South Padre Island Main

southpadre-main

Make sure you have the right Padre Island in mind as you head to the Gulf Coast...

Padre Island, near Corpus Christi, is home to a small, quiet community and, stretching southward, the Padre Island National Seashore, with more than 60 miles of glorious white-sand beaches and unspoiled landscape. Meanwhile, just south across a narrow channel, lies South Padre Island, with many of the same natural attractions (beaches, birdwatching, fishing) as its northern counterpart - but in a resort town package that just happens to be a mucho popular Spring Break getaway.

"Winter Texans," as snowbirds are called here, will say you don't have to wait for spring to enjoy the fishing (everything from marlin to tarpon), watersports (windsurfing is a mainstay), riding a horse on the beach, or go bird-watching (best during the fall and winter migrations). South Padre is also home to the best, most consistent surf in Texas (peaking during the summer hurricane season at a jetty at the southern tip of the island), and there is a lively nightlife year round.

Until 1964 and completion of a shipping channel, South Padre was a city at the southern end of Padre Island. Today no bridge or ferry connects these two barrier islands, and the roundabout drive between them - really from one world to another - is now about 200 miles.