If you’re looking for a place your whole family can enjoy during summer vacation, look no further than Schlitterbahn in NewBraunfels, Texas. With attractions ranging from water slides and tube rides that will leave the bravest among your clan thrilled and breathless to gentle heated pools and kiddie play areas, this attraction has been voted World’s Best Waterpark for 23 years in a row.
My family has been going to Schlitterbahn since it was a relatively small water park on the Comal River. Now it is enormous, with four distinct sections. Each one is as large as most regional water parks and contains a swim-up bar, not-so-lazy river, children’s area and a variety of river rides, pools, waterslides, and adventures from mild to wild. In fact, it was so perfect for all ages and activity levels that several years ago we booked a family reunion involving 29 people for a three-day stay.
Schlitterbahn recently opened for the 2022 season, featuring upgrades and improvements totaling $4.5 million. Guest entry has been streamlined, accommodations have received upgrades, and busses have been added to the free shuttle fleet.
Darren Hill, vice president and general manager of Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels, explains, “This season we are using our 40 years of experience of providing fun for our guests as we add more shade, new food options, and important upgrades to iconic attractions.”
What to expect at Schlitterbahn
Miles of rivers in the Original Section (still a favorite area) are powered by natural spring water from the Comal River. There’s the largest and most eclectic collection of water rides in the world, making Schlitterbahn the “Hottest, Coolest Time in Texas.” Several water playgrounds are designed for the youngest guests. Even though there are numerous food options available for purchase, coolers are always welcome in the park, so you can bring drinks and snacks for your crowd and avoid resort prices, if that’s what you prefer.
Cabanas are available for rent, but if you arrive reasonably early in the morning you should be able to find a shady area with tables or chairs to use as home base for the day. If you want to stay longer, Schlitterbahn Resort includes several accommodation options such as cabins, hotel, and a lodge, as well as condos and luxury suites that are located right next to the water park.For our group, we rented several condos that were walking distance from the water park gates. Families could enjoy attractions in the morning, play for several hours, return to their condos for a mid-day break (especially nice with small children), and then go back for another round of thrills and spills later in the day. We were also close to pools outside the gate and a large picnic area where we had dinners together in the cooling shade of large oak trees. Staying on site also enables guests to save up to 40% on admission fees.
Ready to go
Test your mettle on tube rides like Raging River, The Falls, Black Knight, Bahnzai Pipeline, and AquaVeyer. Body slides including Back Splash, Double Look, and Soda Straw will have you screaming, smiling, and going back for more.
Little tykes and their parents will find fun and relaxation at Crystal River, Kiddie Coast, Gator Bowl Activity Pool, and Sea Creature Cove. Wave pools provide just enough challenge and cooling off opportunities for all ages.
Away from the water, take time to check out historic New Braunfels and nearby Guene with its famous dance hall. The beautiful Texas Hill Country also features other attractions including caves, wildlife park, golf courses, and nearby San Antonio.
Schlitterbahn can be a one-stop attraction with something for everyone. 400 N. Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, Texas, 830-625-2351
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier