Texas State Tubes, San Marcos

My oldest is still in the process of choosing a college, and we visited Texas State University in San Marcos!  He’s free to choose whatever school he wants, but I think my husband and I both agree that we’re going to enroll at Texas State! With the campus just feet away from the San Marcos River, we both know we’d never get off the river to go to class!

After our tour, we headed over to Texas State Tubes, one of the MANY outfitters on the San Marcos River!  It was a slower September Sunday, and while we didn’t have the river to ourselves, it wasn’t crowded at all!  The river was moving just perfect, with plenty of little riffles and rapids to keep it fun!

The San Marcos River is the closest river to Austin, and always seems to have a good flow!


During the summer, they have several parking locations, where you can get on the river.  In September, we just headed to their headquarters in Martindale.


My nine-year-old was ready to go!  He’s a great swimmer, and just started on the swim team, but I still make him wear a life jacket!


We grabbed a tube!  You can also rent floats for your cooler!  They have your basic tubes, and tubes with bottoms!  For $11, you can bring your own tubes and they will shuttle you.


You can arrange for a shuttle from Downtown San Marcos or even Austin, or you can just drive to them and they will shuttle you to the river!


The river was clean, clear and chilly!  It felt amazing!

Be respectful of private property along the river!


Huge cypress trees line the river banks, providing shade!


I don’t know why my kids bother with a tube, for most of the river they just want to swim along with us!  It’s a great reason to always bring a rope to tie the empty floats to you, so you’re not holding them all!

They have a limited number of life jackets, so bring your own.


There were a few fun little riffles along the way!


Why float with one tube when you can have 2?


It is so relaxing and fun!  If my son chooses Texas State, he’ll get to do this all the time!


I bring a water bag, that I can keep things I don’t mind getting wet, and a dry bag, for things like my car keys!  Even though my camera is waterproof, I have a float on it, just in case I drop it!  Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Water shoes are always a good idea!


The sign means it’s time to get out!


The take-out is right where you parked your car, so it’s easy-peezy!

Know Before You Go

Don’t bring anything you can’t replace, such as prescription or expensive sunglasses, cell phones, or your only set of car keys.

If you do bring your car keys, take off the remote and add a floating bobber.

Well-behaved pets are a blast on the river! Just remember they must be leashed, and you still need to clean up after them!  They do allow dogs on the shuttles, but they are discouraged on holiday weekends!

For a less crowded river, go early and try to go on a weekend!

Save some money and arrive during their first hour open for $11 tubes!

Things to do in San Marcos


The Glass Bottom Boat Tour at what was once Aquarena Springs is wonderful!  Click HERE to read more!

Explore inside Texas at WonderWorld!  Click HERE for more information!

Dick’s Classic Garage is a classic car museum!  Click HERE to visit their website.


Check out Grins Restaurant!  Click HERE to visit their website.

Texas State Tubes

101 River Park Drive, Martindale

Click HERE to visit their website.    

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