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Tribeza’s Guide to San Marcos, Texas

Heading out to the beautiful Hill Country and want to experience all that San Marcos has to offer? Look no further than the guide below to get the most out of your time in this charming city located right between Austin and San Antonio.

(photo courtesy of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment )

San Marcos River

211 San Marcos Spring Drive

Take a splash in the year-round 72-degree San Marcos River with water activities, such as tubing and kayaking. For a unique experience, take a glass-bottom boat tour on Spring Lake at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. Rio Vista Park also provides access to the river with 14 acres of hiking and biking trails, alongside quaint picnic areas.

(photo courtesy of The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University)

Texas State University

601 University Drive

Head up to the seventh floor of the Albert B. Alkek Library and learn about Texas, the Southwest and Mexico through storytelling at The Wittliff Collections for free admission. If you’re looking for a night on the town, attend a top-notch performing arts show, including theatre, music and dance performances.

Gucci / Premium Outlet, San Marcos TX

San Marcos Premium Outlets

4015 I-35 Frontage Road

With over 210 name-brand and luxury stores, the San Marcos Premium Outlets is a massive Texas shopping mall. There are nearly four miles of shopping, food, rest and relaxation. Annually, there are more shoppers than residents in San Marcos!

(photo courtesy of Patio Dolcetto)

Patio Dolcetto

322 Cheatham St.

Established in 2015, Patio Dolcetto is a laid back local wine bar operating out of a 100+ year-old house. It offers a collection of wine, naan pizzas and small bites. Designed for relaxation, Patio Dolcetto embodies the San Marcos River and the Texas Hill Country.

Photo by Seth Katz

Zelicks Icehouse

36 West Hopkins St.

Set in a 1930s gas station, Zelicks Icehouse is a full bar comprised of TVs, games, a pool table and a patio. Zelicks offers a selection of handcrafted cocktails, beer and bites, with an emphasis on Texas favorites.

(photo courtesy of The Coffee Bar)

The Coffee Bar

142 North LBJ Drive

Located in a 100-year-old building, try out local hangout, The Coffee Bar. Be sure to grab a handcrafted hot or iced espresso and a scratch pastry from their delicious menu. Stop by in the evening to enjoy a selection of beer or wine to dive into weekly live music.

(photo courtesy of Jo’s Cafe)

Jo’s Cafe

310 Mary St.

Located in a quaint side of town, Jo’s Cafe offers some of the area’s best coffee, breakfast bites, lunch, and treats. If you’re looking to study, catch up with friends or sit down for a delicious breakfast, this is absolutely the spot for you. Parking can be limited, so plan ahead!

(photo courtesy of Alvin’s Ord)

Alvin Ord’s

204 University Drive

Grab your friends and enjoy the best sandwich in San Marcos at Alvin Ord’s. Made with fresh-baked distinct sourdough buns, indulge yourself in the famous original Salvation sandwich. To leave your mark on the shop, bring some pens and write in the decades-old graffitied booths!

(photo courtesy of Mochas and Javas)

Mochas & Javas

700 North LBJ Drive

With multiple locations across San Marcos, Mochas & Javas has a spot for everyone. Serving bakery treats and delicious coffee, this cafe offers seating for homework, friends and fun. With a mission to serve the finest quality beverages and food to their guests, this local gem is dedicated to every product they serve.

(photo courtesy of Palmer’s Restaurant and Bar)

Palmer’s Restaurant Bar & Courtyard

218 Moore St.

Since 1978, Palmer’s Restaurant Bar & Courtyard has been serving up regional fusion cuisine from New Mexico to New Orleans in the beautiful Hill Country. With a long and wonderful history, this San Marcos icon is home to its infamous Mexican martinis and various brunch, lunch and dinner menus. The restaurant also offers private dining throughout the space.

Photo courtesy of Root Cellar Cafe

Root Cellar Cafe

215 N LBJ Drive

As a staple San Marcos restaurant for 17 years, Root Cellar Cafe offers a large menu from breakfast to dinner. Paired with beer or wine, this restaurant strives to bring its community together through great food and wonderful service. They specialize in upscale casual dining using locally sourced fresh food.

(photo courtesy of Crafthouse Kitchen & Tap)

Crafthouse Kitchen and Tap

242 N LBJ Drive #103

Owned and operated by Texas State alumni, Crafthouse Kitchen and Tap is a local pub fare. With craft beer and live music in an industrial-like space, enjoy the chic fireplace and patio with your friends. The menu is extensive, so plan for a weekday burger or wing and a weekend brunch.

(photo courtesy of Gil’s Broiler & Manske Roll Bakery)

Gil’s Broiler & Manske Roll Bakery

328 N LBJ Drive

It wouldn’t be a stop in San Marcos without grabbing a famous Manske Roll at Gil’s Broiler & Manske Roll Bakery. When the restaurant opened in the 1940s, former President Lyndon Baines Johnson would always find a way to his beloved Manske Roll when he found himself back in San Marcos, after graduating in the 1930s. This local icon also serves delicious burgers and fries.

Photo courtesy of Valentino’s Pizza

Valentino’s Pizza

110 N LBJ Drive

With an extensive history dating back four decades, Valentino’s Pizza pays tribute to the restaurant and its pizza. Comprised of two full bars, a patio and an open kitchen, this establishment slices up pizza and its iconic bread stick recipes, all while bringing the fun to San Marcos.

(photo courtesy of Grins Restauraunt)

Grins Restaurant

802 N LBJ Drive

Located around a tree-shaded deck, Grins Restaurant is a staple with the college crowd. For over 40 years, Grins has served up world-famous hamburgers and Texas-sized onion rings to its beloved San Marcos community. As a unique restaurant built around a tree, Grins continues to provide smiles to college students and those alike. Be sure to try their iconic 99-cent happy hour margaritas!

(photo courtesy of Truly Pure Refillery)

Truly Pure Refillery

331 W Hopkins St. Unit 106

Truly Pure Refillery was created to provide San Marcos with a new sustainable way of living. Through reusable containers, customers have a variety of high-quality all-natural products including hair and body care, bath, laundry and zero-waste items. The atmosphere of this small business is sure to please every environmentalist and those alike!