Where to beat the San Antonio spring and summer heat in South Texas and the Hill Country
The hottest temperature ever recorded in San Antonio is 111 degrees, so locals know what a blazing inferno spring, summer and even fall can feel like in South Texas. Only four months of the year, October through January, have never had a 100-degree day in San Antonio, so even late spring can scorch and sting with a high-temperature zing.But there’s no need to dread the coming sizzling hot summer as long as you’ve got a game plan and know where go to cool off and find water. Here is a sure way to beat the heat: Follow our guide to wet, wonderful water fun in South Texas and the Hill Country.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Ready to get wet and wild? The park’s popular White Water Bay opens for the 2015 season on Saturday, May 2, with lots of wonderful ways to cool down and have fun in the park’s newly expanded water park area. From large pools and lazy rivers to multi-passenger rafting adventures and speed slides, you’ll find water rides and exciting experiences for everyone in your crew right here. Experience the thrilling Bahama Blaster — an all-new extreme attraction featuring four side-by-side-water slides. Enjoy the Bamboo Chutes, which are twin kids’ slides located near White Water Bay’s wave pool.
Fiesta Texas also boasts the Big Bender, an enclosed raft slide that is a winding, pulse-racing thrill ride. Then why not make a big splash in your home state? In the Lone Star Lagoon, ride the waves in a half-million-gallon wave pool shaped like the state of Texas. Six Flag’s Fiesta Texas’ recent expansion also features a small pool area called Paradise Cove for children to enjoy after sliding down Bamboo Chutes. There’s also a new Cabana Village at White Water Bay where guests can rent six cabanas with ceiling fans, tables and chairs, recliners and a stocked mini-refrigerator.
WATER-FUN STAY-CATION SPOTS
So there’s no pool at home, and you don’t want to spend lots of money for wristbands for all the kids at local water parks? Why not enjoy a “staycation” at one of San Antonio’s hotel resorts where you can relax by a pool with a cold drink while the kids play all day at a hotel water park? At the JW Marriott SA Hill Country Resort and Spa, guests enjoy exclusive access to … The 6-Acre River Bluff Water Experience — With as many as four entry wristbands allowed per hotel room, this 6-acre attraction is a great deal for families. There, you can ascend the Water Tower adjacent to the children’s pool to access the Acequia Tube Slides. At the 35-foot-high start platform, guests will not only experience an expansive view of the surrounding landscape and Water Experience, but also the excitement of the twists and turns awaiting them in the two 275-foot-long Acequia Tube Slides.
There is also an activity pool, adult pool, kids’ pool, waterslides and even a 1,100-foot lazy river. This is a perfect opportunity to take a leisurely float around the grand cabana and leisure pool deck areas. Want more water fun? The Pedernales River ride is a 650-foot innovative custom water ride experience. Utilizing lower gradients and higher volumes of water, the slide is very similar to a natural river. The swift current produces a fast-moving, powerful ride experience that literally carries rider and tubes from one curve into the next. Also, the Rapids River Ride is 350 feet of water “interaction.” Guests on the deck can aim the Water Blasters along the Rapid River’s edge to spray unsuspecting patrons.
At the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa guests can splash, swim and float away in the 5-acre water park featuring …Pools and Hot Tubs — Cool off in one of the resort’s many swimming pools. Join a game of water volleyball or basketball in the activity pool, unwind at the adults-only Texas pool and hot tub, or relax in the hotel’s Windflower Spa private pool. There is also a zero-entry wading pool for beginning swimmers.
Sunshine Cabanas, available for day rental, are located between the family activity and adults-only Texas pools when you need to find some shade.
Ramblin’ River® — Modeled after the historic Guadalupe River just north of San Antonio, the 950-foot Ramblin’ River® offers hours of floating fun for both kids and adults. After picking up a tube, floaters ease past the sandy beach into the waterway and relax while taking in the views of the resort.
Edge Falls — If you’re more of a thrill-seeker, try a ride on the FlowRider®, an exciting attraction that simulates a “barrel-less” wave for body, knee and stand-up boarders.
Water Slide — If you’re still seeking an adrenaline rush, take a quick, wet ride down the resort’s 22-foot water slide!
SeaWorld — Connect with the natural world at SeaWorld San Antonio by meeting animals up close, soaring through the sky on a thrilling roller coaster and experiencing the sea’s majesty in one of SeaWorld’s amazing shows. Be the first to see Clyde and Seamore’s Sea Lion High show at the park’s new Pacific Point Preserve, a coastal-themed home to sea lions, walruses, otters and seals.
Aquatica — At SeaWorld’s water park, enjoy water rides and meet stingrays, tropical birds and other amazing animals. Soar up a three-story high wall on Walhalla Wave or soak up the sun on white sand beaches. Texas teachers may receive free admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica San Antonio now through May 31, and there’s also free admission for preschoolers and qualifying K-12 teachers. Don’t miss SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival, May 8-31.
Schlitterbahn Water Park and Resort in New Braunfels has been ranked as the No. 1 Water Park in the World for 17 consecutive years. Located on the banks of the spring-fed Comal River in New Braunfels, Schlitterbahn’s flagship water park has 40 attractions on over 70 acres. Family-owned and operated, Schlitterbahn provides a staggering variety of rides, slides and water adventures from mild to wild. Four adventures are available in one giant water park at Schlitterbahn New Braunfels:
The Original Schlitterbahn: Home to the signature Schlitterbahn Castle, this section of the park uses spring-fed water from the Comal River. There are eight tube chutes, seven kids’ play areas, a wave pool and the swim-up bars in heated pools, all nestled beneath a beautiful canopy of trees. On the wild side: the Down Hill Racer, the Soda Straws. On the mild side: the Raging River, the Congo.
