The three main acts of baseball—pitching, batting, and catching—all require a firm grip. But that's impossible on The Diamond, a baseball-themed spray deck where cool H2O jets from each ball, bat, and glove. Like the USS Dusty—a replica aircraft carrier equipped with slides and water cannons—The Diamond is one of two play areas that cater to younger kids at Hurricane Alley Waterpark.
Older guests can compete on Storm Chaser, a four-lane racing slide, or plummet down the six-story Cat 5, a winding slide more than 65-feet high. Waves crash across the 12,000-square-foot Storm Surge wave pool, while more gentle waters await those lounging in the park's 750-foot lazy river, the Gulf Stream. For adults, Hurricane Alley even houses a swim-up bar where of-age guests can enjoy a libation while relaxing in the water.
It's easy to picture what life was like in centuries past at Matagorda County Museum. That's because the museum highlights the county's most memorable events with both detailed recreations and actual artifacts. Guests can absorb the county's nautical history by viewing a cannon and other artifacts recovered from a shipwreck at the bottom of Matagorda Bay. They can also learn about indigenous family life or discover the charms and hardships of life in a covered wagon thanks to exhibits on those topics.
For an even more immersive experience, families need only step in to the award-winning children's section of the museum. There, kids can discover what life was really like more than 100 years ago in a recreation of a late 19th-century town. Newly minted citizens can swing by the town's O.K. Corral to drop off their horses, stop into the barber shop for a shave and a haircut, or head to the one-room schoolhouse to look over education primers. Other places of interest include an opera house, a post office, and, in case anyone at the post office gets caught opening letters not addressed to them, a jail.
Bron Doyle’s brightly painted fleet of E-Z-Go four-wheelers prowls the sands of Port Aransas, ferrying groups, snacks, and drinks to and from the beach. From within each four- or six-person cart, passengers feast their eyes on sweeping views of the surrounding landscape while taking refuge from the sun under the cart’s roof. Bron’s Beach Carts is stationed a short trip to the beach and in close proximity to local hotels, making for a more convenient mode of ground transportation than standing on a surfboard and waiting for a super strong gust of wind.
Ear-splitting shrieks quicken the pulses of passersby as they approach the Nightmare Factory, a forsaken complex comprised of two distinct, hair-raising attractions. Once they’ve crossed the threshold into the blood-splattered corridors of Insanity51, voyagers tiptoe cautiously past hostile denizens as a narrative begins to emerge. The tormented spirits that haunt these hallways are insane captives subjected to top-secret government experiments that have rendered them even more fearsome and better informed on tax policy. In Nightmare 3D, foolhardy explorers walk through a carnival funhouse that looks more like the scene of a mass murder. Distorted mirrors and shifting floorboards create a skewed, sinister sense of reality, forcing guests to ponder if they have passed into another dimension populated by their worst nightmares.