South Padre Island

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.

La Copa Inn Beach Hotel
La Copa Inn Beach Hotel
3 out of 5
350 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX
The price is CA $90 per night from Jan 23 to Jan 24
Located in South Padre Island, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within 1 mi (2 km) of Queen Isabella State Fishing Pier, South Padre Island Beach, ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,977 reviews)
"Great stay. This is our third time staying there. Each year it looks like three are doing more improvements. They were always cleaning. Great breakfast and value for your money."

Reviewed on Jan. 18, 2022

La Copa Inn Beach Hotel
Courtyard by Marriott South Padre Island
Courtyard by Marriott South Padre Island
3 out of 5
6700 PADRE BLVD, South Padre Island, TX
The price is CA $99 per night from Jan 23 to Jan 24
Situated near the beach, this hotel is steps from Sea Turtle Inc and Sea Turtle Rescue Center. South Padre Island Beach and South Padre Island Convention Centre ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,155 reviews)
"I liked everything"

Reviewed on Jan. 20, 2022

Courtyard by Marriott South Padre Island
Beach Resort at South Padre Island, an IHG Hotel
Beach Resort at South Padre Island, an IHG Hotel
3.5 out of 5
100 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island, TX
The price is CA $96 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
Located in South Padre Island, this beachfront resort is in the city center and within a 10-minute walk of Queen Isabella State Fishing Pier and South Padre ...
3.6/5 Good! (497 reviews)
"Property is showing its age. We had quiet area facing the ocean. Bed was comfortable. The resort sign on main road was hard to find."

Reviewed on Jan. 16, 2022

Beach Resort at South Padre Island, an IHG Hotel
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
Nestled on the beach, this South Padre Island aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sea Turtle Inc and Sea Turtle Rescue Center. South Padre Island Beach and ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (567 reviews)
"Painless sign-in for after-hours arrival. Condo was just what we wanted. Clean and quiet, with all the amenities of home. Checkout literally took 30 seconds. Will stay here again."

Reviewed on Jan. 3, 2022

The Tiki
New listing! Quiet ground floor dog-friendly unit w/ W/D, shared pool, WiFi
New listing! Quiet ground floor dog-friendly unit w/ W/D, shared pool, WiFi
South Padre Island, TX
Located in the heart of South Padre Island, this romantic condo building is within 3 mi (5 km) of South Padre Island Beach, South Padre Island Convention Centre, ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (12 reviews)
"Quiet and peaceful. Nice pool. We had a great time"

Reviewed on Aug. 7, 2021

New listing! Quiet ground floor dog-friendly unit w/ W/D, shared pool, WiFi
La Solana by Padre Getaways
La Solana by Padre Getaways
3.5 out of 5
107 W RED SNAPPER ST, South Padre Island, TX
Situated on the waterfront, this villa is within 1 mi (2 km) of Queen Isabella State Fishing Pier, South Padre Island Beach, and Beach Park at Isla Blanca. Isla ...
La Solana by Padre Getaways
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.

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