Placed on the banks of the beautiful San Marcos River and saturated with all the charm of the Texas Hill Country, San Marcos is one of the top getaways in the Lone Star State. Dip your toes or paddle in the crystal-clear San Marcos River. Shop big or small by indulging in retail therapy the San Marcos way.
Immerse yourself in nature and explore some trails. Taste the local flavors under the stars and enjoy a cold one brewed right in the hill country.
And of course, no SMTXperience would be complete without a stroll around downtown to see murals, you might even find a few mermaids…
Uniquely San Marcos
Families will love a trip to the cave at Wonder World Park, a theme park known for its show cave, the oldest of its kind in Texas. While the depths of the cave are very cool all on its own, the experience turns into a true family favorite with a train ride, petting zoo, Anti-Gravity House and gift shop.
Before you leave, make sure you venture to the top of the observation tower for stunning views of the Texas Hill Country. From 190 feet above ground, you can really see where the Balcones Fault Line separates the Coastal Plains from the Hill Country.
After you’ve seen the Edwards Aquifer in Wonder Cave, it’s time to see where the aquifer meets the surface at Spring Lake, the headwaters of the San Marcos River.
The river is so clear that you can see to the bottom, so what better way to experience it than on a Glass-Bottom Boat Tour? Hop aboard a historic Glass-Bottom Boat at The Meadows Center and watch the lake being formed below.
Boat captains point out the plants, fish and tons of turtles sunning themselves along the way, while explaining the history of the lake and the area.
You can also take a stroll on the wetlands boardwalk and visit the indoor exhibits, where you can see a 1,000-gallon aquarium with up-close views of local fauna and interactive displays.
Once you’ve learned all about the natural history of San Marcos, it’s time to switch gears into military history. The Commemorative Air Force Exhibit (CAF) allows you to see historic military warbirds up close in a 1943 vintage wooden hangar. The jewel of the CAF is “That’s All, Brother,” which led the Allied invasion on D-Day in Normandy.
From the pristine rivers to the lush trees that surround the community, San Marcos, Texas is the perfect destination for anyone who loves spending time in nature.
San Marcos is home to more than 1,200 acres of park land and 22 miles of hiking trails. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, there are plenty of options for outdoor adventurers of all fitness levels.
Of course, a trip to San Marcos isn’t really complete without a stop at the river.
Go for a swim in the refreshing water, which remains at a crisp 72 degrees year-round, or rent a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard and drift down the river on its gentle current.
Crank up the experience with a nighttime paddle on boards equipped with waterproof LED lighting for a memorable view of San Marcos’ most beautiful asset.
Shop Big, And We Mean BIG
There’s a good reason why San Marcos is known as a shopping paradise.
Home to the largest outlet shopping center in the United States (more than 240 name brand and luxury stores and 1.2 million, yes million, square feet), you’re going to want to bring your walking shoes and plenty of trunk space to take home all your finds.
In fact, the San Marcos Outlet Shopping Center is the only Texas location for many of the outlet stores – Versace, Jimmy Choo, Prada and Gucci, just to name a few… And of course, there are many boutiques and vintage/thrift gems around town, where you never know what treasures you’ll find!
Immerse Yourself In The Arts
Walking around San Marcos is a sensory experience. The smells, colors, textures and tastes of San Marcos tell a story of the city, its citizens and the eclectic culture that developed in the oasis town between San Antonio and Austin.
One of the most important San Marcos cultural staples is the blossoming art scene. With an ever-growing collection of murals, sculptures, galleries and more, San Marcos has created a thriving culture for art lovers and artists alike.
Plan your trip for a second Saturday of the month to explore Art Squared, a juried and colorful art market.
You should also visit Wimberley Glassworks to watch the artisans hard at work hand blowing gorgeous art glass pieces. Exploring colorful San Marcos is always an adventure and new art seems to pop up in the most unexpected places.
Next time you stroll around the square we suggest taking a shortcut to look in alleyways and behind buildings to find your new favorite piece.
Enjoy The Flavors Of San Marcos
There’s no better way to end a day exploring San Marcos than with a glass of whatever thrills your soul and good food.
There are four local breweries in town with unique atmospheres and flavors. Kick back, relax and enjoy live music, scenic views, family-friendly atmospheres, fire pits and lots of San Marcos charm – we have a brewery that’s perfect for whatever vibe you’re going for.
And don’t forget to buy some beer to go. We promise you’ll want to recreate your SMTXperience with hill country brews when you’ve made it back home.
More of a wine aficionado? You have to check out Patio Dolcetto for their large array of amazing wines, flatbreads and desserts.
Of course, those looking for an energetic end to their day should head to the “Downtown Square” for the vibrant San Marcos nightlife scene.
Make Yourself At Home
Need to do a little bit of business while you’re here? Let us be your guide! From small groups needing intimate settings to large conferences requiring our 3,000 guest conference center, you’ll find just the right spot in San Marcos.