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South Padre Island Beach Hotel Guide

Life’s best moments are the ones found in contradictions. When everyone is racing to the city, you find the pockets of lush gardens. When everyone is clamoring for noise, you find the Zen in the bustle. And when everyone is heading to Houston with cowboy boots and spurs, you’re packing your flip-flops and towel and venturing to the only island in the state: South Padre Island.

Sand castles towering to the clouds, beach cruisers riding up the shore, and a big blue sky punctuated only by a kaleidoscope of colorful kites and beach volleyballs—this island is not what most people think of when they picture Texas. Good. You’re not an average traveler and this is not your average place. Pick out your choice of South Padre Island hotels near the beach and get to know the other side of Texas.

What are the best beaches to visit in South Padre Island?

As a long, narrow strip of shore, South Padre Island doesn’t concern itself too much with labels. Here, any patch of sand is a wonderful thing. Still, here are some top favorites:

  • Gulf side: The Gulf side of the island is where you’ll find most of the popular beaches. Here, you can stretch out on the warm sand and swim through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. When you’re looking for South Padre hotels on the beach, narrow your focus to this area.
  • Bay side: This is where you’ll find the boat docks and best views of the sunsets.
  • Bird Island Basin: This beach is one of the best windsurfing spots in Texas.
  • Malaquite Beach: This beach is where you can see a ton of baby sea turtles hatch each summer.

Are there any fun activities near the beach in South Padre Island?

Once you’ve dried off from the waves, there are plenty of fun activities near the shores of South Padre Island. Here are some of the top favorites:

  • Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site: Built in 1852 close to old Civil War battlegrounds, this is one of the only Texas lighthouses still open to the public. It’s a perfect spot for viewing the water and getting some exercise up the steps. It’s also popular for wedding ceremonies, if you want to have your reception at a local South Padre beachfront hotel.
  • South Padre Island Golf Club: The 9-hole course offers lush scenery, including the peaceful Laguna Madre Bay. The fairway is open to all skill sets.
  • South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Sealife Center: Ever wanted to feed an octopus? Yes, we think you do. At the South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Sealife Center you can do that, plus hold starfish and urchins.

When you’re ready to escape from normal expectations of what Texas should be, make your way to South Padre Island. Pick out a hotel with a fantastic view—like Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island or Peninsula Island Resort and Spa-All Suites —and enjoy those warm waves.

Recent South Padre Island Hotel Reviews By Fellow Wanderers