What to Do
You do not have to shove your tube down around your waist and leap over a forest of Texas wild rice along a random plot of riverbank. The city is home to several establishments that offer entrance and exit points complete with stairs, parking and a predetermined river route.
Lions Club Tube Rental: Located at City Park (170 Charles Austin Drive), this one-hour floating trail is family- and tourist-oriented. Visitors can rent tubes and ride a shuttle as many times as they please for an $10 flat rate. Shuttle rides are also available for $5 with no tubes included. The Lions Club is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Don’s Fish Camp: If your idea of summer is endless drinks, bikini tops and sunny days, then Don’s is the place to be. For $17, summer lovers can go on a three-hour float trip and receive a shuttle ride back to the beginning. Don’s, known as “The Best Float in Texas,” also offers kayak party bus rentals. Don’s is located in Martindale, approximately four miles from San Marcos.
SUP Adventures San Marcos: For those looking to actually remember their summers, get healthy and enjoy the natural beauty of the river at the same time, this is the place to visit. Stand-up paddle boarding is a new trendy way to explore the river. SUP Adventures offers rentals, lessons and tours. The cost is $15 per hour or $35 for an all-day rental.
What To Eat
Saltgrass Steak House: This well-known restaurant is located on Sessom Drive near Sewell Park, a favorite student destination. The steak house offers a classy drinks menu, a happy hour and waterfront dining with a beautiful view of the river. It is definitely a great end-of-day family destination and the perfect place to bring your parents when they’re in town—so they can pay, of course.
Grins Restaurant: A local favorite, Grins Restaurant offers the true San Marcos after-river experience with its shaded decks and rambling rooms. The laid-back atmosphere that the restaurant offers is equally suited for both a night filled with margaritas and a good time with family. The must-have at Grins is its 99-cent margaritas, offered Monday through Thursday.
Herbert’s Grocery and Taco Hut: The Rio Vista Park is home to a Tex-Mex cuisine restaurant half a block away from the tourist center on Riverside Drive. Herbert’s offers weekly lunch specials and take-out. The famous Tex-Mex restaurant has been operating for 35 years, making it a part of San Marcos history and a river tradition.