Family getaways in the summer should be cool, especially if you plan to take on the Texas heat. These three exceptional family hotels boast a host of activities to please the entire family, and everyone is sure to have a Texas-sized good time. Naturally, the highlight of these resorts is their refreshing, on-site water parks, where the entire family can splash the day away. However, there’s more to these hotels than water exploits, and many offer golf, children’s clubs, adults-only activities, hiking, horseback riding, day spas, and more to surpass your family vacation expectations.
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa – Bastrop, Texas
Well-appointed accommodations and superior activities for kids often lure parents who are pleased to discover there is also a trove of adult experiences to enjoy. The clamor of children is noticeable only at the water park, where a two-story water slide and several smaller ones whiz riders down to the lazy river surrounded by sandy beaches. The Colorado River winds through the property, where guests can raft, float, and kayak along the winding currents.
Beyond water activities, Longhorn steers, alpacas, and horses lend an air of a friendly farm, and horseback rides allow guests to explore 400 acres of the Lost Pines area that houses the resort. Golfers delight in a well-groomed challenging course, while others often take respite at the full-service spa. Five restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining grace the resort, and various entertainment features often liven up the weekends.
Great Wolf Lodge – Grapevine, Texas
Indoors or outdoors, guests at the Great Wolf Lodge enjoy fun at the amazing water park, which boasts a dozen-plus exhilarating rides, slides, and splash zones suitable for kids of all ages. The indoor park remains a cozy 84 degrees year round, so even a rainy day will not dampen the adventure. Remarkable family suites with bunk bed rooms feature seemingly magical interactive features successfully designed to entertain and amuse.
However, families won’t spend much time in the room – after all, there is a full arcade, the challenging Magic Quest, and kids clubs geared towards every age range. Kids can visit Scoop’s Spa for pampering and ice cream parties, while adults can indulge in the vast range of specialty services at the exclusive Elements Spa. Several family restaurants offer a full range of eats and treats to satisfy even the most discerning palate. Great Wolf is truly great and is dynamic enough to make the kids forget all about their desire to head to an expensive theme park.
JW Marriot Hill Country Resort & Spa – San Antonio, Texas
Rising up like a majestic limestone fortress on a dramatic hill, this exquisite family resort is designed for sheer pleasure. Appropriately called The River Bluff Water Experience, the six-acre heated water park elicits thrilling squeals of delight with numerous pools, slides, and a rapid moving ride to zip participants from zone to zone. Supervised kids activities are planned daily, and this is a great way to keep the kids busy while taking on the challenge of the Pete Dye designed Canyons Course or the Oaks Course inspired by Australian legend Greg Norman.
Restorative organic massages and citrus blossom facials await guests at the full-service spa and fitness center. Nature lovers will relish in the onsite nature preserve, which can be experience by foot, bike, or Segway. Dine formally or within the sports bar while watching the 120-foot big screen TV before heading to a comfortably appointed suite to rest up for another big day of fun.
Besides sheer enjoyment with the family, these three water park hotels in Texas help travelers avoid the long lines so common at a theme park, which means more time is spent having fun. For those wanting to take in more of Central Texas’ natural beauty and recreation, two of these resorts are located near the beautiful Texas Hill Country and gorgeous lakes. Extend your family’s water themed vacation by booking lodging at the Highland Lakes. Book your adventure early to enjoy special rates that these resorts offer guests, and get your summer off to a splashing start.
Tracey Lynn is a (fairly new) mom who lived and traveled in Central Texas and is now actively on the lookout for family friendly vacations. She still promotes tourism in the Texas Hill Country, especially visiting the Highland Lakes, since she grew to like it so much.