If your family wants a warm winter get away with guaranteed fun for the kids–no matter the weather–head to Texas and the newly opened Schlitterbahn Beach Resort.
The beachfront hotel located on South Padre Island, a sliver of land bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre Bay, is near the southernmost tip of the Lone Star State.
Designed for families, the resort’s indoor, heated waterpark was a hit with our 13-year-old niece and nephew, who spent hours riding the tidal waves and speeding down the 70-foot-tall tube slides.
Lifeguards are strategically stationed throughout the waterpark. While the kids enjoyed the indoor amusements, the adults can relax at two outdoor pools–one has Gulf views and the other a lively swim-up bar.
Families with younger children will find the whimsical Pirates Cove, with the obligatory ship and a yellow submarine, provides plenty of entertainment. Little tykes can splash in an outdoor zero entry pool. Kids of all ages clamor for a ride on the Grand Carousel located inside for year-round fun. With temperatures in the 70s–afternoons can be spent walking along the seashore, feeding seagulls or hunting for sea shells.
On property restaurants range from a casual grill serving brick-oven pizzas and sandwiches to a roof top bar and grill specializing in tapas. The Seaside Grill is a covered, outdoor restaurant facing the dunes and water. My husband loved starting the day with a newspaper and coffee on the deck. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The original outdoor Schlitterbahn is adjacent to the resort and closed during the winter. However, the park’s Shrimp Haus Restaurant opens every day at 4 pm. Live music, daily menu specials, and affordable prices made it a favorite choice for us. Try the yummy shrimp tacos for under $10.
Unlike most amusement parks, Schlitterbahn allows patrons to bring their own picnic baskets inside. (All ice chests and picnic baskets are inspected upon entry–glass containers and alcohol are not permitted.)
The completely remodeled guest rooms at the resort are large. Our wheelchair accessible room included a king size bed, a small work desk, sofa/sleeper, mini fridge, microwave, high-definition flat screen TV, and iPod docking radio alarm clock. Free Wi-Fi and a coffee maker are available in every room. Bigger families, or those wanting more amenities, should consider the King Parlor Ocean View Suite. Accommodating up to eight guests, the suite features a living room, kitchen, washer/dryer and a kid-pleasing bunk bed room with its own wall mounted television.
The staff at the Schlitterbahn Beach Resort were some of the friendliest we have ever encountered at a hotel. They are proud of the property–especially the recycled furnishings. Our guest room had two 500 lb. side tables made from reclaimed wood salvaged from the devastating wild fires near Bastrop, Texas.
Make a Reservation
To book a reservation, visit www.schlitterbahn.com or call 956.761.1160. Check-in is at 4 pm and check-out is at noon. Resort guests are welcome to play at the waterpark beginning when it opens and staying until it closes. Lockers, showers, and a changing area are located inside the waterpark. Parking at the resort is free. For more info on South Padre Island, visit www.sopadre.com or call the Convention and Visitors Bureau 1-800-SOPADRE.