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Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

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Fort Worth, Texas
posts: 45
reviews: 20
Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

First off, I am a Texas beach "snob." Galveston absolutely disgusts me. The beaches are gross, the water is a muddy brown. We always go to Florida or Outer Banks, NC. This year for several reasons we could not. My husband had been to SPI years ago (like >25 years) and assured me the water was pretty and the beaches were nice.

He was partially right ! The beach in front of our condo was really nice. We were only there 5 days but it seems like it was groomed almost nightly and most of the accumulated seaweed was taken off. The water was a beautiful blue/green blue and was only muddy one afternoon after it had stormed most of the morning which is totally understandable to me.

Our condo was *great.* Sea Vista condos are in a great location for the most part (I saw some corner units that I wouldn't want to have but I think most of those belonged to residents who live there year round.)

We rode horses on the beach and had a great time with wonderful guides and a good view up on horseback. We stopped at the Turtle Rescue place and were all really impressed with what those folks are doing there. Our kids were going to do the outdoor Schlitterbahn but an afternoon of rain or so coupled with the fact that they were just happy to hang out on the beach resulted in them not going. My husband and I went over the beach access dock just to look at Schlitterbahn and honestly the outdoor part looked like a dump. Just old, not clean and bleh. I would've been fine if they had wanted to go but I wasn't impressed.

We drove back to a public beach access so our kids could collect some shells.. It was fun to drive ON the beach. But that beach is disgusting. Why do the people who live there consistently trash their beautiful beach?? I don't get it. Set back from the beach are some beautiful dunes and the sand is a much lighter color than it is down the beach. The potential to clean that place up is really really there.

The town itself...it's like Texas has just given up on the town. A few of the restaurants we ate at (all had mixed reviews on Trip Advisor so we decided to give them a try. I am low maintenance and I find that some people just can never be satisified so I give the mixed ones a try) were just completely nasty. Some of the other ones were really good. It just overall seemed to by kind of an old depressing town..

So that's it...the water was beautiful and the beach near us was clean and the drive was less than a day for us. That's all we needed for this year.

12 replies to this topic
Houston, TX
posts: 231
reviews: 8
1. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

I think you should give Galveston another try, I used to not like Galveston but now I really find it cleaned up and beautiful the Storm really helped that Island out. So give it a try you may be pleasantly surprised

Houston, Texas
posts: 2,022
reviews: 3
2. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

Well said, HoustonTTF.

@FW,

I think it's usually the visitors that trash the places, I think :)

Austin, Texas
posts: 199
reviews: 42
3. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

Yes, you are a snob.

The town itself...”it's like Texas has just given up on the town. A few of the restaurants we ate at (all had mixed reviews on Trip Advisor so we decided to give them a try. I am low maintenance”….

You mean more development and all-around improvements? Really? That is why most of us drive the extra hours to reach SPI? That’s giving up?

Why would you eat at any place with “mixed reviews”….ever…especially when there are plenty of places that do not have mixed reviews? And you rated Gabriella’s a 5 star on TA?

tripadvisor.com/…CHECK_RATES_CONT

If you all want to promo Galveston then that’s fine, just do it in the Galveston forum…. Galveston has things to offer, but it’s generally a dirty beach with a dirty ‘hood.

Texas
posts: 1,361
reviews: 43
4. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

Thanks for your report. It sounds like overall you had a nice trip. I appreciate hearing about both the good and the bad.

Fort Worth, Texas
posts: 45
reviews: 20
5. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

I guess a good comment that Gabriellas was a 5 star *in comparison to the other places on the island.*

I am truly not a snob. I like a nice clean beach and fun, decent places to eat. Some of our favorite places to eat are literally shacks or the typical "hole in the wall" types of places. I would try a place with mixed reviews just because I like to give places a chance. I have stayed in hotels and resorts that other people just absolutely trash...and found them to be more than suitable and perfectly fine for me. I am not picky. Read some of my other reviews on hotels and such.

Padre needs to clean itself up a bit and that is a fact. The public beach was disgusting.

I don't mean "more development." Improvement to me is not necessarily big high rise resort places that dominate some beaches. I hate those. Make it a nice clean town. Add some clean, "hometown" restaurants with some atmosphere and a niche.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 1
6. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

I have traveled to beaches all along the Gulf of Mexico, and always seem to miss SPI. Each place has its own merits, but the people of Padre and Port Isabel are the difference for my family. The Island eateries are owned for the most part by a few folks that have weathered the difficulty of surviving a seaonal marketplace. I agree with most of the ratings on this site. Friendly folks make South Padre our summer get a way...Port Aransas is our fall back geta way...then Galveston.

Austin, Texas
posts: 199
reviews: 42
7. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

Okay, peace, but why not list the specific restaurants you did not like and add to the general knowledge base here?

I’m very curious which part of the beach you found disgusting. I just returned yesterday, and they have kicked it up a notch with a “litter patrol”, who was enforcing clean up and even proactively issuing citations. The litter was way down from years past, and the beaches were combed every day. This was near beach access #19 (near Wanna Wanna).

If you like the hometown restaurants, then try Joe’s and/or Will and Jack’s in PI. They both rate very highly on TA.

Edited: 12:06 am, June 19, 2013
Fort Worth, Texas
posts: 45
reviews: 20
8. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

I don't remember the access numbers... But the ones WAY down at the end of the island towards the horse adventure place. Right "on" the water where the tide rolled in was fine... But the dunes were so sadly trashed.

All in all we LIKED Padre and I was impressed by the cleanliness of the beaches that we were on by the condos. They were heavily patrolled, seaweed seemed to be groomed frequently and we loved the area. They need some new restaurants to give the area a fresh vibe and the oldies but goodies need to clean up a bit.

Oh and the mini golf place by Louie's Backyard is top knotch. The layout of the course is superb, clean and well done. So glad we spent an evening there and the sunset was perfect.

Houston, Texas
posts: 1
reviews: 3
9. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

Thank you so much for your review! It was helpful, and I appreciate hearing the good and the bad. Thanks for taking the time to review.

Fort Worth, Texas
posts: 45
reviews: 20
10. Re: Just got back from South Padre..my thoughts

Just want to reinforce to everyone planning a trip to Padre..the beaches in front of the condos ARE clean. The water is nice and clear and the beaches seem to be groomed almost daily. Seaweed of course does wash in but it just was not a problem in my opinion.

The beaches that were trashed were WAY up on the public access beaches.

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