South Padre Island Travel Guide

USA  #3 in Best Spring Break Destinations
Credit

Courtesy of DavieJones13/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Free Things To Do in South Padre Island

If you have extra time, Wyland's Whaling Wall is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in South Padre Island
    View all Photos
    #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 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.

  • #3
    Isla Blanca Park
    View all Photos
    #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 of El Cristo de los Pescadores (Christ of the Fishermen). This is also a great spot to leave land behind and explore the sea on a kiteboard or a snorkeling excursion. Isla Blanca Park also features several lodging and dining options.

    Many recent visitors said the park's renovation construction has made it more difficult to enjoy the facilities. Most are optimistic that when the construction is complete the park will be just as beautiful as ever.  

  • Wyland's Whaling Wall
    View all Photos
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

Explore More of South Padre Island

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

30 Amazing Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019

The 6 Best Maui Helicopter Tours

Combine sightseeing with a breathtaking adventure on one of these flights.

Gwen PratesiJuly 23, 2019

The 7 Best San Francisco Boat Tours

Take in the city's major sights by water with one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 22, 2019

How to Pack a Suitcase: 16 Tips and Expert Tricks for Perfectly Packed Luggage

Take the stress out of vacation prep with these handy recommendations.

Lyn MettlerJuly 22, 2019