If you thought this beautiful island town only existed for a couple weeks for frat guys in March during Spring Break – think again. Yes, there are lots of condos, beach shops and bars to keep the college kids busy, but the rest of the year, South Padre Island is a relaxing oasis that rivals the best beach towns in America. So, here’s what to do.
Sandcastle Lessons with the Sand Slave
Sun and sand lovers have lots of options. I would start by taking a sand castle lesson from Dennis Barrett, the Sand Slave himself. Soon you’ll be making masterpieces that should be admired in an art gallery…but are also just as fun to smash afterwards!
South Padre Surf Company
Surfs Up! On the beach side of S. Padre, I recommend a surf lesson from South Padre Surf Company. Turns out you don’t have to go to Cali to catch some gnarly waves.
Southern Wave Catamaran
On the bay side, take a snorkeling trip on the Southern Wave Catamaran. You’ll be amazed how clear the water is and you might even see a stingray or dolphin!
South Padre Birding and Nature Center
If you prefer the wildlife above the water, check out the South Padre Birding and Nature Center. You’ll see the vast species of birds that call this coastal community home in their natural habitats.
As the night falls, if you have an strength (and courage) left, head to the Gravity Adventure Park which has bungee jumping and go-carts for adults and kids, as well as my favorite – the REVERSE bungee. You gotta try it to believe it.
If you’d never had seafood for breakfast, then you NEED to go to Pier 19. Their blackened shrimp omelette is one of the greatest things I’ve ever put in my mouth and the view of the sun rising over the ocean ain’t too bad either.
If you prefer a traditional breakfast, Ted’s is your place. Start the day with the locals and a delicious plate of their signature breakfast fajitas. And, of course, each entree comes with an awesome view of the ocean.
Of course, all that swimming will leave you with a huge appetite, and for fried seafood galore, look no further than the island stalwart Dirty Al’s. They’ve got some of the best fried shrimp on the island.
Clayton's Beach Bar
And when you need food, drinks and relaxation on the beach, Clayton’s is the place and boasts the “biggest beach bar in Texas.” It’s one of those awesome hangouts you could only find in South Padre!
South Padre Island, TX