South Texas Speedway fulfills enthusiasts of distance divided by time with thrilling races and events for all ages. This summer features a full schedule of Saturday races that commence in the evenings at 7:30 p.m. and cover five different classes, from youth go-karts and front-wheel drive Front runners to entry-level Bomber cars. Pure stocks race around the quarter-mile dirt track with the speed and agility of a thoroughbred panther, and all races conclude with thrilling limited-modified laps.
Under the new management of Tom Lawless, the 2011 Hooks—the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros—look to proclaim bat-swinging dominance in the Texas League. Baseball supporters can claim seats at Whataburger Field, which is built to reflect the feel of a classic ballpark and can hold about 7,000 Hooks fans and three times as many foam fingers. Two wristbands adorn arms and grant access to extracurricular excursions in the Driscoll Children's Hospital Kids Zone, featuring a rock-climbing wall and a chimp-free jungle gym. Along with being able to see the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium from inside the park, fans can enjoy breath-robbing views of the Harbor Bridge and mascots removing their comically oversize heads to observe the National Anthem. After the game, fans can trade their baseball caps for 10-gallon hats as they take in a concert by Tejano rockers Texas Tornados or Green River Ordinance, a quintet of aspiring environmental attorneys moonlighting as talented musicians.
Perched on the shores of the Laguna Madre on the coast of south Texas, Bluff's Landing Marina and Lodge is a modern fishing and hunting lodge with a full-service marina. You’ll be within walking distance of the marina when you stay in a king or two-doubles room, decorated with rustic lodge items such as mounted deer heads and plaid-upholstered chairs, and you’ll have great views of the nearby ocean. Next door to the marina is Laguna Reef Restaurant, where the house chefs will cook up your day’s catch, or you can nosh on coconut shrimp and fried oysters while looking out over Laguna Madre. There’s free parking, a live bait and tackle shop onsite, and a free boat launch for the naval battleship you’ve been hauling around.
Among more than a dozen bullet points on his resume, Captain Bobby Luna of Luna & Associates holds certifications as an NRA-licensed firearm instructor and a DPS-certified concealed-handgun instructor. The US Army veteran and 30-year law-enforcement member trains his students to safely operate handguns and obtain their concealed-handgun licenses. He's also a retired game warden, which makes him an ideal instructor to teach a Texas Hunter Safety Course for novices and young hunters.
The staff at Play Extreme Sports builds on classic combat games such as laser tag and paintball with modern twists that provide fun and active entertainment for kids and adults. An airsoft field facilitates games similar to paintball that substitute paint pellets for BBs, and food-grade cornstarch is the weapon of choice in color throws. Players aim at the undead during seasonal zombie paintball hunts, and at-home parties get a boost of mess-free fun with a mobile paintball booth.
Standup paddleboards afford views unmatched by their made-for-sitting brethren, the kayak and canoe. But that’s only part of the reason Padre Paddle touts standup paddleboarding (SUP) lessons and rentals as its sole offering. SUP also works the core muscles and can be picked up by athletes of all ages and skill levels. To keep riders from sliding off into the open arms of an unwanted mermaid admirer the boards used at Padre Paddle are topped with a soft grip inspired by yoga mats. This surface is also handy for SUP yoga classes, which welcome students to hold poses atop the water about an hour before sunset.