New City Ordinance – Registration of Short Term Vacation Rentals on South Padre Island

We are pleased to report that the City of South Padre Island has passed a new ordinance that requires the registration of all short term rental properties on South Padre Island.  Our broker, Eleana Jones, was a member of the Hotel Occupancy Tax Task Force that developed this new ordinance and was active in moving this ordinance forward because we believe that this ordinance is great for the island, great for rental property owners and great for rental guests visiting our island.

The ordinance requires that the registration number be posted on all advertising. This will bring creditability in the vacation rental marketplace for properties on South Padre Island.  The Island has seen a large volume lately of fraudulent listings that are “scraped” or extracted electronically from legitimate websites such as ours or the MLS sales listings.  Guests show up on the island only to find out that they paid for a rental that does not exist or is invalid which gives our island a bad reputation.  Guests can now have a way to identify vacation rental properties that are reputable and in good standing with the City. Once it is assigned, the registration number stays with your property even through transfer.

  • The ordinance requires a 24/7 contact number for a representative within one hour response time for all short term rentals. This will assist City authorities in enforcing our quality of life ordinances: noise, disturbance and fire code occupancy, by holding the rental owner or their rental agent accountable for the actions of their rental guests.  This will also contribute to the enforcement of the quality of life rules that so many building HOA’s have enacted.  Perhaps this will reduce the number of buildings that are turning toward extreme measures of severe rental restrictions.
  • The ordinance provides the City with a means to enforce the collection and remittance of hotel occupancy tax (HOT) by requiring that all short term rental properties be registered with the City and file HOT tax reports. Property owners who are renting their properties at a lower total price by not collecting hotel tax will no longer have an illegal competitive advantage (14.5% discount) over property owners obeying the law.   And of course, compliance will add to our tax base providing additional funds for promotion of our island.
  • If you are represented by a vacation rental management company or agent, they should register your property for you, requiring no action by you. But you must check to make sure because you as the property owner are liable for any penalties from failure to register.  At Padre Getaways, we take care of this for all of our property owner clients.

 

More information and registration forms are available online at <http://myspi.org/hottax>.  The final compliance date is July 1st 2015.  For questions you may call Customer Service: (956) 761-8382 or Email: HotTax@SoPadre.com<mailto:HotTax@SoPadre.com>

How to Have an Over-the-Top Exceptional Thanksgiving

How about treating yourself and your family to an over-the-top exceptional Thanksgiving this year! Pack your bags, load up the family and head on down to South Padre Island, TX where we can put a whole new spin on the holiday for you! Come for the entire weekend, make your reservations with us at Padre Getaways where you can take advantage of special holiday rates, and be sure to enjoy the local holiday events taking place in the area. It’s a fabulous way to start out this year’s holiday season.

How to Have an Over-the-Top Exceptional ThanksgivingWhen you’re looking for that Thanksgiving Dinner check out the Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Isla Grand Beach Resort. It’s held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the gourmet prepared meals, favorite sides, and scrumptious desserts. For just $28.95 adults, $25.95 seniors 62+ and $12.95 children age 10 and under, you can eat your fill from this huge holiday buffet. Make your reservations by calling (956) 547-5802. Located at 500 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island.

How to Have an Over-the-Top Exceptional ThanksgivingBeachside Bar & Grill will be holding a Thanksgiving Day Champagne Fiesta from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last seating for this popular event is 3 p.m. From fruits and salads to carving and seafood stations, breakfast and dinner entrees and plenty of desserts, nobody goes hungry with over 100 items available. Adults $34.95, Seniors $30.95, children age 6-12 $20.95. For reservations call (956) 761-6551 ext. 277. Located at 310 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island.