Surfenburg: Named for the world’s first surfing wave, the Boogie Bahn, Surfenburg is also home to the first uphill water coaster, the Dragon’s Revenge. Also in
Surfenburg: Enjoy the Kristal River, which circles Squirt’n Sliden, a kids’ giant play area.
Blastenhoff: The most awarded and most popular attraction in Schlitterbahn history, the Master Blaster starts at the top of a six-story tower in Blastenhoff. (Two other rides also take off from the same tower.) Surrounding the “Blast Tower” is the Torrent Wave River, which combines an endless river with a wave pool for unlimited fun.
Tubenbach: Tubenbach features the world’s longest tubing adventure, The Falls, as well as several new no-wait attractions along with beaches allowing park guests to enjoy the new rides without standing in a line. Several of the Tubenbach attractions are interconnected through an innovative Transportainment™ river, allowing tubers to stay in the water and float throughout the Schlitterbahn East area.
Overall, Schlitterbahn New Braunfels has four times the rides and attractions of any water park within 200 miles, and twice the number of attractions of any water park within 500 miles. The naturally landscaped park is shaded by 100-year-old cedar and cypress trees. Schlitterbahn also has locations at South Padre Island and Galveston Island, and this summer they will open another park in Corpus Christi. And did you know there’s even a Schlitterbahn in Kansas City?
Luxury Cabanas: Schlitterbahn has just expanded the number of its cabanas, which include everything from barbecue palapas to super-sized cabanas 10 people can share. Luxury cabanas with mini-fridges and TV screens are planned to open midsummer, too.
Tubing in the Comal and the Guadalupe Rivers
You don’t have to go to a big water park to find water fun in and around New Braunfels; just rent a tube from any outfitter along Highway 46 and River Road, and hop in the nearest river. Both the Comal River and the Guadalupe River run through the area. A good place to start? Why not jump in just below the Gruene Historic District and ride the waves and mini-falls to fun?
Canyon Lake is a true hidden treasure in the Central Texas Hill Country. With sparkling waterfront and lake views, Canyon Lake offers opportunities for boating/sailing, water skiing, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving, parasailing and more. Located just 40 miles north of San Antonio and 25 miles west of New Braunfels and San Marcos, Canyon Lake has eight public parks, 23 boat ramps, two marinas, campgrounds, a golf course, a country club and a yacht club. The lake has a surface area of 8,230 acres plus 80 miles of shoreline, and Canyon Lake releases water downstream into the Guadalupe River.
HILL COUNTRY RIVER FUN KERRVILLE CANOEING – Kerrville has gorgeous shaded parks along the Guadalupe River, where folks like to come to enjoy the best of Hill Country water recreation fun. Rafts, tubes, paddleboats, kayaks and canoes are available to rent, as well as fly-fishing gear and more. Camping along the river is pleasant here, too.
INGRAM DAM SLIDING – Not far from Kerrville along Highway 3, check out the Ingram Dam, where kids of all ages like to slide down the slippery tall dam into the watering hole below. It’s a fun place for families to enjoy free water fun, but be careful — it can be slippery and even dangerous unless you’re careful and take it slow when you slide.
WATER SKI SPORTS AND MORE LAKE LBJ — Lake Lyndon B. Johnson is located on the Colorado River just one hour northwest of Austin. As one of the few constant-level lakes in Texas, Lake LBJ is a popular weekend destination for boating, wakeboarding, water skiing, sailing, fishing and much more. The jewel of the Highland Lakes chain of six lakes formed along the Colorado River, from Kingsland stretching all the way to Horseshoe Bay, LBJ is a place where visitors can enjoy the serene splendors of area resorts, rustic cabins, RV spaces and lake-front vacation houses and also find boats for rent and hire fishing guides. Lake LBJ is also a prime spot for birdwatchers and those who love Texas’ colorful spring wildflowers.
LAKE MCQUEENEY — Lake McQueeney, created by dams along the Guadalupe River downstream from New Braunfels, is well known among water ski enthusiasts as the “Water Ski Capital of Texas.” Why? The Ski Bees, a water ski club that often takes part in (and wins) statewide and national competitions, has been skiing Lake McQueeney for more than 60 years! Rent a house or vacation spot along McQueeney, or join the Lake Breeze Ski lodge club so you can dock your boat and watch the Ski Bees summer Thursday night water-ski shows.
TEXAS SKI RANCH — The Texas Ski Ranch is a 70-acre action sports paradise located just north of New Braunfels on I-35. When it comes to wakeboarding and cable parks, TSR is consistently ranked as one of the top facilities in the world. With three cable systems and a boat lake, there is truly something for all levels of water sports enthusiasts. First-time riders can take advantage of TSR’s incredible coaching and beginner cables, and more advanced riders can charge the park and hit structures. Riders can indulge in just about every board sport, including snowboarding, skateboarding and stand-up paddleboards. Visitors can lounge on TSR’s private beach, dine at Wahoo’s Fish Taco or burn energy at TSR’s Spring Loaded Trampoline Park.