What to Do

With 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 the Island for water sports. You can go jet skiing, wave-running, 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.

south padre houses

A trip to South Padre 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 the 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 here. 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 area. The golf course shares its home with native plants and wildlife. As you can see, staying in South Padre Island near golf rentals never gets old.

What to See

South Padre Island is the beach lovers paradise. But there’s more to the Island than sun and sand. The location makes this place home to some beautiful wildlife, especially birds. The 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.

Where to Shop and Eat

For your shopping adventures, you’ll find a wide variety of malls and shops on South Padre Island. Shopping 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 the 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.


south padre jet ski

south padre para-sailing

A fun tradition here 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 restaurants offer good food at excellent prices with a full bar. Some even provide live entertainment.

When to Visit

Vacations on South Padre Island are perfect any time of the year. With the tropical temperatures, the weather 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.

The area does experience some hurricanes during hurricane season, which 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.

What to Bring

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.

Why 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.

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.

Vacation Rentals on South Padre Island

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2 - 5  Night Minimum Stay
1 BR, 1 BA, Sleeps 4


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2 - 3  Night Minimum Stay
2 BR, 2 BA, Sleeps 6


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2 - 365  Night Minimum Stay
2 BR, 2 BA, Sleeps 6


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2 - 3  Night Minimum Stay
3 BR, 3 BA, 1 HF, Sleeps 6


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30  Night Minimum Stay
1 BR, 1 BA, Sleeps 6