You know that old ditty about building your house on sandy land? When it comes to South Padre Island, Texas, you’ll see why enterprising hoteliers have chosen to ignore this advice. This sandy barrier island off the southern side of Texas’s Gulf Coast has beach, lots of it and a mostly mild humid subtropical climate to boot, which makes this an extremely popular destination amongst more than just partying people in town for Spring Break.
Now while there’s plenty to do in the water, you needn’t overlook South Padre Island, Texas, as a travel destination even when the Gulf Coast waters aren’t quite warm enough for your tastes. In fact, there’s a fine offering of things to do without so much as wetting a toe. What, you might ask, besides drinking and eating hush puppies, could there possibly be to do in a small tourist town? For starters, you could take a sunset gallop, astride a four-legged steed of course, down the beach. Or, you could play at pirates on a Black Dragon Cruise, complete with water gun battles on the Laguna Madre (the bay side of the island). You might get a little wet, but between the dolphin watching and sword play, you won’t be inclined to mind.
You’ll definitely stay dry on the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, a pleasant boardwalk trail that offers a glimpse of barrier island less developed. Spot birds, study sand dunes, watch for wildlife and avoid the stumbling, hung-over masses on a wander along this nature trail at the north end of town.
And while it’s not on South Padre Island per se, the Port Isabel Light House, just across the Queen Isabella Causeway, does offer fine views of the island, as well as a glimpse of Gulf Coast maritime tradition. Try the Port Isabel Historical Museum or the Treasures of the Gulf Museum for more in the historic vein.
Should you still find yourself at loose ends, consider a massage. Or a beach-side wedding. Not necessarily in that order.