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Dolphin Surfing picture in South Padre Island
The Pug Father / Flickr

Key Info

Details

  • Tours, Zoos and Aquariums Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.1
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    2.5
  • Atmosphere
    3.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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 and other marine life, this nonprofit attraction aims to educate visitors about wildlife protection along the Gulf Coast. For an extra fee you can hop on a boat for a Dolphin Tour and meet the animals firsthand. Many recent visitors say that this was their favorite experience in South Padre Island.

Flanking the edge of Port Isabel's Lighthouse Square (across Laguna Madre from South Padre Island and easily accessible from the Queen Isabella Causeway), the Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is about $3 per person, which includes entry to the nature presentations held twice a day. For more information, check out the center's website.

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Peninsula Island Resort & Spa

Peninsula Island Resort & Spa ...

  • 2.7 Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
Casa Rosa Motel

Casa Rosa Motel ...

  • 0.8 Miles Away
  • 2.0-star Hotel Class
Blue Bay Inn & Suites

Blue Bay Inn & Suites ...

  • 2.7 Miles Away
  • 2.5-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in South Padre Island »

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#1 Laguna Madre Nature Trail 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 ... Read more » Bob Balestri / Getty Images

#2 Sea Turtle, Inc. 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 ... Read more » Fogel's Focus / Flickr

#3 Isla Blanca Park 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 ... Read more » Marc Rohde / Flickr

#4 Museums of Port Isabel 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 ... Read more » Arinahabich / Getty Images

#5 Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center 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 ... Read more » The Pug Father / Flickr

#6 Schlitterbahn Waterpark 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 ... Read more » Courtesy Schlitterbahn Waterparks

A Regular of the Laguna Madre Trail picture in South Padre Island
Turtle Time picture in South Padre Island
El Cristo de los Pescadores picture in South Padre Island
Port Isabel Lighthouse picture in South Padre Island
Dolphin Surfing picture in South Padre Island
Schlitterbahn Waterpark picture in South Padre Island
A Regular of the Laguna Madre Trail picture in South Padre Island
Turtle Time picture in South Padre Island
El Cristo de los Pescadores picture in South Padre Island
Port Isabel Lighthouse picture in South Padre Island
Dolphin Surfing picture in South Padre Island
Schlitterbahn Waterpark picture in South Padre Island

The Laguna Madre Nature Trail is a great spot for bird-watching.  Bob Balestri / Getty Images

Get up close and personal with the turtles of Sea Turtle, Inc.  Fogel's Focus / Flickr

The Christ of the Fisherman statue is found in the southern end of the Isla Blanca Park Marc Rohde / Flickr

Constructed in 1852 to guide ships safely through the Laguna Madre, the Port Isabel Lighthouse is now a part of the Port Isabel Museums complex. Arinahabich / Getty Images

You can learn all about these friendly animals and others at the Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center. The Pug Father / Flickr

When the kids tire of building sandcastles at the beach, beat the heat at Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Courtesy Schlitterbahn Waterparks

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