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San Marcos, Texas

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Population: 55,000+Region: Hill Country
Located on Interstate 35 between Austin and San Antonio

In addition to the well known San Marcos River, you'll find the historic downtown of San Marcos a visitor's delight. Listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, it boasts unique restaurants, quaint marketplace filled with gift shops, art and more.

The clear, cool waters of the San Marcos (72º year around) are perfect for snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and tubing. While the dam at Rio Vista Falls offers whitewater for the more adventurous.

San Marcos, Texas Day Trips Things to See & Do

There are many activities available in and around the area with one of the most visited being the San Marcos Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlet Center located on I-35... home to the largest factory outlet complex in the state.

There are also many picturesque walks and places to see in are around San Marcos. Visit the San Marcos River Walkway where 5 city parks unite. Here you'll find beautify landscaping. Also take time to make one or more of the scenic drives. One of the best known is the drive taking R.M. 12 northwest to junction with R.M. 32 - often times called the 'Devil's Backbone'. Here you'll see panoramic views of the surrounding area and find the wildflowers abundant during the months of March - April.

San Marcos Texas Outlet Malls

Aquarena Center - Glass bottom boat rides, view excavation site dating back 12,000 years. Wetlands Walkway for bird viewing. Open year round. No fee to center; boat ride does have fee. Call for more info: 512-245-7570

Historical Districts: Downtown and Belvin Street (700-800 blocks); 227 Mitchell St. Home tours first weekend in May only.

Commemorative Air Force Central Texas Wing - 1943 vintage wooden hangar at Municipal Airport. Home to 12 vintage military aircraft; museum, Admission fee. For more info: 512-396-1943

Classic Cars - 120 Stagecoach Trail, Dick's Classic Garage. Admission. For more info: 512-787-2406

LBJ Museum - The early years of the president, 131 N. Guadalupe St. For more info: 512-353-3300

Witliff Gallery - Albert B. Alkek Library, 7th Floor, No Admission. At Texas State University, literary-photographic center home to ever changing exhibits related to Southwest. Permanent galleries display costumes, props, and other memorabilia from Lonesome Dove. For more info: 512-245-2313

Wonderworld - Only earthquake formed cave where visitors are encouraged to touch and take pictures. Highlight of the tour is visit to a dark room where mineral in the cave glow in different colors. Also wildlife petting area, train ride, gravity house, and more. Open year round. Call for info: 512-392-3760

Lakes: Canyon Lake  (Lake information here)

Events: Hill Country  (Events information here

Accommodations: Hill Country  (Events information here

Cities within 50-60 miles:

Cedar Creek
Dripping Springs

New Braunfels
Prairie Lea
San Antonio
Spring Branch

Find Texas Accommodations in the Hill Country


Located in Hays County, the land located along the River was purchased in 1851 by William Lidnsey, General Edward Burleson and Eli T. Merriman. The town was a resting stop in a 3-day stagecoach trip made from San Antonio and Austin. The original industries were thanks to a gristmill, sawmill and cotton farming.

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