1. Middleton Brewing
This 10-barrel brewpub offers a wide range of ales, wines and locally made ciders. The pub, which opened in 2011, specializes in Belgian ales but also offers American and British styles. The brewery also has live music.
101 Oakwood Loop, San Marcos
2. The Meadows Center Glass Bottom Boat Tours
Half-hour tours in a glass-bottom boat at The Meadows Center offer a close-up experience of Spring Lake. The center also offers extended boat tours where visitors can learn about threatened species in the lake and the importance of wetlands.
201 San Marcos Spring Drive, San Marcos
3. Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park
A family-owned and -operated park since 1958, Wonder World offers cave tours and train rides through a wildlife park. It also features an anti-gravity house and an observation tower. Other attractions at the park include an arcade room, a gift shop, gem mining and a slide.
1000 Prospect St., San Marcos
4. 218 Co-op Gallery
The gallery is owned cooperatively by 12 local artists and is located in the heart of the historic district in downtown San Marcos. The gallery displays drawings, paintings, sculptures, metal arts and jewelry, both for viewing and for purchase.
218 N. Guadalupe St., San Marcos
5. Calaboose African American History Museum
This museum, set in what was once Hays County’s first jail, now holds artifacts and displays from 146 years of history. It honors local African American history, celebrating heroes in sports, music and the military. The museum offers tours on Saturdays or by appointment.
200 Martin Luther King Drive, San Marcos
6. Purgatory Creek Natural Area
As one of San Marcos’ most popular recreational areas, Purgatory Creek offers trails for hiking and biking. It covers more than 830 acres; it also features benches, bike racks, information kiosks and pet waste dispensers. The natural area follows the city’s park rules and guidelines.
2102 Hunter Road, San Marcos
7. San Marcos River
The San Marcos River, birthed from the Edwards Aquifer, provides the community with an opportunity to swim, canoe and tube. Other than providing space for aquatic recreational activities, the river is home to eight endangered species. It has also been identified as one of the oldest inhabited places in the Americas, dating back to more than 12,000 years.
8. Buda Mill & Grain Co.
Once a cotton gin dating back to 1914, Buda Mill & Grain Co. has been redeveloped into a site that provides retail, restaurant and office space for the city of Buda. The historic cotton gin offers a look into the past, and visitors can also enjoy food, wine, live music and local shopping.
306 S. Main St., Buda
9. Two Wheel Brewing Co.
This local brewery in Buda offers handcrafted beer with 12 brews on tap and brewery-exclusive beers. The brewery has live music and food trucks and offers tours of the facility on Saturdays.
535 S. Loop 4, Buda
10. Kyle Railroad Depot & Heritage Center
A railroad depot from 1917, the heritage center showcases artifacts from 1917-65. Visitors can experience the historic building through period furnishings, audio presentations and a documentary.
100 N. Front St., Kyle
11. Evo Entertainment
The family-owned entertainment theater opened in Kyle in 2014. The theater features 14 bowling lanes, a restaurant and bar, a game floor, a private event space and an outdoor music stage.
3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle
12. Buck’s Backyard
Opened in 2017, the veteran-owned and -operated restaurant serves beer and a full menu. With 15 acres of space, the establishment features live music every weekend, year-round entertainment and a dog-friendly environment.
1750 FM 1626, Buda
13. Dharma Ranch
This retreat center, located a few miles from downtown San Marcos, offers the opportunity for small-group retreats, yoga and meditation classes as well as workshops.
822 Valley View West Road, San Marcos
14. Hays City Store & Ice House
First opened as a gas station and convenience store in the early 80s, Hays City Store now operates as a full-service restaurant and bar. The restaurant serves local beers, spirits and wine. It also features an ice house and a stage for live music.
8989 RM 150, Driftwood