South Padre Island is a popular resort town.
In 1967, Hurricane Beulah caused extensive damage to much of the town of South Padre Island.
Subsequent to rebuilding, the island became a popular spring break destination for college students and other tourists. Many multistory resort hotels and condominiums have been erected along the coastline to the Gulf of Mexico.
South Padre Island is the ideal beach holiday for enjoying the sea and surf, with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere – though with all the attractions and things to see you can make it as laid back or as busy as you want to. South Padre Island is just a small resort on the coast off the Gulf of Mexico and a few miles south of the norther tip of Texas and has warm temperatures but sometimes unpredictable rainfall. The currency in South Padre Island is US dollars ($).
Who Comes To South Padre Island?
Families from inland US, American student groups and couples wanting to travel and experience the Mexican heritage of Texas along with sun bathing, sports and days out. There are lots of bars and restaurants here to keep those that don't want to venture away from the resort and the reviews of the locals here are positively encouraging.
When does the Season Begin in South Padre Island?
Spring break runs through March bringing almost a hundred thousand students so if you are looking for a quieter time then avoid March at all costs! January and February attracts students too, but not quite as many as in March.
Weather wise, it's fairly unpredictable and nobody can guarantee a great hot and sunny couple of weeks although it's classed as tropical. March to November are the hotter periods at around 21 to 27º and the winter periods being as low as 16degrees.
Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport serves the resort and is just over 32kms / 20m away, or approximately a 25 minute car journey. You can book car rental here, though if you want to enter Mexico with a hired car check out the policy before doing this.
There are regular free bus shuttle services once you get to the resort known as Wave.
If you need a service from and back to the airport, per person rates can be around $74 / €55 / £37 for a round trip.
South Padre Island Nightlife
South Padre Island is host to a large number of bars and lively restaurants and just a couple of clubs. Each year lots of events, gigs and concerts take place so it's quite a busy place.
If you want bars you might be stuck for choice – try 'Coconuts' which overlooks the beach at Laguna Madre, or in the same area is 'Tequila Frogs' which attracts a young crowd of twenty somethings. There's an Irish bar if you want Guinness!
If it's a nightclub you want to try, 'Louie's Backyard' has free admission and is open until around 2am like most bars here, so you won't have to worry about staying up until dawn. Remember the age for this club is 21 (the legal drinking age in South Padre) and they're strict on checking ID.
As you would expect, drinks are more expensive in the hotel bars (you can pay around $8, £4, for a beer) so try to visit other bars if you don't want to pay over the odds. You will find a branded beer for around $3 / €2.20 / £1.50 during happy hour at 'Dorado's' where happy hour occurs daily between 3pm to 6pm.
Tons of seafood to try and if you like red snapper it's available in most eateries for around $6 / €4 / £3 which is a great price for lunch. You can eat fish and other dishes while you watch the sunset at a place like 'Scampi's' or a Seafood Buffet at 'Louie's Backyard' from around $14 / €10.40 / £7 per person.
It's hard to give a figure, one reason is because I can't find any and another reason is because the Island gets so full of groups from college that it would be easier to say that there's an equal mix of males and females, especially during spring break. Saying that, everyone needs to be careful – as usual with big drunken crowds, things can get a little out of control!
South Padre Island Beaches
The beach is where everyone gathers during the day and night. It's a huge beach that, I must say, looks dreary on a cloudy day but when you visit in summer it's beautiful, and more importantly it's clean and has great sunsets.
From the beach, you can go surfing, parasailing, fishing etc but don't be stupid about swimming or drifting out too far – there are no lifeguards to come to your rescue off South Padre beach!