Top-6 best things to do
in San Marcos, Texas

San Marcos is a charming and vibrant city located in the heart of Central Texas. Known for its natural beauty, rich history, and lively downtown area, the city is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. If you're planning a trip to San Marcos, here are some of the best things to do while you're there.

Spring Lake Natural Area

What is it?
A 251-acre park with a spring-fed lake, wetlands, woodlands, and savannas. There are several trails throughout the natural area, perfect for hikers and nature lovers.

Why should you go?
Spring Lake Natural Area is an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The area offers a peaceful and scenic environment with plenty of opportunities to explore and discover different types of ecosystems. The park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including deer, turtles, and rare birds. The trails are well-maintained, and the scenery is breathtaking, making it an excellent spot for photography. The lake is perfect for kayaking or paddleboarding, and there are rental options available.

The park is also a great place for picnics and family outings, with several picnic areas and playgrounds. Spring Lake Natural Area is an easily accessible outdoor adventure that is perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.


Purgatory Creek Natural Area

What is it?
A beautiful 570-acre park that boasts a stunning network of trails that wind through scenic hills, lush forests, and crystal-clear creeks.

Why should you go?
If you're looking for the best things to do in San Marcos, a visit to Purgatory Creek Natural Area should be on your list. The park offers an excellent opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature. If you're a birdwatcher, the park's diverse ecosystem offers excellent opportunities to spot a wide range of bird species. You can also explore the park's numerous trails, each offering a unique experience, and discover hidden gems like the beautiful Purgatory Creek waterfall.

For hikers, the park has several trails of varying lengths and difficulties. The most popular trail is the Dante's Trail, which is a moderate 2.8-mile hike that offers scenic views of the park. You can also find the park's trails perfect for biking.


The San Marcos Downtown Square

What is it?
The San Marcos Downtown Square is the vibrant heart of the city of San Marcos. It is a historic area that is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, bars, and other businesses that make it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

Why should you go?
There are many reasons to visit the San Marcos Downtown Square. First and foremost, the square is home to several historic landmarks, including the Hays County Courthouse and the Old Fish Hatchery Building, both of which offer fascinating insights into the city's past. There are also several restaurants and cafes that offer a range of cuisines, from classic Texan BBQ to international fare.

But the San Marcos Downtown Square is more than just a shopping and dining destination. It is also a cultural hub that hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including music festivals, art fairs, and farmers' markets.

Five Mile Dam Park

What is it?
A well-maintained park with a large lake, playgrounds, hike and bike trails, and a multi-use sports field. Five Mile Dam Park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and it is a perfect place for outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, and picnicking.

Why should you go?
If you're looking for a peaceful and picturesque place to spend your weekend, Five Mile Dam Park is an excellent choice. The lake is perfect for fishing and kayaking, and the hiking and biking trails are well-marked and offer stunning views of the park's natural beauty. There are plenty of picnic areas and playgrounds, making it a perfect spot for a family outing. Additionally, the park has a multi-use sports field, which is great for playing sports with your friends. Five Mile Dam Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors, relax and unwind. With its tranquil atmosphere, it's a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

San Marcos River

What is it?
A spring-fed river in central Texas that runs through the city of San Marcos and joins the Guadalupe River downstream. The river is around 75 miles long and is one of the most pristine rivers in Texas. It is fed by hundreds of springs that originate from the Edwards Aquifer, which provides water to millions of Texans.

Why should you go?
To have a fun day out and enjoy a wide range of recreational activities such as swimming, tubing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The water is crystal clear and maintains a temperature of around 72 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, making it an ideal place for water activities. The river is surrounded by beautiful cypress trees and lush vegetation, providing a picturesque setting for picnics and hiking.

If you're a nature lover, you'll have plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife like turtles, fish, birds, and sometimes even river otters. The river also has several parks and campgrounds along its banks where you can spend a day or a weekend. The San Marcos River is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a fun and relaxing outdoor experience in Texas.

San Marcos Public Library

What is it?
A family-friendly working farm that offers animal encounters, tractor rides, and nature walks.

Why should you go?
San Marcos Public Library is a great destination for book lovers, students, and families. The library offers a large collection of materials in various formats, from popular bestsellers to academic texts. Additionally, the library provides free access to computers, printing, and Wi-Fi, which makes it a convenient spot for studying and research.

The library also hosts various events and activities for all ages, including author talks, workshops, and book clubs. Kids can enjoy storytimes, crafts, and STEM programs. Overall, San Marcos Public Library is a welcoming and inclusive community hub that provides resources and support for lifelong learning and literacy.