12 Best Places to Go Tubing in Texas! Ultimate Guide
There’s a special kind of magic that happens when you’re gently floating down a winding river, the sun dappling through the overhead canopy, a cool drink in your hand, and the Texas sky stretching out above you.
This is the unique thrill of river tubing, a beloved pastime that combines relaxation, adventure, and a hefty dose of fun.
Whether you’re a seasoned tuber or a curious newbie, Texas offers a vast landscape of sparkling waterways that seem designed by nature itself for this delightful pursuit.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a virtual journey through some of the state’s most iconic tubing locations, each with its own charm and distinctive flavor. So, grab your sunscreen and your sense of adventure, and let’s set off on this Texas tubing journey together!
Where to go river tubing in Texas?
The Blanco River is a true hidden gem of Texas, offering a serene and tranquil tubing experience amidst a stunning landscape of limestone cliffs and lush greenery.
For those looking to embark on a tubing adventure here, Blanco State Park serves as the perfect launch point. Conveniently located in the town of Blanco, the park provides easy river access along with a host of amenities.
Tube rentals might not be available directly within the park, so it’s recommended to rent from local outfitters in town before heading to the park.
Once there, simply launch your tube into the cool, clear waters and let the gentle current carry you downstream. It’s an ideal setting for those seeking a more peaceful, nature-filled tubing experience, away from the crowds of some of the more commercialized rivers.
Known as the “shortest river in the world,” the Comal River is a favorite among families and first-time tubers. The Comal River, a treasure of New Braunfels, is a spring-fed river that offers an enchanting journey through the city before it gracefully merges with the Guadalupe River.
The spring that feeds the river ensures its waters remain at a consistently refreshing temperature of 70 to 72 degrees, making it an absolute delight during the scorching Texas summer. The Comal River’s popularity among tubers is evident in the numerous rental services and float trips offered along its banks.
- 444 Tubing Company: Located on the scenic San Marcos River, 444 Tubing Company offers a relaxing, nature-filled tubing experience. This family-friendly outfitter is known for its well-maintained equipment and warm, Texas-style hospitality, ensuring a memorable day on the river. Address: 444 Pecan Park Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666
- Comal Tubes: Comal Tubes, nestled along the banks of the beautiful Comal River in New Braunfels, provides a traditional, family-friendly tubing adventure. Known for its convenient services and easy access to the river, Comal Tubes is a favorite among both locals and visitors. Address: 1880 I-35BL, New Braunfels, TX 78130
- Corner Tubes: Corner Tubes offers a unique tubing experience on the Guadalupe River. With a reputation for friendly service and a commitment to safety, Corner Tubes is a great choice for those looking to enjoy a leisurely float surrounded by the beauty of the Texas Hill Country. Address: 120 S Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130
- Rockin’ R River Rides: A staple of the river recreation scene in New Braunfels, Rockin’ R River Rides offers thrilling tubing experiences on both the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers. Known for their high-quality services and commitment to customer satisfaction, Rockin’ R guarantees an unforgettable river adventure. Address: 1405 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130
- Texas Tubes: Texas Tubes, located on the Comal River, offers a classic Texas tubing experience. Known for its ease of access and family-friendly environment, Texas Tubes ensures a fun-filled day of floating under the Texas sun. Address: 250 Meusebach St, New Braunfels, TX 78130
For those seeking a bit more excitement, the Guadalupe River delivers. Its faster current and thrilling rapids, combined with calmer stretches, provide a diverse tubing experience. The Guadalupe is also known for its stunning scenery of towering cypress trees and limestone banks.
- Lone Star Float House: Set on the banks of the Guadalupe River, Lone Star Float House offers a comprehensive river experience with tube rentals and a riverside restaurant. Known for its relaxed atmosphere and friendly service, Lone Star Float House provides a quintessential Texas tubing experience complete with delicious food and drink options. Address: 7430 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132
- Shanty River Center: Located along the San Marcos River, Shanty River Center offers an authentic river tubing adventure. This family-owned business is praised for its high-quality tubes and welcoming service. With a serene riverside setting, Shanty River Center is an ideal spot for a leisurely float. Address: 315 County Rd 101, San Marcos, TX 78666
- Tube Haus: Nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country on the scenic Guadalupe River, Tube Haus offers an exciting and fun-filled tubing experience. Known for its well-maintained equipment and personalized service, Tube Haus guarantees a memorable day out on the water. Address: 12454 FM306, Canyon Lake, TX 78133
- Whitewater Sports: Whitewater Sports provides a unique tubing experience on the Guadalupe River. With a variety of tube options and a dedicated shuttle service, Whitewater Sports ensures a seamless and enjoyable tubing adventure. Their commitment to safety and customer satisfaction has made them a popular choice among river enthusiasts. Address: 11860 Farm to Market 306, New Braunfels, TX 78132
The Pedernales River is a hidden treasure for nature lovers. Its clear, blue-green waters flow through a scenic landscape of rocky cliffs and lush vegetation. The river’s current varies with recent rainfall, but it generally offers a leisurely tubing experience. Pedernales Falls State Park is a popular launch point for tubing adventures.
