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San Marcos

Bubbling springs and a bargain-busting outlet mall shine in the Lone Star State

San Marcos entices visitors with the stunningly beautiful San Marcos River and the astonishingly clear Spring Lake, fed from 200 bubbling springs.

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Larry D. Moore

The bountiful water source has made Spring Lake one of the world’s largest aquifer-driven spring systems. The lake itself forms the headwaters of the San Marcos River.

The San Marcos Springs helped to catapult the area’s reputation as a must-see destination. Visitors can experience it all firsthand thanks to the verdant Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, formerly known as Aquarena.

The Meadows Center offers exploration of all sorts, including glass-bottom boat tours with close-up views of life underwater in Spring Lake. Species found exclusively in this region include the magnificently colored but endangered Texas blind salamander.

A lush complement to the Meadows Center is Spring Lake Natural Area, a 251-acre park that rests just above Spring Lake. The park has miles of trails open to the public for hiking, biking and birdwatching. There is also an exhibit hall that features a 1,000-gallon aquarium of fish native to Spring Lake. Visitors can follow a wetlands boardwalk to explore the area’s flora and fauna.

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Larry D. Moore

Wonder World Cave and Wildlife Park dazzles visitors with a variety of family-friendly attractions. Within the park is an entrance to the the Balcones Fault Line Cave, formed as the result of a devastating earthquake. Tours into the cavern give visitors insights into the Earth’s tectonic fury. Above ground, the amusement park features fun rides, food stands, a petting zoo and more.

Shopping, Texas-Style

When they say, “Texas size,” think San Marcos Premium Outlets. This mall’s bragging rights as the largest outlet center in the United States are backed up by 260 stores, including designer and brand-name choices that can’t be found anywhere else in the Lone Star State.

Another attraction in town is the LBJ museum, which chronicles the life of President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

For More Information

San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau

888-200-5620

www.toursanmarcos.com

 

Texas State Travel Guide

800-452-9292

www.traveltex.com