Aquarena Center

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Facility:Aquarena Center
Description:The pristine habitat of Spring Lake gives Aquarena the unique opportunity to teach people of all ages the importance of preservation and conservation. Aquarena Center's educational tours seek to engage people in activities that will give them the ability to recognize Spring Lake as an unique freshwater ecosystem and in turn encourage the audience to understand the interconnections between all living things and water.

Spring Lake runs clear above the approximately 200 springs that lie below and provides a stable environment for eight federally listed endangered or threatened species: the San Marcos salamander, the Texas blind salamander, the fountain darter, the San Marcos Gambusia, the Comal Springs riffle beetle, Comal Springs dyopid beetle, Peck's cave amphipod, and the threatened San Marcos salamander.
Address 1:921 Aquarena Springs Dr
Address 2:
City:San Marcos
Zip Code:78666
V I S I T I N G   I N F O
Hours:Aquarena Center hours vary according to the season and weather. Glass Bottom Boat Tours run continuously unless there is severe weather.
Admission:$8/Adults, $7/Senior (55+), $6/Children (ages 4-15), 3 and under Free
Telephone:(512) 245-7570
K. W., Co-op Member
Just visited today! I never even knew this place existed...a short drive from Austin, easy to find from the highway. We arrived and took a boat ride in the historic glass-bottomed boats. The floor of the boat is not completely glass--there is just a strip of glass with a railing around it so you can lean over and look down. My 3 year old was in awe! You can look down through the crystal clear water and see baby turtles, fish of all sizes, and the water bubbling up from the ground. The boats have windows and the water is cold, so there seems to be a nice, pleasant, cool breeze the whole ride. Make sure your kids use the bathroom prior to the ride; it takes around 30 minutes. The guide was very casual and I wish he had told us more about the spring itself rather than personal conversation (which I found distracting from enjoying the beautiful setting). It is currently mid-May and once we got off the boat, we discovered all the turtles in the area are searching for nest sites and are walking all over the lawns! You need to stay 15 feet away from them, but it is very interesting and educational to watch them search for a spot to dig a hole and lay their eggs. The aquarium area is small but has examples of many of the endangered species in the lake. We also walked on the boardwalk through the wetland area. There was a lot of moss, but we did manage to see some large fish, turtles, and even a baby snake! The boardwalk is very brief and perfect for kids; there are railings around 3/4 of it, and then you must hold hands for the last 1/4 or you may have some muddy children! There is also a huge snapping turtle in a tub at the end of the boardwalk; he has a tumor and couldn't submerge anymore in the wetland area, so wouldn't be able to survive in the wild. There is a beautiful architectural area where you can take some neat photos--it used to be a tram ride. This is a really beautiful place, and I am going to take all of our future guests from out of town here!
N.A., Co-op Member
I took my boys, ages 11 and 14, and we loved it. We visited Wonder World, which is also in San Marcos, the same day, and did it all at a relaxed pace. We saw a variety of turtles and fish during the boat ride. Even more fascinating were all the places on the river bottom where water was coming up from underground and making the sand bubble. Our guide was very good and we learned a lot about the river's unique qualities. We also enjoyed our walk on the boardwalk and the exhibits inside, which included a fun film about conserving water.
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