SEASONS ON SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS
By: Mark Lehmann
Spring is considered the beginning of the "busy season" on South Padre Island with Spring Break kicking it off in late February until late March. "Texas Week" is the busiest week of all with college students visiting from all over Texas and beyond. Traffic can be quite intense during "Texas Week" so be prepared for long wait times while crossing the bridge. Beaches will also be pretty busy in the day, while the bars and night clubs will be hosting most of the visitors at night.
This is also a great time of year to go bird-watching! Migratory
birds will spend some time in this area during the fall and spring.
Overall it is a great time of year to visit if you don't mind the extra traffic. Weather is usually fair with the exception of cold fronts that can bring gusty winds and rain for a day or two. Water in the ocean is usually in the mid - 60's and the nights will have a cool breeze requiring a long-sleeve at times.
Average Water Temperatures: 60 - 70 degrees
Average Air Temperatures: 55 - 100
The "summer season" on South Padre Island begins on Memorial Day Weekend (or as soon as the kids get out of school). You will find plenty of families spending their vacation here throughout the summer. The beaches are quite busy with people of all ages enjoying the warm water and sunny skies.
Weekends are the busiest by far with the Queen Isabella Causeway (2 miles) getting backed up with bumper-to-bumper traffic beginning late Friday (when people get off of work) and also starting again 11:00 A.M. on Saturday. Sunday evenings will also have heavy traffic starting at around 12:00 P.M. (hotel check-out time) and sometimes lasting up until late in the evening 9:00 P.M. People usually start to leave the beach when the sun goes down; 7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.
Parking at the beach access or along Gulf Blvd. can also be scarce during this time. Make sure you make it out before 10:00 A.M. to ensure that you'll have a good parking spot.
Do also anticipate longer wait times at restaurants. Playing on the beach and swimming in the pool can definitely create a tremendous appetite. Try calling ahead if possible. Check out our Restaurants Page
for the latest information on what restaurants are currently serving on South Padre Island.
Don't forget the fireworks display over the bay every Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day!!!!
The "Summer Season" officially ends with Labor Day Weekend. This is the last weekend that you'll find crowds on the beach and heavy traffic on the bridge.
Average Water Temperatures: 75 - 84 degrees
The "Fall Season" on South Padre Island is by far my favorite time of year! It is considered to start right after Labor Day Weekend.
The water in the Gulf is at it's warmest and the beaches feel like they are all your own (kids are back in school now).
This is a great time for weddings on
the beach and newly weds to spend their romantic honeymoon!
Everything seems to quiet down on the Island with
restaurants catering more to locals and a few visitors here and there.
Fall is historically the best time of year for surfing on South Padre Island as the peak of the hurricane season/tropical activity in the Gulf of Mexico is right around mid-September.
Average Water Temperatures: 85 - 78 degrees
The "Winter Season" starts when the first major cold front hits South Padre Island. This can be from early November to sometimes mid-December. It is not uncommon to be swimming in the ocean in mid-December!
The cold fronts usually bring in very strong north winds and rain at times. It can get pretty miserable and gloomy for a few days, but doesn't usually last too long. Sunny skies always appear one or two days after the front makes it way.
We get many visitors from up north even as far as Canada that prefer to spend their winters here instead of shoveling snow every day back home. They are known as "Winter Texans". Some even decide to spend the rest of their lives down here and forget the snow all together.