About South Padre Island

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Information for Texas Vacations in South Padre Island

South Padre Island lies off the southernmost tip of Texas and is located on the south end of Padre Island, the longest Barrier Island in the world and the largest stretch of undeveloped ocean beach in North America. South Padre Island is over 34 miles long, with about 26 miles of it being pristine white sand with lush flora and fauna and beautiful wildlife. The other 8 miles are home to the many vacation rental homes, condos and resorts that accomodate the millions of vistors to South Padre Island. South Padre Island was labeled the “best kept secret” of the state of Texas and to this day is considered one of the top 10 beaches in the nation.

About South Padre Island | South Padre Island History


South Padre Island offers a relaxing, wide ranging getaway with a variety of condos, vacation homes, hotels, and resorts. Choose a vacation near any of South Padre Island's local attractions that offers comfort while making the most of the beautiful beaches at affordably priced rates.

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Padre Island National Seashore, encompassing 130,434 acres, is the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world, and offers a wide variety of flora and fauna as well as recreation. Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark on South Padre Island offers 26 acres of the latest and greatest in water attractions. The Gladys Porter Zoo is a 31-acre preserve of lush tropical plants and some 1,800 animals known for its successes in breeding endangered species of wildlife. Located at the Iwo Jima Memorial Museum is the original 100 foot tall sculpture used in casting the famous bronzed Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, VA., depicting the raising of the US flag over Iwo Jima. The South Padre Island Visitors Center is home to a large year-round sand castle. Built and maintained by the world renowned Sons of the Beach Sand Castle Wizards, the sand castle changes with the seasons.


For years, the Texas International Fishing Tournament in August has taken pride in creating an atmosphere of friendly fishing competition and wholesome family fun. Open to anglers of all ages, it is the largest saltwater fishing tournament in Texas. The South Padre Island Hog Rally in October is billed as "The Roar by the Shore." Some of the events will include a concert, Poker Run, Tattoo Contest, Tire Toss, Slooow Race, Bike Wash, Weenie Bite, Scavenger Hunt, fireworks show and several non-biker events. Inaugurated by the late King of Latin Jazz, Tito Puente, the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival has become an important event in South Texas' cultural calendar as well as an internationally recognized music festival, drawing Latin Jazz performers, musicians, and dancers from throughout the world to Brownsville.

Water Sports

South Padre Island has a long history as a windsurfing location. Year round warm temperatures, average daily winds speed of 18mph, and the smooth and shallow water of the Laguna Madre offer excellent conditions for beginner to advanced windsurfers and kiteboarders. The beautiful beaches and warm Gulf waters promote swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing and sun tanning as well.


The Rio Grande Valley and South Padre Island in South Texas is renowned for good weather and plenty of recreational activities. Golf is among one of the most popular pastimes for outdoor enthusiasts in the Valley. As a result, the region boasts an impressive number of top notch golf courses.


Westerners first walked the shores of Padre Island around 1519 when Spanish Explorer Alonso Alvarez de Pineda surveyed the area as he charted the Gulf of Mexico for Spain. Padre Island first appears as ‘Isla Blanca' (White Island) on a map drawn by Pineda. In 1804, Padre Jose Nicolas Balli was given a land grant by the Mexican state and founded a settlement named “Rancho Santa Cruz” on Padre Island, about 26 miles north of its southernmost tip. He and his nephew, Juan Jose Balli, established a ranching operation and were able to raise large herds of cattle, horses and mules on the island.













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