South Padre Attractions

Things to Do in South Padre Island



When the sun sets it just means there is another full day ahead with several things to do in South Padre.
Somewhere between the Laguna Madre and The Gulf of Mexico lies South Padre Island, Texas, a favorite of Texans and Gulf Coasters alike. Offering water sports you're not likely to find back home like fishing, snorkeing, jet-skiing and even surfing, part of the fun of visiting South Padre Island is getting to step outside of your comfort zone.

Feel like getting a tan before heading back home? Find one of the public beaches to lounge on with your favorite novel or i-phone app.



While South Padre may have a reputation as being a rowdy Spring Break party time, you'll find bringing the kids is kosher at least the other 51 weeks out of the year. Besides taking them to the beach and letting them stay up later, show them a real vacation treat with tickets to Sea Turtle, Inc. where they can learn about the sea life the surrounds South Padre, specifically the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle. On the other hand, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and World Birding Center offers kids another perspective and focuses its efforts on the birds that migrate to South Padre each season.

Play Golf

Lots of folks enjoy hitting the green during vacation, so it's natural to wonder where all the good golf courses in South Padre are. Be sure to check out South Padre Island Golf Club which is a great place to start and complete with a pro shop, restaurant and bar. Find a South Padre rental close enough to the golf course so that you can enjoy walking there in the bright weather.


Get Wild

Wild animals, that is. The Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge outside of Harlingen is close enough to visit during your beach vacation. The refuge is one of the largest in the area. In Brownsville, you'll find Glady Porter Zoo which is famous for breeding endangered animals. Check out  the Herpetarium and Aviary. Be sure to bring the kids to the "animal contact yard" so they can commune with a real live goat.

Dive In

Usually there's one underlying reason why people want to visit South Padre - and that's to hit the beach. Finding a South Padre beach house rental is as easy as browsing the HomeAway website for a vacation rental that falls within your budget. From rolling sand dunes you can drive for miles (yes driving is allowed), to private beaches that offer pockets of privacy, beaches in South Padre cater to all different kinds of sun-worshippers. City beaches to the east of South Padre Island are open to the public and caters to travelers on budgets.


Dine Out

Part of the fun of renting a South Padre beach rental is getting to try out someone else’s kitchen. While grilling up fish can be fun, it’s sometimes a good idea to let loose a little and explore what restaurants South Padre Island has to offer. Daddy's Seafood & Cajun Kitchen rates high on locals' lists so if you're looking for oysters that melt in your mouth this is where it's at. Vegans and hippies should check out Naturally's the go-to health food store and Psycha-Deli where you can get served a sandwich by a cashier in tye-die. And no trip to South Padre is complete with a meal at Louie's Backyard, known for its headlining music acts and country fried baskets- a place to add to your Things to Do list, for sure.

Spring Break

Of course once a year, every year, that time comes again – when the school bells ring and all the kids – and older kids are let loose. Can you blame them for running as fast as they can to the beach. Consistently voted one of the best Spring break towns, you’re certain to find something to do in South Padre during March and April.


Find out why South Padre condos are better than hotels or read up on South Padre Spring Break.

Vacation Home Search

Find the perfect rental for your vacation

Join Our Newsletter

Get the latest updates in your email