San Marcos

The busting home of Texas State University with a gorgeous river running through town

Welcome to San Marcos


The busting home of Texas State University with a gorgeous river running through town
Located on the San Marcos River, San Marcos, Texas feels like it is still a small town, although Texas State University makes sure San Marcos also provides modern amenities, entertainment, and culture. San Marcos is located along I-35 between San Antonio and Austin, and Austin can be reached in half an hour. It is an easy commute for those working in the city that want a quieter place to call home. There are lots of gorgeous historic Victorian homes in downtown San Marcos, while there are also newer subdivisions such as Blanco Vista, including the first master-planned community.
San Marcos offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Besides the historic charm of the downtown, there are plenty of restaurants and bars plus boutique shops and stores in the recently revitalized town square. Some favorite places of note include the Blue Dahlia Bistro and the Root Cellar. Near town there are outlet malls, and like the rest of Texas Hill Country, you’re never far from being able to enjoy the great outdoors. Biking, hiking, and tubing on the San Marcos Rivers are some of the locals’ favorite outdoor activities. Rio Vista Park is also popular for getting outside.

What to Love

  • Small town vibe with ample activities
  • Historic city center with timeless appeal
  • An eclectic array of shopping opportunities
  • Easy access to the outdoors, especially water sports
  • Home to Texas State University

Local Lifestyle

Living in San Marcos feels a bit like being transported back to an earlier place in time. A time when life was simple and a bit more relaxed. While there’s plenty going on here, this small city feels like a small town with a nice suburban feel. It’s a peaceful place to live and locals love the charm of the historic town center with the overall calm atmosphere in San Marcos. The growth of the university has led to the town also growing, but it hasn’t lost the small-town charm that makes its residents love calling it home.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

With a university in town, it shouldn't be a surprise there is quite a bit to do in San Marcos. Blue Dahlia Bistro prides itself on using organic and locally produced ingredients in its food and it offers a nice variety of dishes. The Root Cellar Cafe serves made from scratch homestyle food and is a local favorite and crowd-pleaser. San Marcos BBQ offers up the best barbecue around.
For shopping, there are lots of great options at the San Marcos Premium Outlets with stores from Prada to Gucci, to Brooks Brothers. There is also the Tanger Outlets right next door. There is great shopping in the downtown area of San Marcos around the historic city square as well. Twice Blessed Vagabond Vintage has a great selection of vintage clothing. KnD’s is a mother and daughter owned and operated outfit that has cute clothing.

Things to Do

Besides enjoying the charm of downtown, the local restaurants, and shopping, there are a variety of other things to do in San Marcos. Lyndon Johnson attended Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University) in San Marcos and a small museum is devoted to his time here. 
Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park offers lots of fun activities for kids. The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is another neat attraction. This site was formerly the Aquarena theme park, famous for its glass-bottomed boats. Texas State University later bought the site, and recently it was turned into a water conservation and research center. 
There are plenty more outdoor activities in San Marcos. The Rio Vista Park is great for a swim, a kayak trip, tubing down the river, or just catching some rays along the riverbank. Purgatory Creek Natural Area and the Five Mile Dam Park are other nice green spaces in San Marcos.


The San Marcos Consolidated ISD school district serves San Marcos. Some schools in the city are:
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