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Beat The Texan Heat: Top 10 Things To Do On South Padre Island, Texas

Benjamin
Published Aug 21, 2016

Located at the southern tip of Texas, the resort town of South Padre Island is an ideal vacation spot throughout the year due to its relatively warm year-round temperature. College students flock to the island during spring break in March and it remains a popular resort destination for families during the remaining months. It’s the perfect place to cool off if you’re tired of the Texan summer, and it stays warm enough to be a great destination for those escaping a colder climate. Whether you are an animal lover, a deep sea angler, or a thrill seeker, there’s plenty of fun activities for you to do here. These are the best ways to enjoy the sunny and warm climate of South Padre Island:

Top 3 activities to book in South Padre Island Beach

Meet the locals

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1. Make friends with baby sea turtles

South Padre Island has been the hatching ground of sea turtles for many years. Here, Sea Turtle Inc. has made it their mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles, while educating the public and assisting in conservation efforts of all marine species. Visit this organisation and show your support for a good cause. Visitors learn more about the fascinating sea turtle and have the opportunity to sponsor and adopt nests, hatchlings, and even patients! But of course, you don’t get to bring them home with you. The turtles you do get to take home are the ones in the gift shop, which sells an array of endearing turtle-related merchandise. For visitors of South Padre Island, Sea Turtles Inc. is definitely a place you want to make time for. Keep tabs on when the next hatchling release is and you just might be fortunate enough to watch some of these little guys make their way into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sea Turtles Inc.

Address: 6617 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX 78597

Price: A donation of 4.00 USD for adults and 2.00 USD for children over the age of 4 is asked to support the worthy cause

Opening Hours: Open from 10 am - 4 pm Tuesdays through Sundays (Closed Mondays). In the summer months, the hours are extended from 10 am - 5 pm

Contact: +1 956-761-4511

Website: Sea Turtle Inc.

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2. Hang out with dolphins

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Watch wild dolphins up close and personal! Learn more about their lives as you embark on an open-sea adventure to meet and greet some of the sea’s friendliest mammals. Intimate boat tours are available to ferry out groups of 4 to 6 people for the chance to interact with a dolphin in its natural habitat. Smaller boats are paired with quieter engines to prevent scaring off the dolphins. These tours have been going on for over a decade and some pods are familiar with the vessels that visit them regularly. During the tour you will learn more about these majestic mammals and hear interesting experiences from the captains of the boats.

South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center

Address: 110 N Garcia St, South Padre Island, TX 78578-4500

Price: from 25 USD

Opening Hours: 10 am - 4 pm

Duration: around 2 hours required

Access: The Sea Life Center is located on Light House Square in Port Isabel, between the lighthouse and Pirate’s Landing Restaurant

Contact: +1 956-299-1957

Website: South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center

Fins To Feathers

Address: South Padre Island, TX 78597

Price: from 25 USD

Opening Hours: 8 am - 7 pm

Duration: around 2 hours required

Contact: +1 956-299-0629

Website: Fins To Feathers

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3. Go on a horse ride

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Source: Pixabay

If you have never been on a horse ride, South Padre Island offers plenty of fun and safe options for you and your family! Horseback riding is an enjoyable way to explore the beach. The tours are a great way to get introduced to the sea life along the shore and see the flora that grows amongst the sand dunes. Several tours are offered on the island and each of them comes with its own perks. Morning tours are best to explore the beach before the crowd shows up, and the weather makes for a more cooling and comfortable ride. Afternoon tours are usually shorter and easier to squeeze into your schedule, perfect for those who don’t have much time or want a shorter ride. Sunset tours also allow you to escape the afternoon heat and offer a more romantic experience. And finally, moonlight tours, only offered during the period of a full moon, are quieter and allow you to enjoy the serenity of the coast. Choose the tour that best fits your travel itinerary to make the most of your time on South Padre Island.

