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San Marcos ranked one of the best cities in America for eat, stay and play

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San Marcos has another title to adorn. Online travel magazine has named the city one of “America’s Best Places to Live.”

The magazine touched on the specialties of San Marcos, like the natural resources available, educational options and the active downtown area, making the city the best in the nation.

San Marcos is abundant with wildlife, while the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River and scenic atmosphere of the Texas Hill Country homes a diverse and ethnic people.

According to the America Unraveled article, these influences, from Hispanic, African-American, German and Anglo backgrounds, have given way to the culture and food which make the city rich and vibrant.

While the magazine noted that San Marcos is the “ideal location,” smacked in the middle of San Antonio and Austin, it also said the city contains 1200 acres of parks with picnic areas, recreation buildings and plenty of paths for hiking, bike riding and more.

“Greenspace galore,” as the magazine described, San Marcos promotes a healthy lifestyle with many options available for physical activity. Moreover, each Saturday morning, San Marcos hosts a farmers market with local produce and homemade goods.

Kristi Wyatt, director of communications, said the downtown area is the hub of our community.

“There are a lot of cultural experiences,” Wyatt said. “Just last month we had art galleries open their doors. We have lots of festivals, everything from our farmers market that happens once a week, to Art Squared, and we have the Swing Festival and the Corn Dog Festival. There are always things going on here.”

Last but not least, Texas State University, with its diverse student population, reaching nearly 40,000, 48 percent of which are Texas minorities. Texas State is the only higher education school in Texas to graduate a U.S. President. President Lyndon B. Johnson, a native of San Marcos, graduated from the university, and opened the largest job placing center in the country, Gary Job Corps center, in San Marcos in 1964.

Jesus Rangel, political science sophomore and student tour guide for the university, said he is passionate about San Marcos and the university because of the small town “family” environment.

“When you’re walking around San Marcos or around the school, you’re always going to see someone who’s going to say ‘hi’ to you,” Rangel said. “San Marcos is so special because the community comes together. It’s just a really great and big community that even though there are about 60,000 residents that live here, including college students, it’s going to still be that small town community that you get.”

A popular feature of the community are the food trailers located in downtown San Marcos, collectively referred to as, The Hitch. St. Pitas, the longest standing food trailer in San Marcos, was named Best Food Trailer by the University Star in 2015.

Thomas Saunders, manager of St. Pitas said the majority of their clientele are college students and Texas State is one of the best colleges in Texas to attend.

“(San Marcos) is one of the only places that you have this beautiful scenery of the local river,” Sanders said. “To me it feels like it (has) a very Austin feel to it with a lot of the restaurants and things that there are to do. But it keeps its individuality because it’s a small town.”

Named the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 and 2014 fastest-growing city and placing in the 2013 Business Insider’s list, “10 Most Exciting Small Cities in America,” San Marcos continues to delight and entertain visitors, residents and students alike.

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