SAN MARCOS, Texas — For a fun family trip, head down to the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. There you can explore Spring Lake on an educational glass-bottom boat tour filled with natural beauty.
Boat Manager Sam Massey said the experience is pretty unique.
"This is one of two freshwater spring-fed glass-bottomed boat attractions in the U.S. So, there aren't that many places like this environmentally, you know, on the continent, really," Massey said.
Spring Lake contains hundreds of springs with water from the Edwards Aquifer, which provides drinking water to over two million Texans.
But you can't really get a great perspective of what lies beneath the lake's surface until you hop aboard a glass-bottom boat.
During the tour, it's easy to spot all kinds of gorgeous fish and turtles, including red-haired sliders and Texas river cooters. Plus, all of Spring Lake has a beautiful blue-green glow when the sun hits it.
The 30-minute boat tour is both educational and historical. In the 1950s, the glass-bottom boats served as one of the main attractions at Aquarena Springs, one of the state's first amusement parks. The park was also home to swimming pigs and the Aquamaids, the predecessors of the Mermaid Society of Texas.
You can walk up and buy a boat tour ticket seven days a week. The tours depart every 30 minutes or at the top of the hour, depending on the season.
Money from ticket sales helps to fund the upkeep of the boats and to pay the drivers, who are largely Texas State University students.
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