24 Hours in San Marcos, TX


7-year-old loves the glass-bottom-boat tour.

San Marcos, Texas is right on the way to almost anywhere you’re headed in Texas.  It’s right in between San Antonio and Austin and holds the Holy Grail of outlet shopping.  But, this great stop has a lot more to it than just swanky shops with great sales.  There’s a lot to miss if you aren’t paying attention.  I spent 24 hours in San Marcos mapping out a good time for you and your family.  So, don’t drive through and miss the action.

YOUR MORNING COFFEE: Definitely hit Wake The Dead Coffee House .  Try the Iced Loddy- a cold brewed coffee nutured to perfection over a 24-hour period.  If you love the vibe of this spot, you can return in the evening to hang out on the patio and listen to live music.  Plus, as you walk in there’s a sign that says, “You Are Beautiful.”  Not sure there’s a better way to start the day than good coffee and kind affirmations.

MORNING: After you’ve had the best coffee in San Marcos, hop down the road to Wimberly Glass Works.  This is a fantastic spot.  I was completely sold by their glass blowing demonstration.  These talented artists aren’t just warping and manipulating molten glass, they’re dancing through complicated choreography with dangerously high levels of heat.  If you’d like, you can chose a lighting fixture shape, size, and color and they will make it right before your eyes.  Take home a custom piece of art or just enjoy the show.

MID-MORNING: Now, for the moment some of you have been waiting for…SHOPPING!  One of the largest outlet shopping locations in the world means this could be a place you start and don’t stop for days.  There are hundreds of shops with Premium Outlets on one side of the street and Tanger Outlets on the other.  If you want to make this the last stop of the day, no one could blame you.  Otherwise, hit your highlights and stop when you get hungry.

MID-MORNING PLAN B: If you’re not into shopping and want to peel away from your group there’s a not to miss museum.  Dick’s Classic Garage showcases vintage cars from the 30’s to the 50’s.  I had no idea how much fun I’d have perusing the endless aisles of waxed up sedans, convertibles, hotrods, and motorcycles.  There’s a story for each one and some are truly one of a kind.  You can muster your inner Mad Man and imagine a life of true style behind the wheel of one of these beauties.

LUNCH: A healthy appetite has no doubt been conjured at this point.  Head over to San Marcos’ historic plaza and check out Garcia’s Mexican Food.  There are plenty of places to have lunch but this is the place where the locals order their margaritas, chips, salsa, and enchiladas.

EARLY AFTERNOON: Your group is probably ready to settle down a bit after your packed morning and delicious lunch.  Drive across town to Aquarena for a glass bottom boat tour.  Here they’ll tell you about the origin of the San Marcos River and its crystal clear water.  The water bubbling up from the spring is 5 times cleaner than the EPA recommends for drinking water.  Beautiful and always around 72 degrees.

AFTERNOON: After floating around on that beautiful and cool water you’ll want to jump in.  Change into your swimsuit and meet up with the afternoon group at Tube San Marcos.  They’ll drop you off at the top of the river, you’ll float and swim down about 45 minutes where the bus will pick you up again.  Stay and enjoy yourself until you work up an appetite.  Every body has a good time…

SUPPERTIME: This place is great, Rail Yard Bar and Grill.  Every time the train goes by the bartender calls happy hour specials.  All night long.  You have to order the fried pickles— some of the best I’ve had.  You won’t be sorry.  There’s ping pong, horseshoes, karaoke, video games, and sports on the big screens.  It’s a great way to end the day…

AFTER SUPPER: If you still have a little steam left, check out Cheatham Street Warehouse.  It’s a tin building that houses the best music in town.  Check the schedule to make sure they’ve a band on the night you’re in town.

Hope you enjoy your San Marcos tour!

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Categories: Stays on The Strech | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “24 Hours in San Marcos, TX

  1. Susan Tedder

    Tubing in San Marcos, Texas!! Who would have thought it! I was exhausted just reading about your day. Loving every story.
    Be safe and much love,
    Susan and Warren

  2. Sounds like a great place to visit!

  3. Kay W. Pricher

    Soooo was there a metallic bronze 19641/2 Mustang convertible at the vintage car museum? I wanta go to San Marcos…thanks for the tour! Love you, Mom

  4. I am a local San Marcos resident and invite you to come check out our lovely town.
    Always room for a few more good folks and we leave the light on for yall

  5. Nikki

    Glad you had a great time, we love our little town. Sad you did the eating part all wrong though. There are much better, quality options here. If you are ever back PLEASE eat at Root Cellar, Fresh Cubed or La Fanda. Spot on about Wake the Dead though, BEST COFFEE!

  6. timmytumble

    I really liked this one! Sums up San Marcos pretty well.
    A friendly edit suggestion: at the beginning of Early Afternoon, ”You’re” should be ”Your” 🙂

    • Thank you!

      • WOW~~~!!!!!! Kari,,,you are such an amazing young woman…how fun@!!!! I thought Bill and I had done alot….seeing and touring all 50 states in 19 years!!! I think you might have us beat!!! Enjoy the ride…..

  7. Kat

    Garcia’s is ok to have Mexican for lunch, but half the locals get theirs at Herbert’s instead!! 🙂

  8. denise Mallin-Wilcox

    I wanna disappear there for a while 🙂

  9. Rosanna Phillips

    Why go to fancy outlet malls when there are Mom and Pop business’s Downtown that can give you educational talking about the town..Now that is worth coming to Downtown San Marcos!!..Take the walk of all Downtown!..You will be amazed of Who and What you see!

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