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The Crystal River Inn

Murder Mysteries

Murder mystery weekends are very popular, and for good reason. Seldom will you have an opportunity to participate in something so different, so absorbing, and so much fun! They make great Gifts!

Our 2023 mystery series kicks off with a 2-day gala New Year's mystery celebration on Dec 30th and 31st, and encore performances scheduled throughout the year. Jan 27-28, Feb 24-25, March 24-25, August 18-19, Sep 8-9, October 27-28


All are the cost of a double occupancy room, plus:

January mysteries: $75 per person
All other mysteries: $100 per person
New Year's Gala: $150 per person

The Basics

All our mystery weekends are complete packages, including:

  • Friday and Saturday accommodations, double occupancy
  • Friday night welcoming party and dessert buffet
  • Guests themselves play all costumed characters
  • Saturday afternoon glass-bottom boat cruise, historic trolley tour, hayride, or candlelight cave walk
  • Tubing trip (in season) down the San Marcos River
  • Clue hunt through town
  • Saturday night dinner at the Inn, features dinner wines, hors d'oeuvres, and several courses
  • Gourmet breakfasts Saturday and Sunday mornings
  • Two days of great entertainment in the form of...

Murder by the River, an Original Mystery Series

San Marcos is a peaceful Hill Country town, complete with sparkling river, dams and waterfalls, lovely old Victorian architecture, and rich heritage. But in our fantasies, it harbors a mass of (mythical) secrets which could take years to sort out. The series is planned so that you can tune in on any point.

The first chapter in this saga was born in 1987, and since then has delighted thousands of guests with its historically-flavored plotline. In 1989, we introduced the first sequel, wherein the original victim is summoned back to the inn - via séance! In 1991 came the second sequel, which revisits the cast of characters five and 10 years later. The Victorian Frontier Follies, a hilarious look back at the original troupe's ancestors, debuted in 1993. And our festive Morocco Mystery, with its grand-opening setting, is the gala's newest addition. From aging hippies and conniving politicians to sheiks, Indian chiefs and feathered saloon girls, this beguiling cast of misfits will stop at nothing to confuse and intrigue you.

ACT ONE Friday Night
Introduction to the mystery. All characters in costume. The festivities begin at 9 pm.

ACT TWO Saturday Morning
This takes place starting at 9 am Saturday, and usually concludes by 11:30 am. Costumes are optional. Guests are free to spend the day at leisure, hunting clues and exploring the area. Tubing trip at 2 pm if weather permits, followed by a hayride, boat cruise, or similar entertainment.

ACT THREE Saturday Evening, Before Dinner
Everyone is asked to convene in the library by 7:30 pm. Costumes are mandatory, and group pictures will be taken. Laughter abounds as the plot thickens.

ACT FOUR Saturday Evening, During Dinner
Wonderful gourmet food is a weekend highlight, and this dinner is no exception. Enjoy entrees such as Veal Marsala, Beef Wellington, or Chicken Kyiv, as characters unleash their final bombshells.

ACT FIVE Sunday Morning
Wonderful gourmet food is a weekend highlight, and this dinner is no exception. Enjoy entrees such as Veal Marsala, Beef Wellington, or Chicken Kyiv, as characters unleash their final bombshells.

The Details

The cost per person, double occupancy, will be $175-250 (depending on room choice) plus tax. All meals and amenities are included. 50% deposit, or a credit card guarantee, is due with reservation. Roles and background data will be mailed to all guests approximately one week in advance of every mystery. Three-week cancellation notice required, no exceptions unless you help us refill your room and your role. With three weeks' notice, deposits will be refunded less a $25 recasting fee. To avoid even stiffer penalties, please be sure of your plans before booking your reservation. Last-minute mystery cancellations create havoc for everyone. Remember, this is essentially a play in which all guests are the actors. On notice shorter than three weeks, we can't always find someone to take over your part, and we must protect our other guests from an experience affected by an incomplete cast of characters.

Weekends are scheduled approximately four weeks apart. On request, groups can be accommodated on non-scheduled weekends. Call us for the whole year's schedule.

"I have personally told a dozen people about your incredible mystery weekend - and it's only 10 a.m." - Ron Binkley, Austin

The Crystal River Inn

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326 West Hopkins
San Marcos, Texas 78666