Sometimes a great night doesn’t have to involve drinking some beer or going to the clubs.
College students in San Marcos are finding and creating more ways to enjoy their weekends instead of going to the bars at the Square and waking up the next day with a hangover or an empty bank account.
Christopher Liendo, biology senior, said he prefers not to spend his nights at bars because of how easy it can be to use up tons of money on alcohol.
“By the end of the night you’ll end up spending anywhere from $50 to $100 on just alcohol and you wouldn’t even know it,” Liendo said.
Instead of getting ready to spend their nights hopping from bar to bar, some students prefer to enjoy their days in the parks and natural surroundings.
Caitlin Lliff, theater freshman, said she has lived in San Marcos the majority of her life and knows of many locations and activities to experience. The river is one of the more familiar places for college students to relax.
“You can basically go from the opposite end of San Marcos to like campus within an hour of tubing, or you could hang out by the river side,” Lliff said.
Brooke Merriman, interdisciplinary studies senior, said one of her favorite activities to do is snorkeling from the waterfall at Saltgrass Steak House to other end of the river.
“I’m fascinated with snorkeling because I am fascinated with earth science,” Merriman said. “San Marcos actually has a lot of fossils and unique rocks to it.”
Lliff said the college town offers boat tours and other educational attractions at the Meadow Center for Water and the Environment.
“If you are really into learning about what kind of a diverse place San Marcos is for animals and creatures, (The Meadow Center) is something that could be for you,” Lliff said.
Other money-free experiences include visiting some of the natural parks and trails such as Purgatory Creek, Merriman said. The city has a lot of areas for exploring, hiking and riding bikes.
“(The parks and trails) are kind of like new places to adventure to,” Merriman said. “There is always a new route every time you go; there are different things to see and different areas to go.”
Lliff said there are a number of other places to spend a Friday or Saturday night including taking friends to the Sunset Bowling Alley or the Texas Cinema Starplex 12 Movie Theater.
Merriman said she recommends checking out the several coffee shops in downtown including Tantra and Wake the Dead. Most of these venues are open till midnight, giving adventurous people a place to kick back and relax.
And of course, many more students would prefer to just stay home instead of using up their wallets at restaurants or bars.
Liendo suggests ordering a pizza and having friends over for a movie or game night. Some of the best remedies for a boring night include playing some board or video games with some buddies.
“What I like to do is play Monopoly or Jenga or some board game that is creative,” Liendo said. “If I’m at a guy friend’s house, we’ll play the PlayStation or Wii or Smash Brothers.”
Lliff said Hays County has a lot of stores, restaurants and local events to discover, in turn making San Marcos more than just a college town in Texas.
“There is so much going on and there is a rich diversity here,” Liff said. “It is not Austin, but we’ve got a lot going on here.”
Merriman said it important for college students to visit and appreciate all unique places San Marcos has to offer while getting their education.
“(The) majority of students are only going to be here for the time they are in college,” Merriman said. “This is their one time to be here and experience this local town.”