Things To Do on South Padre Island
Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark. The park opened in 2001 and includes a cutting-edge water park and a full-service restaurant. Awesome rides not for the faint of heart which include the Tempest, the Gale Force, the Storm Chaser, and the Sea Blaster. The waterpark is open weekends in the spring and early fall and daily during the summer. http://schlitterbahn.com/spi/intro1-spi.asp
Cameron County Parks
Sea Turtle Inc.
Island Equestrian Center
Laguna Madre Nature Trail
Osprey Fishing Trips. Offer a variety of trips, including drift fishing for kingfish, shark, and dorado, or bottom fishing for red snapper, grouper, and amberjack. http://www.ospreyfishingtrips.com
Breakaway Cruises. Offer dolphin watch trips, eco-tours, parasailing and snorkeling trips. http://www.breakawaycruises.com
Cameron County Parks. The Island’s County Park System includes Isla Blanca County Park, Andy Bowie County Park, Edwin King Atwood County Park, and Adolf Thomae Jr. County Park. Each offers unique recreational opportunities on the beach or in the water. http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/parks/parks.html
South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Sea Life Nature Center. Discover the spectacular diversity of nature that South Padre Island has to offer. Learn about dolphins in the wild. Experience hands on marine life with various touch tanks and aquariums. Learn about our real-world dolphins, how they live and interact with both each other and their environment. http://www.spinaturecenter.com/
Sea Turtle Inc. Founded in 1977 by Ila Loetscher, better known as “The Turtle Lady of South Padre Island,” STI aids and assists in the protection of Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle. Visit the facility and learn about the different species of sea turtles, their importance to the environment, and what we as individuals can do to pull them back from the edge of extinction. http://www.seaturtleinc.com/about-us.html
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. Call 956-546-7187 for more information. [Top]
Island Equestrian Center. If you’ve dreamed of riding a horse on the beach, you can make that dream come true. Children over 4 years old and first time riders are welcome. Pony rides are available to delight children 4 years and younger. Open year round, weather permitting. Call 956-761-HOSS (4677) or visit http://www.horsesonthebeach.com/ for more information.
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.) with a $2 per vehicle parking fee. Call 956-748-3608.
Laguna Madre Nature Trail. A 1,500-foot boardwalk overlooking four acres of wetlands next to the South Padre Island Convention Centre, which is located at 7355 Padre Boulevard at the north end of town. Visitors can observe many species of birds and wildlife in their natural habitat.
Matamoros, Mexico. Just 30 minutes southwest from South Padre Island, Matamoros is a shopping center. Bargain hunters can find silver, leather goods, and handicrafts at vibrant Mexican markets. Enjoy traditional dining and cultural museums. Escorted tours available.
Port Isabel near La Copa Inn. Charming Port Isabel, just 4 miles from La Copa Inn Beach Resort, has blossomed in the past few years with several unique shops, restaurants, and museums. During your vacation at the Inn, spend a day discovering in this historic, colorful town, and take advantage of the many places that are within walking distance of each other. For more information, visit http://www.spichamber.com/visitorguide/portisabel.php
University of Texas – Pan American Coastal Studies Laboratory. Lacated in Isla Blanca Park, this educational center houses several aquariums containing sea life indigenous to the area, as well as an extensive seashell collection. Open Sunday through Friday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. $4 park entrance, and admittance to the Laboratory is free. Call 956-761-2644.