The perfect vacation for the entire family awaits you at South Padre Island! Located on the tropical tip of Texas, South Padre Island is the Lone Star State’s tropical paradise. Bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre Bay, this 34-mile long barrier island ideally combines the conveniences and attractions of a modern resort with miles of pristine island terrain.
With year-round tropical weather, sunny beaches and internationally renowned birding, South Padre Island is never out of ways to have fun. In fact, the Island has consistently been rated one of America’s best beaches by The Travel Channel. An abundance of activities such as sailing, windsurfing, dolphin watching, parasailing, jet skiing, horseback riding on the beach, shopping, tennis and lounging by the pool await every visitor. As the days wind down with breathtaking sunsets over the bay, night clubs and restaurants come alive with conversation, dining, music and dancing.
South Padre Island is also one of the best kept secrets for salt water fishing, both inshore and offshore. The Laguna Madre Bay is one of the hottest spots for tropical saltwater fishing, and has waters filled with snook, redfish, and tarpon among other prized tropical game fish. Venture offshore and marlin, tuna, dorado, whahoo and many more species can be found. With over 253 days of gorgeous sunny weather, visitors can enjoy fishing at South Padre Island all year round!
There truly is no place like South Padre Island – an exciting, fun, safe and beautiful beach town with the Gulf of Mexico within walking distance from any place on the Island.
South Padre Island History
South Padre Island’s recorded history begins in 1519 when Alonso Alvarez De Pineda sailed pass the Isla Blanca (White Island) while charting the Gulf of Mexico for Spain.
In 1804, Padre Jose Nicolas Balli, a catholic Missionary Priest, founded a settlement on South Padre Island called Rancho Santa Cruz where he raised cattle and horses. Twenty-five years later, Balli passed away and was awarded title to the Island by the Mexican Government. His nephew, Jaun Jose Balli, lived on the island until 1853.
In 1931, the site of Rancho Santa Cruz was rediscovered and is now know as the “Lost City of Padre Island.”
There now stands a bronze statue of Padre Jose Nicolas Balli at the eastern foot of the Queen Isabella Causeway welcoming all visitors to South Padre Island.
Nature South Padre Island Style
The natural surroundings of South Padre Island and the Rio Grande Valley give birders and wildlife enthusiasts the opportunity to see a wide variety of unique species.
On South Padre Island, nature lovers will appreciate and enjoy 34 miles of pristine beaches and sand dunes along the Gulf of Mexico. Because of its strategic location, South Padre Island is a resting sanctuary for over 300 species of migrating birds.
South Padre Island has constructed several areas dedicated to improving the viewing of these birds. The South Padre Island World Birding Center has over 4800 feet of boardwalk, 7 blinds, a five story observation tower, auditorium showing a movie about the wildlife of South Padre Island, exhibit hall and gift shop.