For a unique vacation, head to Falcon State Park near Zapata, Texas. If your family loves water sports, drive straight to the lake for some fishing, swimming, water skiing, kayaking and other favorite activities. Landlubbers can find plenty to do in the park as well. Go hiking, geocaching or visit the recreation hall for snacks. Nearby attractions include an interesting Old West museum and opportunities for horseback riding. Choose from many vacation rentals on Falcon Lake to make the most of your opportunity to relax and reconnect on vacation. Your biggest problem will be choosing what to do first.
1. Feel the Breeze on a Jet Ski
Bring your jet ski to the lake, or rent one at the marina, and experience a full-throttle freedom on the water that gives the rush to beat all others. You’ll feel the spray and the breeze on your face as your jet ski slices across the surface of the lake.
2. Cash in on a Geocache
If you have some kids and teens who are hooked on smartphones, geocaching is an exciting way to get everyone involved in a high-tech scavenger hunt. Choose the coordinates online, then let the GPS feature on your phones lead you to your first geocache. When you find it, take something from the cache and leave something in its place. Sign the logbook before you go.
3. Kick it in a Kayak
The whole family can get in on the kayaking adventure. Pick up everything you need at the marina, including kayaks, paddles, helmets, life jackets and instructions. Hit the lake and watch the fun unfold as everyone works to perfect their style. It’s the most you will all laugh and squeal together in one day, and that defines a great family outing.
4. Drop Them a Line
Anglers come from far and wide to enjoy some of the best freshwater fishing in the United States, and your family members deserve a chance to test their skills. A little fish makes a little child very proud in a big way and your photos you take off those precious moments make the family album a treasure trove of memories as the years go by.
5. Follow the Nature Trail
Falcon State Park offers a three-mile guided nature trail for your family to hike and enjoy. Put some drinks and healthy snacks in the backpacks and plan for frequent re-energizing stops along the way. Hiking takes a lot of energy, and your kids will enjoy the adventure more if they stay hydrated and energized. Make a game of counting wildlife sightings to keep everyone engaged.
6. Zip Through the Water on Skis
If you crave an adrenaline rush, strap on your water skis and hitch a ride behind a speedboat. This is a good place to teach the other members of the family how to ski, too. If there is any gear you need, you can pick it up at the marina.
7. Attend a Bloodless Bullfight
You probably don’t get a chance to do this every day, so plan to see a bullfight. It is safe for the kids as this new entertainment-only version features bloodless productions in which the bulls are not harmed. It’s about an hour’s drive from Zapata to La Gloria where you will find the 900-seat Santa Maria Bullfighting Arena.
8. Visit the Bird Refuge
The bird sanctuary is just outside of Falcon State Park and conveniently accessible as part of your lake adventures. It may be the only place where you might spot the world renowned, elusive White Collared Seed Eater. Enjoy learning about the various species protected by the refuge, and feel free to take pictures.
9. See the Sights on Horseback
Travel faster and farther than you can afoot on a sightseeing adventure that combines the fun of riding a horse with seeing the flora and fauna of the area. The trail guide and the horses know where to go, leaving you and your family to enjoy the experience without worrying about getting lost.
10. Step Back in Time
Explore the Dave Mertens Frontier Ranch Museum where there’s something for the whole family. Examine Native American artifacts, including authentic arrowheads, from South Texas. Check out the snake exhibit to see a variety of local snakes, including the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. Stroll down the street of the replica of a frontier town with a blacksmith shop, jail, saloon and a huge tepee. It includes a store in case you want some souvenirs.