Let’s Tube Texas: Find the best rivers for tubing in Texas here!
When it comes to beating the Texas heat, there’s no better way than grabbing an inner tube and heading down one of Lone Star State’s flowing rivers. The Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, the San Marcos River, and the Frio River in Concan come to mind for a fantastic float …but there’s more! We found the best places to tube in Texas that you’ll want to scope out for your summer travels on the water.
Best Places To Go Tubing In Texas
Pick a place that has a river and start making plans. You may want to make them ahead of time if going in the summer months and even September.
But first, let’s go over a few tips first.
Tips For Tubing In Texas
Tubing in Texas is so much fun; tubing on flowing rivers is the best. But before you start planning for this exciting outdoor activity, here are a few tips to know before hopping in the water.
- Don’t scrape your feet – wear comfortable water shoes (no flip-flops)
- You can bring your own tubes or look for river outfitters that offer tube rentals.
- Bring drinks (especially water), snacks too
- Sunscreen before you leave out and bring it with you
- Wear a hat and sunglasses (not your new sunglasses because the chance of losing them is high)
- Life jackets are a must
- Follow the rules of the river
- Bring a rope to latch onto your kids’ tubes so they won’t float away from you.
- Extra rope for anyone who gets tired and can’t tube anymore
- Also, link your tubes together for a fun party on the river; we’ve used our legs before.
- River water is cold, but on hot days it will feel good!
- When the water levels are down, tubing is not as fun
- Alcoholic beverages are allowed on rivers in Texas
- Don’t litter our Texas rivers, please!
Where Is The Best Tubing In Texas?
Texas, for decades, has been a popular state to enjoy the outdoors, and water, in some capacity, has been involved. Rivers in Texas are perfect for floating on, but that’s not all – they’re also great places to fish, swim, and kayak. As you probably know, the best floating is on rivers that move!
Guadalupe River – Canyon Lake, Texas
The Guadalupe River is the most well-known in Texas to float a tube. The river runs 230 miles from Central Texas all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The river flow is excellent, and probably the best tubing river in Texas. I say probably lightly because I don’t want to offend anyone.
San Antonio, San Marcos, and New Braunfels are other places to access the Guadalupe River.
Tube Outfitters In Canyon Lake, TX
- Tube Haus – 12454 FM306
- Shanty Tubes – 12120 FM306
- River Sports Tubes – 12034 FM306
- Horseshoe Tubing Company – 546 Riverside Path
- Andy’s River Toob – 12020 FM306
Comal River – New Braunfels, Texas
This spring-fed river in New Braunfels is probably the second-best place to drop a tube for a leisurely float – but I’m sure that’s an argument waiting to happen.
The Comal River takes tubers from Landa Park through downtown and past Schlitterbahn Waterpark. It is famous for its calm waters and fun-filled tube chute. The section of the Guadalupe River that flows through New Braunfels is a bit swifter, making for an exciting day on the water.
Bring your own tube or rent one from one of the rental companies in the area. Expect to be out in the water for at least 2 hours. An ice chest full of your favorite drinks is always a thing to do. Afterward, find fun things to do in New Braunfels.
For breakfast, head to Naegelin’s, the oldest bakery in Texas, for a pastry or two. When dinner comes around, you may want to try Huisache Grill, offering cuisine inspired by the diverse cultural and culinary influences of the Hill Country. Be sure to visit Gruene, a town-within-a-town, for shopping, wine, ice cream, and perhaps dinner at Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar.
When you’re tired of the river – if that’s even a thing, take the family to Schlitterbahn, where many river rides, pools, and waterslides await. At night, dance the night away with live music at Gruene Hall – Texas’s oldest dance hall.
Tube Outfitters In New Braunfels:
- Rockin R River Rides – 1405 Gruene Rd (a short walk close to the shops in Gruene)
- Texas Tubes – 250 Meusebach St.
- Comal Tubes – 1880, I-35
- Corner Tubes – 120 S Liberty St.
- Jerry’s Rentals – 4970 River Rd.
- Little Ponderosa River Outfitters – 2001 Ponderosa Dr.
- Landa River Trips – 565 N Market Ave.
Tubing Frio River – Concan, TX
The Frio River, Concan, Texas, winds through Garner State Park and offers a more secluded floating destination, making it perfect for a relaxed summer getaway. Expect at least 3 hours on the water to float the Frio.
When hunger hits, opt for a chicken-fried steak dinner at Neal’s Dining Room or Hippie Chic’s River Shack for large portions of unique, fresh food in a fun environment.
Neal’s Lodges welcomes returning families year after year, thanks to the stewardship of Neal’s children and grandchildren. My uncle and his adult kids and grandkids have stayed here for many years. They return to the Frio year after year. My uncle invested in lots of black inner tubes for the family. They spend a morning airing them up and taking them all down to the river in the back of his truck. He says it’s much cheaper than renting a tube daily for the six days they spend there each summer.
