Funky feeling

Nearby college town lands on list of ‘vibing’ Texas spots that aren’t Austin

College town lands on list of ‘vibing’ Texas spots that aren’t Austin

Downtown San Marcos
San Marcos is giving off good vibes. Courtesy of Visit San Marcos

Looking for the Austin vibe without the Austin home prices? The Mansion Global real estate website suggests checking out San Marcos, 30 miles to the south of Austin.

list published August 15 by Mansion Global places San Marcos, home of Texas State University and two outlet malls, among the five “vibing” towns in Texas that aren’t Austin.

Mansion Global notes that while Austin may attract a lot of attention from non-Texans who adore the city’s “funky atmosphere, vibrant music scene, foodie credentials, and outdoorsy lifestyle,” it’s not the only place in Texas featuring those amenities.

The website observes that cultural life in San Marcos includes outdoor concerts, monthly “Art Squared events” with local artists, artists’ booths at the farmers market, and art displays at local restaurants.

San Marcos, part of the Austin metro area, “used to be a sleepy place in the 1990s, then Texas State University started expanding,” Kimberly Adams, a real estate agent with McNabb & Co. in San Marcos, tells Mansion Global. “Now there are about 40,000 students and around 70,000 permanent residents here. So, we’re still small compared to Austin, but we have the Hill Country amenities and a great music scene here.”

About 50 miles south of San Marcos is another “vibing” place singled out by Mansion Global: San Antonio.

Mansion Global emphasizes that San Antonio boasts some of the same attributes as Austin: music venues, great restaurants, and Hill Country surroundings.

“San Antonio’s Hispanic-Tejano culture infuses the foodie culture and music scene, which covers the gamut from country to heavy metal to hip-hop to Latino styles,” Mansion Global points out.

Tamara Strait, a real estate agent with Phyllis Browning Co. in San Antonio and daughter-in-law of country music legend George Strait, tells Mansion Global that San Antonio draws people who covet privacy.

“People move here from other parts of Texas, from California, Seattle, and New York because they like living in the Hill Country that surrounds downtown and yet have the convenience of being close to the city,” she says. “There’s plenty of luxury shopping and great restaurants in town, and then people like to take day trips to the wineries and music venues nearby in places like Fredericksburg and Luckenbach.”

Also generating a like-Austin-but-not-Austin vibe is Fort Worth, according to Mansion Global.

“Fort Worth is a culturally well-rounded place to live, with a vibrant food scene, world-class art museums, and performing arts centers,” John Zimmerman, a real estate agent with Compass in Fort Worth, tells Mansion Global. “Fort Worth has one of the most attractive business climates in Texas, so we’re seeing many business owners from California, Illinois, and the East Coast relocate here.”

Rounding out the list of the five “vibing” locales in Texas are Corpus Christi, praised for its access to boating, fishing, and beaches; and Marfa, the arts and cultural mecca in West Texas.