Getting Around South Padre Island
The best way to get around South Padre Island is on foot, especially since the area clocks in at 2 square miles in size (much of which is shoreline). There is also a free public shuttle, Island Metro, which runs the length of the town and across Laguna Madre to Port Isabel. However, if you're interested in visiting some of the other outlying communities, you may want to rent a car. Getting into town from the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport (BRO) – located about 25 miles southwest – can seem daunting, but you can make the trip without having to worry about overspending. Island Airport Shuttles pick up at the airport and can take you as far as Port Isabel where you can catch the Island Metro. Visitors can also fly into Valley International Airport (VIA) in Harlingen – about 40 miles west of South Padre – and catch the South Padre Shuttle to the island (one-way fares cost $35 per passenger). Car rentals are also available.
South Padre is very walkable because of its small size and grid layout. You'll have no trouble finding beaches, restaurants and entertainment within walking distance.
There is a free public bus service called Island Metro, which operates daily every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. There are four different routes: Two run the length of South Padre Island, one runs out to Laguna Heights and a fourth runs to Port Isabel. There are also free shuttle services that run between the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport and Port Isabel.
If you wish to explore neighboring towns like Brownsville or spend a few days in nearby Corpus Christi, a car may come in handy. Car rentals are available at the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport.
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