San Marcos Like a Local

Making the Rounds on the Square

November 5, 2014

by Pam Renteria

As the hype of Halloween dies down, November is a time to really start enjoying the fall weather. It’s not cool enough to actually start wearing sweaters but pumpkin spice is predominately everywhere, the trees are starting to change colors and you can actually feel a cool breeze while hiking! That’s not all, November also marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season!

The shops and restaurants of historic downtown San Marcos offer residents and visitors a shopping experience that is unique to our area. Here are some reasons why you should consider the Downtown Square on your next shopping day.


In a small town like San Marcos, many of the shops and restaurants downtown are locally owned and operated - there’s a good chance the owner of the shop will be the one to help you as you try to find the perfect gift for a loved one. 

It doesn't get more original than at Rhea's Ice Cream


Most malls have national chains that you can find in cities all over the United States but you won’t find a store as unique as Heartworks Co. Paper Bear. Paper Bear is the type of shop where you can spend hours browsing but still feel like you find something new at every corner. At other malls you can find Orange Leaf and Haagen-Dazs, but none will be as unique as Rhea’s – where you can find homemade flavors like Caramel-Sea Salt and Avocado-Coconut.

At Hays Co. Outfitters you can gear up for a day outdoors.


The charm of the historic downtown can mostly be credited to the iconic square surrounding the courthouse. This area has been the center to growth and rich history that very few small cities can boast about.


Get your day started by enjoying a delicious breakfast at Café on the Square.

Spend your morning browsing through Paper Bear, you’ll need the entire morning to look at everything – trust me. And you're sure to find some must-haves you didn't even know you needed.

Visit the resale shops up LBJ drive, Retro Exchange and Vagabond Vintage, where you can enjoy some time shopping through the lines and lines clothing racks.

Head over to Superfly’s Lone Star Music Emporium to discover local music, check out their vinyl selections and maybe even catch an acoustic set from a Texas artist.

As you make your way back to the square, stop by Stellar Café where you can sit and relax while enjoying your coffee.

Once you’ve re-energized and are looking to get crafty, stop by Café Monet where you can paint the afternoon away. Make sure to ask for the special of the day (Bobcat students get a $2 discount when they show their ID) and browse the painting samples if you’re in need of some inspiration!

Afterwards, make sure to stop by Hays County Outfitters, Texas Skate or Core Running to pick up a gift for the nature lovers or athletes in your life!

At this point, you’ve probably built up an appetite. The final stop is Tap Room which is right around the corner from the Root Cellar Café (also a delicious spot to have dinner). The Tap Room is home to 42 different beers on (you guessed it) tap from all over the world! They also have 6 big TV screens if you want to catch a game while you enjoy a drink and one of their delicious burgers.