make it a fantastic tourist destination.

Explore the many fashionable stores and pleasant cafés and grab the chance to participate in water sports like fly fishing and kayaking.

Whatever your hobbies, whether they be in art, food, sports, nature, or history, San Marcos has something great for you!

Discover More of Hays County, TX

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