We road tripped back to Texas last week.
It was overdue: we left in January of 2014, and this was the first time “home.” ?I’m pretty sure that’s the longest I’ve been away from Texas IN MY LIFE.
I’m sorry, old friend! ?It won’t happen again.
We made a few stops along the way: Las Cruces and Roswell, New Mexico, and Plano, Texas.
But our primary destination was Central Texas. ?We were heading to New Braunfels and Schlitterbahn, one of the best waterparks in the world.
Don’t take my word on it: The Travel Channel agrees!
Why did we make a trip just to go to Schlitterbahn? ?A 15-hour car ride from Arizona is certainly not practical just for a waterpark! ?But it was so worth it for us.
I adore Schlitterbahn West, the original park. ?This is where I grew up and where I made memories with my parents and childhood friends. ?I wanted to share this experience with my children.
My memories started when I was in the 4th grade.
When summer rolled around, my family made plans to head to New Braunfels. We lived in San Antonio at the time, so it was a quick trip up I-35 to cool off!
Ahhh, yes, you noticed the castle, didn’t you? ?The iconic Schlitterbahn Castle gets credit for starting my castle love.
Back in the day (oh, that would be over 20 years ago!) there were body slides that plunged you from the top of this castle. ?Climbing the steps to those slides and splashing down out of the turret remain my favorite memory of Schlitterbahn to this day.
Those body slides have been replaced with the fantastic Hillside Tube Chute (entrance pictured above). ?This is one of those cases where change wasn’t a bad thing at all: just different.
As kids, we spent hours playing in the Lagoon Activity Pool and riding the classic river-fed tube chute rides.
I’m thrilled to say that even through Schlitterbahn has expanded over the years, the old rides and experiences are still the same.
I have a few suggestions if you plan to hit up any of the Schlitterbahn parks this year:
Pack your cooler (yes, you can bring in ALL your own food!), enjoy free parking, and stay onsite for extra time in the resort.
But here’s my #1 tip for doing Schlitterbahn right: go on a Wednesday and arrive early.
I did my research and learned that the best days to enjoy Schlitterbahn are Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Makes sense: people work. ?Duh.
Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels has three large parks with many attractions to experience.
We started at Surfenburg, walked over to Blastenhoff and finished the day by taking free transportation to the original park, Schlitterbahn West.
We chose to leave our belongings at Surfenburg, due to the proximity to a great play area for #OhLucy. ?With the free and frequent bus system, park hopping was a cinch, and we had no worries about moving from park to park.
As the youngest in our group, Lucy’s needs were a bit more complicated than the rest of us so we made sure she could be comfortable and safe for the day.
She loved the just-her-size slides and splash areas.
My older kids favorite attractions were the Kristal River and the Torrent River.
The Kristal provided a laid back cruise around Surfenburg; the Torrent gives a wild ride around Blastenhoff.
What was my favorite ride? ?Easy answer: the original uphill water coaster, The Master Blaster.
I’ve been to Schlitterbahn many times but this was the first chance I’ve had to ride this bad boy- and it will NOT be my last.
Hands down, coolest water slide EVER!
My kids loved hearing all my “back in my day” stories as I shared the #BahnLove with them. ?And I loved creating new memories with them.
Like the time, my oldest showed his brave and rode the Skycoaster.
Oh, my word- this momma bear had to be held down until he was back on solid land!
We might not be a short trip up I-35 anymore, but I believe in tradition, and I’m happy to share this one with a new generation of Schlitterbahn lovers.
If you go:
Schlitterbahn is open seven days a week in New Braunfels, Texas. ?There are plenty of activities for kids of all ages and levels of swim ability. ?We traveled with kids 4-67 (ha!), and ALL had the best. time. ever! ?Safety is priority number 1 at Schlitterbahn: life vests and lifeguards were a plenty!
400 N. Liberty Ave.
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Parking and tubes are always free!
Disclosure: ?I was given free one-day admission for my family for purposes of review. ?As always, opinions and love of Schlitterbahn are honest and all mine!
Have you ever been to a Schlitterbahn Park? ?I’d love to hear about your favorite memory!?
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)