With 275 glorious days of sunshine and an alluring spring-fed river flowing through the city, San Marcos, Texas is the perfect place to increase attendance at your next meeting or event. San Marcos also offers an abundance of outdoor activities and after-hours entertainment. This easy-to-reach destination is conveniently located between Austin and San Antonio, and just a short drive from their local airports. Here are a few reasons why you should plan to meet in San Marcos.

Want to get started? Find out more about meeting in San Marcos here.


Interior of the Castro Suite at the Texas State University Event Center

Meeting Refresh

Think outside the boardroom for your next meeting space. San Marcos has several nontraditional meeting options for you to consider. The Commemorative Air Force Central Texas Wing, for instance, has a 10,000-square-foot WWII wooden hangar that houses spectacular warbirds. Or maybe The Meadows Center is more your style with views overlooking beautiful Spring Lake. And of course, the newly renovated University Events Center at Texas State University is a state-of-the-art facility with 81,000 gross square feet of multi-use space.

For conventional, but no less spectacular, meeting options, San Marcos hotels are just the ticket! The Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Hotel Conference Center has 283 two-room suites, onsite catering and 78,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. San Marcos also has several venues for smaller meetings with onsite catering and accommodations.

The Hilton Garden Inn has meeting and event space for up to 200 people, featuring a 3,000 square foot ballroom that converts to three breakout rooms with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. The Holiday Inn is a full-service hotel with 3,150 square feet of meeting and banquet space. Their beautiful outdoor event space accommodates an additional 170 people. Oh, and did we mention Embassy SuitesHilton Garden Inn and Holiday Inn are all less than four miles from downtown San Marcos, convenient for attendees to have their own SMTXperience?


Glass bottom boat tour at Spring Lake

Outdoor Adventure

At the heart of San Marcos is the beautiful San Marcos River, fed by hundreds of natural springs. At a constant 72 degrees, the river provides year-round enjoyment. If you’re a thrill seeker, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling are also available to get your adrenaline flowing. For those looking for an awe-inspiring river activity, look no further than Glow SUP or kayaking, a nighttime SUP or kayak tour from Paddle SMTX where lights guide you through the water and show off the flora and fauna below.

Hitting the trails is a great way to get a natural feel San Marcos and there are plenty of urban trails for every activity level. One of the best ways to explore San Marcos is to visit The Meadows Center, where visitors can take a glass-bottom boat tour and explore the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Journey under San Marcos for a unique and adventurous activity at Wonder World Park, an experience your attendees won’t soon forget.


Woman and dog infront of outdoor mural

Art and About

Art lovers have plenty to explore in the city as well. From sculptures and large-scale murals to teeny tiny painted animals hiding in plain sight, San Marcos has a vibrant public art scene. There are even ten larger-than-life mermaid sculptures installed at various locations around the city. Your attendees will also love Wimberley Glassworks. Known for its beautiful hand-blown glass art and lighting, they invite visitors to watch artisans make the beautiful glass pieces in their onsite workshop.


Man and woman eating at restaurant with meeting group behind them

Food and Libation

No visit to San Marcos is complete without trying the barbecue! Hays County BBQ has delicious food, having earned a spot on Texas Monthly's list of Top 50 BBQ Joint In TexasBlack’s BBQ's rustic atmosphere gives a signature Texas ambiance with its outdoor seating and serve-your-own sides. This Lockhart original is a staple in the barbecue community. Even the coals used in the original pit were brought to start the San Marcos location.

Of course, San Marcos has more than barbecue to satiate your appetite. From vegan options to quaint bistros and extreme burgers to tasty tacos, San Marcos has a variety of restaurants to choose from. Looking for a place with San Marcos flair? Check out Blue Dahlia BistroIvar’s River Pub, or Industry, where you can find outdoor seating, perfect for a beautiful day.  

Craft beer aficionados will find plenty of options in San Marcos. Visit downtown and you’ll find two local breweries within walking distance from one another: Sean Patrick’s and AquaBrew. There are also two local breweries a short drive up Ranch Road 12, Roughhouse Brewing and Middleton Brewing, both great for beautiful Texas Hill Country views.


Four shoppers with bags

Shopping Mecca

Right off the interstate is the largest outlet center in the United States. Combined, San Marcos Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlets San Marcos has 1.2 million square feet of shopping paradise with 220 name brand and luxury stores. There are 20 outlet stores in San Marcos that you can’t find anywhere else in Texas: Bally, Brahmin, CH Carolina Herrera, Citizen, Clarins, Dooney & Bourke, Etro, Gucci, Invicta, Jimmy Choo, Lafayette 148 New York, MCM, Saint Laurent, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stuart Weitzman, Versace, Vince, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma. 


Planning your next meeting now? Contact the Conference Services Department of the San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau for help with all your meeting needs at 512-393-5933 or email Denise Pardo at dpardo@sanmarcostx.gov.