When Daniel Bryant founded Breakaway Cruises in 1995, the tour company had a fleet of one—a dolphin watch boat, the Xcape. Nowadays, the Xcape is still bringing tourists face-to-face with live dolphins, but it no longer works alone. Gliding behind one of the new parasailing boats, aquatic adventurers rise up to 600 feet above the waves without having to harness a flying fish to each shoe. Meanwhile, fishermen can seek out sand trout, redfish, and speckled trout aboard assorted fishing boats. Jet skis round out the fleet, along with a second dolphin watch boat.
At Bisque-it Shop, daubers of all ages stipple, stripe, and embellish singular designs on their choice of more than 300 paint-ready vessels. Armed with studio-supplied brushes, stencils, and under-glazed paints, guests seek out ceramic soul mates in the form of trinket boxes ($10–$18), dinnerware ($15–$45), or animal figurines ($10–$14) before adorning new best friends with a panchromatic coating. After completing their paint-tinged opus, guests turn works over to Bisque-it Shop’s clay caretakers, who kiln-fire artifacts to preserve designs against the abuses of microwaves, food items, and that bullying Grecian urn from down the block. The shop readies pieces for pick-up in seven days. Bisque-it Shop’s expansive atelier accommodates up to 70 painters at once, and staffers accept reservations for groups celebrating birthdays, bachelorette parties, or the 20th anniversary of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Cottonwood Creek Country Club & Golf Course has tested the mettle of south Texas golfers for more than 20 years on its nine-hole, par 27 course that stretches along 1,245 manicured yards. Each round of golf ($9/person) challenges golfers with fast, tight play over undulating bent-grass greens and fairways, perfect for practicing your short game and modeling new plaid knickers. Golfers traverse the course on carts ($6/person) to successive par 3 holes, including the signature hole No. 5, a formidable 175 yards that challenges golfers with a scenic tee shot over a rolling stream. A year-round average of 74 degrees washes gentle warmth over the course and ensures that even if golfers have a subpar game, they still get plenty of the sun’s friendly vitamin-D-filled rays.
As the official training center for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Summit Sports Club greets guests with a wide array of alley-oop-grade facilities for physical fitness. Smack tennis balls and biceps into shape in one of Summit's four full-size indoor tennis courts or five indoor racquetball quadrangles.
Upside Down entrances the senses with an inverted neon sign, luminous 200-inch TVs, a hypnotic blue-and-white-whorled floor, live music and comedy, and a menu of hearty burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Mesmerize your mouth with six traditional ($5.25) or boneless ($7.59) wings doused in mild, hot, lemon pepper, barbecue, or parmesan-garlic sauce and served with homemade blue-cheese dressing. Cheddar, bacon, grilled onions, and thousand-island dressing mingle on the Black Hole burger ($7.99) and sliced turkey cozies up in the Backwards Bird sandwich with a melted-jack-cheese comforter and avocado throw pillow ($7.99). For a fragrant denouement, choose from more than one dozen flavors of hookah to practice puffing smoke rings or more baroque smoke fleurs-di-lis.