How to Have an Over-the-Top Exceptional Thanksgiving

Head over to The Stables after dinner and enjoy a spectacular horseback ride on the beach. Take advantage of $5 off on all Horseback Rides and Lessons. Rides start at $40 per person. The views of the Laguna Madre Bay and Gulf of Mexico are stunning and the breeze refreshing. Bring the family to South Padre Island this holiday and make the most memorable holiday ever. Experience the Island on horseback for the memory of a lifetime. Call to make your reservations at (956) 761-7743

How to Have an Over-the-Top Exceptional Thanksgiving
If you’ve never experienced a Dolphin Watch Eco-Tour now is your chance! Take advantage of the $5 off deals going on now through the end of the year. Use discount code “SPDolphins” at Breakaway Cruises or ticket counter for a $5.00 discount for adult or child admission to any of three daily dolphin watch eco-tours. The whole family will enjoy watching some of natures most fascinating animals up close while aboard the 1-1/2 hr. cruise. Watch as they drag a net and bring on board a variety of sea life for you to see up close. Experienced crew will identify and explain the catch to you and your family. All creatures are returned safely to the bay. Be sure to bring your camera!

Halloween Events Happening Around South Padre Island

It seems like autumn has barely just arrived and here we are facing another Halloween – which much as it pains us to say, marks the end of October already! But when you live (or vacation to!) somewhere this warm, you don’t find yourself dreading what’s coming after the fall months. Halloween does arrive on schedule on South Padre Island and there are plenty of local Halloween events going on. Here’s the rundown on holiday specific activities:
Halloween Events Around South Padre Island
Bands on the Beach

Dress up in your best costume and come dance and listen to live music, eat some great food and enjoy fireworks on the beach, all starting at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, October 31.
Halloween Events Around South Padre Island
Halloween Dance Party at Quarterdeck Night Club

Get dressed in your favorite costume and come dance the night away in the Quarterdeck nightclub on Halloween night. Starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 and lasting until 1:30 a.m. this will be an exciting party! Drink specials, costume contest, cash and prizes. Don’t forget to dance and vote for best costume while grooving to the live music of Sweet Trouble.
Halloween Events Around South Padre Island
Port Isabel Day of the Dead Celebration at Port Isabel Historical Museum

From 4-11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 come celebrate Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) with the community at the Port Isabel Historical Museum. This free family event features a street dance with live music, Halloween Costume Contest with cash prizes, and vendors, activities, presentations, exhibits and more.

Come Fly With Us On A Zip Line

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it felt like to fly, now is your chance and it can happen right here in South Padre Island. The South Padre Island Adventure Park has added a Zip Line! For those not familiar with the term zip lining, check out what Wikipedia says about it in detail.

Come Fly With Us On A Zip Line

As the park’s newest and most adventurist attraction to date, you can take in the view of the entire adventure park as you careen down the cables to the next platform. While it might sound scary, it’s more fun than not.

A fully certified Zip Line technician gets you strapped into a safety harness and sends you off on your ride. You’ll definitely have the sense of flying through the air and complete freedom.

If you’re at all curious, go to the far north end of the island where the road is almost covered in sand dunes. There you can see the Zip Line towers in the distance.

According to Valley Morningstar News, owners Doyle and Dolores Wells made sure to maximize the adventure park experience when they brought zip-lining to South Padre Island.

“When Dolores and I traveled the United States and the Caribbean islands zipping and researching different zip-line designs, we soon learned that we liked zipping more than hiking long distances,” Doyle said.

“We decided to provide you with maximum zip-lining time possible so we designed large tower structures that accommodate six zip-lines for a fast round-trip zip-lining experience without leaving the towers.”

The zip-line towers are built from recycled telephone poles. “We’re pretty proud of it,” Hollinger said. With their unique quick zip-line transition system guests can go around the zip-line circuit as fast or slow as they want. Park officials don’t limit your number of zips.

Nearby, a group of people on horseback made their way back to the park. This is one of the many options of fun and adventure just waiting to be experienced at the park.

