Things to Do on South Padre Island

South Padre Island is Texas' southernmost coastal community. Due to its unique geographic location, South Padre has a more 'tropical' feel than other Texas beaches. But, although the beach itself is a huge draw for SPI visitors, it is hardly the only thing to do on this barrier island that lies just north of the Texas/Mexico border.

  • 01 of 05

    Surf Into Schlitterbahn

    Schlitterbahn South Padre Island
    Schlitterbahn South Padre Island. Google Images/

    One of the top waterparks in the country, South Padre Island's Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark is located right on the beach and offers a wide variety of waterslides, rides, pools and more. Schlitterbahn Beach also features a restaurant, sports bar and evening entertainment during the summer season.

  • 02 of 05

    Hit the Beach

    View Of Sea Against Cloudy Sky
    Getty Images/Billy Cortez/EyeEm

    South Padre Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state of Texas. Not only is SPI well known for its fine restaurants and clubs, but also for its natural beauty. With the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Lower Laguna Madre on the other, South Padre Island is surrounded by some of the clearest water on the Texas coast.

  • 03 of 05

    See Sand Castle Wizards

    Each October, some of the world’s best sand sculptors head to South Padre Island for the annual Sand Castle Days, a weekend-long sand castle building extravaganza. What started as a tiny event two decades ago has since blossomed into one of the most prestigious sand art events in the United States.

  • 04 of 05

    Get a Bird's Eye View

    Scarlet Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) male perched, South Padre Island
    Male Scarlet Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) on South Padre Island. Getty Images/Danita Delimont

    South Padre Island is home to a variety of bird species -- both permanent and seasonal. Fins 2 Feathers Cruises of South Padre Island offers a variety of private sunset, dolphin watch and bird watching cruises and activities.

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  • 05 of 05

    Take a Dive

    Due to its southern location, South Padre Island offers much more consistent dive and snorkel conditions than other Texas coastal locales. American Diving offers a wide array of diving and snorkeling expeditions in the clear Gulf waters surrounding South Padre Island.