Climb into an inner tube and float down a pristine river flanked by towering trees and lush parks. Descend into the shadowy depths of a cave formed by powerful earthquakes. Hunt down bargains at the largest outlet shopping center in the United States. Welcome to San Marcos, a charming town located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country with much to offer those who love the outdoor and the urban. Along with its magnificent spring-fed waterway - the San Marcos River - and all the great shopping, San Marcos has one of the largest colleges in the state, Texas State University. All of these qualities combine to make San Marcos a vibrant and diverse community that any traveler would enjoy. And its convenient location between San Antonio and Austin means it's just a stone's throw away from two of the biggest cities in Texas.
With so many things to see and do, where do you start? The San Marcos River, of course. The bubbling springs that supply the river's crystal-clear waters provide an idyllic environment for just about anyone who loves being outdoors. Go for a swim in the pleasantly warm water, which remains at a refreshing 72 degrees year-round, or rent a kayak or an inner tube and drift down the river on its gentle current. You can access the San Marcos River from one of the city's several parks that sit along the river, such as Sewell Park, City Park and John J Stokes San Marcos River City Park. Altogether, these parks combine to form hundreds of acres of recreational space.
Although there's more than enough things to do on the San Marcos River to keep you busy, it's not the only place to enjoy the great outdoors. In fact, there are five vast natural areas in San Marcos that are well worth exploring. This includes the 570-acre Purgatory Creek Natural Area, home to miles of nature trails that wind past meadows, canyon bluffs, and thickets of juniper and oak trees, an environment teeming with wildlife. All of these parks are open from sunrise to sunset throughout the year, meaning you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Texas Hill Country during any season. Speaking of nature, one can't talk about San Marcos without mentioning Wonder World Park, a unique theme park known for its show cave, the oldest of its kind in Texas.
With more than 260 outlet stores and 1.2 million square feet of retail space, San Marcos is a fantastic destination for bargain-hunting shoppers. The Central Texas town has two major outlet shopping centers - San Marcos Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlets - that form the largest outlet mall in the United States. Find deals on items from popular brands such as Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Coach, and Old Navy, then enjoy a tasty meal at one of the many restaurants in the area. For a different shopping experience, head to the boutique shops nestled in the historic storefronts that frame San Marcos' courthouse square. In addition to all the intriguing stores, the square is where you'll find numerous lively bars and restaurants.
Craft beer and wine fans owe themselves a trip to Altmeyer & Lewis Brewing Company, Middleton Brewing and Three Dudes Winery. The first production brewery in San Marcos, Altmeyer & Lewis Brewing Company is dedicated to quality and consistency in every barrel produced on site. Middleton Brewing specializes in flavorful Belgian-and American-style ales, while Three Dudes Winery crafts its range of reds and whites using grapes grown right here in Texas.
Whether you're seeking fun in the sun, some great deals on high-end products, or a fine Texas-made beer or wine, then you'll find exactly what you're looking for in San Marcos.
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