Around Campus: Summer Fun in San Marcos

San Marcos offers wide array
for outdoor summer fun

Downstream photo of the San Marcos River

The San Marcos River is a popular destination.

By Mindy Green

San Marcos is full of summer hot spots and cool escapes — especially if you know where to look. Take advantage of its beautiful climate and visit some of these nature destinations, all within a few miles of campus.

Sewell Park

Many Bobcats have already made their way over to Sewell Park to float down the San Marcos River. If you’re a tubing veteran, rent a kayak or a canoe from the Outdoor Center for a new river experience. It is conveniently located under the trees at Sewell, and is open daily from noon to 6 p.m. If water activities don’t suit you, Sewell includes two sand volleyball courts, an outdoor basketball court, grills and picnic tables.

Photo of the bridge of the river at Sewell

Float downstream in a tube, kayak or canoe.

The Outdoor Center also offers camping equipment rentals; see rates here. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, make an Adventure Trip Program reservation. If you’re new to Texas State, there are two New Student Outdoor Adventure trips coming up in August.

The Meadows Center

Glass bottom boat outside of Aquarena Center

Take a tour of Spring Lake in a glass-bottom boat.

This hidden gem is worth a visit. Formerly the grounds of the Aquarena Springs theme part, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is now a thriving education and research center. Escape the heat and cool off inside the Discovery Hall and Aquarium Exhibit located off of Aquarena Springs Drive across from Bobcat Stadium. The free exhibit includes a 5,000-gallon aquarium housing native species found in Spring Lake along with a turtle tank, endangered species aquariums, interactive videos and a six-screen video wall. Venture out onto the lake on the Wetlands Boardwalk or by taking a glass-bottom boat or kayak tour and discover its unique ecosystem firsthand.

Purgatory Creek Natural Area

Take a hike and explore the beautiful nature getaway known as Purgatory Creek. These walking trails, located within the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, also welcome dogs on leashes and bicyclists. The 570-acre area can be accessed through Prospect Park, Lower Purgatory and Upper Purgatory. Stroll along its numerous paved paths, but please take only photos and leave behind only footprints.

explore San Marcos

Find more ways to discover San Marcos through the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which provides a continually updated calendar of community events, live music performances and art activities. Discover additional green spaces in town through the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance, a volunteer organization that promotes and maintains parks and natural areas.

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