San Marcos (Texas)Central Hill Country region of Texas in the United States of America, about half an hour's drive south of the state's capitol, Austin. It was settled in 1808 by Mexican families, and is now the home to Texas State University-San Marcos.
San Marcos is located along interstate 35 (I-35) in between Austin and San Antonio.
From Austin, take I-35 South about 23 miles. You can take exits 206-204 to access the town. The university is on the West (right) side of I-35 coming from the direction of Austin.
From San Antonio, take I-35 North approximately 46 miles. You may take exits 204 thru 206 to access the town. Texas State University and the town square are on the West (left) side of the freeway coming from San Antonio.
Notably, San Marcos is a popular shopping destination, as it hosts large outlet malls South of the town about 5 miles, in the direction of San Antonio. You cannot miss them from I-35 (on the East side of the freeway).
To get to San Marcos from Houston, take IH-10 west to Luling (exit 632, about two hours), turn right (on to SH-80) and go through Luling. Continue on SH-80 north (the designated highway turns left, just after the railroad tracks). Beware of the speed traps in Martindale, just before San Marcos.
By carTravel in most American cities, especially outside of major metro areas, is primarily by private vehicle. Parking is almost always abundant and free. (There are a few lots close to the city square where the owners tow aggressively; be sure to watch for parking signs.) The average tourist would be well-advised to rent a car from a rental agency if they don't already have their own vehicle. Traffic is usually light.
Take caution at some low water bridges. Never drive through a flooded low water crossing. Even a couple of inches of water can wash your car into the river. You then stand a good chance of losing your life.
By busCapital Area Rural Transportation System offers limited bus service. The fare is 50 cents.
By bicycleMost attractions are very close to the down town and campus areas. While the hills sometimes get steep and can present an athletic challenge, many destinations are a very short ride away.
San Marcos RiverThe river that made the city runs through town. There are many parks and restaurants along the river, and it's pretty much impossible to see any of San Marcos without seeing a lot of the river.
Blanco RiverJoins the San Marcos a few miles down stream. It's not as big or visited as the San Marcos.
phone: +1 512-245-7570address: 201 San Marcos Springs DrNature center, springs, wetlands, glass bottomed boats on Spring Lake.
Downtown (The Square)
phone: +1 512-738-6607address: 921 Aquarena Springs Dr.A marathon boat race down the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers. It begins at Aquarena Springs at 10AM the second Saturday of June and passes several local river crossings within a few hours.
address: San Marcos Plaza ParkAn annual Christmas festival that takes place on the first weekend of December. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Lots of booths for food and local art. Also performances by local school children and dance schools.
Movies in the Parkphone: +1 512-393-8400Every other Monday in June and July, by Parks and Recreation
Wonder WorldA cave and theme park. With a train.
Rio Vista ParkWhen the old dam was nearing collapse, the city decided to replace it with an artificial whitewater course. The new addition to the park has made it tremendously popular with swimmers, tubers, and boaters alike. There are also rope swings, good picnic areas, and a great playground just up the river.
phone: +1 512-353-1664address: 2701 Airport, Hwy 21Golf course, swimming pool, tennis, bar, restaurant OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
phone: +1 512-396-5466address: 170 Bobcat Dr.Tube rental and shuttle. Get an inflated innertube, float down the river, drink, cavort, then get a ride back to the park.
The Texas State University Golf CourseArguably the best buy for any golf course in the state. In the summer, it is not uncommon to see deer and other examples of central Texas wildlife freely venturing through the roughs and fairways.
phone: +1 512 396-2283address: 214 North L.B.J. DrCrafts, cards, gifts, and treats.
DowntownLots of shops and stores for the browsing are in the downtown district.
phone: +1 512-396-7446address: 4015 I-35Designer clothes at closeout prices.
phone: +1 512-396-2200address: 3939 I-35 S.Clearance prices Shopping Center
Herbert's Taco Hutphone: +1 512-353-7440address: 419 Riverside Dr.Tex-mex. Local taco joint, loved by the locals.
