South Padre Island, Texas Travel Guide

South Padre Island vacations are filled with fun and plenty of sunshine. Located on the tip of Texas, just 25 miles south of the Mexican border, South Padre Island has miles of white sand beaches and crystal blue Gulf waters. The beauty of the beaches, fishing, and spectacular golf courses is what makes South Padre Island a favorite for visitors of all ages. Use this guide to help you choose the activities you want to do on your South Padre Island vacation.

What to Do in South Padre Island

south padre island vacationsWith easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and the white sand beaches, South Padre Island is the perfect place for soaking up the sun and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, South Padre Island is ranked in the top 10 of best beaches in America. Bring your umbrella and relax on the beach. The white sand and beautiful Gulf backdrop will provide the perfect environment for leaving your normal life behind. When you’ve had enough sunning, cool off with a dip in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many come to South Padre Island for water sports. You can go jet skiing, waverunning, and kayaking to name a few. There are spots to rent all of the equipment to enjoy these water sports. Kiteboarding and windsurfing are also popular water sports. The shallow waters of the Laguna Madre and the brisk winds combine to form the perfect equation for kiteboarding.

If you want to get into the water, swimming and snorkeling are excellent choices. You can view the fishes in their natural habitat and feel at one with nature. You have plenty of water activities to choose from when you choose South Padre Island.

Diving is a popular sport on South Padre Island. The unspoiled waters of the Texas Riviera are the perfect place to try your hand at diving. The Devils Elbow below Port Mansfield, Texas is one of the best places for diving. Century-old shipwrecks and sunken treasures can be found along the Texas coastline. You can also go into vertical reefs as you swim with the fish. Texas Park and Wildlife has been working for years on the artificial reef program. The reefs make South Padre Island a premier diving location. Here you’ll dive among three Liberty ships and 13 oil platforms that make up the habitat for colorful wildlife.

A trip to South Padre Island would be incomplete without spending some time with the dolphins. The Bottlenose dolphins live in the water of the Laguna Madre Bay and can often be seen playing in the waves. The dolphins here are wild and can be seen year round. You can get up close to the dolphins by taking a tour boat out on the waters. There are many tours immediately available on South Padre Island.

When you come to South Padre Island, don’t forget your fishing pole. There are about 600 different species of fish here. The most common fish in the area are red or black drum, spotted sea trout, southern flounder, red snapper, king mackerel, and pompano. There’s certainly plenty of fish here for all anglers! You can choose from one of 60 charter companies to take a fishing trip into the Gulf.

Golfing is also a popular activity on South Padre Island. The Island offers an 18-hole championship golf course right across the Laguna Madre Bay. This course is home of the Texas Senior Open and provides incredible views of the Island. The golf course shares its home with native plants and wildlife. As you can see, staying in South Padre Island rentals never gets old.

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What to See in South Padre Island

South Padre Island is the beach lovers paradise. But there’s more to the Island than sun and sand. The location of South Padre Island makes this place home to some beautiful wildlife, especially birds. South Padre Island is one of the best places in the United States to see over 300 species of birds. Grab your binoculars and enjoy a relaxing day observing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.

For the aviation enthusiast, take a short drive to the Brownsville/South Padre Island airport. Here you’ll find a collection of historic aircraft, including those used during World War II and the Korean War. The museum here also has a display of historical documents, photographs, and paintings.

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Where to Shop and Eat in South Padre Island

south parde island vacationsFor your shopping adventures, you’ll find a wide variety of malls and shops on South Padre Island. Shopping in South Padre Island ranges from national chain stores to quaint boutiques. Malls and shopping centers are certainly convenient, but make sure you spend some time in the downtown area to find unique gifts, art, and antiques.

After you’ve worked up an appetite from shopping, head to one of South Padre Island’s fantastic restaurants. Seafood is a must on the Island! A local favorite for seafood, and non-seafood, is Blackbeards. At this restaurant you can mix and match several items to create a seafood platter just right for you. Every person in your family can have their favorite dish at Blackbeards.

A fun tradition in South Padre Island is catching your own fish and having it prepared at the restaurant. You can have your fish fried, blackened, tampico, or even baked. Many restaurants offer a side as well. All you need is a clean, filleted fish and bring it with you!

You’ll find a variety of restaurants on the Island that are unique to the area. Many South Padre Island restaurants offer good food at excellent prices with a full bar. Some even provide live entertainment.

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When to Visit South Padre Island

South Padre Island vacations are perfect any time of the year. With the tropical temperatures, South Padre Island is nice in the summer or winter. College students come to the Island for Spring Break, so if you want to avoid the younger crowd, come on other vacation days.

The average summer day is about 82 degrees; in the winter the average is about 65 degrees. Most of the year is full of sunshine and beautiful weather.

South Padre Island does experience some hurricanes during hurricane season. The season lasts from early June to late November. Check the weather forecast during those months to make sure you avoid any hurricanes that may be predicted.

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What to Bring on a South Padre Island Vacation

You’ll be spending a lot of your vacation on the beach, so be sure to bring your bathing suit, sunglasses, and flip flops. The weather is nice and warm, so shorts and t-shirts will suit you just fine. If you plan to do some bird watching or walk around the Island, be sure to bring comfortable shoes. You’ll also want insect repellant as there are mosquitoes on the Island.

South Padre Island is very casual, so there’s no need to bring special clothes for dinner or a night on the town. You will be perfectly comfortable dining in your jeans or shorts.

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Local Services in South Padre Island

South Padre Island offers all of the comforts of home. You’ll find grocery stores, post offices, and high-speed internet. You’ll also find chiropractic services and high-end spas on the Island. You can rest your weary muscles and relax in a comfortable spa. You’ll also find services for weddings and parties.

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What to Know About South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a well-known place for college students to spend Spring Break. The beach, sun, and water activities make this the perfect place for students to unwind after the long winter semester.

South Padre Island is also an excellent place to bring your family. You’ll find plenty of fun restaurants, beach going, and entertainment suitable for children. You’re entire family will have a great time visiting here.

South Padre Island has about 2,000 permanent residents. Another 2,000 – 5,000 people come to the Island during tourist season for work. Approximately 20,000 visitors come to South Padre Island yearly.

The Island was once just a dying fishing village. Now, South Padre Island is ranked as one of the top beaches in the United States. The Island has 30 mile stretches of beach and shoreline.

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Getting to South Padre Island, Texas

Getting to South Padre Island is easy. You can drive, fly, or come by boat. If you fly to South Padre Island, you can choose one of the three airports in the Rio Grande Valley. From here, you can rent a car or get a taxi to bring you to the Island.

If you come by car, you will travel easily on well-maintained highways. If you come by boat, the Intercoastal channel has access for boats of all shapes and sizes.

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Why South Padre Island Vacation Rentals?

When looking for South Padre Island beach vacation rentals, check out VacationRentals.com. Here you’ll find the best prices on homes, condos, and other rentals available for your stay on South Padre Island. South Padre Island beach rentals are plentiful at VacationRentals.com. You’ll be able to take the entire family on a fun tropical vacation by staying in comfortable, modern rentals from VacationRentals.com.

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