Your Guide to South Padre Island & More...
est. 2012
...and more!

About SPI


Welcome to Beautiful South Padre Island, Texas




 

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GET TO KNOW SOUTH PADRE ISLAND!


South Padre Island
is a 34 mile long stretch of white sand paradise nestled between the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre Bay.  It has been ranked as a top 10 Spring Break beach destination and is a popular get-a-way for singles, couples, groups, and families who wish to leave the daily grind and simply relax by the soothing sounds of the beach. 

You should expect to relax while you are on South Padre Island!  Time seems to move a little slower here and no one ever seems to be in a rush.  We live by the sunrise and sunset, high and low tide!  Whether you are souvenir shopping on the streets or shell hunting on the beach, your mind will be at ease knowing that the time of day should be the last thing on your mind. 
 
Activities such as fishing, parasailing, diving, snorkeling, bungee jumping, jet skiing, surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, horse-back riding, skydiving, shell hunting, and much more make South Padre Island the place to be for fun under the sun.  Hundreds of thousands visitors come down each year to take a break from their daily routines and enjoy the our beautiful beaches and friendly atomosphere.  Some decide to never leave! 

Hungry?  Well dining on South Padre Island can be quite the experience too!  There are a wide variety of locally owned establishments serving some of the freshest and most delicious seafood around in Texas!    You will also be able to enjoy some authentic Mexican, Italian, Asian, and other ethnic cuisine while you are here.  Everything from fast food to gourmet fine dining can be found on South Padre Island!  

Our goal at infopadre.com is to make it easy for you to locate the information and resources you need to help make your stay on here the most pleasant and memorable experience ever! If you don't find what you are looking for, contact us!  We will get you the information you need as quickly as possible!
   
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND - SEASONAL INFORMATION


Every season brings it's own version of tourists to South Padre Island...Get to know which is best for you by reading below: 
Spring [Break] (2nd week of February to 3rd week of April) is the "official" start of the [tourist] season on South Padre Island.  Beaches and night clubs are filled with young college students from all over the U.S. looking for that much needed break from the stresses of school. 

Traffic during this time can be very congested in Port Isabel and on the island.  Crossing the causeway to get here can take up to 2-4 hours during the peak time (Texas Week).  The best time to drive across the causeway is usually before 11:00 A.M.  Traffic on the causeway will begin to back up at around 11:00 A.M. and can stay that way all day long until late at night!  If you absolutely need to get on the Island, then it's best to cross the causeway early!

Restaurants are usually very busy all day long during this time of year.  Wait times to get your food may be longer than usual, and some places limit their menu choices.  It is best to call ahead to see what they are serving and make sure you will have a place to sit.

Bars and night clubs are jammed packed with college students all night long until closing time at 2:00 A.M.  Then the party continues on the beach or back at the condo/hotel.  Things usually don't quiet down until 3 - 4 A.M.  Then it starts all over again.

Immediately after the U.S. college Spring Break ends, the Mexican nationals arrive for approximately 2 weeks with their Spring Break and Easter break combined.  Many of them own condominiums on South Padre as vacation homes.  See more...
Summer (Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend) is also a very popular time to visit SPI.  Singles, couples, groups, and families from all over the U.S. and beyond visit during this time to relax on the beach and have a great time. 

Expect higher than normal traffic to get on the Island during holidays and on the weekends.  Traffic can be backed up for miles starting at around 11 A.M., so it is best to plan on arriving as early as possible.  Parking on or near a public beach access or even Isla Blanca park can be very difficult to nearly impossible, so again, another reason to arrive as early as possible.

Restaurants are also busier than normal so do expect to wait before being seated. 

You will find a fireworks display every Friday and Saturday night on the bay side in front of Louie's and on the beach in front of Clayton's Beach Bar.  Don't forget to bring your camera!
Fall season (2nd week of September to November) seems to taper down a bit with warm water and less crowds on the beach.  The hotel rates are also some of the best during this timeWait times at restaurants are almost non-existent too.  This is probably one of the best times of the year to visit South Padre Island!  This is a transition period between our summer tourists and our winter tourists (a.k.a. Winter Texans).   Some businesses also take this time to travel so don't be surprised if you see some establishments closed for a week or two.

This is a great time of year to go bird watching.
Winter (December to 2nd week of February) brings in people from up north who much rather see pelicans relaxing on the piers instead of piles of snow outside their drive-ways.  Cold fronts start reaching this area by late October or early November and will be in full swing by December.  Winds pick up quite a bit out of the south a day or two before it reaches, then quickly changes out of the north, sometimes gusting to 40 mph +.  Our winters down here can also be a bit rainy at times.  The best time is a day or two right after a cold front hits; sun comes out and winds are very light before they start picking up again out of the south/ southeast.
Everything you need to know and more is listed here to help make your vacation one to remember!  We feel it's important to let our viewers know what to expect when planning on visiting South Padre Island. 

How does snorkeling in the bay or by the jetties in the morning, parasailing in the bay or surf in the afternoon, and horse-back riding in the evening sound?  You can do that and more here on South Padre Island! 

See South Padre Island from a different perspective...

Try renting waverunners or stand-up paddle boards and take a tour of South Padre Island from the water.  You might even hire a guide and take you for a fishing experience you'll never forget!  Go dolphin watching, or even hop on the banana boat out on the surf and look at the Island from the ocean!  It really is a beautiful beach! 

No matter what season you choose to come down, you won't be disappointed!


