San Marcos Travel Guide

  • Blanco River
    by klasher
  • San Marcos
    by klasher
  • Things to Do
    by deeper_blue

San Marcos Highlights

  • Pro
    coolkiwy profile photo

    coolkiwy says…

     The small town feeling 

  • Con
    msbrandysue profile photo

    msbrandysue says…

     Nothing really other than that...College town 

  • In a nutshell
    yelli profile photo

    yelli says…

     If it weren't for the university, this place would be boring (unless you like outlet malls) 

San Marcos Things to Do

  • Aquarena Springs

    The old Aquarena Springs on Spring Lake that boasted beautifully manicured & landscaped grounds with a well managed program that controlled non-native plant growth in the lake is history. The Texas State University, ( then SW Texas State University) purchased the property under the ruse of utilizing it for a convention center and Aquatic Biology...

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  • San Marcos River

    This is one of the major attraction of the area, either you just stroll along or decide to do something more wet!! I was there in november but apparently tube renting is very popular during the summer; have a look to the following link for the details http://www.centurytel.net/smlc/tuberental.html The river doesn't look more than 1-2 meter deep...

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  • Blanco River

    A nice park on the Blanco River during the week. There are only a few choice spots right on the water with trees for shade and easy access to the water. Get there early to score a spot! Beware the long grass area-rattlesnakes have been sighted.

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  • Hays County Courthouse

    This is one of the major piece of architecture in San Marcos. The Hays County was created in 1848 and named in honor of Capt. Jack C. Hays, a noted Indian fighter and Texas Ranger. Restored to its original style, this buildings typify the Central Texas Courthouse Square.

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  • Southwest Texas State University

    Southwest Texas State University (SWT is recognised as one of the top 3 public universities in Texas. It was established in 1899 and has expanded into the 7th largest public university in the state. The Theatre is a beautiful and distinctive building surrounded by a small lake and park-like setting. There are 3 major performance areas, The Studio...

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  • First United Methodist Church

    First United Methodist Church is a Victorian Gothic styled church was completed in 1893 and has been serving congregations since that time. In 1939, 20 stained glass windows were added as memorials to the early builders. There is an 1872 bell in the four-story bell tower which had previously hung at Fort Hawkins, Georgia in 1796 and is the oldest...

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San Marcos Hotels

San Marcos Restaurants

  • Fresh food in the square

    My favorite restaurant in San Marcos. Currently it is BYOB, I'm not sure how long that will last! The cafe has a casual and intimate setting and the waitstaff are friendly and remember you when you come back. Everything I have eaten there is fresh and well prepared. The menu has a little bit of everything-pasta, beef, pork, seafood, salads,...

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  • Located on the San Marcos River

    Great place located on the San Marcos river. Outdoor seating overlooking the river available. Great american cousine, burgers, chicken etc. Features free outdoor entertainment during Sundays in the summer. Full bar. Chicken fried steak is huge, they have a half portion. Club sandwhich, buffalo chicken burger. Have never had anything bad off the...

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  • Comfort Food

    Newton's Gang Restaurant is located on the square in San Marcos. The menu is pretty diverse, with comfort food holding the spotlight. Portions are huge, so get something you can reheat for lunch the next day.This restaurant was once an old bank and "The Getaway" with Steve McQueen was filmed here. There are several rooms that may be used as a...

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  • Great Happy hour

    Beautiful outdoor courtyard for Happy hour. Half priced appetizers and good drink specials from 4-6. the crab cakes are excellent and happy hour prices get you 2 for $5. The steak dinner was good, if not a little overpriced for the quality.

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  • Irish Fun

    This is a chain of casual, sit down restaurants offering any type of food from steak to sandwiches, salads to things from the grill. They have a great bar that is pretty well priced for the area.They have a wonderful daily happy hour. I believe it is from 5pm-7pm and then 9pm-11pm. During that time they offer selected $3 appetizers and $2 drinks....

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  • Best Fast Food

    Yes, America is all about fast food. It's cheap, fast, and easy! While in San Marcos I always make sure to stop at Taco Bueno!! It is great tex-mex food with a lower price. Although loaded in calories I always save one meal to splurge and this is definitely the one!*No alcohol is available like some places around here though. My favorite meal is...

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San Marcos Nightlife

  • Huge beer selection

    42 beers on tap and 20 in bottles are available at the Tap Room. There are excellent specials almost every day; discounted beers, half price appetizers every night and more. The burgers are the best I have found in the Central Texas area. Casual

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  • LIVE MUSICTRIPLE CROWN:...

    LIVE MUSICTRIPLE CROWN: http://www.triplecrownlive.com/ If you are looking live music by some of the best unknowns in the land...look no further than Triple Crown.GORDO'S: The larger acts (Cory Morrow...Vallejo..etc) play at Gordos. You can get a decent meal there too. Fred the cook rocks.CHEATHAM STREET WAREHOUSE: This is where I would have spent...

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  • the Square

    The Square is the area surrounding the county Courthouse in San Marcos. There is a handful of bars one just like the other. Most offer live music on the weekends. My favorites are Draft Choice(a sports bar), Gordo's(a venue for great local live music) and the Tap Room (offering a wide selection of beers on tap, ofcourse). But beware, the bars...

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San Marcos Transportation

  • Austin Bergstrom International Airport...

    The closest airport to San Marcos is located in Austin and is a 45 minute drive or so from town. Austin is served by most of the main US carriers, and its airport code is AUS.