Tubing Outfitters In Concan, TX
- Josh’s Frio River Outfitter Concan – US Hwy 83S & Hwy 127
- Happy Hollow Frio River Outfitters – 32580 US-83
- Andy’s On River Road – 21488 US HWY 127
San Marcos River, San Marcos, Texas
The crystal clear water that flows through the San Marcos River is fed by hundreds of springs near the city center and remains 72 degrees year-round. Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are also welcome on the river.
Expect an hour or so to float the San Marcos River.
When hunger strikes or you’re hankering for a cold one, head to Palmer’s for a craft cocktail and a tender ribeye.
If you’re looking for more things to do in San Marcos, take a glass-bottom boat tour or go snorkeling at Spring Lake. When you’re done with the sun, San Marcos is home to over a million sq ft of outlet shopping with more than 220 name-brand and luxury stores.
Tube Outfitters in San Marcos, TX
- Texas State Tubes – 2024 North Old Bastrop Highway
- San Marcos Lions Club Tube Rental – 170 Charles Austin Drive. A shuttle service is offered, and the float ends at Rio Vista Park.
Llano River, Junction, Texas
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing float or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, the Llano River has it all. You can choose to go down any of three different rivers: the South Llano River, the Main Llano River, or the North Llano River. All three offer different experiences and can be accessed from Junction.
The North Llano River is a pristine natural resource in Texas with crystal clear water that flows through limestone bedrock formations creating waterfalls and rapids perfect for tubing! The North Llano is also known for its excellent fishing and being home to many species of wildlife, such as deer and wild turkey!
The South Llano River flows northward to the town of Junction, meeting the North Llano River at the City Park just downstream from the dam, creating the Main Llano River, which then travels across miles of Hill Country terrain and empties into the Colorado River.
Tubing Outfitters In Junction, TX
- South Llano River Canoes and Kayaks – 6 miles South on Hwy. 377
- Tony B Kayaks – 315 US Highway South
Pedernales River, Johnson City, TX
If you’re looking for a place to go for a swim, tube, and enjoy some fishing, look no further than Pedernales Falls State Park. There is a section of the river above the falls available for swimming and tubing.
Located 30 miles west of Austin, Texas, this 5,000-acre park provides a variety of ways to have fun in the sun. The Pedernales River flows through the park, making it a go-to place for swimming and tubing. In addition to water activities, there is plenty of room for you to camp or picnic.
Excellent and popular places to grab a bite in Johnson City, TX, are Bryans On 290 (reservations are highly encouraged), Proof & Cooper, and Fat Boy Burgers. We wanted to eat at Bryans, but we didn’t have reservations, so we went across the street to Proof & Cooper, where the food was better than the waitstaff (twice!)
Tube Outfitters Near The Pedernales River
There are no tube rentals available through the park or close by, so your best bet is to bring your own.
Colorado River, Bastrop, Texas
Tubing down the Colorado River in Bastrop, Texas, is a relaxing way to spend a summer afternoon. The river is calm, and the surrounding trees provide shade for tubers as they float downstream. It’s not unusual to see various birds flying overhead or even some deer or rabbits along the riverbanks. This is one of the many things that make this stretch of Texas a great place for tubing.
And if you want to glamp in Bastrop, TX, there are plenty of places.
Tube Outfitters In Bastrop, TX
- Bastrop River Co. – 1200 Willow St (kayaks, paddleboards & tube rentals)
Blanco River, Blanco State Park
The Texas Hill Country has a strong presence for tubing on its rivers. Blanco, TX, is not only a quaint small town with lots of shopping, eating, and history, but its state park has beautiful waters and scenery you can tube on. The best tubing is through Blanco State Park. Enjoy a gentle float on the Blanco River.
Your hungry will probably send you to Old 300 BBQ, that is if you like barbeque. It’s a local’s favorite. There are more restaurants in Blanco within walking distance of this one.
Trinity River, Fort Worth, Texas
Panther Island Pavilion is a popular outdoor venue on the Trinity River and is an excellent spot for a float trip. It has easy access to the river, and you can rent tubes and other water equipment there.
The above photo is of my son and I kayaking the Trinity River. It’s an old picture because he’s now a Boy Scout!
Brazos River, Possum Kingdom State Park
If you’re looking to tube the Brazos River, there are plenty of places to choose from. At 1,312 miles long, it’s one of the longest rivers in the U.S., and it flows through some of the most beautiful parts of Texas.
One of the best places to float is a stretch below Possum Kingdom Lake—just 90 miles west of Fort Worth. Put your tubes in just below the Possum Kingdom Dam and enjoy up to a 20-mile section replete with towering cliffs and limestone boulders.
Tube Outfitters Near Possum Kingdom Lake & State Park
- WaterRush in the Cove
- Brazos Outdoor Center
Puluxy River – Glen Rose, Texas
When a good rain comes down, the Puluxy River is one of the fastest-moving waters in Texas. But only after one day of good rainfall. The Brazos River also runs through Glen Rose.
Tube Outfitters Near Possum Kingdom Lake & State Park
- Brazos Outdoor Center
Well, I hope you find your favorite place for tubing in Texas. Happy Summer!