Splish Splash

One thing for which our great state is infamously known is the sweltering Texas heat. It’s the kind of heat that drains the soul, and there’s only one thing to remedy it—water parks. San Antonio has many options where you can beat the heat, whether you want to sit back and relax, jump around, get the thrill of your life or learn something new. It’s all here.

The mothership of water park fun is Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort in New Braunfels. Named “World’s Best Water Park” at the 2007 Golden Ticket Awards, Schlitterbahn is a family-friendly park where you can experience over three miles of tubing adventures, seven children’s water playgrounds, 17 water slides, the world’s first surfing machine and three uphill water coasters. You can even bring your own picnic … after all, even surfing pros have to eat!

If you’re worried about a water park being too much for the little ones, don’t. Splashtown San Antonio’s Kid’s Kove is made just for them, featuring scaled-down rides, slides and more. And for mom and dad, Splashtown offers more than 50 rides and attractions including the Siesta Del Rio—a relaxing river ride—and the largest Wave Pool in South Texas. For a real thrill, try out Starflight soaring double-tube trip through total darkness. There is even a Jr. Starflight for the kids. Finally, don’t miss “Dive In” movies every Friday night.

If you’ve always wanted to interact with beautiful white Beluga whales and friendly California sea lions, SeaWorld San Antonio is the perfect place to cool off and learn quite a bit about these wondrous creatures. Here, you have the opportunity to throw on a wetsuit and interact nose-to-nose with your new friends, as you practice with them and feed them lunch. Splash around at Shamu Happy Harbor—a tropical-themed land, loaded with imaginative play elements that beckon to be explored—or sunbathe at the palm-studded beach of Lost Lagoon’s Wave Wash Pool.

Plummeting dips, twisting tunnels and a 50-foot drop … welcome to Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ Big Bender. Fiesta Texas has more than meets the eye. Its White Water Bay offers attractions like the Hill Country Racer—a super-fast water slide—and the Tornado, where riders drop 75 feet and navigate through 5,000 gallons of churning water. If relaxed fun in the sun is more your speed, check out the family-friendly Six Chuter interactive water park … just watch out for the massive water tank spill.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, 381 E. Austin St., New Braunfels, 830-625-2351; Splashtown San Antonio, 3600 N. IH-35, 210-227-1400; SeaWorld San Antonio, 10500 SeaWorld Dr., 800-700-7786; Six Flags Fiesta Texas, 17000 IH-10 W., 210-697-5050