Keeping the Hill Country Beautiful

San Marcos

Crystal clear and calm water on the San Marcos River in the Texas Hill CountrySan Marcos slogan, ‘Keeping the Hill Country Beautiful’, drives the culture and sense of community for the area. The San Marcos River cuts right through the heart of the city and provides a calm and fun trip for anyone wanting to canoe or tube. With this feature, residents and visitors mingle for relaxing float along the river.

For tens of thousands of years, travelers and residents have marveled at the clean, clear water flowing through the area. As a result, permanent settlers formed their camps around the San Marcos river.

Officially founded in 1851, San Marcos celebrated 150 years as a town in 2001. This year long event celebrated the struggles during the Civil War, economic conditions during the Great Depression, and modern economic conditions as part of a global economy.

Texas State University also calls San Marcos home. More than 39K students take ‘Keeping the Hill Country Beautiful’ to heart. For example, the university offers many degree programs focused on preservation, water resources, biology and sustainable agriculture.

Fun Historical Ordinances

Although technology and cultures change, common themes for public safety remain the same. A fun way to learn about a city includes reviewing historical ordinances that often remain to this day on the books. As a result, San Marcos is no exception. Here are a few interesting ordinances from the town’s history:

  • Article 6: It shall not be lawful for any person to take up, or in any manner use, any horse, ox, cow or other animal belonging to another, without the consent of the owner or keeper thereof. (Thou Shalt Not Steal!)
  • Article 54: Beating drums, blowing horns, or making other unusual or unpleasant noises in the streets or other public places, provided, this shall not apply to military or other lawful processions, marching or assembling by the same. (Noise ordinance!)
  • Article 55: Maliciously or mischievously ringing any door bell or bellpull, or using any door knocker or breaking or defacing the same. (No pranksters, please)
  • Article 63: Appearing in any public place in dress not belonging to his or her sex, without permission of the Mayor. (A ruling on fanny-packs will be needed!)
  • Article 75: Riding or driving a beast of burden in or through any street, alley, square, road, highway or other public place, in a gait faster than a slow trot or pace, except in case of an urgent necessity. (Our favorite – No speeding!)

Underground Beauty

Explore ancient cave systems in the Texas Hill CountryAn exceptional way to ‘Keep The Hill Country Beautiful’ must include a visit to Wonder World. An incredibly rare, dry-formed cave occurred as the result of a massive earthquake thousands of years ago. Today, Families and visitors have the opportunity to walk through a guided tour of a dry-form cave. From this experience, your sense of respect and awe will be renewed for the natural resources in the area.

After the tour, you may want to climb the observation tower for an exception view of the area. Feel free to ‘float’ in an anti-gravity house, enjoy a petting zoo and ride a train through the Wildlife Park. Ticket admission to the park includes many features such as the petting zoo and other elements can be added as well.

Feeling young and adventurous? You must check out the ‘Rave In The Cave‘! Under World Productions presents a Hill Country experience you will forget! Join us for the hottest local music venue underground for those over 18 years old.

Time To Eat

Hungry? San Marcos will take good care of your tummy. If you are looking for something more than chain restaurants along I-35, venture into town a little further. Visitors enjoy an eclectic mix of local food ranging from traditional American flare, Tex-Mex, Asian and upscale. Palmer’s Restaurant is perfect for a romantic date, a lively lunch, a warm family gathering, or a pleasant business dinner. Aquabrew combines craft brews with exceptional food in a fun, live-music environment. A trip to San Marcos is just not complete without stopping for an amazing meal right on the river at Ivar’s River Pub.

San Marcos has embraced the outdoor with miles of trails and rivers to explore and as a result, be sure to have plenty of time in your schedule to enjoy all of them!

Beautiful courtyard to savor a drink or enjoy a regional meal in the heart of the Hill Country


Aqua Brew

Perched along the San Marcos River, offering family style meals and great drinks

Ivar’s River Pub

Settle In After A Busy Day

After a busy day shopping, seeing the sights or even floating down the San Marcos River, you’ll want a comfy place to rest. Finding the right Hill Country lodging company can help you find the perfect spot. Whether you want a luxury cabin for two or access to an entire ranch, we’ve got you taken care of.