Texas Living

Coast to Coaster: 4 Texas Spring Break Options

By Christine Perez 3.5.13

Spring break vacation options in Texas are as diverse and vast as the Lone Star State itself. Here are four of the most popular destinations.


In German, it means “slippery road.” In Texas, “Schlitterbahn” means the most legendary water park around. The family-owned company has locations in Galveston and South Padre Island, as well as Kansas City, Kan., but the original Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, between Austin and San Antonio, is the granddaddy of them all.

It has been named the world’s No. 1 water park for 14 consecutive years. The cool waters of the Comal River feed into the park and are filtered and recycled back out. The 40-acre Schlitterbahn West, which opened in 1979, pays tribute to the area’s German heritage. The 25-acre Schlitterbahn East features the world’s first surfing machine and several uphill water coasters. Do not miss the Master Blaster, no matter how long the lines become. It’s pure awesomeness. Schlitterbahn offers more than 3 miles of inner tube rides, 17 water slides, nine tube chutes, and seven children’s water playgrounds.

San Antonio

The beauty of a spring break trip to San Antonio is that it offers a wildly diverse range of experiences. There’s SeaWorld, the largest marine-themed park on the planet. Its amazing shows feature whales, professional high divers, aerialists, and synchronized swimmers performing with dolphins. It’s also home to the Steel Eel, the only “hypercoaster” in Texas. More thrills await at Six Flags Fiesta Theme Park, which in 2013 will debut the Iron Rattler, a 70-miles-per-hour coaster that features a staggering 171-drop and the world’s first inverted barrel roll. Yowsa.

No trip to San Antonio would be complete without a visit to the Alamo, the site of the historic Texas Revolution battle of 1836; it’s now a museum in the city’s Alamo Plaza District downtown. Also on the don’t miss list—a stop at the Paseo del Rio, better known as the San Antonio River Walk.

Highland Lakes in the Texas Hill Country

Water enthusiasts who don’t want to travel to the Gulf Coast can find the recreational opportunities they seek at this chain of seven reservoirs in Central Texas.

Formed by the damming of the Colorado River, the lakes span a stretch of about 75 miles and include Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Lady Bird Lake.

A rowdy party spot at the crystal-clear Lake Travis, the largest of the reservoirs, is Devil’s Cove, where hundreds of boats often “tie up” together.

For a more tame experience, visit one of the spas along the shores of Lake Austin or the 10-mile hike-and-bike trail at Lady Bird Lake. For the best fishing, try Lake Buchanan or Inks Lake.

South Padre Island

Spring break at South Padre Island, or SPI, is legendary. The 34-mile-long barrier reef attracts more than 50,000 students each March, making it the No. 1 spring break destination in the South.

Because SPI is only about a half-mile wide, it consists mainly of shoreline, both on the bay side and gulf side. The beauty and culture of the island is intoxicating; no stress allowed!

To experience peace and tranquility, drive to the northern end of the island and hike over the dunes to secluded beach areas. Closer to town, parties will be hopping at both the island’s many clubs and along the beaches.

Daytime recreation options include windsurfing, parasailing, deep-sea fishing charters, and dolphin tours. Kiting and kite-boarding are also very popular at SPI.