Schlitterbahn waterpark dubs itself as "the hottest coolest time in Texas," and with two separate park areas, a resort, and countless rides and wave pools, it is easy to see why it is deserving of that catchphrase. The New Braunfels, Texas waterpark and resort was founded in 1979 and has consistently been ranked as one of the top waterparks in the world. The park is unique due to its natural, spring-fed rivers and it claims the spot as the first waterpark to install an uphill water slide. Schlitterbahn, meaning "slippery road" in German, is open for the summer season.

01Stay at the resort.

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Schlitterbahn turns a day trip to the waterpark into an overnight vacation with its exclusive resort. Booking a stay at the resort provides access to the waterpark during operating hours and additional, exclusive features. Resort guests get early access to the most popular rides. After the park closes, guests have after-hours access to the Boogie Bahn, Family Arcade, and Redemption Center.

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02Take a ride on the Skycoaster.

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Catch a thrill while you take in the best views of Texas hill country and the waterpark. Schlitterbahn's Skycoaster combines elements of hang gliding and skydiving as you soar over the waterpark. Although a ride on the Skycoaster is not included in the price of your ticket, it is well worth the additional cost. Purchase your ticket online or in person.

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03Explore the Congo River.

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Schlitterbahn's Congo River Expedition combines a traditional lazy river with a rainforest safari. Grab an inner tube and float through the spring-fed, natural river decorated with wild animals, rushing waterfalls, and an underground mine. Waterpark guests can hop in the river at various checkpoints throughout the park. Or enter the ride from the Raging River tube chute which flows directly into the Congo River.

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04Experience a thrilling water slide.

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There is no shortage of water slides at Schlitterbahn. The Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster sits at over six stories tall and has been voted as America's number one waterslide year after year. Jets of water propel riders up the slide where they grab a raft and shoot down three stories at rapid speed. The Black Knight capitalizes on your fear of the dark as it is a totally enclosed, two-person tube ride.

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05Have a picnic in the shade.

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A day of fun in the sun can work up a person's appetite, and Schlitterbahn offers many delicious dining options. While most amusement parks rely on stale hot dogs and drippy ice cream cones for nourishment, Schlitterbahn smokes its own barbecue and hand stretches homemade pizza dough. For a break from the harsh sun, we recommend picking up some lunch and lemonade from one of the food stations and eating at one of the many picnic tables sprinkled about the park.

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06Soothe your muscles in a heated pool.

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The spring-fed rivers that provide water for most of Schlitterbahn's rides can be chilly even on a hot summer day. Luckily, the water park offers a number of heated pools to relax in at a moment's notice. The Biergarten Heated Pool provides fun for the adults with a swim-up bar where you can grab a frozen cocktail and relax in the water. Boogie Bay Heated Pool has a more romantic vibe in its secluded spot under a legacy oak tree. And Dragon's Lair Heated Pool offers a fun view of people floating by in inner tubes.

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07Spend some time at Han's Hideout.

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Han's Hideout is a five-story water fun house with surprises at every turn. The giant structure is designed to look like a German pirate ship and features water cannons, waterfalls, shooting fountains, and four fun body slides. Kids will love climbing up the net crawls and through the tunnels. And for a fun surprise, the bow of the giant boat dumps 500 gallons of water on guests below every few minutes.

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08Rent a private cabana.

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For a VIP waterpark experience, rent a private cabana on the Schlitterbahn property. The rental includes a reserved parking spot, private reserved area with ceiling fan and electrical outlet, and a nearby locker to store your belongings while you splash the day away. Wait staff is on hand to serve food and drinks to your cabana while you relax and watch guests float by in the lazy river. Premium cabanas include a mini fridge and a flat screen television.

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09Take your kids to Kinderhaven.

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While one of the many heated pools provide entertainment for the adults, Kinderhaven is the perfect spot for kids. The shallow wading pool has a pirate ship playscape with slides and water cannons. A portion of the pool is shaded so that children can escape the sun for a while. And comfy lounge chairs surround the perimeter of the play area so parents can relax while keeping an eye on the young ones.

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10Catch a wave at the wave pool.

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Take a dip in The Beach Wave Pool for a time that is both relaxing and exciting. The wave pool is a great place to post up because of its shade, picnic tables, and location near the entrance of the waterpark. The gentle swell of the waves is fun for kids and adults alike, and the shallow end contains a pirate slide for the little ones.

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