Why the San Marcos River is the best float near Austin

If you’re looking for the best place float the river near Austin, Texas, look no further than the San Marcos River. The waters nice, the scenery is great, and it’s a fun group activity.

Although there are several different places to float near Austin, the San Marcos River is our favorite. Here are 5 reasons why Austinites prefer floating the San Marcos River.

Guy floating on the san marcos river

Reason #1: Cool, Clean, and Fresh.

The Edwards Aquifer feeds the San Marcos River from more than 200 openings with cool, clean, and freshwater for you to float on.

How cool is that?! While many rivers can look and feel dirty, these consistent springs help keep the San Marcos River nice and clean.

The springs also keep the water temperature in the San Marcos River at 72 degrees Fahrenheit – which feels just right all year long. While it’s cold enough to cool you down on a hot day, it’s also not too chilly to stay in and enjoy for a while.

It’s not often you get the chance to float in natural springs so the San Marcos River really is a treat.

The water just feels different.

Contemplating the brilliance of the San Marcos River

Reason #2: It’s Close To Austin.

The San Marcos River is located just 30-45 minutes from Austin making it a top tubing destination for Austinites.

Since floating the river can turn into an all-day activity, sometimes it’s nice to be close to home.

Of course, Barton Creek is in Austin but it’s not a place we recommend for tubing. If you are looking to stay in town, we recommend checking out Barton Springs, it’s a local staple and a great place to go swimming on a hot day.

Reason #3: It’s really fun and the perfect length.

There’s no doubt that floating the river is a ton of fun, and for those looking for a float with fewer kids and more adults, the San Marcos River is perfect. If you go with us, you will enter and exit at the perfect spots to enjoy about 3 hours of lazy river action (depending on water flow rates). Plus, you’ll have guides that can help you along the way should you need anything.

It’s a bit of a party compared with other Texas river floats making it perfect for bachelor/bachelorette parties, group outings, or couples who enjoy a good time.

A more kid-friendly option for floating the river in San Marcos can be found near the center of town. It’s a great float for the family since it’s short (about 1 hour), calm, and enjoyable. Not only will you float through part of downtown, but you’ll also get beautiful views of vegetation and conclude the trip at the Rio Vista Dam. For more information about where to go in San Marcos for a kid-friendly float, check out this page.

Reason #4: Everythings included, even round trip transportation.

Two girls with tubes standing by school bus

Photo by @izzymguire

Perhaps the reason San Marcos is the best river to float near Austin is that you have the option to get everything taken care of so you can sit back and enjoy the ride if you float the river with us.

For example, here is what’s included when you book an ATXcursions river float:

Some days you just want to sit back and relax and not have to worry about the details – and floating the river should be one of those days. That’s why we recommend booking your round trip float with us.

Reason #5: San Marcos is a hip town

Floating the River in San Marcos takes about 3 hours – which is the perfect amount of time to enjoy some fun under the sun. But just because the tubing comes to an end doesn’t mean the fun has to.

That’s another reason why San Marcos River is the best place to float near Austin: the town has plenty of cool spots to check out before or after your float.

And the best part? Many of them are on the way if you’re traveling back to Austin.

If you’re looking to stay near the water, check out Rio Vista Park. Or to keep the party going, you could visit a local brewery like Middleton Brewery, a fan favorite that has been around since 2011.

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