Welcome to Downtown San Marcos, Texas, where the magical world of mermaids comes alive during Mermaid Weekend! (September 22-24) As the Mermaid Capital of Texas, San Marcos invites you to dive into the quirky and colorful celebration. With a plethora of things to do, see, and experience, here are 10 ways to make the most of this whimsical weekend. So, grab your fins and get ready to immerse yourself in Downtown San Marcos!

Get Your Mermaid Gear

Of course, you're going to want to get all decked out for the Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest and you've come to the right place. Downtown San Marcos has several boutiques and vintage stores to shop for just the right thing. Looking for mermaid-specific items? KnD's is just the spot! Maybe you're looking for a one-of-a-kind outfit? Vagabond, Old Soul Exchange, and Love Buzz are perfect for the hunt. How about something cute and colorful but also practical for the Texas heat? Pitaya's got you covered. Whimsical accessories to keep the vibe going? Daughter Of The Wild always has the coolest stuff. And, of course, maybe you want some San Marcos swag as a souvenir? Well, Barefoot has what you're looking for.  

Breakfast Before The Big Day

Before the Mermaid Capital of Texas Parade (September 23), start your day off right with a fresh and filling breakfast in Downtown San Marcos. From cozy cafés to charming brunch spots, Downtown San Marcos has a range of options to satisfy every craving. This is also the perfect time to embrace the vibrant energy of the city as you prepare to dive into the mermaid festivities ahead. Some of the breakfast hotspots in the heart of Downtown San Marcos are Babe's Doughnut Co, Blue Dahlia Bistro, Cafe on the Square, Jo's Cafe, and Root Cellar Cafe. Be on the lookout for Mer-mosas or other fun mermaid-themed treats. 

Time To Caffeinate

If you don't want a full breakfast or just need a little pick-me-up, Downtown San Marcos has several fantastic spots to get a coffee, tea, or other specialty beverage. The Coffee Bar and Redbud Roasters are here to perk you up! Trust us, you're going to want to be energetic and alert for all the fun and excitement that's in store this weekend. Want to get your energy from a non-caffeinated source? Smoothie Warriors, The Native Blends, and Rapid Nutrition have delicious and nutritious shakes, juices, and more. 

Map of the Mermaid Parade route

Scope Out Your Parade Spot

Now it's time to find the perfect spot to soak up the vibrancy of the Mermaid Capital of Texas Parade! Seek out a spot along the parade route, where the energy is palpable and the excitement contagious. Whether you choose a cozy spot under the shade of a tree or awning or opt for a front-row spot on the street, you're in for a fun morning of mermaids, musicians, and performers. Some Downtown San Marcos businesses have prime seating options available, but they fill up fast so you'll want to get there early. Look for vantage points at Sean Patrick's, Root Cellar Cafe, and Crafthouse. So grab your friends and family, (maybe a lawn chair if you'd like to sit) stake your claim, and get ready to celebrate! *There is street parking available around the Downtown area, as well as a few paid parking lots available. The Get Around Downtown is a FREE electric shuttle that can pick you up and drop you off around the Downtown area. Learn more about the shuttle and Downtown parking HERE.

Mermaid Parade Time

The Mermaid Capital of Texas Downtown Promenade is an all-inclusive parade celebrating the history of the Aquarena Springs Aquamaids as well as highlighting local art, history, businesses, and the city’s most precious resource, the San Marcos River. The parade features floats, marchers, dancers, music, and more. You never know what eclectic floats and costumes will show up next! The parade lineup starts at the corner of CM Allen and Cheatham Street, makes its way up N LBJ St, and disperses on E Hutchison St. 

Woman in mermaid outfit shopping.

Check Out The Faire & Art Shop

After all the excitement of the parade, keep the celebration going with the Downtown Street Faire! The Downtown Street Faire is an all-day event that includes live music, a juried art market, dance performances, and food trucks. There will be LOTS of mermaid-themed trinkets to shop to commemorate your San Marcos weekend. 

Right across the street from the Downtown Street Faire is the San Marcos Arts Center. Pop in to keep your art-filled afternoon going and also enjoy some air conditioning for a little while... The San Marcos Art Center will be celebrating everything mermaid and water-themed with their annual Aquatica Show! We bet you'll find an aquatic-themed piece just begging to go home with you. 

Time To Refuel & Rehydrate

With all the excitement, walking, and time in the sun, you'll need to make sure you stay hydrated and fueled. Good thing there are many delicious restaurants in Downtown San Marcos. Relaxed cafes, light and refreshing options, delicious tacos, comforting classics, and imaginative burgers are all just a short walk away from one another giving you plenty of options to tuck into a good meal. 

Mermaid Art Photo Ops

Dive Into The Divine” can’t be missed as you drive into downtown San Marcos. The beautiful mural is located on the back of The Coffee Bar building and depicts some of the local flora and fauna, as well as a striking San Marcos mermaid. 

Another cute mermaid-themed mural that declares your love for San Marcos (we know, we love you too) can be found on the side of Putt Pub.

While driving or walking around San Marcos you may spot a few of the 7-foot-tall mermaids in different locations around the city! The Mermaid March (10 mermaid statues) depicts the rich history, culture, and wildlife of San Marcos in the different mermaid forms. There are several in Downtown, with a few just a quick walk (or drive) away. There are you can learn more about the mermaids and see their locations HERE

The Mobility Hub (214 E Hutchison St) is all decked out for the mermaid festivities! This little park is also a great place to relax or step away from the crowds for a little while if you need a breather. 

Go For A Dip

It's going to be hot out there y'all! And nothing makes a hot day better than a dip in the cool and crystal-clear San Marcos River. Just a few blocks away from the mermaid festivities, you'll find San Marcos' most beautiful natural feature. City Park, Plaza Park/Dog Beach, Veramendi Park, and Rio Vista Park are all just a quick walk from the heart of Downtown. Jump on in, the water's fine (72 degrees), and see what being a San Marcos mermaid is all about. Looking for a nighttime river adventure? Try the Glow Kayak Tours with Paddle SMTX for a unique and colorful San Marcos River experience. 

While it's always important to take what you bring and dispose of your trash responsibly, it's even more important now with our beautiful natural resources needing extra love and care. We thank you for being good stewards and showing respect for San Marcos' most beautiful feature. 

The Night Is Young, Let's Afterparty

Downtown San Marcos really comes alive when the sun starts to go down and the neon lights turn on. If you're looking for live music, cold drinks, and good times, you're in the right place! Find yourself a crisp Mer-tini, a local hotspot that's jammin', or a laid-back watering hole for a relaxing evening with friends. You can find a list of live music performances going on during Mermaid Weekend at Listen San Marcos. 

Share Your Adventures With Us

We would love to hear about your mermaid-filled weekend adventures! Share the magic and excitement with us by capturing your favorite moments and memories. Whether you discovered a hidden mermaid treasure, got a great pic of your favorite float, documented the Mermaid March, or simply experienced the atmosphere of Downtown San Marcos, we'd love to follow along. Tag us @downtownsmtx, use #SMTXperience in your posts, or upload your photos and videos below for us to share.