Especially long, torturous months of winter can only be countered with Schlitterbahn. Stay close to home and visit the original, which opened for 2014 on Easter weekend, or trek over to Galveston Island for a dip in the Kristal Beach. Kansas City's Verrückt is the tallest water slide in the world, propelling the raft above 60 mph. If that prospect makes you lose your shorts, just go relax at the South Padre resort. And new for this year: Corpus Christi welcomes its own Schlitterbahn, slated to open this summer.