South Padre Island Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Beaches in Texas
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Best Things To Do in South Padre Island

If you're not interested in getting wet, don't go to South Padre. The main reasons for visiting this tiny island town (besides the lively spring break parties) include boating, fishing, diving, surfing, kiteboarding and simply lounging on the beach. Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark is a great way to enjoy the warm weather while keeping the kids entertained. You also shouldn't miss your chance to hop on one of the many dolphin cruises or get up close and personal with the turtles at Sea Turtle, Inc.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated April 10, 2017

  • #1
    Laguna Madre Nature Trail
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    #1 in South Padre Island
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    According to many, the best way to experience South Padre's wild side is to take a stroll along the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, a boardwalk that meanders from the South Padre Island Convention Center out to the Laguna Madre wetlands. This is also a major spot for bird-watching: Throughout the

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  • #2
    Sea Turtle, Inc.
    View all Photos
    #2 in South Padre Island
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Founded in 1977, Sea Turtle, Inc. was established to help protect all species of marine turtles. If you're looking to see these fascinating creatures up close, this is the place to go. Volunteers offer presentations about turtle conservation and kid-friendly activities teach your little ones how to identify different types

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  • #3
    Isla Blanca Park
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    #3 in South Padre Island
    Beaches, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sitting on the southern edge of South Padre Island, Isla Blanca Park is home to some of the area's best beaches, not to mention fishing spots, playgrounds and boating facilities. Plus, it's the site of one of the most highly visited South Padre attractions: a huge statue ofEl Cristo de

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  • #4
    Museums of Port Isabel
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    #4 in South Padre Island
    Museums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    While South Padre has earned a reputation as "Spring Break Central," history buffs won't be disappointed here. Visitors can choose to visit three popular historic sites, the Port Isabel Lighthouse, the Port Isabel Historical Museum and the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, individually or for a discounted entry fee, travelers gain

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  • #5
    Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center
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    #5 in South Padre Island
    Tours, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    After learning about turtles at Sea Turtle, Inc., take the kids to the Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center to come face to face with some of South Padre's other maritime friends. With kid-friendly touch tanks featuring native species like starfish and hermit crabs, plus daily nature presentations on dolphins

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  • #6
    Schlitterbahn Waterpark
    View all Photos
    #6 in South Padre Island
    Amusement Parks
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Keeping your kids entertained at the beach can be difficult. So when the weather starts to swelter and the little ones are bored of the shore, head to Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Here you'll find water rides, a surfing machine, a hot tub bar and a giant sandcastle play area that are

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Explore More of South Padre Island

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