Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock/Arina P HabichStand Up Paddleboarding, South Padre IslandTropical Waters, South Padre IslandSouth Padre Island Aerial

Families will love:

  • The Gulf and Laguna Madre Bay
  • Shallow, gently sloping beach
  • A chance to see turtles and dolphins

Texas' South Padre Island is most often associated with spring break, when thousands of college students descend on the beach and then cross into Mexico to party all night long. Avoid South Padre in March, however, and you have those same glorious Gulf Coast beaches without the rowdy crowds. Families especially savor the summer months, when the waters are warm and there ... more
Texas' South Padre Island is most often associated with spring break, when thousands of college students descend on the beach and then cross into Mexico to party all night long. Avoid South Padre in March, however, and you have those same glorious Gulf Coast beaches without the rowdy crowds. Families especially savor the summer months, when the waters are warm and there are a slew of activities to keep the kids entertained.

South Padre is located on the south end of 34-mile long Padre Island, the longest barrier island in the world. Head any farther south in Texas and you'll be in Mexico. Comparable to Cape Cod, which features ocean and bay swimming, South Padre has the surf of the Gulf and the calmer waters of Laguna Madre Bay. Both waters offer a shallow slope, ideal for swimming and water sports like surfing and windsurfing.

South Padre is narrow, only two to three blocks wide and stretching some five miles long. In addition to the beach, there's a chance to see turtles and dolphins, visit a water park, and view a historic lighthouse from the mid-19th century. But most of your time will be spent whisking away the hours on the shores, jumping in the warm surf and catching rays. South Padre is a beach vacation, Texas-style.

Written by Stephen Jermanok less

South Padre Island, TX Planning & Tips
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