The beautiful San Marcos River

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Less than three hours away from Houston, San Marcos is more than just a college town. It’s also Tube Town, USA. The San Marcos River runs right through the middle of the town, running through downtown as well as part of Texas State University. The city allows tubers to bring coolers and disposable containers along with them as they float down the river, which, by the way, both exceeds EPA standards for drinking water and remains at moderate 72 degrees year-round. Plenty of flora and fauna surround the banks, making for a pleasant view and providing plenty of shade as you drift along.

There are several tubing rental options for visitors, each with its own guidelines and amenities such as picnic tables and parks for kids. The Lions Club Tube Rental picks patrons up at the Rio Vista Park, where pools flow into three chutes called the Rio Vista Falls. Be warned: it’s impossible to shoot through these falls just once. And make sure to hold on tight, as it’s easy to lose your tube when it gets crowded.   

Because we know you’re already on I-10 ready to take a refreshing dip, be sure to grab the following items on the way there:

  • Waterproof Ziploc bags
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Water camera
  • Ice chest
  • Refreshments


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