One of the most underrated rivers in Texas is the San Marcos, with sparkling clear water, it’s really amazing, and it’s the closest river to Austin for tubing! We love Lions Club Tube Rental, which is right in San Marcos!
The staff at Lions Club is great, and can get you right in the water as they sit right on the river!
Credit cards are accepted, and they offer lockers to hold your car keys and wallets.
They also give you a trash bag. Please use it!
There is a real restroom (as opposed to port-a-pottys) where you can change.
Of course, they have tubes, both with bottoms and without, but my son wanted to take Geoff, his pink flamingo float, instead.
There are great steps leading down to the river, so it’s easy to get in your tube, too!
Wear water shoes so you don’t slip on the algae on the steps.
It’s about an hour float, which is great for kids! You’ll pass by a fun island where kids like to jump in the water.
Bring snorkels and enjoy a leisurely swim down the river while seeing the fish and animals in the clear water. Wear a life jacket or bring a pool noodle to help stabilize you in the water.
Just a heads up, there is a lot of water vegetation in this part of the river. If you stay in your tube you’ll probably never notice, but if your kids prefer to swim more than tube, it might be a problem. It is for my daughter, who prefers to snorkel down this river but wants a tube with a seat if we are floating.
Lions Club ends at the falls. They ask you not to take the tubes down the series of 3 falls, because if you fall out it could get away from you. When you turn in your tube you will get a token for a shuttle ride back to your car.
The falls are at Rio Vista park, and we usually stay here and float and play in the water for a while. There are big rocks to just sit on, but there is a pretty good current here, also.
Ivar’s River Pub is right on the river bank, and sometimes we go eat on the patio (if I kept my credit card with me).
It’s a short ride back to the park. Sometimes just one of us will ride the shuttle back to grab the car, and drive to pick us up at Rio Vista park. The park does get busy, and parking is limited. If you have your own tubes, you can save a little money by doing this, also.
My son did take Geoff down the falls several times, and we just waited down river to catch Geoff if he fell, which he did a few times. It’s fun to watch as people go down the falls, and they bring all sorts of floats to attempt it, also!
Bringing your dog? Dogs are allowed on the river but because it’s in town I’d be sure to keep them in a tube with you at all times. They will even shuttle your dog back.
Things To Do in San Marcos
Take a Glass-bottom Boat Tour of Spring Lake!
Wonder World Cave and Park takes you on a tour of an earthquake-made cave, then to see a petting zoo, anti-gravity house and observation tower!
Right at the pick up, there is a fun restaurant called Ivar’s River Pub, and we love it. It has a great view of the river, a patio if you have a dog, and often live music on the lawn!
Lion’s Club Tube Rental
City Park, San Marcos
Click HERE to visit their website.
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