Friday, May 20, 2016
The Meadows Center Glass Bottom Boat Tour- San Marcos Texas
Doing a glass bottom boat ride in San Marcos was one of those unplanned experiences that just kind of happened on our trip.
The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is a really exciting place to visit and spend several hours. For less than $20, the two of us were able to ride on one of their glass bottom boats with a great guide, and we were able to visit their aquarium center.
We ended up having some extra time on this trip that we had not planned, and we found a brochure about this educational center! It was conveniently located between Austin and San Antonio, so it ended up being a perfect unplanned stop.
Our guide knew everything about the area! It seems that the former owners of the property were inspired after some visits to Florida. They started doing the glass bottom boat tour just like Silver Springs. Those boats still go out today!
BUT, they also did a thing similar to Weeki Wachee with underwater shows! In fact, here is a thorough article I found while searching around about the place from Collectors Weekly. Underwater clowns and mermaids performed, along with performing pigs and chickens.These shows have stopped, but this San Marcos site is still exciting.
The place was still going as am amusement up until the 90s. Southwest Texas State University took it over in 1994 and made it the place it is now. Our guide told us that, when they removed the old underwater theater, they had hoped to preserve it, but it would have been impossible. It was too old and damaged from its time in the water.
We learned about rare creatures that live in the springs which has earned the place the designation of "critical habitat".
Our boat guide suggested that we visit the aquarium building (a repurposed former hotel). There were some nice displays on the rare species in the springs.
You can also go out on an open area on top of the building for a better look at the springs. From here, we were able to see some of the old pasts used during the sites amusement park days. There are walking trails too.