Padre Getaways Things To Do In South Padre Island

South Padre Island is located on the southern tip of Texas just North of the Mexico border. This location has long been a favorite beach destination for many, boasting beautiful beaches, great fishing, and great entertainment. With an average summer temperature of 88 degrees and Gulf Coast water temperature of 80 degrees it's easy to see why this is such a popular beach destination.

Summer is not the only time to enjoy this vacation hot spot. Many find the winter months to be the best time for a truly relaxing vacation. The cooler months transform South Padre Island into a quaint small town, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Being located so close to the Mexico border tourists often find fun in crossing the border for some great shopping and dining experiences.  Be sure to bring your passport though!  If traveling over the border isn't your style, don't worry; South Padre Island is often thought of as an English-speaking Mexican resort.

South Padre Island is unique in the sense that most of the lodging on the island can be found in private condos and rental properties.  While there are a few hotels on the island most visitors find that their experience is much more enjoyable when staying in a condo.  Padre Getaways offers access great condo rentals on South Padre Island.

Antique Shops

Art Galleries

sand sculptors

Beachcombers Museum – Centrally located in South Padre Island this museum displays ornate driftwood to Spanish Gold to Civil War relics to shells and other natural items from the sea collected on the beach. The shop and museum are packed full of enough interesting items to keep you busy browsing for hours.

Birding – There are many places that bird lovers will enjoy exploring around the area and they will not be disappointed. The South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and gift shop is the Rio Grande Valley’s premier destination for bird watching.

Dive the Texas Clipper

pelican

Eco-Tours – Go on an eco-tour and you’ll be surprised at what you might see. Dolphins, various fish, local and migratory birds, the original Queen Isabella Causeway, the Coast Guard station and so much more.

Port Isabel Museums – Check out the ongoing special events taking place. Visit the Treasures of the Gulf Museum or the Port Isabel Historical Museum. Entrance fee is charged.

Sea Turtle, Inc. – April through November is sea turtle nesting season on South Padre Island. Sea Turtle Inc. identifies these nests and moves them to a safe compound until hatched. Bring the whole family and get a hands on experience with these fascinating creatures.

SPI Birding & Nature Center

SPI Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center – Take a stroll through this Sea Life & Nature Center and discover some of the incredible sea creatures South Padre Island has to offer! Both exciting and educational for the entire family!

fireworks

Amphibious ToursBreakaway Cruises has a fleet that includes two dolphin watch boats, an amphibious vehicle, two parasail boats and several offshore and bay fishing boats.

Beach Volleyball – An assortment of business along the beachfront offers beach volleyball for visitors and residents alike.

Beachcombers Museum – Centrally located in South Padre Island this museum displays ornate driftwood to Spanish Gold to Civil War relics to shells and other natural items from the sea collected on the beach. The shop and museum are packed full of enough interesting items to keep you busy browsing for hours.

Bicycle Rides – From beach cruises to mtn. bikes to water bikes, you’ll find them all for rent around the island. You and the family will have a blast exploring all the bike trails but don't forget your helmet!

fireworks

Birding – There are many places that bird lovers will enjoy exploring around the area and they will not be disappointed. The South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and gift shop is the Rio Grande Valley’s premier destination for bird watching.

Black Dragon Pirate Cruises – Interactive pirate adventure cruise. Learn to fight like a pirate, speak like a pirate, hunt for treasure like a pirate and share the booty. Lots of entertainment, lots of excitement and lots of pure fun for all you kids aged 2 to 92.

Boogie Boarding – A great water sport for the entire family. You can rent boogie boards starting at $10/day and ride the waves toward the shoreline like the pros!

Bungee Jumping – When you’re seriously ready to let go of all your troubles, give Bungee Jumping a try. It will probably be the most exciting thing you’ve ever experienced! Stress? What stress?

Catch "The Wave” Shuttle – The Wave is the free shuttle system serving South Padre Island and Port Isabel. Buses run 7 a.m.- 9 p.m. with extended hours during the summer.

Coastal Studies Lab – Public gardens contain representative species of fauna and flora from the immediate area of the Lower Laguna Madre and South Padre Island.

Cristo de los Pescadores – The El Cristo de los Pescadores memorial translates to "Christ of the Fishermen" is located on south end of the Island at the Isla Blanca Park.

Dolphin Watch – Dolphin watching tours are a popular pastime on South Padre Island. There are a few companies offering scenic morning, daytime and sunset dolphin tours to visitors.

Eco-Tours – Go on an eco-tour and you’ll be surprised at what you might see. Dolphins, various fish, local and migratory birds, the original Queen Isabella Causeway, the Coast Guard station and so much more.

fireworks

Fireworks Over the Bay (seasonal) – South Padre Island is the Fireworks Capital of Texas. Watch the sky light up on either the Laguna Madre Bay or over the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Your choice!

Fishing – Inshore or offshore, charter boats or kayaks, surf fishing or wading, you can get bowed up no matter what species you're targeting and the best part is most local restaurants will cook your catch for a fixed fee.

Go Carts/4-Wheelers/ATVs – If riding something with a motor is what you enjoy then you’ll be happy to know there are Go Cart tracks available on the island as well as ATV and 4-Wheeler rentals.

Golf/Miniature Golf – There are 20 public and semi-private golf courses located in a 50 mile radius of South Padre Island. Family friendly miniature golf can be found at Three Flags Over Padre along with trampolines, go carts and more.

Jet-skiing – Rent jet skis by the half hour, half day, or longer. It’s an awesome way to enjoy the water and make your own waves.

fireworks

Kite flying – This family friendly activity is for all ages. Pick up kites nearly anywhere around the island and head off to the beach for a day of fun.

