Water park pioneers, Schlitterbahn operates one of the oldest, largest, and most popular parks at its original location in New Braunfels, Texas. It also runs a chain of Schlitterbahn water parks. The South Padre outpost includes both a beachfront outdoor water park and a climate-controlled indoor water park tucked inside a hotel.
The 15-acre outdoor park is loaded with all kinds of slides and rides, including the Gale Force, Tempest, Storm Chaser, and Sea Blaster quartet(!) of uphill water coasters. Its Boogie Bahn FlowRider surfing attraction gives visitors the opportunity to ride waves in a controlled, fun environment. Likewise, although the ocean is a stone's throw away, the park's Rio Beach wave pool offers just-right surf to enjoy with or without tubes.
Inner tubes, by the way, are included in the price of admission as is parking (many other parks charge for both). Also, Schlitterbahn allows visitors to tote their own food into the park -- another way to help keep the price down.
The park has a unique way of handling lines, one of the banes of water parks. Essentially, Schlitterbahn has eliminated most of the lines -- or at least the waiting-on-dry-land-to-get-wet tedium of lines -- by connecting many of the popular attractions to the Rio Aventura river. Passengers float up to the water coasters and other attractions from the river and never leave their tubes or the water. When they finish one ride, they float to the next. It's a clever way to stay cool and engaged while enjoying the attractions.
Speaking of staying in the water to enjoy some fun, guests can sidle up to Bob's Float-In Bar and enjoy some libations. The park also offers Shrimp Haus, a full-service restaurant that offers seafood, steak, pizza, and other items.
The watery fun doesn't have to stop when the weather turns cold or otherwise inhospitable. A separate indoor waterpark, located inside Schlitterbahn's hotel, allows year-round sliding and tubing. With its retractable roof, the park can let the sunshine in, weather permitting. Hotel guests have special access to the outdoor water park. The hotel offers 221 rooms
South Padre Island, Texas.
The physical address is 33261 State Park Road 100
Admission InfoOutdoor park: Reduced prices for children (ages 3 to 11) and seniors (55 and older). 2 and under are free. Season passes are available.
Indoor park: Admission to the indoor water park is included with hotel stays. Tickets to the indoor park are available to non-hotel guests as well.
Compare rates for South Padre Island-area hotels at TripAdvisor.
Outdoor Water Park Features:
With its revolutionary "Transportainment" system, which connects the slides and attractions via a river, guests are free to travel around the park without ever leaving their inner tubes. Four MasterBlaster uphill water coasters await visitors, as well as a surfing ride, a wave pool, body slides, and a kids area.
Directions to the Park:
From Brownsville: Take TX-4E, which turns into TX-48E. Turn onto TX-100E, right onto Padre Blvd., right onto Wallace L. Reed Rd., left into park.
From Corpus Christi: I-37N to US-77S. Exit onto TX-100E and follow directions above.
Learn More about the Rides:
To get a sense of some of the featured rides, read these reviews of similar attractions at other parks:
New for 2012:
The Schlitterbahn Beach Resort and Indoor Waterpark will open in summer 2012.
Official Web Site: