Run by Texas State University, The Meadows Center introduces visitors to the lush diversity of the San Marcos Springs and intricate system of waterways. Glass-bottomed boats set out for guided tours of Spring Lake, gazing at the aquatic life and University midterm papers below. Above the springs that bubble up from the bottom, soft shell turtles and bluegill sunfish swim in the clear waters and songbirds survey the sky. Eight endangered species populate the springs, including beetles and two species of salamander. On land, visitors can explore gardens of native Texan plants or a hall of nature exhibit.
A bright, five-pointed star gleams above the Texas State University campus on select nights. Fixed atop Jackson Hall—a 12-story building that marks the campus's highest point—the star can be seen for miles throughout Hays County, letting fans know that it's time to celebrate a Bobcats victory and take out the pizza they started baking at half-time. Throughout the Bobcats' proud history, the Victory Star has had many occasions for beaming, as the school has won a litany of championships across multiple sports, including NCAA Div. II championships in football and men's golf and NAIA titles in men's basketball and men's tennis.
Sunset Bowling Lanes opened in 1959 with 24 solid-wood lanes and a stockpile of miniature pencils to keep track of spares and strikes. The alley has since upgraded to computerized scoring systems while also maintaining the charm of classic tenpin entertainment. In addition to its open bowling and league opportunities, Sunset Bowling Lanes hosts events such as college nights—which provide students with discounts so they can save up for books or exam mulligans—and keeps its patrons fueled for the eternal turkey hunt with burgers and drinks from the snack bar.
Lost Paintball hits its targets of safety and fun with the varied terrain of its fields, detailed defensive instructions, and an emphasis on less waiting and more playing. Full rental packages include unlimited time in the great outdoors, a protective facemask, a Spyder Xtra paintball marker and barrel cover, unlimited air refills, and 500 Valka and Draxxus paintballs. Before games commence, all players—whether brand-new to the joy of spattering paint or well-versed in the art of stalking human canvases—receive a thorough safety debriefing. Players battle through four different environments, marking and shooting to their hearts' content. Meanwhile, Lost Paintball's cheerful, paint-covered staff stands by ready to assist with questions, directions, and heated squabbles over whether that deer knowingly crossed into enemy territory.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
The paddling aficionados at Austin Canoe & Kayak maintain a stable of masterfully maintained vessels for outfitting all levels of aquatic explorers. Solitary river riders can transport single rental kayaks from the store's waterless location and drop into any body of water they choose, avoiding crowded routes and groups of largemouth bass that blab everyone's best-kept secrets. Adventurous couples can romantically float down Mother Nature's own tunnel of love in a spacious tandem kayak while fairytale marine life sings melodies to set the mood. Single-person boats such as the Wilderness Systems sit-inside Pungo 120 can best the currents of the Brazos River, and a Malibu 2XL from Ocean Kayak can ferry two-person teams seaward on salty jaunts in the Gulf of Mexico.