San Marcos is a small city by Texas definitions, with only 54,000 people living there as of the last census. This city has all the earmarks of a Texan town, including a great atmosphere for raising families, fierce pride in community, and an enthusiasm for sports that's deeply rooted in the town culture. Texas State University is found in San Marcos. In addition to the University, the town is well known for shopping. San Marcos Outlets has acquired a global reputation. With two rivers and several creeks running through the city, it is also considered one of the most beautiful cities in the state.
The vacancy rate in San Marcos is a little higher than what you see on average across the country. This is good news for apartment shoppers, who should have a few more options available to them. If you start shopping two months before your move-in date, you should have lots of time to find a great apartment.
Because of the high vacancy rates in San Marcos, you may be able to have your pick between a few apartments. Looking for amenities, especially air conditioning is a very good idea, as many moving from more northern states will have difficulty with the intense summer heat in San Marcos.
Given the small size of San Marcos, getting around is never really a problem. Most residents choose to drive, especially because commuting between the surrounding areas and San Marcos is most convenient by car. The town is also small enough that a bicycle can make a very efficient vehicle, although the steep inclines in town may prove challenging to the beginner cyclist.
The river provides such scenic views in San Marcos that many of the city's best businesses and entertainment establishments are situated on its banks. Walking along the river will yield beautiful parks and the best dining in the city. If live music is your thing, the Triple Crown has a very eclectic mix of live performers throughout the year.
The Meadows Center offers visitors with a very unique opportunity to see underneath the San Marcos River. Glass bottom boat tours allow you a view of life under the river, as well as the unique geological formations and springs that form the river. If you love classic cars and the golden age of the automobile, then you should stop by Dick’s Classic Garage, which features a collection of cars from 1900 up to the 1950s. Wonder World Park is a leading attraction in the area. It features cave tours, an observation tour, waterfalls and more
Although people from a few other states might beg to differ, most Texans will tell you that the best BBQ in the world is found in the state. In San Marcos, one of the most universally acclaimed BBQ restaurants is Hays County BBQ, and time in town wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the establishment. The Root Cellar Café practically defines cool, with a funky venue decorated with the works of local artists, in-house beer, and delicious American food. Palmer’s Restaurant specializes in the local cuisines from the hills of Texas. A good beer and wine list accompany the great food.
If you like football or basketball along with your beer, then Treff’s Tavern might be up your alley. This sports bar features affordable specials and lots of TV screens so you can always catch the game you're interested in. If you're the kind of drinker who likes a large selection of beer available, then Zelick’s Icehouse is probably your best bet in San Marcos. The Gray Horse Saloon offers the typical dive bar experience, with cheap drinks and a crowd that will be happy to go all night. Jack’s Roadhouse is renowned for having some of the friendliest service in town. The food and drink is cheap, and Wednesday night’s the bar hosts a karaoke night.
A great way to get exposed to the local culture of San Marcos is to take in some musical performances. The Triple Crown, the Texas Movie Theatre and Riley’s Tavern are just a few of the great places where you can see live music in San Marcos. Culture is also found in several of the city’s museums, including the LBJ Museum San Marcos. Lyndon Baines Johnson attended college in the city, and the museum focuses on his younger years. A great place to see visual art in San Marcos is at the University. Texas State University – San Marcos is home to two galleries, simply named University Galleries 1 and 2, which feature a permanent collection and rotating exhibitions.
Throughout the summer months, the San Marcos Downtown Square becomes home to the Saturday Farmer’s Market, where you can get the freshest food in the city straight from the producer. In the fall, the Wine and Wassail Walk, and in spring, the Spring Wine and Art Walk are events the whole city looks forward to. They provide a great opportunity to tour local shops while sampling the best in local food and drink, combined with live entertainment throughout the evening. Float Fest is a combination between a music festival and a river festival, with the crowds tubing at Cool River Ranch in the morning, and then enjoy evening concerts featuring world-class acts.
San Marcos is actually a destination for outlet shopping. People come from quite far away to take advantage of the truly spectacular deals that can be found at the San Marcos Premium Outlets, or that the Tanger Outlets. Both of these centers feature outlets of brand name stores that offer extremely discounted prices. The Downtown Square offers a totally different shopping experience. Instead of the large stores from brand name retailers, this part of San Marcos features independent stores that are mostly owned and operated by the locals. The shops are housed in a historic and hip neighbourhood, adding to the overall eclectic feel to the downtown shopping experience.
As the home of Texas State University, San Marcos is a great city for NCAA sports. The University is the fourth largest in Texas, and the Bobcats are a Division I Sunbelt Conference competitor. Football, baseball, and basketball are all popular with the local fans. The Bobcats maintain a rivalry with the University of Texas San Antonio Roadrunners, and football games between the two schools have fantastic amounts of energy and support from the people of San Marcos. The rivalry crosses over into all other sports as well, and is known as the I-35 Orange Vs. Maroon Rivalry Series.
The pride of San Marcos is certainly the San Marcos River. It is a beautiful place to raft or kayak, and walks by the riverbank are the most scenic in the city. Blanco Shoals is a roughly 81-acre park that is completely untouched by man except for a few trails built through the trees. The Purgatory Creek Green Space is much larger at 570 acres, with miles of trails throughout. The area is a favourite of local birdwatchers as well. If you like your outdoor time to be a little more civilized, there are several great golf courses in the area, including the Quail Creek Golf Club.