One of our favorite floats, the San Marcos River is the closest river to Austin, and always seems to have a good flow! I am a little impartial to Texas State Tubes, though, because my oldest worked here one season while attending Texas State University.
The San Marcos River, originates in San Marcos at Spring Lake, where the Glass Bottom Boat Tours are and was once the home of Aquarena Springs. Here the water is crystal clear and remains that way as it flows through town.
On the West side of San Marcos, the river merges with the Blanco River, which is doesn’t run as clear and isn’t as cold, but still refreshing! A little ways down river is the put-in for most of the tubing outfitters!
Texas State Tubes is one of a couple of outfitters on the San Marcos River. They are open 7 days a week during the Summer, and weekends in the Spring and Fall. Reservations are recommended for Summer weekends, when it is very busy.
You can bring your own floats or rent one from them. Bringing your own is a little less expensive, although you have to inflate it, etc. They do have a free pump you can use!
You can also rent floats for your cooler! They have your basic tubes, and tubes with bottoms! The cooler tubes work great for dogs, too!
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 if you have one.
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!
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!
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 during the week.
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.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!
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