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Best of South Padre Island Guide

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South Padre Island
Right off the southern tip of Texas is a tropical paradise offering as much or as little activity as you want. Whether gazing at a magnificent sunset over Laguna Madre, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, hiking, bird-watching, scuba diving, golfing or simply lazing on the soft white sand beach, this long, narrow barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico offers the ocean-, sun- or recreation-bound vacationer a heavenly respite from the daily grind. Except for Spring Break, when students flood the area, the atmosphere is quiet and laid-back. The clear turquoise waters are enticing, but there's no shortage of activities for landlubbers. Go horseback riding on the beach, play a round of tennis or golf, hike or join the birders... more Right off the southern tip of Texas is a tropical paradise offering as much or as little activity as you want. Whether gazing at a magnificent sunset over Laguna Madre, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, hiking, bird-watching, scuba diving, golfing or simply lazing on the soft white sand beach, this long, narrow barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico offers the ocean-, sun- or recreation-bound vacationer a heavenly respite from the daily grind. Except for Spring Break, when students flood the area, the atmosphere is quiet and laid-back. The clear turquoise waters are enticing, but there's no shortage of activities for landlubbers. Go horseback riding on the beach, play a round of tennis or golf, hike or join the birders seeking out the area's more than 300 species. Or get a bird's-eye view of the coast from the top of the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse. Fresh seafood with all varieties of seasoning and other fare is served at excellent restaurants, many with outdoor seating. A true island getaway, South Padre will renew your soul. less

All things to do » Things to do

Sea Turtle, Inc.
Sea Turtle, Inc.
Owner description: Ila Loetscher, the "Turtle Lady of South Padre Island", originally formed our organization to save the Kemp's ridley sea turtle in 1977. Now we are a sea turtle hospital with a... more Owner description: Ila Loetscher, the "Turtle Lady of South Padre Island", originally formed our organization to save the Kemp's ridley sea turtle in 1977. Now we are a sea turtle hospital with a mission to rehabilitate and release any injured sea turtles, increase awareness concerning their safety and habitat, and assist with conservation efforts for all sea turtle species. We are funded by donations, grants and gift shop proceeds-- For rehabilitated sea turtle and hatchling release text message notifications, please see our website membership page. See you at Sea Turtle, Inc.! less
Attraction type: Nature & Wildlife Areas
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South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center
South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center
Owner description: This nature center is a voice for dolphins wild and free, we do not keep them in captivity. We do have DAILY BOAT tours to take you out to meet them. Our facility has touch tanks... more Owner description: This nature center is a voice for dolphins wild and free, we do not keep them in captivity. We do have DAILY BOAT tours to take you out to meet them. Our facility has touch tanks and marine exhibits to help all who visit understand how we can help save our oceans. Our boats still go to meet our dolphins when the large tours do not have enough people to go we go for just four people less
Attraction type: Nature & Wildlife Areas
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South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center
South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center
Also on Facebook- South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center
Attraction type: Nature & Wildlife Areas
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Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark
Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark
Owner description: Surf manmade waves, move from ride to ride without ever leaving the water, blast uphill and down on thrilling water coasters or float peacefully on passive rides at this tropical... more Owner description: Surf manmade waves, move from ride to ride without ever leaving the water, blast uphill and down on thrilling water coasters or float peacefully on passive rides at this tropical water park along the beaches of South Padre Island. Over two dozens attractions for all ages, park has both outdoor and indoor attractions. Indoor attractions are open year-round in an heated, covered environment. Waterpark also has a beachfront resort hotel, multiple restaurants, 100' tall zipline ride and underwater Sea Trek attraction (open seasonally). Outside food and beverages are allowed (no glass or alcohol), free parking, free use of inner tubes and free use of life vests. Private cabanas with table side wait staff are also available for rental. less
Attraction type: Theme Parks; Water Parks
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Largest Outdoor Sandcastle in the USA
Largest Outdoor Sandcastle in the USA
Owner description: Check out the largest, free standing, outdoor Sandcastle in the USA on South Padre Island, Texas. Built in Oct 2013, it remains the oldest outdoor sandcastle in the USA and has... more Owner description: Check out the largest, free standing, outdoor Sandcastle in the USA on South Padre Island, Texas. Built in Oct 2013, it remains the oldest outdoor sandcastle in the USA and has been featured on just about every show and publication there is. You are free to contact the local artist that created it anytime, although there is extensive information available at the site. It will be extended by the original artist during the Fall of 2015. It is the start of the Island wide trail of sand sculptures. less
Attraction type: Points of Interest & Landmarks
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All places to eat » Places to eat

Yummies Bistro
Yummies Bistro
Price: $1 - $12
Cuisines: Healthy, American, Cafe
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Ceviche Ceviche
Ceviche Ceviche
Price: $7 - $9
Cuisines: Latin, Seafood, Sushi, Vegetarian Friendly, Healthy, South American
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Delivery, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Gabriella's Italian Grill & Pizzeria
Gabriella's Italian Grill & Pizzeria
Price: $10 - $25
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Delivery, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Grapevine Cafe & Coffeehouse
Grapevine Cafe & Coffeehouse
Price: $1 - $11
Cuisines: Mexican, American, Cafe
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Sea Ranch Restaurant-Bar
Sea Ranch Restaurant-Bar
Cuisines: American, Seafood
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Families with children, Special occasions, Bar scene, Scenic view, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible

All accommodations » Where to stay - Budget

La Quinta Inn & Suites South Padre Island
3.0 of 5
La Quinta Inn & Suites South Padre Island
$83 - $262
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Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island
3.5 of 5
Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island
$111 - $279
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La Copa Inn Beach Hotel
3.0 of 5
La Copa Inn Beach Hotel
$83 - $302
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All accommodations » Where to stay - Midrange

Isla Grand Beach Resort
3.0 of 5
Isla Grand Beach Resort
$117 - $274
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Suntide III Condominiums
Suntide III Condominiums
$145 - $405
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites- South Padre Island
2.5 of 5
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites- South Padre Island
$75 - $207
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All accommodations » Where to stay - Luxury

Sapphire Condominiums
4.5 of 5
Sapphire Condominiums
$409 - $1,448
Ranked #13 of 32 Hotels in South Padre Island
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.