It's undeniable, San Marcos has a cool vibe about it. From the vibrant art scene and thriving music community to the alfresco dining and crazy awesome outdoor adventures, you're in for a great weekend in San Marcos, Texas. Grab a craft beverage of your choice and kick back for an acoustic set. Venture to Downtown San Marcos for a rockin' night on the town. Explore alleyways and behind buildings for a colorful and impactful photo op. Dig into a juicy burger, a nourishing salad, or even a bowl of curry queso under the Texas stars. And of course, you're going to want to hit the river at least once... 

Live Music Every Night

Cheatham Street Warehouse

Cheatham Street Warehouse is a true Texas music institution. It started out as a honky-tonk in 1974. Over the decades, legendary country music performers like George Strait and Willie Nelson have performed on its stage.

Today, Cheatham Street Warehouse wears two hats. It's a non-profit organization that helps nurture upcoming musical talent. But it's also still a happening live music venue. Every Wednesday night, they host their famous Songwriters Circle. The rest of the week, you can catch a variety of live music acts.

Jack’s Roadhouse

Jack's Roadhouse is the real deal, with the Texas flag proudly displayed on its metal roof. It's a place where you can relax, have a drink, and enjoy some live music. The fun starts with Blues Jams on Wednesdays, but that's just the beginning. Bands love to play here, so the music calendar is eclectic. You might hear punk rock one night and reggae the next.

The Marc

Craving live music and a night out in San Marcos? Look no further than The Marc! This award-winning, two-level venue boasts a historical setting in the heart of downtown. They host a variety of live bands, transforming the space into a buzzing nightclub. With state-of-the-art sound and lighting, multiple bars, and a spacious dance floor, The Marc promises an unforgettable night of entertainment. 

The Porch

Calling all music lovers! If you're looking for a place to catch live music in San Marcos pretty much any night of the week, then The Porch is your spot. It's a local favorite, and for good reason. The Porch features live music throughout the week, with a wide variety of genres to keep things interesting. Whether you're into belting out your favorite tunes at karaoke (think Loki Karaoke on Mondays or You Wanna Wednesdays) or swaying to the rhythm of a live band, The Porch has something for you.

Tantra Coffee House

Tantra is more than just a coffee shop; it's a vibrant arts hub in the heart of San Marcos. Whether you're an early bird or a night owl, Tantra has something to offer. 

Some start their mornings with coffee art and bagel, and tea drinkers find whole-leaf teas to sip. Live music fills the air on Tantra’s outdoor patio as the day fades. From its Bluegrass Wednesdays to Singer-Songwriter Sundays, Tantra is a creative hub for San Marcos.


Surrounding the bustling San Marcos Square, Wildfire has burst onto the scene as the hottest new nightclub. This massive venue boasts a dance floor exceeding 6,000 square feet, perfect for letting loose and grooving to the music.

Live music takes center stage, with a special fondness for country music on their "Square Dancin' Wednesday" nights. Get ready to two-step and line dance! As the week progresses, the DJs take over, spinning energetic tunes and keeping the party going late into the night. 


Inside this 1930s gas station, Zelicks has cold craft beer on tap and a full bar. Outside, there’s a tree-shaded patio with a food truck slinging burgers and Tex-Mex favorites. For live music, Zelicks hosts bands on game weekends and holidays. 

Vibrant Art Scene

 One of the most important San Marcos cultural staples is the blossoming art scene. With an ever-growing collection of muralssculpturesgalleries 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 the gorgeous pieces.

You never know what you’ll find exploring San Marcos 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. And speaking of favorites, don’t forget to share a photo of your favorites on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #SMTXperience! We’d love to see your shots.

Find a list of current exhibits around town here.

Upcoming Art Markets

San Marcos Studio Tour

A unique way to experience the art scene in San Marcos is to meet the artists in their creative space. The San Marcos Studio Tour begins with a kick-off event at MotherShip Studios on April 5th at 7pm. Mix and mingle with the artists and check out the group exhibition that showcases work from all the participating artists. The self-guided tour of studios will run through the weekend of April 5 - 7, allowing you to glimpse where the magic happens. Paint-splattered floors, garage studios, bright-colored materials and tools, and inspirational spaces give an intimate connection to the San Marcos art community. 

Dine & Imbibe In The Sunshine

Patios, sidewalk seating, courtyards, and more – taking your meals (or beverages) outside allows you to change the atmosphere, soak up some fresh air and support local businesses simultaneously! One of the great things about San Marcos is that we have lots of options for you to choose from.

We are lucky to have three local craft breweries with outdoor spaces and patios for you to enjoy al fresco. Create your own brewery adventure by getting a brew at each or plop yourself down somewhere cozy where there’s live music, good food, or even a fire pit for a more laid-back experience.

River Adventures

Whether you’re dipping a paddle or your toes, the San Marcos River is a must-visit while in the area. The crystal-clear water bubbles up from hundreds of springs in the middle of town at Spring Lake and stays 72 degrees year-round – making it a great spot no matter what the weather has in store. 

While there's no wrong time to enjoy the San Marcos River, paddlers can enjoy the river all to themselves when tubing season isn't in session. Or, head out for a morning paddle in the summer when most folks don't start showing up to the parks until it starts to get a little hotter. (7-10 am is usually a good window)

If you're looking for a peaceful, easy paddle, head to the upper San Marcos River that flows through town and avoid the rapids at Rio Vista Park. If you're in for a more rugged paddle, the lower San Marcos River may be more your scene with its stronger currents and murkier waters that make for excellent fishing if you're interested. And, adrenaline junkies with an interest in white water kayaking will love the Rio Vista Falls in the off-season. 

As it is with all nature adventures, be sure to pack out all that you have brought with you. For a complete list of park tips and rules, please check HERE.