We’re at the threshold of the summer holidays and the kids have been working on their summer bucket lists.
Ever since they were small, South Padre Island has always been on top of their lists.
Yes, the beach has always been a favorite but since our recent stay at the Island, hosted by the City of South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, I know those lists, this year, will include more than just the beach.
Because South Padre Island really is so much more!
What makes South Padre Island a fantastic family destination?
Beautiful South Padre Island is, without a doubt, a must-visit in Texas.
This 34-mile long barrier island is a hub of family attractions and activities.
The beach is the key draw to the island with several access points allowing visitors to enjoy quiet pockets of the beach to themselves.
If you still want some water fun, that doesn’t involve saline water, hit the Island’s very own water park.
Schlitterbahn South Padre has play areas for all ages,
which is great especially if you have younger kids.
The Island’s very own turtle rescue and rehabilitation center is a great way for the family to see conservation efforts at close quarters.
The center is also home to the first turtle in the world to successfully use (and continue to use) a prosthesis.
The first few weeks of summer also means it’s turtle hatchling release season. Make sure you follow the Sea Turtle Facebook page to see if there’s a release happening while you’re on the Island. This is definitely an experience you shouldn’t miss out on!
Osprey Cruises conducts dolphin watch tours, sea life safaris, pirate adventures and sunset cruises. The dolphin watch tour guarantees spotting dolphins out in the bay, dependent on when you travel and what the weather is like, you can even see them swim alongside the boat as it heads out onto the bay. An alternative to the dolphin watch tour would be an entertaining Pirate Adventure Cruise, complete with swashbuckling action and realistic dramatization!
This is one activity my kids will always cherish as a special memory. Honestly, how many people can say they were taught the tricks of the trade in a mere 2-3 hours and create a masterpiece like this on the shore?
Sandcastle lessons with Dennis are worth every penny spent and an unforgettable memory marker in your family’s minds.
Explore the South Padre Island Nature and Birding Center
The Nature and Birding Center is a great, fun, learning stop for all ages. It’s easily skipped off the list of things to do while at South Padre, but our recent visit has changed that mindset. The birds you will see and the things you will learn, make this another must-do.
South Padre has several popular chain restaurants on the island but to really experience the heart of South Padre, dine at local seafood favorites like Louie’s Backyard, Pirate’s Landing, Shrimp Haus, Blackbeards and Pier 19.
No dearth of places to stay
You can make your visit to the island a day trip if you stay close by but to enjoy South Padre to the fullest, staying on the island is always recommended.
While most hotels boast of a beachfront and offer a private beach access, there are several that are a hop, skip and a jump away from an access and pride itself of its central location, like the Holiday Inn Express and Suites South Padre Island, that sits right across the street from the Sea Turtle Inc. and South Padre Island Nature and Birding Center.
Good to know before you visit: The Holiday Inn Express offers a complimentary Continental breakfast each morning, complimentary wi-fi and parking. It’s bang next to the popular Louie’s Backyard-Bayside Dining and Entertainment that hosts fireworks on the beach every weekend. We walked to the beach access close to the hotel, sat on the curb and enjoyed the fireworks display away from the crowds. Another perk of staying at the Holiday Inn Express.
Last night we took a quick 5 minute walk to the beach access, adjacent to the Holiday Inn Express, to watch a beautiful fireworks display on the beach. ♡ (This is a weekly South Padre Island ritual, each Saturday, at 9.15 pm, right above the Hilton Garden Inn.) . * #MySPI #SouthPadreIsland #MSTeamTravels #Hosted @visitsouthpadreisland