San Marcos River
Fed by the San Marcos Springs, this river boasts year-round, 72-degree water temperatures, making it a great choice for any season. Its swift but smooth current offers a fun and refreshing tubing experience.
- Don’s Fish Camp: Situated along the San Marcos River, Don’s Fish Camp is a beloved destination for tubing enthusiasts. This long-standing establishment is famous for its lively atmosphere and excellent service. It offers not only tube rentals, but also a shuttle service and even a DJ on weekends, promising an unforgettable river experience full of fun and music. Address: 105 Nelle Ln, Martindale, TX 78655
- San Marcos Lions Club Tube Rental: Operated by the San Marcos Lions Club, this tube rental service offers a unique combination of fun and philanthropy. Proceeds from rentals go to support local charities, so you can enjoy a great day on the San Marcos River while also contributing to a good cause. Known for its well-maintained tubes and friendly service, the Lions Club Tube Rental is a popular choice for tubing in San Marcos. Address: City Park, 170 Charles Austin Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666
- Texas State Tubes: Texas State Tubes, located on the serene San Marcos River, offers a laid-back, hassle-free tubing experience. With tube rentals, a shuttle service, and a commitment to maintaining the natural beauty of the river, Texas State Tubes provides everything you need for a relaxing and enjoyable day on the water. Address: 2024 North Old Bastrop Hwy, San Marcos, TX 78666
What to bring and not to bring
What to bring
- Sun Protection: This includes sunscreen, hats, and UV-protective clothing to shield you from the Texas sun.
- Water Shoes: Protect your feet from rough river bottoms and sharp rocks.
- Waterproof Bag or Container: Great for storing keys, phones, wallets, or any other small items you don’t want to get wet.
- Hydration: Non-alcoholic beverages in plastic containers or water bottles to stay hydrated on your float.
- Snacks: Non-perishable snacks in plastic containers can provide an energy boost during your float.
- Towels: For drying off after your float.
- Change of Clothes: A dry set of clothes for after your tubing adventure.
- Life Vest: Especially important for children or anyone not confident in their swimming abilities.
- Inflatable Cooler: If allowed by your tubing outfitter, to keep your drinks and snacks cool.
What not to bring
- Glass Containers: These are usually banned on Texas rivers due to the risk of breakage and injury.
- Styrofoam Coolers: These can easily break and litter the river, so many outfitters and rivers do not allow them.
- Alcohol: While not always banned, it’s best to check the specific rules of the river you’re visiting. Some rivers have bans during certain times of the year.
- Valuables: Leave expensive jewelry or electronics at home to avoid losing them in the river.
- Disposable Plastic Items: These can easily end up as litter in the river. If you do bring plastic items, make sure to pack out all your trash.
- Cigarettes/Cigars: Smoking is generally discouraged while on the river to prevent pollution and fire risk.
- Pets: Many outfitters and rivers do not allow pets for their safety and the safety of other river-goers.
Best time to go river tubing in Texas
The best time to go river tubing in Texas typically spans from late spring to early fall, with the peak season falling between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
- Late Spring (April – May): This is the start of the tubing season. The weather begins to warm up, and the rivers start to become more inviting. Crowds are usually smaller during this time, making it a good choice if you prefer a quieter experience.
- Summer (June – August): This is the peak season for river tubing in Texas. The temperatures are hot, often exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit, making a dip in the cool river waters incredibly refreshing. It’s the most popular time, so expect larger crowds, especially on weekends and holidays.
- Early Fall (September – October): As the summer heat lingers into the early fall, tubing remains a popular activity. The crowds begin to thin out after Labor Day, providing a more relaxed experience.
Tubing in Texas offers a unique way to unwind, recharge, and connect with nature. Whether you’re floating down the spring-fed Comal River or the lively Guadalupe, you’re sure to leave with wonderful memories and a newfound appreciation for the Lone Star State’s natural beauty.
So grab a tube, apply some sunscreen, and get ready for a Texas-sized adventure on the water!