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San Marcos

Let a spring-fed river carry you to adventure

Nestled in Texas Hill Country between Austin and San Antonio, San Marcos is a welcome spot on Interstate 35. Renowned as a prime place for “tubing on the river,” San Marcos bundles several attractions and activities into a scenic setting.

Residents of San Marcos are proud of their city’s natural beauty and strive to preserve it. A great place to start is the San Marcos Discovery Center for an overview of local parks, trails and rivers.

Visitors should also set aside a large portion of time at 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 at the verdant Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.

A glass-bottomed boat with seats on both sides.

Larry D. Moore

This recreation and education complex offers glass-bottom boat tours with close-up views of life underwater in crystal-clear Spring Lake. Species found exclusively in this region include the colorful 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 bird-watching. There’s also an exhibit hall that features a 1,000-gallon aquarium of fish native to Spring Lake.

Looking for more fun? The San Marcos River is the star of summer recreation, and local vendors offer tube and kayak rentals for visitors to relax in the pleasant current.

Land-based Delights

The area boasts plenty of land-based fun as well, from Blanco Shoals Natural Area to the Purgatory Creek Natural Area. Check out Prospect Park’s 1-mile, highly accessible crushed-limestone trail.

Not all of San Marcos can be found above ground; take a peek under the surface and discover a family-friendly destination at Wonder World Cave and Wildlife Park. The star of this theme park is the Balcones Fault Line Cave, formed by an earthquake. There’s also an observation tower, train ride and petting zoo.

For More Information

San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau



Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism