San Marcos in Texas is part of the greater metro area also comprising Austin and Round Rock. San Marcos is the seat of Hays County and home to an estimated 60,000 people. Family-friendly and fast-growing, San Marcos sits 600 feet above sea level on 30 square miles of land. It grew up on the banks of the San Marcos River, fed by the San Marcos Springs.
San Marcos History
The prehistory of San Marcos dates back a dozen millennia and to the Clovis Indians who inhabited the area. They found the San Marcos River and mild climate to be ideal for sustaining life. The modern history of San Marcos traces to the mid-nineteenth century and the establishment of a planned city on a 640-acre tract. Some of the early settlers in that era were members of the Texas Rangers.
San Marcos Climate
San Marcos is known for its agreeable climate. The average annual high temperature is 80°F and the average low is 57°F. The average temperature overall is a comfortable 68°F. Rainfall averages 36 inches a year, which is fairly typical for U.S. cities. You’ll see plenty of sunshine and enjoy the relatively dry air, making San Marcos one of the more comfortable places for enjoying the outdoors.
San Marcos Transportation
San Marcos is located between Austin and San Antonio on I-35. Several state and county roads also serve vehicle traffic around the city. The average commute takes 20 minutes. The city contracts with CARTS (Capital Area Rural Transportation System) for fixed route and Greyhound bus service. Travelers have several choices for air connections, including international hubs in Austin and San Antonio.
San Marcos Cost of Living
San Marcos is a relatively affordable place to live, with costs for housing only 78 percent of the average compared to all U.S. cities. In fact, San Marcos scores well below average in every major cost category. Overall, you’ll save about 13 cents on every dollar compared to a typical U.S. city. How far will your paycheck go in San Marcos? Use these links to see.
San Marcos Schools
Public education in San Marcos is administered within two districts: the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District and the Hays Consolidated Independent School District. The city is also home to a number of private schools, as well as Texas State University, located on the pristine waters of the San Marcos River.
San Marcos Hospitals
An internet search finds 23 hospitals within 30 miles of San Marcos. Central Texas Medical Center, part of the Adventist Health System, is located within the city. The highest rated hospital in the region is University Hospital in San Antonio, nationally ranked in two specialties and high-performing in three procedures/conditions (U.S. News & World Report).
San Marcos Real Estate
The housing stock in San Marcos numbers 18,179 units (2010 census) with an owner-occupancy rate of 27.6 percent and a median home value of $137,000. Median, selected monthly costs for home ownership with a mortgage are $1,333, and the median gross rent is $939. Relatively low cost of housing and high livability ratings make San Marcos an attractive city for home ownership.
San Marcos Hotels
Where’s a good place to stay when overnighting in San Marcos? You’ll find a dozen or more choices along I-35, from La Quinta and Howard Johnson in the northeast part of town, to a Holiday Inn and Candlewood Suites on the southwestern part of the corridor. If you’re planning a visit to Texas State University, the Days Inn and Red Roof Inn are the closest options.
San Marcos Restaurants
What’s cooking in San Marcos? Plenty. As you might expect, Mexican dishes are popular in this part of the country. Sample the sour cream chicken enchiladas at Garcia’s family-owned Mexican Restaurant. If you’re hankerin’ for steaks, cut into a Black Angus Ribeye at Grins Restaurant, where they serve American grub and a variety of liquid refreshments to wash it down with. For the familiar comfort of pizza and cold beer, check out Patio Dolcetto serving flatbread pies and a nice selection of craft beers.
San Marcos Things to Do
A visit to San Marcos offers plenty of great sightseeing opportunities, from strolling the picturesque campus of Texas State University on the San Marcos River, to an excursion at Rio Vista Park for swimming, biking, hiking and picnicking. If you’re a bargain hunter, you’ll enjoy shopping for great deals at two outlet malls: Premium Outlets and Tanger Factory Outlet. And the Meadows Center Glass Bottom Boat Tours let you see into the freshwater world of the San Marcos Spring Lake.