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San Marcos/Austin

Boston
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San Marcos/Austin

We are headed to San Marcos in August and staying for a month at Embassy Suites. What is near the hotel? Is there in walking distance and is it a safe area? We will have 2 teenagers with us and they get "antsy" and would probably like to venture out for a run/walk in the late afternoons --

Also, on a couple of Friday nights we are all going to head up to Austin at rush hour (to pick someone up / drop someone off) at the Austin Airport . What can we expect for traffic??

We had friends who went to San Marcos a couple years ago and said 2 weeks just was not enough time. Any tips you have would be great. I need to make this a good / safe trip -- once we get back the kids start school right away....

13 replies to this topic
Austin, Texas
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1. Re: San Marcos/Austin

A month in San Marcos? What are you planning to do for a month? With that much time, I hope you'll spend some in San Antonio and some in Austin. San Marcos is a cute town, but the biggest attractions are the outlets and Schlitterbahn Water Park, so I'm not sure you can spend a month visiting those two places.

The Embassy Suites is right off of I35, a major interstate highway. It's close to the San Marcos outlets, but I wouldn't walk along the interstate frontage road to get there. To the best of my knowledge, there really isn't a neighborhood around there where you can go out for a run/walk in the afternoons, and keep in mind that in the afternoons it will probably be over 100 degrees in August.

San Antonio, TX
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2. Re: San Marcos/Austin

I have to agree with Mr. Ted - San Marcos in itself is a small one horse (university) town. I could do a thorough tour in a couple or three days.

Schliterbahn is actually in New Braunfels (20 miles or so.)

Now, if you're going to use it as a base that makes more sense. San Marcos is in a great location to get to Austin and San Antonio. There is plenty do within a hundred mile radius of San Marcos.

Please give us a little more info and we can give you specific recommendations.

Boston
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3. Re: San Marcos/Austin

We are going to use it as a base, we are planning on going to Austin, San Antonio and the places around.

My major concern right now is which is the better airport for folks to fly in and out of? I have heard that Austin was the better choice --

How is traffic getting out of San Marcos on a Friday evening at rush hour to get to the Austin Airport??

San Antonio, TX
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4. Re: San Marcos/Austin

Traffic in Austin is much worse than San Antonio. That said traffic along I-35 in both directions is going to be bad on a Friday evening. I would choose SA and plan accordingly.

Lockhart, Texas
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5. Re: San Marcos/Austin

Well, you're on the highway, which isn't a position from which to walk to much of anything, other than around the area of the hotel. Perfectly safe as anywhere, but no real activities. If you cart the kids into town, the San Marcos River is a very nice tubing and kayak venue without being infested with drunks. Tube and kayak rentals, etc. Entire tubing run within the city. Stunning river. If they're teenage boys and you're there in late August when the university is getting back, they may not be eager to get away from the park area near the university where they may be agog at the *sights*. The outlet malls not far from the hotel are massive and good for multiple walking tours without seeing it all. Think enormous shopping center.

As to going to Austin-Bergstrom Airport during rush hour, you need to know how to go to avoid traffic problems, especially on the way out of Austin. The route to avoid getting anywhere near downtown Austin is:

North on I35 from San Marcos to Buda.

Exit for Toll 45 (only goes to the right - east)

Get on 45. It will become Toll 130.

Follow Toll 130 to Hwy 71. Exit and turn left (west).

The airport is a short distance on 71.

With that route, the only expectation of moderately heavy traffic will be on I35 on the way back, but by the time you get back to that point, it shouldn't be bad, and you're nearly back to San Marcos. There will be some tolls to pay, or if you're in your own car, you can sail through the toll points, and they'll bill you by mail. The toll road is new and very lightly used right now. I strongly suggest this route, because, if you go all the way into Austin, all the streets to the airport will be full of home-bound commuters. San Antonio isn't much better, and you don't have any lightly traveled route to the airport like that in San Antonio. The Austin airport is very easy to negotiate to pick up and drop off folks.

Boston
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6. Re: San Marcos/Austin

The problem with San Antonio is the flights -- we already bought tickets to get out of Austin -- cheaper air fare --

for a 6pm flight what is a reasonable time to head out to Austin.

Also, we have to pick up someone around 5:30 on a friday ....Figures We just bought the tickets last night....

Lockhart, Texas
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7. Re: San Marcos/Austin

If you use the efficient route, to pick someone up at the curb, you can allow an hour and be there in plenty of time that they don't have to wait, and you'll still be okay if there's a minor delay. You can easily circle the long loop from near the entrance to the curbside passenger pickup. For you to fly out, add that hour to the normal park/check-in/security/car turn-in/etc. time, which isn't bad at ABIA.

Boston
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8. Re: San Marcos/Austin

Great, thanks so much!!!! IT sounds very similar to Boston Logan Airport which in my eyes is Nothing..... :o) I was thinking it was 10 times worse for traffic and airport issues....

Austin, Texas
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9. Re: San Marcos/Austin

The Austin airport is pretty small and very easy to navigate. It is nothing like any East Coast airport, much easier.

Colorado Springs...
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10. Re: San Marcos/Austin

I'm currently going back and forth between Colorado and San Marcos one weekend a month, renting a car at AUS and driving. The airport is very easy to navigate, and traffic hasn't been that big of a deal. I haven't done Friday evening, but I've done a random assortment of other times. Compared to traffic I regularly sit in doing back and forth to Denver, it is no big deal.

Not a ton to see and do in San Marcos. It is a nice little town, and I'm really enjoying my time there, but you'll definitely want to branch out and see Austin, San Antonio, and the surrounding area.

On my last trip, I was able to get out and try a Texas winery - some really nice wines, beautiful countryside, and I look forward to doing more winery visits in the area.

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