If you’re headed to San Marcos Texas you’ll be surprised by how much there is to do. After spending a few days here as a guest of Tour San Marcos with Travel Mindset I learned how to spend the perfect day in this small town with big adventure . Whether you’re passing through or weekend warrioring a visit, I’ve got your itinerary covered with amazing eats, outdoor adventure, art and breweries.
Blue Dahlia Bistro or The Root Cellar
Start your day by fueling up! For a French-inspired breakfast make your way to Blue Dahlia Bistro and enjoy entrees made from organic and local products. Go savory with frittatas or sweet with crepes and treat yourself to a refreshing mimosa (available in orange, pomegranate or blackberry flavors). If you’re looking for an old-fashioned American meal, The Root Cellar has you covered. Fill up on a hearty meal while enjoying the ambiance of dining in one of San Marco’s historic landmark buildings.
Clear Kayak Tours or Glass-Bottom Boat Tour
You can’t visit San Marcos Texas without having a glass-bottom water experience. For an active excursion sign up for a clear kayak tour with a non-profit organization that uses proceeds to help local veterans. Kayaking down the San Marcos River like this brings you inches away from wildlife and Texas wild rice, a rare species of grass that only grows in San Marcos Texas. For a smiliar experience that’s less physical, a glass-bottom boat tour on Spring Lake will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the Amazon. I unexpectedly fell in love with this 30-minute educational tour and was blown away by the beauty underneath the lake’s surface.
Mermaid March or Art Squared Art Market
While exploring the town you’ll probably notice mermaids everywhere! San Marcos Texas has a longstanding love for mermaid culture which is evident by its Mermaid March. While checking out some of the 10 painted mermaid sculptures I highly suggest wearing your own scales. If you’re in town on the second Saturday of the month, pop by the Art Squared Art Market for live music and art booths by local artists. Both activities showcase local art and last as long (or as short) as you want.
Hays County BBQ or Herbert’s Taco Hut
You’re probably getting hungry, so grab a tray and “meat” at the counter of Hays Co. Bar-B-Que. Since 2009 this joint has has been voted #1 Best BBQ of Hays County and with good reason. All meats are cooked on 100% wood-burning pits in traditional Texas fashion, including the 18-hour smoked brisket. If you’re looking for an alternative to Texas BBQ, try Herbert’s Taco Hut for some classic Mexican.
Skydive San Marcos or Float Trip River Tubing
Full disclosure, during my trip to San Marcos I was unsuccessful doing both of these adventures due to bad weather, but I tried for three days! Although I didn’t jump, I recommend skydiving with a reputable company like with Skydive San Marcos to anyone! It’s one of the most exhilarating thrills possible. If an Instagram poll can’t convince you to go for it, (like it did for my buddy!) it’s a no-brainer to do a river tubing float trip. Tubing down the San Marcos River, with friends and drinks is universally recommended by locals as one of the best things to do in Central Texas.
Middleton Brewing or AquaBrew
For dinner, what’s more important than the actual food is the beer. San Marcos has an emerging craft beer scene so here’s two of the best breweries in town (and both also have solid food options!). At Middleton Brewing the Pepperhead Jalapeno IPA is a must for spicy lovers. I’m not a fan of IPAs in general, but I fell in love with this one that is brewed with 7 types of locally grown peppers! When at AquaBrew I dare you to try the AquaBrew Pickleweis, a sour white wheat berlinerweiss fermented with dill pickle juice. You’ll either love it (like me) or hate it, but just try it!
SUP Glow Night Tours
Stand up paddle boarding has become an extremely popular sport around the world, but Paddle SMTX found a way to put a unique spin on it. The idea to put waterproof LED lights on SUP boards is genius! This glow-in-the-dark river excursions is unlike anything I’ve ever done. Paddling like this transforms a dark night into a river rave (sans music) that you won’t forget. Tours fill up quickly so make sure to book a spot.
Sean Patrick’s or Zelick’s
Round out your day by hitting up San Marcos’ bar scene. For a “Irish Pub N’ Texas Grub” check out Sean Patrick’s. With live music, pool tables and more TVs than you could ask for, this sports bar has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a hipper scene, look no further than Zelicks. This 1930s gas station turned bar by two brothers has a trendy yet homey feel with signature cocktails and patio games like cornhole to keep you entertained.
THE NEXT DAY:
Just a 30 minute drive from San Marcos Texas is Jacob’s Well, a great stop for outdoor adventurers. Here you can spend up to 2 hours jumping off rocks into a 30 foot deep underwater cave. Swimming is allowed May 1st until September 30th and reservations must be made online.
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