Stay Close to Adventure!
Andy Bowie Park
Located on the northern end of South Padre Island, this park provides beachfront picnic pavilions, concessions, children's playground, shower facilities, 18 full hook-up RV spaces, and a ranger station. Group rental facilities are also available with prior arrangement for beach parties. 761-3704
Edwin K. Atwood Park
Located 1.5 miles north of Andy Bowie Park on Park Road 100, this park offers a beachfront picnic pavilion, a concession, and a beach access road, which provides twenty miles of beach driving. 761-3704
Beach Recreation & Aquatic Sports
South Padre Island is a dream come true for those that love to play in the water or soar through the sky. There are several places on the Island to rent just about anything you can think of that will propel you through the water or allow you to soar with the birds. Jet skis, wave runners, kayaks, and hobby cats can be rented for as little as one-half hour to whatever your heart desires. Windsurfing and kiteboarding are also popular water sports on the Island. There is also a wide array of opportunities to tour the Island by land or water. From amphibious vehicles to catamarans - pick your favorites and make a day of it. A romantic horseback ride on the beach at sunset is one of several great ways to end a perfect day in the tropics. Don't forget to try your hand at soaring like a bird by parasailing or ski diving. South Padre Island is the perfect spot to try those water sports that you have only seen on television or in books and always made the comment - I want to try that someday. Someday is here - South Padre Island.
Where can you go that you can fish all day and have the restaurant of your choice cook your catch to your specifications? Get ready to bend your pole along the surf, on the bay or on a deep sea fishing trip in the Gulf. There are approximately 600 different species, but the most commonly caught fish are the red or black drum, spotted sea trout and southern flounder in the bay, and tarpon, red snapper, king mackerel, amberjack and pompano in the gulf. Choose from over 60 different charter companies and personal guides to take you on the fishing trip of your life. For more information call (956) 761-4412
South Padre Island Golf Club offers a 18-hole championship golf course and is situated across the Laguna Madre Bay, a short 10 minute drive from South Padre Island. This par-72 course is home of the Texas Senior Open and presents an absolutely beautiful lateral view of the Island. Decidedly different with rolling green hills and "wildlife corridors" of native brush, these grounds offer an oasis, a wildlife refuge and golfer's paradise all rolled into one. Green fees range from $27-$45. Golf packages are offered by several of the Island's top resort hotels and condominiums. #1 Golf House Rd. For more information call (956) 943-5678 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (956) 943-5678 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. www.spigolf.com
Isla Blanca Park
On the southernmost tip of South Padre Island, this park is the crown jewel of the Cameron County Park System. Over one mile of clean, white beach along the Gulf of Mexico offers abundant beachfront recreational facilities. Enjoy our picnic and playground areas, the south fishing jetty, restaurants, clubs, University of Texas Pan American exhibits, and the Chapel By The Sea non-denominational church. There is also a full-marina with daily charters, a water park, retail shops and a boat ramp. With nearly 600 R.V. spaces, Isla Blanca is not only one of the biggest parks in Texas, but also the best. For more information call (956) 761-5493 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (956) 761-5493 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Laguna Madre Nature Trail
Cutting through the tall marsh grass are two boardwalks made of recycled material. Each boardwalk ends in a blind that allows people to become an unobtrusive observer of a host of birds, fish, turtles, dragonflies, lizards, and an alligator or two. Located just off to the side of the South Padre Island Convention Centre, the trail starts at the Warbler Rest Area, a plot of ground seeded with flowers designed to attract the winged creatures on a year-round basis. Located 4 miles north of the Queen Isabella Causeway. For more information call 800-SO-PADRE begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 800-SO-PADRE end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Point Isabel Lighthouse Complex
The Point Isabel Lighthouse Complex, located at 421 Queen Isabella Blvd., is home to the newly renovated Point Isabel Lighthouse and the Keeper's Cottage. In 1852, Congress approved the construction of a beacon in the Laguna Madre to support the growing ship industry of the South Texas Coast. The Point Isabel Lighthouse was built to protect and guide ships through Brazos Santiago and the barrier islands. During the Civil War, the light was closed and the tower was used as a lookout for both the Confederate and Union armies. The lighthouse was lit again after the war. In 1880, the lighthouse was renovated to accommodate a new light system. The lighthouse was officially closed in 1905. In 1952, the lighthouse was opened as a state park and is the only lighthouse on the Texas coast to be opened to the public. A replica of the Keeper's Cottage houses the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce, historic displays, and tourist information. The Lighthouse Complex is open daily, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Call (956) 943-2262 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (956) 943-2262 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Port Isabel Historical Museum
The Port Isabel Historical Museum located at 317 E. Railroad, housed in the historic Champion Building, built in 1899 as a dry goods store and residence, is one of the oldest structures in Port Isabel. Today, the Museum is a state-of-the-art facility that houses numerous hands on exhibits, audio presentations and videos that commemorate the colorful history of the Port Isabel area, the stage of some of the most important chapters of Texas, Mexican and American History. The museum has two exhibit levels, a theater, gift shop and one of the largest collections of Mexican artifacts from the U.S. Mexican War. On the south end of the building is the famous "fish mural" painted in 1906 by a local fisherman. The Port Isabel Historical Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 PM Call (956) 943-7602 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (956) 943-7602 end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information and current admission prices.