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  • Drive your Car

    San Marcos is located south of Austin and north of San Antonio in Texas. Most of the activities in San Marcos are spread out, and with the exception of student transportation, the public system is not convenient for most travel.Likely, you will be traveling from one of those two cities, where rental cars are readily available at both the airport...

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  • A vehicle is the best way to...

    A vehicle is the best way to travel to San Marcos. We are right on I-H 35. Major airports are in Austin, 30 miles away, and San Antonio, 45 miles away.Again, a car is the best way to get around San Marcos as most sights and restaurants are spread out. It's easy though to park and walk around downtown.

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San Marcos Shopping

  • GO SHOPPING!!!! Til you drop (and you...

    EVERYTHING YOU COULD EVER WANT IS HERE....AND IT"S ON SALE!!!!!!!!!Yes, over 100 brandname stores and another 100 in between. How do these sound?CoachArmaniDooney and BourkeNike AddidasCalvin KleinSamsoniteSunglass Hut'Disney StoreOld NavyAmerican EaglePottery BarnWilliam SonomaTommy HilfigerThe list goes on and on and on....Definitely plan a...

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  • A paradise for bargain hunters

    Chances are that shopping is the main reason you are in San Marcos! And shopping in San Marcos means the Prime or Tanger Outlet!!Even open on Sunday, you have tens of different shops selling well known brand at prices I couldn't imagine!I have been particularly surprised by the shoes price: about 50 bucks for a pair of good leather shoes, I would...

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  • Tanger Outlet Centre

    Tanger Outlet Centre and San Marcos Factory Shops – This is a huge factory outlet centre, the biggest in Texas. I have no idea how many shops are actually in this complex, but a good 150 stores I would think. The credit card could have a field day. Just an amazing place to stop enroute and just take a look at some of the well known names. Prices...

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San Marcos Local Customs

  • Yearly Activities

    March : Daffodil Days – An annual event to welcome Spring which features the picturesque scene of 2,000 blooming in the Historic District gardens. April : Central Texas Golf Fest - Largest amateur golf tournament in United States. Participants play on seven courses in a three county area.June : Texas Water Safari - The world's toughest 260-mile...

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  • San Marcos Police

    San Marcos Police work on bicycles around town so as to assist residents and tourists. Its quite a novel idea which makes them appear more friendly and approachable for help. They also enforce traffic regulations.

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  • San Marcos Hotels

    33 Hotels in San Marcos

    33 Reviews and Opinions

San Marcos Warnings and Dangers

  • Dangerous Undertow

    One of the popular activities in San Marcos is to swim and/or float on the San Marcos River. While in the river, you will likely want to be careful in certain areas, as the undertow can get very strong. The area of the small waterfalls next to Saltgrass Steakhouse is particularly dangerous, so make sure to be careful while there. Just remember,...

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  • Fragile Ecosystem

    If you are going to make a trip to San Marcos, please consider leaving your pets at home. The San Marcos River in particular is a fragile ecosystem that is home to several endangered species. For example, there is a blind salamander which is delicious to pets, but in danger and not to be shared with them.Also included in the city ordinances are for...

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San Marcos Tourist Traps

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    by Javeing Written Sep 2, 2004

    The Outlet mall off of Hwy 35 North

    Unique Suggestions: Avoid the outlet mall on the weekend. It can get packed. With people coming as far way as Mexico for a shopping trip. As well most of the “sales” will start that Monday and be picked over by the time the weekend rolls around. Your best bet is to shop during the week

    Fun Alternatives: Go to Wimberely for a weekend shopping trip it's only 15 minutes up Hwy. 12 . the town is full of shops and artist's studios. most weekends in summer they have sidewalk sales

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    • Budget Travel

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San Marcos Off The Beaten Path

  • The Salt Lick

    Off the beaten path and a pretty drive through Driftwood brings you to the Salt Lick BBQ Restaurant. This is probably the best barbecue I have ever tasted. Oh-and it's BYOB! We sat on the patio and listened to the live band under the oaks as we toasted each other for being so thrifty to dine at a place without the alcohol tab.

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  • Railroad from the Far West

    Walking along the San Marcos river, I first passed under a regular concrete bridge for a road and then really struck by surprise, I discovered this old wooden bridge!!I thought it was the old bridge they left there but I soon realised the rail tracks on this bridge were still in use! That means train are still passing over this bridge!! Simply...

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  • San Antonio

    San Antonio is the eighth largest city in the U.S. and the third biggest in Texas, south of San Marcos. The famed River Walk, Tower of the Americas, the Mercado Mexican-style marketplace, theme parks, art museums are well patronised. Of course the Alamo is also here.

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San Marcos Favorites

  • Float the river. It's only...

    Float the river. It's only about a 45 minute float...the Lion's Club supplies the tubes and the ride back (it'll be about $10 a person when all said and done with a $15 deposit so you don't make off with the nifty yellow tubes) - www.centurytel.net/smlc/tuberental.html Fondest memory: meeting my wife... *awww....*I would have to say I miss hanging...

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  • Southwest Texas State...

    Southwest Texas State University is a great place to go to school. It's large enough to provide an excellent education, but small enough that you can actually get to know your professors. Most of my classes were small. I was able to really get to know my professors and the students. The campus is really beautiful too. SWT seems to have a...

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  • San Marcos river

    During spring break the college kids are gone. This is a nice quiet small-town, with many small-town activities during the summer. You will probably need to look up the City's web link to find out what is going on at any particular time

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Map of San Marcos

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