 

South Padre Island Top 10 Family Friendly Vacation Activities

Vacationers on South Padre Island find a variety of activities await them. Here are our top 10 favorite things to do while in the South Padre Island area with your family

  1. Visit the parks. South Padre Island has several parks. Isla Blanca Park is located on the south tip of the island. Visitors here can walk out on the jetties, watch the local surfers or visit the beachfront snack bar. To the north, Andy Bowie Park offers beach access to cars. If you are cautious of tides you can drive your vehicle miles up the coast and see the pristine dunes and raw coastline. There is a small fee per vehicle for both parks.
  2. Build a sandcastle. South Padre’s sandy beaches provide a perfect building material for kids and grown kids. Anyone with a bucket and a plastic shovel can make a statement, but to learn how to make a real work of art, take a sandcastle lesson. There are several local companies, such as Sandcastle Lessons with Andy Hancock, that will make a beach appointment with your family and teach you this fine art.
  3. See the Sea Turtles. Our island is home to an excellent Sea Turtle rescue program. Sea Turtles, Inc. is responsible for rescuing and rehabilitating area Sea Turtles. They also protect new turtle nests and release hatchlings to the wild. Guests can visit Sea Turtle, Inc. to learn more about these endangered animals and get up close and personal with the turtles that live at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center.
  4. Catch a wave. Aspiring surf riders of all ages and skill levels can have a great time in our summer surf. Young riders can enjoy a boogie board for safe fun in light waves, while more energetic riders can learn to ride a big board. Island Native offers surf lessons for groups or individuals. For self starters, you can even rent a board and get out on the waves.
  5. Just Go Fish! There are all kinds of fishing opportunities on South Padre Island. Surf fishing on the beach is a popular and inexpensive way to enjoy the Gulfs bounty. You can also walk out on the jetties at Isla Blanca park or go out on the fishing piers located in Port Isabel or near the KOA campground. Other guests choose to go out on a group bay or Gulf fishing tour. For the finest fishing experience, fishing guides and charters are available for both bay and gulf fishing.
  6. Fly a kite. Our sea breezes often provide the perfect wind for kite flying. This is the perfect beach activity for all ages and skill levels. Kites vary from inexpensive to highly customized sport fliers. You can even pick up some truly unique flying artworks to dazzle and amuse. Visit one of SPI’s kite shops for your beach kite and remember why this was such a great activity in your childhood.
  7. Visit Historic Port Isabel. Right across the bridge is a wealth of history and interesting activities. For a reasonable admittance price you can climb the Port Isabel Lighthouse and catch a great panoramic view of the Texas coast. While there, be sure to visit the Port Isabel Museums. These museums have information and artifacts from several of the shipwrecks, wars and pirating events that occurred in the area.
  8. Watch the dolphins. A dolphin watch is a great family activity and inexpensive way to get out on the water. The Laguna Madre Bay is home to many pods of dolphins. These dolphin watch or eco-tourism trips almost always catch our local sea life activity and give your family a great vacation story!
  9. Visit the zoo. Only 25 minutes away, The Brownsville Zoo is nationally recognized. It is especially noted for its primate breeding program and features some of the finest primate exhibits in the country. Additionally, the Brownsville Zoo features an impressive array of tropical plants and landscaping.
  10. Relax. The best feature of South Padre Island is its laid back attitude. Vacationers young and old can enjoy a little time off for a walk, a nap or a drift in a pool. We hope you remember to take time off from your busy vacation schedule for a giggle and a rest.

Local Events for July 4th Holiday

If you’re lucky enough to be vacationing on South Padre Island over the Fourth of July you’re going to want to read this posting! There are plenty of local events taking place in celebration of the Independence Day holiday. Come on out and have a great time celebrating with the locals. All of the following events are being held and are open to the public!

Local Events for July 4th Holiday
4th of July Beach Parade
The public is invited to join in as residents and visitors alike walk a short distance to celebrate our nation’s birthday! Decorate your wagons, your pets, and dress in red, white and blue. Bring flags, musical instruments, drums, and banners! Free mini flags and beads will be given out at race start and watermelon for everyone at the end! Prizes will be awarded for the best Group, Costume and Wagon (or wheeled entry)! Parade line-up at 9:30 a.m. at Fantasy Circle Beach Access #22. The parade starts at 10 a.m.

