Island Insider: Schlitterbahn Beach Resort & Waterpark
Make a splash at Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Beach Resort! Nestled next to the beach with its own inland surfing attraction, uphill water coasters, and more fun than should be allowed, the outdoor water park includes a resort and indoor water park for year-round fun. We’ve gathered some of our best tips for guaranteed family fun.
Overview: Schlitterbahn is a waterpark and resort on South Padre Island. The original Schlitterbahn park is in New Braunfels, Texas, and opened in 1979. A lot has changed since then, but the park remains a destination for families looking for fun. Fun fact, “Schlitterbahn” roughly translates to “slippery road” in German.
Cost: Ticket admission varies depending on season, time of park entry and group size. Click here for pricing.
Location: 100 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597
What to know: Parking and inner tubes are free. Coolers are allowed in the park, just no glass or alcohol. A discounted afternoon admission rate begins at 3:00 p.m. Leave valuables at home. There are lockers available and Schlitterbahn recommends guests stow keys and wallets in there.
What to bring: Bring all of the usual poolside items including sunblock, towels, water and a change of clothes. There is a gift shop in case you forget anything.
Ride a “Transportainment” system
Transportation + Entertainment = Transportainment. The transportation? You get around by floating through a lazy river system. The entertainment? All along the lazy river system are park rides and attractions. There’s no standing in line — you float while you wait. This transportation system keeps you cool, relaxed and entertained.
What’s for Lunch?
You can bring your own cooler into the park. Pack water and snacks to keep everyone hydrated and happy. The park has several dining options as well, including snack bars and full service restaurants. Don’t miss out on trying a park favorite: The Shrimp Haus Restaurant.
Texas blogger, Debra Muccio, dined and discovered that the Shrimp Haus Restaurant served more types of shrimp than you knew existed. You can try creations like peanut butter shrimp and Greek shrimp or just stick to the classics. Muccio recommends the chicken fried shrimp: jumbo gulf shrimp topped with roasted jalapeño cream sauce.
Stay and Play
Make the waterpark your home base. You can stay at Schlitterbahn’s resort and wake up in a waterpark. Waterpark admission is included in the cost of the hotel room and full service food locations are on site. This is a great “turnkey” option for families looking to get away with minimal planning and hassle.
When to Go
Summertime is high season for Schlitterbahn. The resort will be packed and the waterpark is full. The lazy river system helps alleviate crowds and the variety of rides gives everyone something to do. Still, if a relaxing, low-key experience is what you’re looking for, summertime might not be the best time for your visit.
But don’t fret, it’s a little-known fact that Schlitterbahn is open year-round. Visit in the fall when crowds drop off steeply or in the winter. The indoor section of the water park is open weekends and select holidays throughout the year.
Rides & Attractions
The waterpark is designed with families in mind, so there really is a little something for everyone to do. The more adventurous in your cohort should try the water coasters Tempest and Storm Chaser, or plummet down the tube chute Pirate’s Plunge.
Don’t miss the Boogie Bahn, an inland surf ride that’s easy enough for kids and parents alike to give a go. The Boogie Bahn on South Padre Island is the largest of any Schlitterbahn Park.
The sandcastle structure in the center of the outdoor park is the place to go if you’re not into slides and rides. Explore the alcoves in the shallow water surrounding the sandcastle and wait for the giant purple dump bucket to fill up and spill over.
For all the adults looking to decompress, head to the Palapa Swim-Up. Swim up to the bar and nab a cocktail.
And for parents with little ones in tow, check out Pirate’s Cove. The shallow water and pirate ship are made for young ones.
There is even more in the park than highlighted here, so check it out for yourself. You can’t help but have fun at a park that boasts “the hottest, coolest time.”