A cheeky reusable container peeks out over the edge of a personal cooler on the banks of the San Marcos River

Coming to play in the San Marcos River?
We have a few new rules to keep in mind when planning your visit.

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Things To Do In San Marcos, Texas

San Marcos, Texas is a groove. An experience. Where you can dip a paddle, day or night, in the spring-fed San Marcos River and hike trails in nature preserves, all right in the center of town. Immerse yourself in art, stroll past murals and be mesmerized by fire painters in the same evening. Or just make a space and dance when the rhythm moves you. Come to San Marcos to start your #SMTXperience.

Play Big At The River
Playing in the San Marcos River doesn’t have a season—it happens year ‘round. The water is always 72 degrees, so it feels just as good in November as it does in June. The San Marcos River bubbles up from hundreds of springs right in the center of town. Come view this for yourself on a Glass-Bottom Boat Tour on Spring Lake at The Meadows Center. Visitors and locals alike enjoy water sports and recreation such as stand-up paddling, kayaking, tubing, and surfing the falls. Athletes prepare for the kayak Olympic trials at Rio Vista Park rapids during the fall and winter months.

Shop Big At The Outlets
More than 220 stores and 1.2 million square feet of shopping heaven make the adjacent San Marcos Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlets the largest outlet center in the country. San Marcos is the only outlet location in Texas or even the central US for these designers and name brands: Bally, Brahmin, CH Carolina Herrera, Citizen, Clarins, Dooney & Bourke, Etro, Gucci, Lafayette 148 New York, MCM, Saint Laurent, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stuart Weitzman, Vince, West Elm, and Williams-Sonoma. And of course, amazing discounts of up to 65% off retail are hard to resist.

Expect the Unexpected
The arts in San Marcos can be found where you least expect it. There are surprise murals in parks and hidden alleyways plus local art is incorporated into wine bars, bistros, and coffee houses. Downtown galleries, Art Park, and Texas State University exhibits and performing arts provide plenty to see and do. The Mermaid March uses the rich history, culture, and wildlife of San Marcos in the different mermaid forms. At Wimberley Glassworks on the edge of town, visitors can watch as artisans demonstrate centuries-old glassblowing techniques and shop the gallery.

More Than Just A Pretty Face
San Marcos is a natural beauty with an extensive urban trail system. Native wildlife and migratory birds abound in the more than 2,100 acres of greenspace within the city limits. Miles-long natural trails are available for hiking, biking, and trail running. And the first half to full mile of most natural area trails are ADA accessible so people of all activity levels can enjoy the outdoors.

Cool Shops, Hot Spots
The San Marcos Downtown Square is filled with eclectic shops, boutiques, and local eats. Choose from home-cooked treats or fresh chef-inspired cuisine to fuel your evening excursion. Just want a cold beer and a game of horseshoes? Maybe a quiet courtyard with the perfect margarita? How about a cool rooftop deck? No problema. And if craft beer is your passion, San Marcos has four breweries to keep you busy.

Back To The Future
Diverse history abounds in San Marcos. A stroll through Residential Historic Districts and the heritage sites at Veramendi Plaza will transport you back to a simpler time. At the Commemorative Air Force Exhibit located in a 1943 vintage wooden hangar, you can get up close to rare working WWII planes including ones used in the film Tora, Tora, Tora. The LBJ Museum of San Marcos provides a personal glimpse into the life of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s formative years as a student at what is now Texas State University.

San Marcos by the Seasons