San Marcos, Texas, gets high marks from national publications concerning its livability regarding animals that walk on two legs. In 2010, “Business Week” named the city of 44,894 people among the best places in the country to raise kids, while “Business Insider” in 2013 ranked it as ninth in their list of the 10 Most Exciting Small Cities in the United States. Those surveys are highly subjective, but the U.S. Census Bureau is not.
For two years running, 2013-2014, San Marcos was the fastest growing city in America. So, something must be up in that 10-gallon metropolis that's directly south of Austin. One of the city's most prominent features is the hugely popular San Marcos Plaza Park located at 206 North C.M. Allen Parkway.
This park allows dogs on leashes but is mostly human-oriented with an open pavilion where concerts and other gatherings are held. There are trails for bicycling or walking and plenty of room for a blanket and a picnic lunch. Of course, city festivals are held here and Texas, as you might know, loves a party.
While there is plenty of on-leash dog walking at the five-acre San Marcos Plaza Park, there is a small, fenced in portion of the city's Memorial Park city park – a two-acres section at 625 East Hopkins Street – where dogs can run off leash and socialize at their leisure. The dog park at Memorial Park has a few amenities, such as picnic shelters, benches, a pet mill dispenser, and tables.
Moreover, there is water for dogs and a water fountain and there is shade in the picnic shelter areas. A few online comments point out, however, that shade is extremely important for the health of humans and dogs in the grilling heat of Texas and the park could use some more of that. Many of the other comments are summed up by one reviewer who simply labeled the park as “boring,” only in all capital letters.
Photos online show this could be the case. One picnic area sits on a slab of concrete in the middle of a dry, scruffy section of the park where vegetation is sparse at best. When your dog needs to romp, this park would be very handy to visit, but it seems pretty basic. The scenery is nondescript and the amenities are few. Still, if Woof is happy - that makes up for a lot.