12 Hours in San Marcos

San Marcos, Texas
Photo by San Marcos Photos
San Marcos is a buzzing, growing college town with quirky eats, fun shops, and interesting tours. With our help, you’ll be sure to love what you find there!

If you’ve traveled Texas enough, San Marcos probably seems synonymous with one thing only: the outlet mall. In reality, though, San Marcos is much more—it’s a buzzing, growing college town with quirky eats, fun shops, and interesting tours. Even if you love bargain shopping, try venturing into town a bit, and you’ll be sure to love what you find. We’ve put together a list of where to start:

Breakfast: Root Cellar Café

215 N LBJ Dr

Root Cellar is a cute café that some locals claim is indisputably the best breakfast in town. How does Brazilian French toast sound? It’s a gourmet way to start the day.

The Meadows Center

921 Aquarena Springs Dr

See Spring Lake from a new angle by taking a glass-bottom boat tour! You’ll find an impressive number of turtles and other endangered species. The Meadows Center also offers educational tours and kayak tours, and a wetlands boardwalk for strolling if boats aren’t your thing.

Lunch: Herbert’s Taco Hut

419 Riverside Drive

This hole-in-the wall joint certainly lives up to its designation as a “hut,” but its Tex-Mex is unparalleled. It’s inexpensive, established, and covered in cheese—can you imagine a better lunch break from your busy day? Purchasing a jar of their salsa to take home with you is a great way to let the day live on after your 12 hours.

Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force

1841 Airport

This museum is sure to appeal to history buffs, but it’s accessible for the whole family, too. Housing and preserving aircrafts used in U.S. Military combat throughout history, the Commemorative Air Force Central Texas Wing displays history for all to see. You can even book a plane ride on one of the aircrafts!

Dinner: Grins Restaurant

802 N LBJ Dr

Grins has been around for over 38 years and has stayed virtually the same, which is not a bad thing at all. It’s a casual but classy taste of San Marcos’ college scene, and the oak tree-shaded deck is the perfect spot to sip a margarita and enjoy a cheeseburger.


Photo by San Marcos Photos

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