Things to Do On a Day Trip to San Marcos

San Marcos is generally known to the locals as a college town, but it actually makes a really fun day trip! It has that quaint Texas charm, without needing to drive hours to a small town, and it is absolutely perfect in the summer, thanks to the river. There are lots of ways to enjoy San Marcos, but here are our favorite things to do on a day trip.

Float the River

2024 N Old Bastrop Hwy, San Marcos, TX 78666

This is a biggie. Especially in those hot summer months, there is nothing better than gathering some friends and going tubing. There are tons of places to rent tubes — including ones that can carry coolers full of any snacks and drinks you might want — or you can bring your own, find a good spot, and get started!

Take a Glass-Bottom Boat Tour

201 San Marcos Springs Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666

Keeping with the water theme, the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment offers guided tours in boats with glass bottoms. The tours really allow you to see the wildlife in San Marcos up close in a way you’ll likely not have gotten to experience, and the guides are very passionate about the waterways and everything that lives in them. 

Go Glow-in-the-dark Paddle Boarding

500 Wonder World Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666

At Paddle SMTX, you can do night tours of the San Marcos River on paddle boards that glow in the dark. Not only is it a great way to keep cool, but it looks cool! The boards glow in different colors and illuminate the water so you’ll be able to see what’s going on underwater too.

Shopping at the San Marcos Outlets

3939 I-35, San Marcos, TX 78666

The Outlets always draw a pretty big crowd to San Marcos, after all — who doesn’t love a sale? This massive outdoor mall has loads of stores including designer brands, name brands,  outdoorsy shops, home and kitchen necessities, and you can’t miss out on a pretzel while you’re there!

Visit Downtown San Marcos

The historic Downtown Square in San Marcos is full of locally owned boutiques, restaurants, breweries, and cafés. Here you’ll be able to enjoy classic Texan and fusion foods, explore vintage goods and handmade jewellery, and listen to some live music — often by some great bands formed at Texas State!

Go Skydiving

517 Airfield Rd, Fentress, TX 78622

Yes, you read that right. Of all the things to do in San Marcos, skydiving may not be the first thing to come to mind, but it’s actually extremely popular. So head on over to Skydive Spaceland for the thrill of a lifetime!


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