Waterski Nationals is headed back to San Marcos for 2017. While many of you are probably looking forward to coming to the lone star state, you may not want to spend your entire trip at the lake. Luckily, San Marcos River Ranch is only 10 minutes from downtown San Marcos and about 40 from Austin. This area is overflowing with activities; a trip extension may even be in order.
The most important thing to do on any trip is to eat. Luckily, our food is the best food. Texas is known for some out of this world Bar-B-Q. My favorite place is Kreutz in Lockhart. Every Texan will tell you something different and possibly get into an argument over it. Hays County BBQ is on the opposite side of I-35, just minutes from the lake. Lockhart is home to a plethora of BBQ joints; you can’t go wrong there either. I do not recommend eating BBQ before you ski. Those juicy meats will render you useless for the rest of the day. It is amazing, but you will feel like a block of led.
Texas is also known for tacos. Torchy’s Tacos is extremely likely to blow your mind. A word of advice: always make it trashy. It’s the “secret” code for unbelievable queso dumped all over your taco. There are several locations in Austin and one Texas State’s campus. Anyone who has ever read my bio knows I am a seasoned burrito eater. So there is no way I can write this without telling you where to get the best burrito. Freebirds World Burrito knows what’s up. They have double the tortilla choices as that other burrito chain and about a thousand times more style. The Root Cellar Café, Pie Society, and Amy’s Ice Creams are also high up on my “must eat” list.
After your stomach turns Texan, there are a number of ways to escape the usual scorching heat. You can have a relaxing float through the San Marcos River via Cool River Runnings. The Comal River is a quick drive from the lake which runs right through Schlitterbahn, a German themed water park. Right next to Zilker Park, in Austin, is Barton Springs Pool with unbelievably chilly h2o. About 20 minutes south west of San Marcos River Ranch you can find yourself in the oldest operating dance hall in Texas, Gruene Hall. There are shows on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the week of nationals. Pack your cowboy boots because it’s time to dance. For anyone looking to do some shopping, the town of Gruene has great local shops. The San Marcos outlets are some of the best around.
With Central Texas being the eclectic area it is, mapping out the best spots is nearly impossible. There is so much more than listed above. Around every corner is character. Ski lakes are great, don’t get me wrong, but this is an opportunity to see a part of the country like no other. Get ready to ski well, eat well, and enjoy yourself, because in Texas everything is bigger and better.