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

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 $72 per night from Nov 8 to Nov 8
Located in South Padre Island, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within a 5-minute walk of Sea Turtle Rescue Center, South Padre Bayside ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (1,562 reviews)
"Clean rooms ,friendly staff and it’s right on the beach don’t have to walk far to go back and forth to beach"

Reviewed on Oct 24, 2021

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham South Padre Island Beach
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 $104 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Situated near the beach, this hotel is steps from Sea Turtle Inc and Sea Turtle Rescue Center. South Padre Island Beach and South Padre Island Birding and Nature ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,023 reviews)
"Love access to the beach/bar area. First visit to south Padre. Great experiences"

Reviewed on Oct 25, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott South Padre Island
Pearl South Padre
Pearl South Padre
3.5 out of 5
310 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX
The price is $79 per night from Oct 26 to Oct 26
Nestled on the beach, this South Padre Island hotel is within a 10-minute walk of South Padre Island Beach and Queen Isabella State Fishing Pier. Isla Blanca ...
3.3/5 (1,495 reviews)
"Breakfast eggs needed much improvement"

Reviewed on Oct 23, 2021

Pearl South Padre
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.
Los Cabos III Condominiums by Cheap Getaway
Los Cabos III Condominiums by Cheap Getaway
3 out of 5
104 East Polaris Drive, South Padre Island, TX
The price is $100 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Situated by the ocean, this condo building is within 1 mi (2 km) of South Padre Island Beach, Sea Turtle Inc, and Sea Turtle Rescue Center. Andy Bowie Park and ...
3.2/5 (48 reviews)
"No internet connection and very rude check in experience."

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2021

Los Cabos III Condominiums by Cheap Getaway
The Tiki
The Tiki
3.5 out of 5
6608 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX
Nestled on the beach, this South Padre Island aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sea Turtle Inc and Sea Turtle Rescue Center. South Padre Island Beach and ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (532 reviews)
"It was very close to the beach , and nice and quiet. It was nice there was security walking around to keep an eye on the cars and property, even though there was no sign of any trouble when we were there. The only problem we had was , we noticed , other Tiki residents, which is allowed , would park ..."

Reviewed on Sep 29, 2021

The Tiki
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 Queen Isabella State Fishing Pier, South Padre Island Beach, and Beach ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (29 reviews)
"We had the best stay with our family of 6. Highly recommend!"

Reviewed on Aug 15, 2021

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.

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