Sea Turtle Inc.
Turtles have feelings too. Did you know that picking a turtle up by its shell without supporting the tummy is like being lifted by our finger, toe nails or hair? Founded by Illa Loetscher, affectionately known as the "Turtle Lady", this enviro-friendly organization is dedicated to caring for and educating the public about endangered sea turtles. Located at 6617 Padre Blvd. For more information call (956) 761-1720 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (956) 761-1720 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or go to http://www.seaturtleinc.com/. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am - 4:00 PM, $2.00 per person. If you see a sea turtle, call the TURTLE HOTLINE (956) 380-9677 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (956) 380-9677 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
The South Padre Island Center
The SPI Center, located at 2 Wallace L. Reed Rd., occupies the only historic building on South Padre Island. The "Old Coast Guard Station," with its New England style design and lookout tower, is a local tourist attraction. The building was built in 1923 and served as an active Coast Guard station until the 1970's.
It was renovated in 1987 to house the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas South most College's first extension campus. The SPI Center is home to the University's South Padre Island Technical Education Center. The center specializes in information technology training and certification with a testing center onsite. It also houses academic and personal enrichment classes and is a favorite location for small volume meetings and retreats. Accommodations are available for groups of 10 to 100. For additional information or to schedule a tour call 956-943-0051 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 956-943-0051 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Centre
Built in 1992, this modern, airy, and colorful building located four miles north of the Queen Isabella causeway was created to host a wide variety of events. Primary facilities include 22,500 square feet of column free exhibit space, 9,000 square feet of flexible meeting rooms, a conference theater for 300, and a gorgeous view of the Laguna Madre Bay. This is the site of spectacular sunsets, a wide stretch of sand flats, (which allows vehicular access to the bay) and miles of undeveloped coast. Visitors have access across the nearby marsh grass by taking the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, a boardwalk system that allows nature lovers to watch birds and to spot our resident alligator family. (See nature tourism)
Another stunningly beautiful site to see at the Convention Centre is the famous "Whaling Wall #53" by acclaimed environmental artist Wyland. Wyland wanted to show homage to whales and other creatures of the sea by devoting his talent to painting 100 walls across the world. His "Whaling Walls" serve as a perfect way to capture the grandeur of his subjects since drawing giant whales on small canvases became extremely limiting. The walls of the South Padre Island Convention Centre provided the 53rd life size canvas for the Wyland project. Spanning 153 feet in length, covering 3 walls and 23 feet in height, it took over 111 gallons of paint, 100 volunteers, and nearly four days to complete. Over 2000 Valley school children plus hundreds of other spectators were allowed to watch Wyland work throughout the week. The wall was at no cost to the town and state. Wyland donated his time and artwork, while local residents, private sponsors, and public organizations donated the paint, scaffolding, air guns, and lighting. This community involvement paved the way for "Whaling Wall #53" to be not only the first of its kind in Texas, but along the entire Gulf Coast.
The South Padre Island Convention Centre is a top-rated venue to book a meeting, convention, concert or special event.
Treasures of the Gulf Museum
The Treasures of the Gulf Museum, located at 317 E. Railroad, was opened in 2000 and tells the story of the three ill-fated Spanish ships that wrecked off the northern end of South Padre Island in 1554 near present day Port Mansfield. The exhibit incorporates murals, artifacts and hands-on activities to interpret this fascinating event that occurred only 30 miles north of Port Isabel. Actual artifacts from the shipwreck such as silver planchas, or disks, coins, and weapons are on display. The Children's Discovery lab is popular with the young and the young at heart. This hands-on exhibit teaches visitors about marine Archeology. Hands-on displays allow visitors to try on period clothing and map out a treasure site. The children's section also has a small-scale ship for kids to imagine themselves sailing waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The museum also has a "ship" theater and a nautical-inspired gift shop. The Treasures of the Gulf Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am. to 4:00 PM Call (956) 943-7602 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (956) 943-7602 end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information and current admission prices.
The University of Texas Pan American Coastal Studies Laboratory
The Coastal Studies Laboratory studies and exhibits marine life such as crustaceans and marine vertebrates, and plant life. A satellite of the University of Texas Pan American, the lab is open to the public Sunday through Friday, 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM The lab is also open for group tours, by appointment only, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 1:30 PM Located in Isla Blanca Park, near the north pavilion, there is no charge to visit the lab, but there is a $4.00 per vehicle charge to enter the park. For additional information or to schedule a tour call
956-761-2644 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 956-761-2644 end_of_the_skype_highlighting,