San Marcos—The Reasons Why We Love This City

San Marcos is a great town. Obviously it’s picturesque, with an amazing range of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. But alongside all those outdoorsy possibilities there’s this quirky, inclusive, completely unique flavor to San Marcos.

Here’s a few of the fun, strange and thoroughly unique experiences which make San Marcos the town it is.

San Marcos – Home of Unicycle Football

How can you not love a city which doesn’t just celebrate the noble art of unicycling, but which elevates the mono-wheeled pursuit by combining it with football?

Unicycle football started in San Marcos almost ten years ago, and today a glorious eight teams compete during the 56th game season.

The most lovable aspect of all this though is that far from being a niche event for unicycle fixated folks, it’s become an intense spectator experience, with each feat of wheeled athleticism generating an appreciative roar from the crowd.

It’s beautifully ridiculous fun and just one small window into the fun-loving character of San Marcos.

The Yearly Downtown Mardi Gras Parade

Every February, San Marcos holds its yearly Mardi Gras festival and parade. One of the catch cries for this celebration of inclusiveness is “no politics – just a good time.” It’s hard to fault that attitude, especially these days.

The yearly event is organized by a not for profit organization which calls itself “The Mistick Krewe of Okeanos.” Their mission is to support the music and arts in San Marcos by creating inclusive events everyone can get behind.

People from all ages, beliefs and persuasions get together and just get colorful together. It’s a yearly fixture and makes an awesome contribution to San Marcos cultural life.

People from San Marcos Love Their Dogs!

Another great thing about San Marcos—the people love their mutts! Every year, San Marcos runs its annual Mutt Strutt celebration. It’s an opportunity for dog lovers to get together and parade their furry companions down the main street.

While there’s a bunch of competitions, one of the most hotly contested is Best Owner-Dog look alike, in which dog owners go all out to prove they have the greatest claim to resemblance. How serious are they? Let’s just say wigs are used and leave it at that.

Further contributing to the event’s feel-goods, proceeds from the day all go to San Marcos Animal Shelter. Nice!

San Marcos’ Love of Indie Film

San Marcos also protests a deep and abiding love for non-commercial indie movies. Every year they hold a four day festival of indie cinema, with a solid line up of funky, weird, inspirational and off-beat movies.

The movie venues are situated all over San Marcos, so the festival ends up becoming a great excuse to delve into new corners of the city. It basically ends up being a cross between a movie night and a pub crawl, which as it turns out, is a pretty entertaining combo.

Wimberley Glass Works

San Marcos has a quiet but thriving arts and crafts scene, which is great. But Wimberley Glassworks stands out from the rest as something completely distinctive.

A gallery since 1992, it features a huge gallery of glass sculpture you can get lost in. Then you get to see it being made. The glassworks has live glass blowing sessions where you can get up close and personal with the process of turning hot sand into beautiful, translucent artwork.

San Marcos glass artist Tim de Jong has this to say about his craft: “Glass is a sensual, sexy, seductive material. Everyone wants to touch it, and everyone is afraid to touch it.” This about sums it up.

It’s something to see as one of the few active, publicly open glassworks in the nation.

Check Out a Cave on an Actual Fault Line

This is something completely unique to San Marcos. You can check out the nation’s only accessible earthquake formed cave. The Balcones Fault Line Cave has been a tourist attraction for over a century, offering a glimpse you’re simply not going to see anywhere else.

The fossils are fascinating and the cave formations are stunning, but the really unforgettable part of the tour is that you’ll get to see an actual fault line. The rift in the earth gives you a sense of the raw destruction behind tectonic upheaval.

It’s one of those unique experiences where you get a new perspective on time.

Then There’s The Mermaid Society of Texas

You’ve heard of the Mermaid Society of Texas, right? They are after all a household name. Few know that this community “united by the empowering symbol of the mermaid” are actually based in San Marcos.

While the social and civic activities of the illustrious society are too prolific to list in their entirety, their calendar of good works revolves around the San Marcos annual mermaid festival.

In what has to be one of the most creative acronyms ever devised, SPLASH (Stewardship, Preservation, Local, Arts, Sustainability, Heritage) is an annual city-wide event which celebrates the fusion of creativity and river life.

It’s a unique and colorful affair, with a fun assortment of people and organizations each capturing their own unique angle on what it means to live along the San Marcos River.  

And where else can you take part in a mermaid march?

The bottom line: San Marcos is a fun place to live and explore. That odd diversity is really one of the unique draws to San Marcos and a big reason why so many people fall in love with the place. The crew at says come visit!