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South Padre is a popular beach destination among Texans. More than just its spring break antics, South Padre offers plenty to do for all types of travelers. Wildlife lovers, beach dwellers and history buffs will all leave South Padre Island with fond memories. Enjoy this popular beach destination by experiencing these 8 best things to do in South Padre.
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Learn all about sea turtles at Sea Turtle, Inc. This turtle-loving company educates the public on turtles, fights for sea turtle habitat conservation and helps rehabilitate sea turtles back into the wild. Feel good about visiting this turtle sanctuary. Visitors here will learn about sea turtles through fun presentations and kid-friendly activities. Visitors can even watch the annual release of the baby sea turtles that occur every spring. You’ll leave Sea Turtle, Inc. with a deeper appreciation for these endangered marine animals.
Isla Blanca Park is perfect for nature lovers, beach dwellers, fishermen and sea shell collectors. Choose to camp here or simply enjoy Isla Blanca Park for the day. The park has a bait shop, designated fishing area, plenty of beachfront property and also a few restaurants that are within walking distance. Don’t miss out on the walking trail that surrounds the park, perfect for joggers and bikers too.
South Padre Island is known as the Sand Castle Capital of the World. Therefore it is only fitting to build a sand castle during your stay here. Many sand sculpters flock to this area to create unique and impressive works of art all out of sand. Since sand castle making is such a popular activity in South Padre Island, visitors can book a Sand Castle Trail Bicycle Tour or even take a class on how to build an incredible sand sculpture.
Take in South Padre Island’s history at Point Isabel. The Point Isabel Lighthouse Complex is home to Point Isabel Lighthouse and the Keeper’s Cottage. The lighthouse has a long history. It was first erected in the 1850’s when the area grew as a popular shipping destination. The lighthouse went through renovations and closings throughout the years, but now acts as the only lighthouse in Texas open to the public. Guests can view the lighthouse complex daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn about more of South Padre’s marine life by visiting South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Sea Life Nature Center. The center hosts education demos twice a day and also has a fun hands-on tank perfect for young visitors. If you’d like to see marine life out in the wild, this nature center also offers boat tours, where guests can view dolphins in their natural habitat.
South Padre Island is home to a wide variety of bird species. Migrating and resident birds both live here. Therefore the island has grown as a popular destination among birdwatchers. If you’re hoping to spot birds here, then head to the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. Take a stroll along the boardwalks and walkways in the area, or even head up to the 5-story watchtower to catch incredible views of wildlife and the surrounding landscape.
The last activity on this list is usually the main reason why people head to South Padre Island: the beach! Home to Padre Island National Seashore, this protected shoreline has over 60 miles of driveable beach. No matter if you’re here to surf, sunbathe, swim, fish or build a sand castle, the Padre Island National Seashore is where to go.