One of the best ways to spend a hot summer day in Texas is in the water, and floating around on a lazy river makes for an especially relaxation experience. With Texas home to multiple water parks, there are lots of great options for lazy rivers, a water ride that flows similar to a river, allowing guests to gently glide along as if it’s a real river, albeit without all the rocks and boulders. Of course, Texas is home to some great natural “lazy” rivers too.
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Schlitterbahn Galveston (Nearby Hotels)
There are multiple Schlitterbahn locations, including Corpus Christi, New Braunfels and Galveston, and the chain is considered one of the best water parks in the world. Not only is it a water park, but it’s also a full resort, complete with lodging and activity offerings like horseback riding and fishing. The water park itself offers three miles of lazy and rushing rivers, complete with thrilling rapids, so you’ll have your choice of a gentle float or a more heart-pounding ride. There are lots of pools for swimming, exciting water slides and even beaches too.
Hawaiian Falls Water Park, Garland (Nearby Hotels)
Hawaiian Falls water parks are also a chain, located in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke and Waco. Garland is the original, opened in 2003 across 12 acres next to the Spring Creek Forest Preserve. It hosts a lazy river along with 11 water slides, an interactive water tree-house, a wave pool, activity pool, and a number of food stands. It also has a park within a park that features a climbing wall, robe bridges, rope courses and more.
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort (Prices & Photos)
If you’re looking for an all-in-one resort experience, the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort in San Antonio is ideal. The property features seven restaurants, spa services, spacious rooms and a water park. The six-acre park includes a lazy river and multiple water slides. The 26,000-square-foot spa offers a private pool for adults so parents can relax while the kids take advantage of the water park. As it’s located less than 20 miles from Six Flags Fiesta Texas amusement park, it’s easy to combine a trip and enjoy even more thrills.
BSR Cable Park, Waco (Nearby Hotels)
Known as the world’s top cable park, BSR Cable Park boasts the world’s longest lazy river. It clocks in at just under a mile, allowing for a wonderfully long, leisurely float. The park is also famous for its Royal Flush, which consists of three slides varying in length, height, and the ability to shoot riders high into the air. The smallest is great for little ones or the more timid with a slower speed and smaller trajectory, kind of like the bunny hill at a ski resort, while the biggest has a thrilling 100-foot drop. The park hosts a “surf resort” too, with various wave sets, including a high-performance expert wave with everything from tube rides to aerials possible.
Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine (Prices & Photos)
Great Wolf Lodge is ideal for those days when the sun is so intense you don’t want to risk a sunburn, or the weather outside is too chilly. An indoor water park, it offers lots but its lazy river is a definite highlight with the chance to just lay back on a tube and let the water carry your worries away. There are all sorts of water slides, tubes and even hot springs in the 80,000-square-foot park, as well as cabanas, dining options and more.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country and Spa (Prices & Photos)
This exciting hotel resort located about 20 minutes from downtown San Antonio offers something for just about everyone. It includes a large water park with three swimming pools and a 950-foot lazy river known as the “Ramblin’ River” that offers plenty of floating fun for kids and the kid-at-heart. There’s also a 22-foot water slide and the thrilling FlowRider wave machine which simulates a “barrel-less” wave for body, knee and stand-up boarders. Flowboarding is a mix of boogie boarding, wakeboarding, surfing and snowboarding. The resort also features a 27-hole golf course, gym and tennis court along with delicious dining options that range from locally-sourced fare at Antlers Lodge to Texas-style bites in Charlie’s Long Bar and poolside service.
Wet 'n' Wild Splashtown, Spring (Nearby Hotels)
SplashTown is one of the state’s most popular parks. It offers thrill rides, kids’ rides and rides for the whole family. The thrill rides are especially impressive, like the 60-foot-tall Alien Chaser
that takes riders on two-person tubes which speed through dark tunnels and rocket into the wide-open expanse of massive saucers. The Texas Freefall is seven stories of heart-pounding, free-falling excitement, and there’s a FlowRider among the many other options too. Of course, it has a lazy river too, popular with families, as well as a new interactive play area for the little ones. With plenty of shade and lots of water features in between the rides, it’s a great way to keep cool when temperatures soar.
The Comal River (Nearby Hotels)
This lazy river is different from the rest. As a natural river, and the shortest river on the planet. It begins at Comal Springs in Landa Park and flows just two-and-a-half miles until meeting up with the Guadalupe. While it may be short, it’s filled with tubing fun serving as the natural amusement park of Texas Rivers. Gentle, slow and not too cold, the spring-fed water just right at a refreshing 70 to 72 degrees for relief from the heat. There are wide, easy stretches, and other than the single tube chute, no boulders, rapids or other obstacles to interrupt the meditative ride.
The Marriott Marquis Houston (Prices & Photos)
The Marriott Marquis Houston is home to the only Texas-shaped lazy river in the world. And in true Texas fashion, this heated rooftop river is big — about 6,500 square feet, to be exact. The lazy river sits 110 feet above street level and it will take you and your inner tube about 22 minutes to circumnavigate the great state of Texas, from the Panhandle to the Louisiana border and everywhere in between.