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Look ma, there's a zebra in our window: The wildlife get up close at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.

By Orbitz Staff

This time of year, South Padre Island turns into a party capital, as college students look to blow off steam in the Lone Star State’s most pristine beach towns. But if you fall into that other camp – with young kids in tow – there’s still no reason to bypass a Texas vacation.

Here are 3 options for some Texas-sized fun — at a pace families can enjoy.

  1. Those other beaches: Corpus Christi and North Padre Island
    With wonderful beaches and a manageable size, Corpus Christi is a magnet for low-key travelers. For prime real estate, stay at the Omni Corpus Christi or the Radisson Hotel Corpus Christi Beach — both sit right on Corpus Christi Beach and have marvelous accommodations.  An easy day trip: North Padre Island, just a short trip south, known for its inviting sand dunes and chiller atmosphere than South Padre.  There, relax at the Hawthorn Suites or Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, both which conveniently sit across the street from some spectacular beaches.
  2. Six Flags
    What’s a family vacation without thrill rides? The state’s two Six Flags amusement parks — Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio and Six Flags over Texas in Arlington – have kept hearts thumping for years.  In fact, the NEW Texas Giant at Six Flags over Texas was recently honored with the Golden Ticket Award for the Best New Ride of 2011 by top theme park experts and enthusiasts.
  3. Nature exhibits on land and in water
    When a zoo just isn’t enough, head to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch just north of San Antonio and the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, which is south of Fort Worth. Both offer unique experiences to get up close and personal with giraffes, zebras and other critters. For an equally interactive experience, take the tykes to SeaWorld San Antonio, where sharks, dolphins and whales glide majestically in supersized tanks. Take some time to feed the dolphins, otters, lorikeets or stingrays. That’s one spring break memory to snap for your TwitPic.

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Tagged: Family time, Hotels

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