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

Holiday Inn Resort South Padre Island - Beach Front, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Resort South Padre Island - Beach Front, an IHG Hotel
3.5 out of 5
100 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island, TX, 78597
The price is $80 per night from Dec 4 to Dec 5
$80
per night
Dec 4 - Dec 5
Stay at this 3.5-star beach hotel in South Padre Island. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 3 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy ...
3.7/5 Good! (741 reviews)
"It was amazing but we couldn’t go in the swimming pool due to"

Reviewed on Nov 24, 2022

Holiday Inn Resort South Padre Island - Beach Front, an IHG Hotel
La Copa Inn Beach Hotel
La Copa Inn Beach Hotel
3 out of 5
350 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX, 78597
The price is $90 per night from Dec 1 to Dec 2
$90
per night
Dec 1 - Dec 2
Stay at this 3-star beach hotel in South Padre Island. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,756 reviews)
"The property was nice for the price. I'm not usually into lush and lavish. Just a nice quiet safe place. I'm not in the room enough to care. The rooms are very spacious. The staff is extremely nice and social. The breakfast upstairs is such a great amenity. The pool area and the beach are wonderful. ..."

Reviewed on Nov 18, 2022

La Copa Inn Beach Hotel
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, 78597
The price is $81 per night from Dec 4 to Dec 5
$81
per night
Dec 4 - Dec 5
Stay at this beach hotel in South Padre Island. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the bar in our reviews. ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (1,599 reviews)
Impressive
"My view was great, the patio was nice and the entire hotel was soo clean, even while remodeling during this “off-season”. The staff was great and the service was even better. I must say that their free breakfast was very impressive. I will be staying here again and again."

Reviewed on Nov 28, 2022

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.
The Tiki
The Tiki
3.5 out of 5
6608 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX, 78597
Stay at this 3.5-star beach aparthotel in South Padre Island. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the pool and the clean rooms ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (652 reviews)
"Everything was exactly as described, very clean. Lots of extra clean towels, and dishes and kitchenware were also a great thing to have. Just beautiful."

Reviewed on Oct 10, 2022

The Tiki
Seabreeze 1 Condominiums
Seabreeze 1 Condominiums
3.5 out of 5
4300 Gulf Blvd., South Padre Island, TX, 78597
Stay at this 3.5-star beach condo in South Padre Island. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a beach locale. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (206 reviews)
"The location is great, apartment had an amazing beach view. Some items inside need some attention but nothing bad. I understand the sea and its constant salt takes it toll on properties. As does renting out. Our apartment had a box with beach toys which was fun for my nephews from The Netherlands, ..."

Reviewed on Aug 9, 2022

Seabreeze 1 Condominiums
South Padre Resort Rentals
South Padre Resort Rentals
3.5 out of 5
1000 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX, 78597
Stay at this 3.5-star beach condo in South Padre Island. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (222 reviews)
"Great location and very good view. Very safe and secure."

Reviewed on Oct 13, 2022

South Padre Resort 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

Things to do

Cities near South Padre Island