Way down at Texas’s far southern tip, there’s a Schlitterbahn Beach Resort, awash with water rides. Or you could opt for nature’s version: South Padre Island where the surf creates old-school water slides and splashy rides. This casual, tropical resort lies between placid Laguna Madre Bay and the choppy Gulf of Mexico. With the best surfing in Texas, it draws eco-vacationers who love to kayak its backwaters, paddleboard the bay, and fly through the air on kiteboards—in competition with the ubiquitous pelicans. College kids have made this a spring break favorite, but families rule the rest of the year, when sandcastle competitions involve the entire clan. Brides, this makes a perfect venue for a tropical wedding, too.
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