50 Things To Do in Greater Austin, TX #30 Go Tubing!

30. Go Tubing!

If you’ve ever been to Texas in Summer, you can probably think of a few choice words to describe the heat. The one that comes to mind most often for me is: Punishing. When it is over 100 degrees for weeks on end, literally the only thing you can do do survive the heat is either stay inside in the AC or find bodies of water and jump into them!

Recently some pals and I went tubing on the San Marcos River and it was Heaven! Before we went, I was thinking back to the last time I had been tubing. That was like 20 years ago on the Salt River in Arizona. I had almost forgotten how relaxing it was…and most importantly, how much that cool, flowing river brings down your body temperature as soon as you get in! It’s Magical!

We went to the Lions Club at San Marcos City Park. Here’s the info from their site…

‘Lions Club Tube Rental is located in the Rec Hall at San Marcos City Park. The float lasts about an hour and ends at Rio Vista Park. Play around for a while or shoot the falls and then take the shuttle back to the beginning. Rentals are good for all day activities. We are open weekends beginning in May and seven days a week all summer – Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hours of operation are 10:00am to 7:00pm. Our last tube rental is at 5:30 pm and last pick up at Rio Vista Park is at 6:30pm. Come by to rent a tube, air up your own, get a ride back on a shuttle, rent a life vest for your little ones or pick up refreshments and river necessities you may have forgotten. *Unless weather conditions force closure.’

Saw some folks in double tubes. Love to try out this ‘bad boy!’…

Tube rental costs $12 and a $20 deposit. I ended up buying my own tube at the Walgreens ahead of time. It was only $15 and it has a nice headrest and a mesh bottom, which made it extra comfy! I paid $2 to air it up, $6 for unlimited shuttle rides back up the river, and $5 for a small storage box to put our valuables in. So, pretty cheap for a day of fun! Also, parking was free.


My friends and I rented an extra tube with a bottom to put a cooler in. The Lions Club allows folks to bring cans, no bottles. We also brought a length of rope and tied all our tubes together in a circle (because we’re geniuses), which was so great! We made ourselves a big, giant flotilla and lazed our way down the river. It’s nice to be able to see and talk to everybody as you go.

Some folks had little Bluetooth speakers with them. Some brought their dogs in little life vests. OMG Adorbs! Everyone had big smiles on their faces all day. The river is lovely and there are lots of good photo ops if you have your phone or camera with you. My friend Marie was super smart and brought hers in a little plastic phone protector thingy. I can’t recommend river tubing highly enough. Absolutely good for the soul!

The Lions Club tubing in San Marcos is about half an hour south of downtown Austin (unless you run into not one, but two, traffic accidents on 35, like we did-GRR). Helpful Hint: Maybe take 130 down and avoid the I-35 insanity!

Other Helpful Hint: OMG Wear Sunscreen-It’s Cray out there!!!

There are lots of other tubing places in the area. Here are links to a few of them…




Happy Tubing, my friends!



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