We’re finally approaching the end of 2021, and it was a BIG year for us here at Visit San Marcos. It was a year of change, a year with a lot of “new” and it was a year of rediscovering the things we love about the city we call home. So, here’s to doing more of the things we love in 2022. More adventure, more culture, more art, and most importantly, more San Marcos in the year to come. In fact, we’ve created a list of 22 SMTXperiences you should do in 2022. From trails and tails (mermaids, that is), to art markets and outlet malls – there are plenty of things on our list to inspire your next visit to San Marcos.
1) Enjoy An Evening In Downtown San Marcos
The fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down in Downtown San Marcos. In fact, we would say, you are only getting started! There’s always something going on Downtown and you can bet you’ll find live music, local brews and good times.
2) Dip A Toe Or Paddle In The San Marcos River
We aren’t exaggerating when we say a trip to the San Marcos River will revive your soul. Maybe it’s just the shock of the year-round 72-degree water, but we swear it works wonders… (In fact, legend has it the headwaters of the San Marcos River could be the location of the fountain of youth!)
3) Take A Selfie With All 10 Mermaid Statues
Have you heard? San Marcos is home to ten 7-foot-tall mermaids who are placed in different locations around the city. You can find a downloadable map of the mermaids and their locations HERE.
4) Journey To The Depths Of A Cave
Visit Wonder World Park to explore the Balcones Fault Line Cave - the nation's only true example of an earthquake-formed cave opened to the public. Once you’ve seen its depths, it’s time to venture to the top of the observation tower (190 feet above ground level) for stunning views of the Texas Hill Country.
5) Explore A New-To-You Trail
It seems like over the past two years everyone has discovered a new love for walks. We don't know about you, but we need to change up our true-crime podcast neighborhood walks with a journey into good old mother nature. Thankfully San Marcos has plenty of trails to choose from for adventurers of all fitness levels.
6) Light Up The San Marcos River
Take a Glow Tour with Paddle SMTX when the sun goes down! LED lights illuminate the river beneath your clear kayak for a one-of-a-kind look at the local flora and fauna below the surface.
7) See WWII Planes Up Close
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.
8) Stretch Your Legs At The Outlets
Saying the San Marcos Outlets are big is quite an understatement. In fact, to shop the entire center would require walking about four miles. You can get your steps in while also finding a few things for yourself. Shopping absolutely counts as cardio!
9) Add Some Local Art To Your Home
You’ve been staring at those same walls for a while, it’s time to add some San Marcos pizzaz to them for a fresh new look! Check out the San Marcos Art Center for pieces from local artists or visit one of our art markets for all sorts of wares!
10) See The Springs
The San Marcos 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.
11) Play A Round Of Disc Or Mini Golf
At Flying Armadillo Disc Golf Club you'll have a blast throwing your way through either the min-course or the big course with fun sculptural challenges like dinosaurs, the Alamo and more. Of course, Putt Pub, part bar and part mini-golf is a whole lot of fun! Putt Pub has two full bars, indoor and outdoor seating and food trucks
12) Taste Some Local Brews
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. Or, buy some beer to go and recreate your SMTXperience in your own home!
13) Soak Up Local Live Music
Live music in San Marcos is as unique as the city itself. From legendary career-launching stages to small hole-in-the-wall bars, you’re sure to find just the right vibe! Check here for each week’s live music lineup.
14) Find A New Favorite Mural
From mini murals hidden in plain sight to gigantic artworks that take up the whole side of a building, we are bringing them all to you! You can take the mural tour virtually or use it as a map to go see your favorites.
15) Watch Something Filmed In San Marcos
We created a list of movies and shows filmed in San Marcos for you to add to your to-watch list. Some of these are 15 seconds of San Marcos glory and some were filmed here in their entirety. Let us know which ones are your favorites!
16) Take Up Birding
Don’t forget your binoculars and clear your schedule, a leisurely day of bird watching is the perfect way to connect with nature! Go early, because you know the old saying, to see the best variety of birds and have the trails pretty much to yourself. Or, join in on the monthly bird hikes every first Saturday of the month!
17) Get Behind The Wheel Of An Exotic Car
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and more – get behind the wheel of one of Longhorn Racing’s supercars, pick your track and away you go! This is one thrill you have to experience for yourself.
18) Watch A Glass Blowing Demonstration
We are always mesmerized by the glass blowing demonstrations at Wimberley Glassworks. See them at work in their shop and purchase some of their beautiful creations from the gallery.
19) Learn About The Man, The Myth, The Legend
President Lyndon B. Johnson, the most well-known San Marcos resident, was larger than life. The LBJ Museum of San Marcos is a great place to learn all about his time in San Marcos as a university student.
20) Eat Like A Local
San Marcos restaurants are the heart (well, the stomach) of San Marcos’ unique culture. From crazy burgers to eclectic fusions and everything in between – we want you to find your new favorite dish (and tell us what it is). Enjoy your meal alfresco on patios and in courtyards or find a nice shady spot somewhere alone for a more intimate dining experience.
21) Take To The Skies And Jump Out Of A Plane
For those who love adventure, you have to see San Marcos from above - way above. One of the only skydiving locations in the country where conditions are great for jumping year-round, you should schedule a jump on your next visit to San Marcos.
22) Partake In A Uniquely San Marcos Event
The Sacred Springs Powwow, Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest, Sights & Sounds of Christmas and so much more - San Marcos knows how to keep a celebration going all year long. We hope to party with you soon in 2022!