South Padre Island Adventure Park

Address: State Park Road 100, South Padre Island, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Price: from 40 USD to 79 USD

Opening Hours: Summer, 8.30 am - 6.30 pm

Duration: around 2 hours required

Access: 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of the bridge to the island, at the end of Park Road 100

Contact: +1 956-761-4677

Website: South Padre Island Adventure Park

The Stables

Address: 8805 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Price: from 40 USD

Duration: around 2 hours required

Contact: +1 956-761-7743

Website: The Stables

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Catch a wave

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4. Try a new water sport

Being a coastal resort, South Padre Island is home to its fair share of sun-kissed water sport enthusiasts. Visitors crowd the beach to splash in the sea and have a go at different water sports. The waters stay relatively warm all year round, but you might need a full wetsuit if you’re planning on taking a dip in winter. Almost any water sport you can think of is available here on South Padre Island, from waterskiing to kiteboarding; you can even give flyboarding a shot! The water-powered jet board may seem daunting to the uninitiated, but vendors limit the maximum height to 3 feet (0.9 meters) above the water surface for beginners, ensuring a safe experience for all. If you feel like you have the hang of the contraption, the limit is abolished and you may have your chance at performing tricks on a flyboard!

Flyboard South Padre Island

Address: 5709 Padre Blvd., Unit A2, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Price: from 99 USD to 199 USD

Duration: around 1 hour required

Contact: +1 956-299-1763

Website: Flyboard South Padre Island

Prokite

Address: 2500 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Opening Hours: 8 am - 10 pm

Duration: around 2 hours required

Contact: +1 541-490-6872

Website: Prokite

South Padre Island Water Sports

Address: 5709A Padre Blvd, South Padre, TX

Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm

Duration: around 1 hour required

Contact: +1 956-299-9463

Website: South Padre Island Water Sports

South Padre Surf Company

Address: Park Rd. 100, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Price: from 40 USD

Opening Hours: 8 am - 5 pm

Duration: around 1 hour required

Contact: +1 956-772-7272

Website: South Padre Surf Company

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5. Have a splashing good time in a waterpark

Theme parks are always great fun for everyone. There’s plenty to do and it fosters bonding between family and friends. This is an activity that is guaranteed to cool you down during summer. South Padre Island is home to one of the 5 Schlitterbahn parks in the United States. If you’re feeling adventurous, slip down one of the 4-storey tall water slides or ride the uphill water coaster. If you’re looking for a more laid-back activity, the lazy river or tidal river should satisfy your lazing needs. While younger ones can stay in the kids’ area, the adults can head to the swim-up bar. Be warned, the water is warm and the drinks are strong; you may never want to leave!

Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Address: 100 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX 78597

Price: from 39 USD

Opening Hours: 10 am - 7 pm. Check hours here

Duration: around 3 hours required

Contact: +1 956-761-1160

Website: Schlitterbahn Waterpark

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6. Set sail on a fishing adventure

Ready your sea legs and be led out to the open sea by experienced crew members who know local waters and have a deep knowledge about the fish in the region. Depending on the season, you could haul in huge catches such as red snappers, lings, groupers, kingfish, and even sharks! All the equipment you could need is provided. The helpful crew aboard the ships makes the trips enjoyable even if you’ve never held a fishing rod before! Deep sea fishing charters cost more and are usually longer, from 6 hours onwards. Bay fishing charters can range from 3 to 4 hours per trip.

Isla Tours

Address: South Padre Island, TX 78597-6402

Price: from 25 USD

Opening Hours: 8 am - 8 pm

Duration: around 3 hours required

Contact: +1 956-761-4752

Website: Isla Tours

Captain Murphy's Fishing Charters

Address: 1 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX. 78597

Opening Hours: 8 am - 7 pm

Duration: around 3 hours required

Contact: +1 956-761-4752

Website: Captain Murphy’s Fishing Charters

Danny B Fishing Charters

Address: 2305 Laguna Blvd, South Padre Island, TX

Price: from 25 USD

Duration: around 4 hours required

Access: Located in the entertainment district next to Amberjacks Restaurant, down the street from Tequila Sunset, Wahoo Saloon, and Louie’s Backyard

Contact: +1 956-761-1389

Website: Danny B Fishing Charters

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Get sandy

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7. Visit a massive sandcastle and build your own

Now that s a castle
Source: Trip Advisor

See the largest, free-standing, outdoor sandcastle in the United States of America. It is mesmerizing up close and the details of the structure will astound you. This attraction also provides a good photo taking opportunity; it’s not every day you see a sandcastle taller than you. It helps that the visitor center is right behind this easy-to-spot structure, if you ever find yourself in need of some information, head for the huge sandcastle. Once you’ve admired this great piece of art, put your creativity to the test and build your own. Sandcastle building lessons are available from expert builders with years of experience and you get to pick up a new skill that will come in handy for the rest of your vacation.