Local Events for July 4th Holiday

Bands on the Beach
On Friday, July 3, Stars & Stripes on the Beach will have a live performance by Costello with special guests from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. On Saturday, July 4, Whiskey D. will perform live music from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Come enjoy the music, great food, and fireworks on the beach. Fireworks begin both nights at 9:15 p.m.

Local Events for July 4th Holiday

Fireworks on the Beach
7010 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island
The Hilton Garden Inn will have a fireworks show on the beach on Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 beginning at 9 p.m. The show is best viewable from the Hilton Garden Inn and La Quinta Inn & Suites.

Local Events for July 4th Holiday

Fireworks Over the Bay
Louie’s Backyard, 2305 Laguna Boulevard, South Padre Island
ZZ Not will be performing on a newly built bayside stage at Louie’s Backyard on July 4th at 11 p.m. General admission tickets are $17.50 and available here. Join enjoy live music, cocktails and the largest fireworks display on the island. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

If you’re still not sure where you’re staying give us a call at Padre Getaways (956-761-8888). We can set you up in comfortable accommodations that you’re going to just love! Have a safe and happy Independence Day 2015 from all of us at Padre Getaways!

Be Sure To Visit Port Isabel Too

When visiting South Padre Island don’t forget to spend some time in Port Isabel. Located right across the causeway from South Padre Island, this historic coastal community was once the Port and gateway to South Texas. You can still see reminders of the areas historic past in the local museums and the Port Isabel Lighthouse.

The Treasures of the Gulf Museum showcases artifacts and tells the story of the shipwrecks in the area. The Champion Building Museum tells of the rich historical significance of this part of Texas. Best of all, is the Port Isabel Lighthouse. This remains the only lighthouse in Texas that allows visitors to climb to the top. It is also the smallest state park in Texas.

This area is known as Lighthouse Square. It is easy to pass a day around the square shopping at the boutiques, strolling the Faro Mercado, having an ice cream, enjoying local dining and relaxing in the seaside atmosphere.

Port Isabel is also home to the Black Dragon Pirate Ship, which is a great adventure for young and old. Nearby is the fishing pier, Pirates Landing Restaurant, dolphin and fishing cruises.

The Sea Life Center is open for visitors to see local sea life and even pet some in their touch tanks. This non-profit organization provides a great place to learn about the varied species found in our Laguna Madre Bay and Gulf of Mexico.

Other fascinating Port Isabel destinations include their unique cemetery and the intriguing Port Isabel Yacht Club. This restored restaurant and hotel was built during Prohibition and has some wild historic tales to tell!

No South Padre vacation is complete without a visit to this charming seaside town. Plan to spend a day across the bridge too.

Now is the Time to Rent in South Padre Island

With spring well under way and summer fast approaching many people are focused on making their vacation plans and securing this summer’s accommodations. Gone are the days when people drive into town and stop at hotels or motels until they find a place to rent in South Padre Island that had vacancies. Now we can make our reservations from the comfort of our own living room and practically in the blink of an eye. But don’t delay! This is our busiest season and our luxury vacation rentals get booked fast!

You’ll find our rentals to be exclusive South Padre Island condos, townhomes and spacious single family homes. You can trust us to only provide homes that meet the strictest standards for luxury, quality and value. We have a large selection of South Padre Island Beachside Rentals, Bayside Rentals (both interior and waterfront), and properties located beachfront on South Padre Island.

Now is the Time to Rent in South Padre Island

 

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Welcome to the New Padre Getaways Blog

With this posting, the first on our new Padre Getaways Blog, we’re announcing the launch of our newly designed web site that is both stunningly beautiful as well as super easy to navigate.

You’re going to really like what you see here. We’ve made it easier than ever to search for the type of property you want with the amenities that matter most to you – and then you can book it online! Instantly!

We’d like to invite you to peruse our new site then come back often to stay in touch with our Padre Getaways Blog and the getaway specials we have on our vacation rentals. We hope to see you soon!