South Padre Activities



Our South Padre Island Activities Area

south padre texas beach activities

Island Events


Golf the Gulf

spi golfThe South Padre Island Golf Club winds along the placid Laguna Madre bay with spectacular views of the Island. It's no wonder that it was selected as one of the Top 20 news courses in America by Golf Magazine when it opened in 1997. Each hole offers unexpected challenges just minutes from South Padre Island in Laguna Vista. The 18-hole, par 72 course is complemented by a 385-yard driving range, putting and chipping greens, pro shop and clubhouse.



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South Padre Island's sunny days make for perfect play - regardless of your skill level. All of the major hotels and condominiums feature tennis courts which are available to their guests. The staff at the South Padre Island Visitors Center (1-800-767-2373) can also offer suggestions on private and group lessons. 

Fishing...More info

With so many state and world records set in our bay and gulf waters, South Padre Island has a world class reputation among fishermen. Half day and full day trips in the Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico cost as little as $14 or as much as $1000, depending on your prowess, your pocketbook, and how far offshore you venture. The list of species is as long as the gulf is deep: whiting, drum, flounder, trout, redfish, kingfish, Wahoo, tuna, marlin, and sailfish are a few.


kiteboarding texas beachThe Laguna Madre Bay separates South Padre Island from the Texas mainland and is recognized as one of the world's top windsurfing destinations. The sailing season off South Padre runs from September through May. Water depth varies from three to five feet, daytime winds average 18 mph, and the average yearly temperature is in the 70's. Novices and pros come to sail the bay, the Jetties, Boca Chica, and the Ditch, site of some of the fastest windsurfing speeds in North America.


Kite boarding

Kiteboarding is fast becoming the hottest new water sport and South Padre Island offers year-kiteboardinground, world-class kiteboarding conditions. consistent winds offer beginner to expert riders near perfect flat-water conditions to hone their skills. Advanced kiteboarders will enjoy riding the Laguna Madre and the waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Experienced, certified instructors are available to teach you about this exciting sport. For the fun of it call South Padre Kiteboarding




Andy Bowie Park

At the northern end of the South Padre Island town limits. Travel north on Park Road 100 to the South Padre Island Convention Center. Next to the convention center is the popular Laguna Madre Nature Trail, a must for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers. Across the road from the convention center are the parks day use facilities. Completed in early 1994, andy bowie parkthese include two beachfront picnic pavilions, umbrella and boogie-board rentals, concessions, a unique children's playground, shower facilities and a ranger station. Ask the Andy Bowie manager about group rental facilities for private beach parties. Further north in the park you will find horseback riding and a beachfront access road which opens up twenty miles of drive on the beach for the more adventurous. On the bay side of the park, you'll find popular spots for windsurfing and wade fishing. Entry $4 per vehicle.  

gpz logo

gladys porter zoo One of the top 10 small zoos in the country. The zoo is a 31-acre preserve with more than 1,800 mammals, birds, and reptiles. Located at Ringgold and Sixth streets in Brownsville. Open daily from 9 a.m. to sundown. Adults $6; children $3. 956-546-7187.



Isla Blanca Park

isla blanca parkon the southernmost tip of South Padre Island, is the crown jewel of the system. Over one mile of clean, white beach along the Gulf of Mexico offers abundant waterfront recreational facilities, and our beachfront facilities make the clear gulf waters accessible to all. Enjoy our picnic and playground areas, the south fishing jetty, restaurants and clubs, Sea Ranch Marina, U.T. Pan American Coastal Studies Laboratory exhibits, and the Chapel By The Sea non-denominational church. There is also a full service marina with daily charters, the world renowned Schlitterbahn Beach Water park South Padre Island, and a boat ramp. Support facilities include a laundry and retail shops. New webcams with live views of the beach. With nearly 600 R.V. spaces, we are not only one of the biggest parks in Texas, but also the best! Popular jetty fishing and surfing area. Entry $4 per vehicle before 5pm, $2 after 5pm

Island Equestrian Center - ATV rides- Zip lines

Island Equestrian Center
Horseback riding on the beach North of city limits. Not a trail ride - no single file riding. Children 4 and first time riders are welcome. Daily specials. Open year round, weather permitting. Pony rides for children 4 and under.


Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge A 45,000-acre federal preserve for wildlife and bird watching on the mainland. Open daily from sunrise to sundown (about 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.). $2 per vehicle. 956-748-3608.

Laguna Madre Nature Trail

Next to the Convention Centre and Whaling Wall No. 53, the Laguna Madre Nature Trail is a 1,500-foot boardwalk that extends across four acres of wetlands. Containing informative signs about dune systems and bird species that frequent the area,
Laguna Madre Nature Trail the nature trail provides visitors with the opportunity to observe many species of birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat. The idea of the Laguna Madre Nature Trail was conceived by naturalist Ed Hawkins. It is dedicated to his memory. Both the Whaling Wall and nature trail are always open to the public free of charge and can be accessed through the circle driveway leading up to the Convention Centre. The South Padre Island Convention Centre is located at 7355 Padre Blvd. at the north end of town.


Laguna Station

.Laguna Station Located on South Padre Island, Laguna Station offers a variety of exciting aquatics adventures to Boy Scout Troops and co-ed explorer posts. Fishing, sailing, scuba and Island adventures round out the opportunities. Laguna Station also offers off-season camping and programs to church youth groups and other youth groups. For more information, call Glenn Harrison, director, at (956) 423-0250, or write: Laguna Station, Rio Grande Council, 1301 S. 77 Sunshine Strip, Harlingen, TX 78550.

Matamoros, Mexico

. Matamoros, MexicoBargain shopping for silver, leather goods, and handicrafts at vibrant Mexican markets. Traditional dining, museums. Thirty minutes southwest of the Island. Escorted tours available. Inquire about discount tickets for tours and trips to this great two nation vacation hot spot for shopping inside either of our Beachside Resort locations




Schlitterbahn Beach Water Park

Offers a fun dining experience with spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre. Open 4 pm-10pm Monday - Friday and 11 am -Schlitterbahn Beach Water Park 10pm Saturday and Sunday. No water park admission fee required to dine at Club Rio Beach. Enjoy fabulous brick-oven hand-made pizza, seafood, steaks, burgers and more. 90 Park Rd, Highway 100.


Sea Turtle, Inc

Real Live Sea Turtle Cam streaming from this activities hot spot on South Padre

Sea Turtle, Inc. was founded in 1977 by Ila Loetscher, better known as "The Turtle Lady of South Padre Island." STI was formed to aid and assist in the protection of Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle - and to ultimately restore the ridley population to a level that will ensure its survival.
Through the years STI has expanded its scope to actively support the conservation of all marine turtle species. To achieve its goals, STI provides educational programs to schools, tourist bureaus, civic organizations and new media.

University of Texas-Pan American Coastal Studies Laboratory.
 Several aquariums containing sea life indigenous to the area, as well as an extensive shell collection. Located in Isla Blanca Park. Open Sunday through Friday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Free admission to the lab, but must pay $4 admission to the park. Phone: 956/761-2644.


Whaling Wall

 Internationally-known environmental artist Wyland picked South Padre Island to paint Whaling Wall #53, his only wall in Texas. Wyland is planning to paint 100 walls during his career to educate people on the importance of marine conservation.



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