Sand Castle Lessons

Address: 2612 Gulf Blvd, Beach Access 7, South Padre Island, TX 78597-6940

Opening Hours: 8 am - 5 pm

Duration: around 2 hours required

Contact: +1 956-433-9948

Website: Sand Castle Lessons

Sandy Feet Sandcastle Services

Address: South Padre Island, TX 78597, USA

Price: from 50 to 150 USD

Duration: around 1 hour required

Contact: +1 956-459-2928

Website: Sandy Feet Sandcastle Services

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8. Have a roll on the beach

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Source: Pixabay

Not every beach allows vehicles onto its sandy shores. Beach driving can offer a fun and different driving experience. Explore the length of the coastline in the convenience of your own vehicle. Pick a quiet spot at the end of the beach where it’s less crowded and have the luxury of setting up your beach chairs with everything you may need just a stone’s throw away. It is recommended that you travel in a 4x4 on the beach, however, a 2x4 is fine as well, as long as you just stay on the compacted surface and skirt around the soft sand. If you do get stuck in the sand, don’t call the official tow just yet. See if a 4x4 comes your way; most drivers with adequate rigs and tow equipment are usually more than willing to lend a helping hook.

South Padre Island Beach Driving

Address: South Padre Island, TX

Price: It costs 12 USD for a permit; you get back 2 USD upon returning the issued thrash bag at the end of the trip

Duration: around 2 hours required

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See South Padre Island from a different perspective

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9. Take your experience to new heights by skydiving

This is a must-do for all thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, or simply anyone who wants the best views of South Padre Island. Here’s your chance to see the entire coastline blur into the horizon as you jump out of an airplane at 11,000 feet (3,353 meters). The freefall lasts for around 60 seconds and the canopy deploys at 5,500 feet (1,676 meters). The remainder of the journey down is a smooth-sailing canopy flight of 5 to 7 minutes, plenty of time to appreciate the views and capture your new social media profile picture that is sure to leave your friends and family green with envy.

Skydive South Padre Island

Address: 2500 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Price: from 230 USD

Opening Hours: 8 am - 8 pm

Duration: around 1 hour required

Contact: +1 956-744-5867

Website: Skydive South Padre Island

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10. Delve deep into the sea on a diving trip

Take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico. South Padre Island is home to several popular dive sites, such as the Texas Clipper, a former World War 2 ship converted into a training vessel for a university, subsequently sunk to form an artificial reef. The Texas Clipper is a suitable dive spot for both novices and experienced divers. Beginners can survey the surface of the Texas Clipper, while those who are more comfortable being in an overhead environment can gain access into the various decks aboard. Training for all stages is provided by diving schools. However, if diving doesn't pique your interest, snorkeling is an alternative way to view the magnificent beasts beneath the ocean surface.

American Diving

Address: 1 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, Texas 78597

Price: from 140 USD

Duration: around 6 hours required

Access: Take a right off of the bridge. Continue for one third of a mile (536 meters). Look right and you will see a large blue and white building, The Sea Ranch Marina. Take a right and go to the red and white dive flag

Contact: +1 956-761-2030

Website: American Diving

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Start booking!

Whether you’re searching for ways to cool off from the summer sun or are looking to avoid the winter chill, South Padre Island is the place to kick back on the beach and enjoy the weather all year round. Keep in mind that South Padre Island is also a hot destination for spring breakers, so if you’re planning on visiting during that period, secure your hotel bookings before there aren’t any rooms left!

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Ben loves adventure and exploring places that are unfamiliar to him. He is intrigued by people of different cultures from all over the world. When he's not writing or chatting with strangers at a...Read more

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