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South Padre Island, TX
Travel Guide

South Padre Island showing hiking or walking and a sunset as well as children

College students and families are drawn to this Texas barrier island for its oceanfront access and unbeatable weather.

Famous for its balmy temperature and oceanfront access, South Padre Island is one of Texas’s most coveted holiday getaways.

The vacation town is located at the southeastern tip of Texas and borders Mexico. As a barrier island, its eastern shoreline is along the Gulf of Mexico and is beloved by tourists for its warm year-round climate. Most of the land is a protected National Seashore, and the town of South Padre Island is relegated to the bottom tip of the island.

The island is a favored destination for college spring breaks during March, when the town is largely populated by young adults enjoying the lively nightlife. Many families and retirees enjoy visits to South Padre Island during the winter thanks to its yearlong warm climate. Its downtown is filled with resorts, hotels, bars, and souvenir shops.

Miles of pristine seashore stretches along the coastline, making it a perfect place to soak up the sun, go for a swim, or play beach volleyball. Many visitors take advantage of the horseback riding tours and take a beach ride at sunset. South Padre Island is known for its fishing opportunities and hosts numerous fishing contests and tournaments throughout the year.

Water sports are the prime activity on South Padre Island and it is not unusual to see dozens of parasailers and kiteboarders enjoying the ocean waves. Dolphin watching is another popular choice, with a wide offering of tours available. Get snorkeling lessons to explore the ocean floor of the Gulf of Mexico.

If fresh water recreation is more your style, spend the afternoon at Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark where you can enjoy water slides and other attractions that will appeal to visitors of all ages.

Port Isabel is five miles (eight kilometers) away and is home to the Port Isabel Lighthouse, which features stunning views of South Padre Island and the ocean beyond.

South Padre Island has a slender shape and compact community. Most of the island’s destinations can be reached on foot, but if you don’t feel like strolling, the town also offers The Wave, a free shuttle service.

Brownsville International Airport is a half-hour drive from South Padre Island, and has daily flights to and from Dallas and Houston. The island is connected to the mainland by Route 100.

Where to stay in South Padre Island

Pearl South Padre
Pearl South Padre
3.5 out of 5
310 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX
The price is ¥10,880 per night from Apr 21 to Apr 22
Nestled on the beach, this South Padre Island hotel is within a 10-minute walk of South Padre Island Beach and Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark. Isla Blanca Beach ...
3.5/5Good! (1,420 reviews)
"Short walking distance to private beach for the resort."

Reviewed on Apr 18, 2021

Pearl South Padre
Courtyard by Marriott South Padre Island
Courtyard by Marriott South Padre Island
3 out of 5
6700 PADRE BLVD, South Padre Island, TX
The price is ¥9,410 per night from May 3 to May 4
Situated near the beach, this hotel is steps from Sea Turtle Rescue Center and Sea Turtle Inc. South Padre Island Beach and South Padre Island Birding and Nature ...
4.2/5Very Good! (634 reviews)
"The hotel was very clean and the rooms were very nice! Staff was friendly and helpful."

Reviewed on Apr 19, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott South Padre Island
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham South Padre Island Beach
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham South Padre Island Beach
2.5 out of 5
7000 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX
The price is ¥9,303 per night from May 4 to May 5
Located in South Padre Island, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within a 10-minute walk of Sea Turtle Rescue Center and South Padre ...
4/5Very Good! (1,500 reviews)
"Place was clean, friendly, rooms had plenty of space, close to many attractions. Walk right out the door to the beach. Can’t ask for more."

Reviewed on Apr 19, 2021

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham South Padre Island Beach
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
South Padre Resort Rentals
South Padre Resort Rentals
3.5 out of 5
1000 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX
Located in South Padre Island, this beachfront condo building is in the city center and within 1 mi (2 km) of Queen Isabella State Fishing Pier, South Padre ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (180 reviews)
"My family loves to come here. Very good for families and quiet at night. Laid back and nice access to the beach. Love that there are other things to do like Tennis and ping pong for the kids."

Reviewed on Mar 28, 2021

South Padre Resort Rentals
Seabreeze 1 Condominiums
Seabreeze 1 Condominiums
3.5 out of 5
4300 Gulf Blvd., South Padre Island, TX
Situated on the beach, this condo building is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from South Padre Island Beach and 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark. Sea Turtle ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (181 reviews)
"Easy walk to beach. Well behaved guests, not loud."

Reviewed on Mar 21, 2021

Seabreeze 1 Condominiums
Sea Vista by South Padre Condo Rentals
Sea Vista by South Padre Condo Rentals
4 out of 5
110 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX
Nestled on the beach, this South Padre Island condo building is within a 15-minute walk of Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark and South Padre Island Beach. Isla Blanca ...
4.3/5Excellent! (28 reviews)
"On the beach with easy access. The condos are perfect for a couple or small family. Chris was amazing."

Reviewed on May 21, 2020

Sea Vista by South Padre Condo Rentals
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in South Padre Island

Top things to do in South Padre Island

Reviews of South Padre Island

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1082
5 - Excellent 60.61624649859944%
4 - Good
563
4 - Good 31.5406162464986%
3 - Okay
111
3 - Okay 6.218487394957983%
2 - Disappointing
13
2 - Disappointing 0.7282913165266106%
1 - Terrible
16
1 - Terrible 0.896358543417367%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 5, 2020

We loved our trip!! Very sad to have to leave. The water was BEAUTIFUL!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 3, 2020

Third year in a row to visit on Memorial Day Weekend, as it is also my birthday weekend. Everyone on the island who works and lives there is so friendly and kind. The beaches, streets, shops, and restaurants have always been clean!

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

T

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 1, 2020

It's always a wonderful vacation when you haven't visited in awhile the beaches are beautiful and clean the people around are happy enjoying themselves, being from the valley and only living an hour away makes this place a wonderful little getaway!

5/5 - Excellent

DEE

Jun 1, 2020

Be sure to customize a boat trip with Tritoon Charters.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 29, 2020

We are very lucky to have the island is so close to our home. Many times we drive to the island for dinner with friends. It very clean and people are very friendly. Everyone should try to visit our beautiful South Padres Island, Texas

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