top of page

Austin River Tubing Float Guides

The Unbeatable Charm of Tubing on the San Marcos River Near Austin


Imagine a day spent gliding gently down a serene river, the Texas sun warming your skin, and the laughter of friends echoing off the water. This idyllic scene is not just a daydream for those in Austin, Texas – it's a regular weekend affair. Among the myriad of outdoor activities Austin offers, river tubing stands out as a favorite. And while there are several rivers in and around Austin to choose from, one river consistently captures the hearts of locals and tourists alike: the San Marcos River.

Just a short drive from the bustling city streets of Austin, the San Marcos River offers a refreshing escape into nature. Its crystal-clear waters and lush surroundings provide an enchanting backdrop for what many consider the ultimate tubing experience. Whether you're a thrill-seeking tourist, part of a lively bachelor or bachelorette party, or a local yet to explore your city's natural wonders, the San Marcos River awaits with an unforgettable adventure.

Cowgirl riding her tube on the San Marcos river

The Allure of the San Marcos River

The San Marcos River, a hidden gem in the Texas landscape, offers more than just a tubing experience; it's an immersion into a world where nature reigns supreme. The river, fed by natural springs, maintains a constant temperature of about 72 degrees year-round, making it an ideal destination regardless of the season. This consistent temperature means that even on the hottest summer days, the waters can be counted on to provide a cool, refreshing contrast.

The river's route is adorned with verdant flora and diverse wildlife, offering tubers a scenic journey through Texas' natural beauty. As you float along, you'll be treated to sights of towering Cypress trees, sprawling landscapes, and perhaps even the occasional glimpse of local wildlife along the riverbanks.

Accessibility is another factor that makes the San Marcos River a top choice for tubing enthusiasts. Located just a short 30 minute drive from Austin, it is perfect for a day trip. You can easily plan a quick getaway without the need for extensive travel, making the most of your time in the water.

A Haven for Everyone

The San Marcos River does not just offer a one-size-fits-all experience. Its charm lies in its ability to cater to a diverse array of visitors, each looking for something unique in their river adventure.

For the Adventurous and Social Groups

The river is a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties, as well as groups of friends seeking a day of fun and relaxation. The gentle currents provide the perfect setting for socializing and enjoying a few drinks while the natural beauty of the surroundings adds a picturesque backdrop to any celebration. For those seeking a bit more excitement, there are sections of the river with small rapids, offering a thrilling twist to the otherwise tranquil journey.

The Local's Retreat

For locals in Austin, the San Marcos River is a treasured escape from the city's hustle and bustle. It's a place where one can unwind, either solo or with family and friends. The river's calm stretches are ideal for those seeking peace and quiet, allowing for moments of reflection amidst the gentle sounds of flowing water.

Unique Experiences Along the River

Along its course, the San Marcos River provides various spots that offer unique experiences. From tranquil areas perfect for a leisurely float to livelier sections with small rapids and communal gathering spots, the river ensures that every part of your journey is filled with new and exciting sights. These varying segments of the river mean that each tubing trip can be a different experience, offering something new to discover each time.

River guide looks on at her group

Frontera Tours: Enhancing Your San Marcos River Experience

When it comes to fully enjoying the San Marcos River, Frontera Tours stands out as a fantastic option. Offering comprehensive river tubing float trips, we ensure a memorable and hassle-free experience.

All-Inclusive Convenience

Frontera Tours provides a complete package for river tubing enthusiasts. Our service includes shared-private round trip transportation to the river, all necessary equipment like tubes and cooler tubes, and even ice and coolers. This means you can focus on the fun without worrying about the logistics.

BYOB and More

Embracing the spirit of a laid-back river adventure, Frontera Tours allows you to bring your own beverages (BYOB), snacks, and sunscreen. However, we emphasize safety and environmental responsibility, prohibiting glass and styrofoam.

Time and Accessibility

The total trip time is approximately 6 hours, with about 3.5 hours of floating. We operate trips on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the summer, making it convenient for weekend getaways. Starting from the Austin Visitor Center, Frontera Tours makes joining the trip easy and accessible.

Safety and Enjoyment

Safety and enjoyment are priorities for Frontera Tours. Our guides are trained not only to provide a fun experience but also to ensure everyone's safety on the river. This balance of fun and responsibility makes us an excellent choice for groups seeking a carefree yet secure tubing adventure.

For more information about our services and to book a float, visit us at Frontera Tours.

Peaceful early morning float on the river

Essential Tips for River Tubing

To make your tubing trip down the San Marcos River both enjoyable and safe, here are some essential tips to keep in mind.

Safety First

  • Life Jackets: While the San Marcos River is generally calm, wearing a life jacket is recommended for inexperienced swimmers.

  • Stay Hydrated: Texas heat can be intense. Bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

  • Respect the River: Be mindful of your surroundings and maintain a safe distance from other tubers and wildlife.

What to Bring

  • Sun Protection: Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are essential to protect yourself from the sun.

  • Waterproof Bags: Keep your valuables safe in waterproof bags or containers.

  • Suitable Footwear: Water shoes or sandals with straps are recommended for comfort and to protect your feet.

  • Snacks and Beverages: Pack snacks and drinks in a cooler. Remember, glass and styrofoam are not allowed.

Leave No Trace

  • Environmentally Friendly: Always take your trash with you. The beauty of the San Marcos River depends on everyone playing their part in keeping it clean.

By following these tips, your tubing experience on the San Marcos River will be as enjoyable as it is memorable.

Bachelorettes floating from Austin


The San Marcos River offers a unique combination of natural beauty, convenience, and versatility that sets it apart as the premier choice for river tubing near Austin. Whether you're seeking a fun-filled day with friends, a peaceful solo float, or a family-friendly adventure, this river promises an experience that caters to every desire. Partnering with a service like Frontera Tours further enhances this experience, ensuring a day of relaxed fun and safety.

So, if you're in Austin and looking for an unforgettable way to spend your day, consider floating down the San Marcos River. It's not just an activity; it's an experience that captures the essence of Texas' natural splendor and the spirit of adventure. Grab a tube, hit the water, and let the river lead you on a journey of relaxation and joy!



Contact us!

Ready to book?

Let's float!

Need Frontera Swag?

Shop Now!

bottom of page