Laguna Madre Nature Trail – This 1,500-foot boardwalk starts out near the South Padre Island Convention Center and meanders out to the Laguna Madre wetlands. More than 300 species of birds pass through the South Padre Island area and here is the best place to see them in their natural habitat.

Movies – Movies can be enjoyed at Island Cinema North on the island or at a variety of other movie theaters nearby. Redbox rentals are also available around the island.

Padre Balli Statue – The statue of Padre Jose Nicholas Balli (for whom Padre Island is named) can be found at the end of the causeway; his arms outstretched as though he is greeting the visitors to his island. The bronze statue shows him clad in a cassock and clasping a crucifix in his right hand.

Parasailing – For the truly adventurous at heart, you can parasail 700 ft over the clear waters of the Laguna Madre Bay and view the whole island. You'll have the option to fly singles, doubles, or triples. There are a variety of businesses offering parasailing ventures on the island.

Port Isabel Museums – Check out the ongoing special events taking place. Visit the Treasures of the Gulf Museum or the Port Isabel Historical Museum. Entrance fee is charged.

Port Isabel Lighthouse Square – As the only one of 16 lighthouses along the Texas Coast open to the public. You’re sure to enjoy the great views of South Padre Island and the beaches.

Sea Turtle, Inc. – April through November is sea turtle nesting season on South Padre Island. Sea Turtle Inc. identifies these nests and moves them to a safe compound until hatched. Bring the whole family and get a hands on experience with these fascinating creatures.

woman and child

Sandcastle-Building Lessons – There are a variety of businesses on the island that can teach you everything you never knew about building sandcastles.

Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark (seasonal) – Rides and pools galore for every level of thrill seeker (even non-thrill seekers!). Indoor and outdoor waterparks the entire family will enjoy.

SPI Birding & Nature Center – The South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center and Gift Shop is the Rio Grande Valley’s premier destination for bird watching. Be sure to bring your camera and binoculars.

Swimming – You cannot come to South Padre Island and not experience some of the finest coastal swimming in the country. The pure white sandy beaches beckon to everyone to come and sit awhile.

Snorkeling Lessons – Whether it’s your first time and you want to try out snorkeling or you’re working towards a scuba diving certification, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experience this unique activity.

SPI Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center – Take a stroll through this Sea Life & Nature Center and discover some of the incredible sea creatures South Padre Island has to offer! Both exciting and educational for the entire family!

Surfing/Windsurfing – Don’t know how to surf? No worries, we have companies that will teach you and your whole family how to surf.

Star Gazing – Folks around South Padre Island take their star gazing pretty seriously. The state parks are among the best places to stargaze. Check the weather for a clear forecast, drive out of town to where it’s darker, spread out a blanket and get ready to gaze! It’s one of the most relaxing activities on the island!

Valley Land Fund Birding Lots – Six residential lots encompasses the South Padre Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary. In addition to offering habitat protection for migrants, these lots have become a showplace to educate Island residents and visitors in techniques for making their own land "bird friendly”.

beach umbrellas

Banana Boat Rides

Beach Sports

Boogie Boarding – A great water sport for the entire family. You can rent boogie boards starting at $10/day and ride the waves toward the shoreline like the pros!

Dive the Texas Clipper

Dolphin Watch – Dolphin watching tours are a popular pastime on South Padre Island. There are a few companies offering scenic morning, daytime and sunset dolphin tours to visitors.

beach umbrellas

Fishing – Inshore or offshore, charter boats or kayaks, surf fishing or wading, you can get bowed up no matter what species you're targeting and the best part is most local restaurants will cook your catch for a fixed fee.

Golf/Miniature Golf – There are 20 public and semi-private golf courses located in a 50 mile radius of South Padre Island. Family friendly miniature golf can be found at Three Flags Over Padre along with trampolines, go carts and more.

Gravity Park (Seasonal)

Horseback Riding

Kiteboarding

Parasailing – For the truly adventurous at heart, you can parasail 700 ft over the clear waters of the Laguna Madre Bay and view the whole island. You'll have the option to fly singles, doubles, or triples. There are a variety of businesses offering parasailing ventures on the island.

Laguna Madre Nature Trail & Valley Fund Birding Lots

beach umbrellas

Recreational Rentals

  • Beach Buggy
  • Bicycle
  • Electric Car
  • Moped

Schlitterbahn Beach

  • Waterpark (Seasonal)

Scuba Diving

Snorkeling Lessons – Whether it’s your first time and you want to try out snorkeling or you’re working towards a scuba diving certification, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experience this unique activity.

beach umbrellas

Sunbathing

Sunset Cruise/Dinner

Sunset on the Bay

Surfing/Windsurfing – Don’t know how to surf? No worries, we have companies that will teach you and your whole family how to surf.

Wake up ealy and see a guld sunrise

Waverunners

Beachcombers Museum – Centrally located in South Padre Island this museum displays ornate driftwood to Spanish Gold to Civil War relics to shells and other natural items from the sea collected on the beach. The shop and museum are packed full of enough interesting items to keep you busy browsing for hours.

beach umbrellas

Catch "The Wave" Shuttle

Coastal Studies Lab

Dining

Health Club

Internet Cafe

Movies

beach umbrellas

Port Isabel Lighthouse

Port Isabel Museums

Sea Turtle, Inc.

Shopping

Spa/Massage

SPI Birding & Nature Center

SPI Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center – Take a stroll through this Sea Life & Nature Center and discover some of the incredible sea creatures South Padre Island has to offer! Both exciting and educational for the entire family!

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