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Galveston Attractions & Things To See & Do

Schlitterbahn Waterpark

It just doesn't get any better than floating down a lazy river with your family and grandkids on a hot summer day in Texas - and that's just what we did during a mini vacation to Galveston over Memorial Day. Clearly one of the best attractions and top ten fun things to do in Galveston and maybe all of Texas is and not only is it one of the best attractions but it is clearly one of the best waterparks in all of Texas.

Slides at Schlitterbahn Galveston

If you're visiting Galveston for a weekend, day trip, or vacation then you've got to add Schlitterbahn to your list of things to see and do. You won't be disappointed and your kids will love you forever and they will be on their best behavior for at least a year (well we can hope so anyway) - that's if you can ever get them to leave Schlitterbahn. One thing is for sure - they will leave tired, waterlogged, and asking when they can go back!

Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Galveston is huge - check out this Schlitterbahn map if you don't believe me - and loaded with enough things to keep you busy for two days or more. There are 33 amazing rides and attractions including several varieties of slides, kids areas, lazy rivers, wave pool, arcade, restaurants and snack bars, huge hot tub with a swim up bar, gift shop, and lots more. The park is broken into three areas - Blastenhoff, Surfenburg, and Wasserfest - and each section has unique things to do for thrill seekers, those who want to relax and soak up the rays, or for the younger kids. For example, just some of what each area has includes: Schlitterbahn Boggie Bahni

  • Blastenhoff - twin twisters slides with surprises and thrills, Treasure Island Kid's area, a freefall slide where you can reach speeds of 40 miles an hour, a twisting and turning body slide, beach lounging area, and a downhill whitewater river ride
  • Surfenburg - an endless wave for body surfing, two water slides with roller coaster style drops, rafting river with a fast flowing whitewater channel, tropical island hut with all sorts of water related activities for kids, three body slides, wave lagoon, and more
  • Wasserfest - a tidal wave river, kids pool, two high speed slides (a 312 feet long and 60 feet high thrill ride), a slide that will send you body hurling downhill at up to 30 miles an hour, two enclosed tube slides that are over 4 stories high and 390 feet long, hot tub and swim up bar (I spend a lot of time here), kids area, and a beach area

One of several beach areas at SchlitterbahnSchlitterbahn Guada LoopyOne of several kids areas at SchlitterbahnSchlitterbahn Pipeline

Slow section of the lazy river at SchlitterbahnDown the lazy river at SchlitterbahnThe first thing that we did upon arriving at Schlitterbahn as soon as the gates opened is find some tubes for all of us and life jackets for the 4 grandkids aged 17 months to 6 and then head straight to the lazy river. And I don't think we got out for at least two hours. All of us are very experienced lazy river floaters and have accumulated a number of hours and a couple lazy river certificates from several places that have lazy rivers, in Texas as well as other states! Which means I speak with authority and years of experience and can unequivocally confirm that Schlitterbahn in Galveston has the best lazy river.

What makes this this lazy river fun is it is much more than a lazy river - it twists and turns throughout the park and has interconnected river sections that take you to the white water rapids, or through the tidal wave, or just an easy float through the park.

The river flow is perfect as is the depth and width of the river! In one section of the river, there is a sign pointing left to the Whitewater River where you ride in your tube up the Aquaveyer (a tube escalator) to shoot down the rapids and whitewater. Another section of the river has huge rolling waves that propel you up and down the river. Schlitterbahn CliffhangerWow, what a blast for all ages, be careful, it's easy to spend most of the day enjoying the river and not have time left for the other rides.

We finally coerced the grandkids out of the lazy river and took them to a couple different kiddy area with water guns, tipping buckets, slides, fountains, and more. They were all smiles for another hour and hated to leave. While the grandkids were enjoying the kids area, the adults (except for two of us who volunteered to baby sit because he may have been a little frightened of going down some of the monster slides) set off in search of some bigger and more exciting thrills. As I sat on a stool at the hot tub's swim up bar drinking a frozen margarita and munching on some nachos, I think I could hear them yelling as they experienced the:

  • F5 Twin Twisters and Cliffhanger - both body slides one with twists and turns and the other a straight shot 81' downhill at 40 miles an hour
  • Guada Loopy - an enclosed 4 story tube slide in the dark
  • Rohr - a break the speed limit vertical plunge from a 60 foot tower (I'd rather be eating nachos and drinking margaritas!)
  • Faust and Furious - two speed slides over 310 feet long

Up the Aquaveyer at SchlitterbahnSchlitterbahn Twin TwistersSchlitterbahn RohrSlow section of the lazy river at Schlitterbahn

After all that excitement, we're starving and had to make some tough choices between the BBQ Haus, Boomerang Billye's (burgers, dogs, and more), the Lagoon Snack Shack (ices, funnel cakes, and pretzels) Ponte Pizza, or Surf Grill for dogs, burgers, or nachos. It didn't take long to devour the food, get some tubes and we're back on the lazy river, twisting down the slides, or enjoying the kids - but in my case I'm wondering when I was going to get a nap! In fact, I was very tempted to rent one of the private cabanas, plop myself in the hammock, and take a short snooze!

All to soon, the park announced it was closing. Within 30 seconds after getting in the car, all of the grandkids as well as some moms were sound asleep! And all the next day they kept reliving the experiences and asking when can they go back. A fun time at Schlitterbahn.

Schlitterbahn has two other fantastic waterparks in Texas - in New Braunfels (over 3 miles of tubing adventures, 7 children’s water playgrounds, 17 water slides, the world’s first surfing machine, and 3 uphill water coasters spread over 65 acres of fun!) and on the beach in South Padre Island (interconnecting water rides and slides, a huge 5-story tall Sandcastle, thrilling uphill water coasters, a man-made surfing wave, and direct access to the Gulf of Mexico). The Galveston Schlitterbahn is open year round thanks to their being able to cover some of the Wasserfest part of the park where you'll find more than a dozen heated attractions in a tropical, climate-controlled indoor oasis. In fact, the Wasserfest was voted The #1 Indoor Waterpark in the World.