By Coastal Living
January 07, 2011

For the ideal coastal vacation, look to South Padre Island. Sure, the southern tip of Texas is a relaxing oasis, but there’s plenty of excitement to be found here. It’s an island paradise where the locals are as warm and inviting as the weather.

Located between the beautiful Gulf Coast and Laguna Madre Bay, South Padre Island is lined with pristine beaches as far as the eye can see – great for beachcombing, building sand castles or simply enjoying the sun in all its splendor. The 34-mile-long reef barrier is perfect for kiteboarding, parasailing, horseback riding, fishing and, of course, surfing.

When it comes to dropping a line in the water, South Padre has it all. Fish in the bay, offshore for big game or in the surf – even fly-fish the flats. Fish on!

Nature is everywhere. Birds galore flock to the island year-round. In fact, more than 300 species call the island home. Grab the binoculars and see how many you can spot.

Like dolphins? Located on the island is the Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center. Come pet one and learn about this fascinating creature. Or head out for a dolphin cruise and see their acrobatic abilities in the wild.

If shopping is more to your liking, locally owned shops and boutiques offer one-of-a-kind finds. Hungry carrying all those bags? There’s plenty to eat, especially seafood caught in local waters. It can’t get any fresher.

So head to South Padre Island and see how much there is to do. Or choose to do nothing at all. That’s the beauty of this island paradise.


To start planning your escape to warmer weather, great dining and Southern hospitality, order your free Texas State Travel Guide at