Mamacita's Restaurantphone: +1 512-353-0070address: 1400 Aquarena Springs Dr.Tex-mex. A chain, but good.
phone: +1 512-353-3747address: 701 Cheatham
phone: +1 512-396-4746address: 802 N. LBJ Dr.
Fuschak's Pit Bar-B-Qphone: +1 512-353-2712address: 920 Highway 80Bar-b-cue, legendary brisket.
phone: +1 512-396-6100address: 100 West Hopkins Street.
phone: +1 512-392-6000address: 2601 Hunter Rd
phone: +1 512-353-3500address: 218 Moore St.
BarsAll the bars are open until 2AM every night now, and you are allowed to smoke cigarettes inside
The Tap Roomphone: +1 512-392-9824address: 129 E Hopkins St Suite 120A wide selection of beer.
Showdownaddress: Hutchinson and LBJLiveliest bar in town
The Denphone: +1 512-392-3700address: 700 N LBJ Dr.This is an awesome place. The bartenders are great and the drinks are cheap. They have two big projector screens and free pool during happy hour, shuffle board, foosball and darts. They open at 3 and close at 2. Great place for any game.
phone: +1 512 396-2236address: 206 N. Edward GaryLive music 365 days a year. Acoustic sets to punk rock, hip hop, good country, salsa and everything else. Open mic on Su. Nights one pool table, ring toss, electronic touchscreen jukebox (no internet downloads) all songs $.25 cents.
Sean Patrick's Irish PubOn the southeast corner of the downtown square. It offers a nice assortment of beers and whiskies and fine examples of Irish fare and Texas bar staple foods. Sean Patrick's also has shuffle board and billiards.
Real Ale Brewing CompanyMakes several distinct brews, available at retail outlets in the area.
Best Budget Innphone: +1 512-392-3990address: 903 IH 35 North
phone: +1 512-353-5050address: 1005 IH 35 North
phone: +1 512 353-5300address: 811 S. Guadalupe StAll guest rooms have Refrigerator, Microware and High Speed Internet Access and hotel have free continental breakfast and outdoor Pool
phone: +1 512-392-6171address: 444 Pecan Park Dr.A family-oriented campground on the San Marcos river. Primitive and improved sites are available, a tent or RV is recommended as there are no sleeping shelters. Hot showers and full restrooms are in a central building.
phone: +1 512-392-6800address: 4210 IH 35 South
phone: +1 512-353-7770address: 1433 IH 35 South92 new rooms. 3 Suites. Select rooms with Big Screen High Definition Televisions. Wireless internet in all rooms. Hot Breakfast including sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy. Hot tub and pool.
phone: +1 512-847-1111address: 100 West Spoke Hill DriveA bed and breakfast in the village of Wimberley, Texas offering guest rooms, suites and cottages sitting on 22 acres of property.
Emergency services such as police, fire, and medical can be reached by calling 911.
There are many places to swim in the local rivers. Some are often crowded, some are very secluded. Regardless of where you swim, always use the buddy system, and always have a way to contact emergency services (note that cell phones often lose service in the low area immediately about the river, so check the signal at your designated "towel spot" before swimming if you will rely on your cell phone for calling emergency services).
- Comal River, a popular tubing destination.
- Guadalupe River, tubing and canoeing.
- Hill Country
- San Antonio
- New Braunfels - Located 19 miles southwest of San Marcos, this town is best known for its German culture and heritage, not to mention the Schlitterbahn, persistent in being voted the world's best waterpark.
Jack Glover's Cowboy Museumphone: +1 512 847-3338address: 333 Wayside DrMuseum run by 90+ years old cowboy - Jack Glover, who is very willing to show you the place and tell more about his collection. Museum displays large collection of cowboy exhibits, story of Jack 'Barbed Wire King' Glover and stories about past life.