Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center#5 in Best Things To Do in South Padre Island
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 marine animals. 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 (about $25 per person) you can hop on a boat for a 90-minute Dolphin Tour and observe the animals living in the Laguna Madre Bay. Many recent visitors said 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 3 p.m. Admission is $3 per person, which is used to help feed and care for the animals. For more information, check out the center's website.
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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 runs from the South Padre Island Convention Centre out to the Laguna Madre wetlands. This is also a major spot for bird-watching: Throughout the year, more than 300 species of birds pass through the South Padre Island area and the Laguna Madre Nature Trail is a great place for you to see them in their natural habitat. The Laguna Madre Nature Trail is open 24 hours a day and access is free.
Right next to the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, you'll find the South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center, which offers more bird-watching, a five-story viewing tower and an auditorium showing short documentary movies. You'll be able to see different bird and butterfly species as well as other wildlife. Admission to the center costs $6 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for children. Visit nature center's website for more information.
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