So what are you waiting for?!  Come on down and enjoy the beach!
BEACH GUIDE & INFORMATION
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND



ALL ROADS LEAD TO THE BEACH ON SOUTH PADRE ISLAND!


Well, almost every road... 

The beaches of South Padre Island are easily accessible and free with 22 public beach accesses and easy parking all along Gulf Blvd.  starting from the Padre South Hotel to the Inverness Condominiums.

Public restrooms and showers are located at the following Gulf Blvd. beach accesses:

Gulf Blvd. Beach Access # 3

Gulf Blvd. Beach Access #
11




Parking may be difficult to find during peak seasons and the city of South Padre Island has also recently passed and is enforcing new parking laws along Gulf Blvd. 

It is very important that you read all parking signs located along Gulf Blvd. to make sure you park your vehicle appropriately.
 

Other Beach Accesses...


Isla Blanca Park

Isla Blanca Park is located at the southern tip of South Padre Island.  Take the first right as soon as you get off the causeway, then go all the way straight until you reach the park entrance and gates.  This location is very popular with locals who live in the Rio Grande Vally area including surfers, fishermen, and beach goers.

The daily personal vehicle park pass is $4.00.  Slightly higher rates may be charged for other vehicle types.  Cash and credit are acceptable forms of payment here.

You can also purchase a 90 day or 1 year park pass at the Cameron County main office located on your right hand side as soon as you pass the KOA campground sign on your way to the Isla Blanca entrance.

You will have easy access to the beach, 2 pavilions, beach-front vehicle parking, bbq grills, boat ramp, jetties, public restrooms with showers, 2 snack bars, 2 children's playgrounds, bait stand, and a trailer park.   

You can find some good spots for photos on any given day here! 



Isla Blanca can get very crowded during the summer vacation months and Easter holiday.  Parking can be very difficult.  It is recommended that you arrive early to find good parking if you plan on coming during those times.


Andy Bowie Park

Andy Bowie Park is located on the northern part of South Padre Island.  You will come across it on your right-hand side as soon as you pass the South Padre Island Convention Center (left side) and Hilton Hotel (right side)l. 

The daily vehicle fee is $4.00 and can be paid with cash or credit.  90 day and year passes are also available at the Cameron County Parks main office.

This is a good place to bring the family and have a good time on the beach.  You will have access to the beach, a pavilion, bbq grills, public restrooms with showers, seasonal snack bar, a wooden children's playground, and trailer parking.

Feel like driving on the beach? 

Well you can!  A quick drive up north on Padre Blvd. will lead you to the county beach accesses #5 and #6.  You will have access to drive on the beach with your vehicle. 

It is recommended that you know how to operate your vehicle in sand prior to driving out on it.  Vehicles equipped with 4X4 are recommended when the sand is very soft. 



Driving on sand:

Lower your tire pressure by 5 - 10 lbs.  Remember to add air when you get back on the road.

Be aware of others on the beach.  Many people park their vehicles near the water and have their kids playing around. 

The current speed limit on South Padre Island beaches is 15 mph, and drops to 10 mph at county accesses five and six.

Momentum is key when driving on soft sand.  You should gain momentum if approaching an area that looks soft but always pay attention to your surroundings.

Driving at night can be more difficult.  Pay close attention to any driftwood that may be sticking out of the sand.

Avoid driving over dead fish, especially catfish as their bones or barbs can puncture your tires.  This is very important during periods of red tide as thousands of dead fish can wash ashore.

What to take:

5 gallon bucket
small shovel
tow strap
air compressor (if available)

What to do if you get stuck in sand:

Don't worry.  Getting stuck on sand is not that big of a deal.  It just means you have to do a little extra work to get out and be more cautious driving on it.  But that is all part of the adventure...right?!

Try following the steps mentioned below:

Lower the tire pressure in the rear tires.  Your tires will have more surface area and grip on the sand.  This  should help in getting your vehicle out on it's own power.

Fill the 5 gallon bucket with water.  You will have to do this several times throughout.

Dig out the sand under the vehicle and create a path in front of each wheel.  Spread the sand out with the shovel and try to compress the path with it.  Adding water can help compress the sand a little easier.

Try to push it out or simply wait for a 4X4 to pass by and ask for help. 

Don't keep trying if your vehicle is going nowhere and keeps getting deeper.  You will bottom out and make it much more difficult to get it out without assistance.  Keep digging, add water, and wait for help.

It is much easier to get someone to help you if they see that you already did the work of clearing out the sand and have a tow strap handy.  Some people may not want to help as they may fear getting stuck themselves.

You can also call a tow service if you are unsuccessful in getting your vehicle out without professional assistance.


Please watch out for the sea turtles and nesting grounds when operating your vehicle on the beach!!!!

Please report nesting sites to 956 - 761 - 4511


Nude Beach on South Padre Island


There is also a self-proclaimed public "nude" beach located approximately 10-12  miles north of the Beach Access 6.  It is marked with an emergency evacuation vehicle/pod that drifted ashore after a storm in 2010.  Locals often refer to it as the "UFO".  





Yes, you CAN drive on the beach on South Padre Island!





The beach is easily accessible all along Gulf Blvd.





The Isla Blanca jetties located at the southern end of South Padre Island





Rent a stand-up paddle board and enjoy the view!





Another Beautiful Sunset on South Padre Island



Local kite boarder taking advantage of a windy January afternoon.


Beach Safety on South Padre Island


Respect the ocean! 

Kids should always be monitored when swimming in the ocean.  You should not swim if you are under the influence of alcohol.  Call 911 immediately if you see someone in need of help.