South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a small resort town on the southern tip of Padre Island off the coast of Texas, close to the border with Mexico. It is a popular spring break destination for college students.


Incorporated in 1973, it lies just across Laguna Madre, the bay separating island from mainland. Not surprisingly, the East side of the island is referred to as the "gulf side" by locals, and the West side, the "bay side".

Get in

By plane

South Padre Island is served by three airports, with daily service primarily to Dallas and Houston.

By car

Texas State Route 100 connects South Padre Island to the city of Port Isabel on the mainland, and continues on to meet US Route 77/83 between Harlingen and Brownsville. Texas State Route 48 links Port Isabel with Brownsville. If you will be landing at McAllen Miller International Airport, US Route 83 directly connects the airport to Texas State Route 100, passing through Harlingen en route.

By bus

Catch the $2 Rio Transit bus from downtown Brownsville to its last stop in Port Isabel, and catch the free Wave from there. The Wave runs every half hour and takes you all over South Padre as far as the Visitors Center on the north end.

By boat

There are no ferry boat services, but if you have your own boat, just point yourself to the place on the Gulf of Mexico where Texas meets Mexico and you're at South Padre Island! There's several marinas both on South Padre and at Port Isabel.

Get around

By bus

The Wave is South Padre Island's free public bus line. Buses run along the Padre Blvd. strip and across the bridge to Port Isabel. Wheelchair accessible and FREE (The Wave runs from 7AM to 7PM.)

By car

South Padre Island has only one main road: Padre Boulevard, which is part of Texas State Route 100. There are two parallel side streets, Gulf and Laguna. There are several taxi-cab companies, with fares starting at around $5.



The South Padre Island Visitors Center provides detailed information about accommodations, activities and events related to boating, sailing, fishing, and seashore recreation. M-F 8AM-5PM; Sa-Su 9AM-PM a half-mile north of the causeway at 600 Padre Blvd. Telephone +1 956-761-6433, or +1-800-SOPADRE (767-2373) U.S. and Canada.

South Padre is known for its water sports, including jet skiing; bay, surf, and deep-sea fishing; parasailing, sailing, dolphin cruise, and windsurfing. Other island activities include bicycling, tennis, shelling, and horseback riding on the beach. The popular Laguna Madre Nature Trail for nature enthusiasts and bird-watchers is north of the city next to the convention center.





Visitors find wide range of accommodations from campgrounds and family motels to high-rise luxury hotels and condo rentals, marinas and seaside cottages.


Free wifi

Go next

Cross the bridge to get back to the nearby port town, Port Isabel. It has many restaurants, souvenir shops, Wal-mart, HEB, Beall's, Movie Gallery, etc.

Routes through South Padre Island

Brownsville becomes  S  N  Padre Island National Seashore END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, November 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.