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A Regular of the Laguna Madre Trail picture in South Padre Island
Bob Balestri / Getty Images

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  • Hiking, Parks and Gardens Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3
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    5.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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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 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 boardwalk, 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 for the center is $5 for adults, $4 for students and $2 for children. Visit nature center's website for more information.

Recent visitors rave about the diverse amount of animals they were able to see on the Laguna Madre Trail, specifically the different variety of birds and alligators. They also recommend taking your time and highly suggest visiting the museum at the nearby Birding & Nature Center.

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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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