Compared to New Braunfels, San Marcos’s tubing scene is pretty tame. Despite the proximity of Texas State, tubing in San Marcos is marketed as a family activity, resulting in fewer booze cruises and less questionable activity than in New Braunfels.
Regardless, the appeal remains the same—escaping from the Texas heat by floating in a refreshingly cold river (circa 71 degrees) through picturesque countryside with a beverage in hand. For the most part, the pace is slow and relaxing; however, there are occasional swiftly flowing areas, and a river chute on a dam creates a fun rapids effect. The entire trip takes about an hour and a half.
The best place to begin your trek (equipment rental, transportation upriver, etc.) is San Marcos Lions Club Tube Rental (at City Park off Charles Austin Dr., 512/396-5466, www.tubesanmarcos.com, open daily in the summer, weekends only Mar–May and Sept., tube rental $6–14, $14 tube deposit required).
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition