Are you looking for the best things to do in South Padre Island? Then check out this article on all the fun activities in South Padre Island to do.
The second-longest island in the United States, South Padre Island has attractions that people of all ages can enjoy. One of the best weekend getaways in Texas, the island is popular as a spring break destination for college kids, but it is much more than that.
The warm and sunny weather and the calm seas on this barrier island allow you to enjoy a wide range of activities. Kiteboarding, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, etc. are just a few of the many adventure activities to enjoy here.
If you are looking for a relaxed and laidback option, then you can do that as well here. If you are planning a trip to this island, then read this article. It covers all the fun things to do in South Padre Island with your kids and friends!
While you are at it, make sure to check out the Best Restaurants In South Padre Island!
Best Things to Do in South Padre Island Not to Miss
Horseback Riding on the Beach
Tried horseback riding on a beach? If not, then this is one of the top things to do in South Padre Island on your day out. This is one of the most fun South Padre Island activities to do and is fun for the whole family.
You will also be introduced to sea life on a horse riding tour. These tours are available throughout the day so, if you wish to avoid the crowd then choose a morning tour.
For those who are looking for a romantic evening with their partner, a sunrise horse riding tour is one of the best things to do in South Padre for couples!
Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site
Out of the 16 lighthouses that were built on the Texas coast, Port Isabel Lighthouse is the only one open to the public. This is why visiting this historic lighthouse is one of the best things to do in South Padre Island.
When it was active, this lighthouse acted as a beacon for the mariners crossing the Laguna Madre waters. It is still a symbol of hope for many and is one of the best places to learn about the maritime history of Texas. One can also climb the stairs to enjoy a stunning view of South Padre Island and the nearby waters.
You can also enjoy a picnic in the designated area at the lighthouse. If you are looking for the best things to do in South Padre for couples, then visit the Port Isabel Lighthouse.
Sea Turtle Conservation Center
Another one of the top South Padre Island attractions that you cannot miss out on is the Sea Turtle Conservation Center. Here, you can learn how this place acts as a rescue and rehabilitation center for sea turtles.
They rescue over 100 sea turtles every year, rehabilitate them, and then return them to the wild again. That’s not all, this is a good place to get educated about the sea turtles and the conservation practices that are carried out to protect all turtle species.
One of the most educational things to do in South Padre Island is to visit this center during the nesting period. If you visit in the summer months, you can be lucky enough to attend the scheduled release session to watch tiny turtles head to the ocean for the first time!
For families, one of the best things to do in South Padre with kids is paying a visit to the famous Gravity Park. With so many games and entertainment options, this park is one of the top South Padre Island attractions to visit.
This amusement park has a range of activities for both kids and adults. If you love the thrill, then try the reverse bungee at Rocket, one of the tallest in the world. For those who are not afraid of the speed, Skyroaster is a good choice as it will give you the best view of South Padre Island.
Adults can enjoy go-karting while kids can make the most of trampoline, mini-golf, and more here. If you are bored of the beach, then riding on one of these amusement rides is definitely of the top things to do in South Padre Island.
Ride in a Scootcoupe
It might sound a little strange but one of the top fun things to do in South Padre Island is to explore the island on a Scootcoupe.
These tiny little cars not only are fun to drive but can easily get you through the high traffic areas in a jiffy. If you are traveling in your car, then you might not need it but it is still a fun way to explore everything that the island has to offer.
If you are bored of driving in your vehicle, then one of the best things to do in South Padre Island is to rent a Scootcoupe! Plus, your kids are guaranteed to love riding in these tiny scooters.
South Padre Island Birding Center
One of the top South Padre Island activities to indulge in is taking a birding tour and learn about the different types of birds and butterflies that you can find in this region.
Take a walk down the boardwalk to observe the birds and experience everything that the Nature Center has to offer. If you visit the butterfly garden in the summer and fall seasons, you can even come across a large variety of butterflies including the Monarchs.
Buff-bellied hummingbirds, Great Egrets, White Ibis, Red-winged Blackbirds, and many other species of birds can be found here. So, if you are a nature or bird watcher, then one of the things to do in South Padre Island is to visit the birding center.
Laguna Madre Nature Trail
Want to see more birds and wildlife? Then, one of the top free things to do in South Padre Island is exploring the natural wetlands in Laguna Madre Nature Trail.
This is a 1.8 km loop trail that covers 4 acres of marshland and can be accessed through the boardwalk. A great place for bird watching and nature walks, this trail is open 24 hours for everyone.
You can watch over 300 species of birds and a wide range of animals including alligators. If you are looking for free activities in South Padre Island, this one tops the list!
Brazos Island State Park
With an area of 214 acres, Brazos Island State Park is one of the top things to do in South Padre Island with kids. Why?
Well, this park features a lot of activities such as camping, surfing, swimming, fishing, and more. What’s even cooler is that one can take their vehicle to the beach and camp there for the night.
If you have always wanted to camp on a beach and wish to indulge in a few recreational activities with your family, then this is one of the top South Padre Island activities to do.
Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center
Do you love dolphins? Then, one of the best things to do in South Padre Island is to learn more about them at the Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center.
You will meet the wild bottlenose dolphins here that are native to South Padre Island. Take a Dolphin Tour to see the local tribe of nearby dolphins and visit the Sea Life Center to interact with a host of exotic marine animals.
From seahorses to starfishes, you can learn and meet many marine animals on your visit here. Since this is an educational attraction, this is one of the top things to do in South Padre with kids.
Get Pampered at Sapphire Spa
Tired of your daily routine? Looking for a way to relax and spend quality time with your partner? Then, getting a self-guided spa treatment is one of the best things to do in South Padre for couples.
A Sapphire Spa massage at Pearl South Padre Resort is a great way to rejuvenate your body and mind. Eat healthy food, enjoy long walks on the beach, take a break from electronic devices, and indulge in a wide range of massage treatments that are available in South Padre Island.
Honestly, if you are looking to relax and refresh yourself, then taking a spa treatment is one of the top activities in South Padre Island.
Isla Blanca Beach Park
Located at the southern tip of South Padre Island, Isla Blanca Park offers several interesting activities in South Padre Island to enjoy.
With Beachfront pavilions, cabana rentals, walking trails, a water park, a boat ramp, and more, this place has everything for you to enjoy a day here. You can also choose to stay overnight here in a tent or rent an RV and enjoy a plethora of water activities.
One of the best things to do in South Padre Island with families is to visit this park and spend a day or two here, enjoying the facilities and the activities available on the site.
Spend a Day on Beach
If you are looking for free things to do in South Padre Island, then what could be better than hitting the beaches here.
Surrounded by clear, blue water, South Padre Island has amazing beaches that attract thousands of beachgoers. You will also find both drive-on and walk-on beaches to make the most of the Texas coast.
For those who are traveling with kids, a few beaches with vehicle bans are also available here. Spending a day on a beach is the best thing to do in Texas with kids. Most beaches also offer a wide range of amenities such as banana boat rides, beach chair rentals, and more.
Trust me, one of the top things to do in South Padre Island is to relax on the beach. So, you should make the most of it!
Learn to Make Sandcastles
Have you always wanted to make sandcastles but found it impossible to do so? Well, then don’t forget to take sandcastle-making classes in South Padre Island!
This is one of the most fun things to do in South Padre Island as you can spend more time on the best beaches in Texas and learn to make amazing sandcastles. Many professional sand sculptors offer lessons in sandcastle building.
From beginners to advanced, there are sandcastle building classes for everyone. Learn the tips and tricks to make your sandcastle last and never get embarrassed again.
If you were looking for things to do in South Padre with kids, then this could be a good activity to try.
Port Isabel Historical Museum
Are you a history buff? Then, head to one of the best South Padre Island attractions for history enthusiasts – the Port Isabel Historical Museum.
On your visit to this museum, you can gain insight into the life of the Champion Family and the history of Port Isabel. This museum earlier housed the store of the family who was the early settlers in this region. With the text and photo displays, this is a great place to understand the reason behind the Mexican-American war.
For all the history nuts out there, learning the history of Port Isabel is certainly one of the top things to do in South Padre Island.
Try a Water Sport
One of the most fun things to do in South Padre with kids is trying out the water activities here.
Since it’s one of the best beach towns in Texas, there are lots of amazing beaches and activities to try out here. The water stays warm throughout the year, making it perfect for water sports. Although, you might need to wear a wetsuit if you are planning to swim in the water in winter.
From kiteboarding to parasailing, to scuba diving, you can do it all here. Also, if you have some extra time at hand, then you can learn surfboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, and more under certified and experienced trainers in South Padre Island.
So, if you were looking for some adventurous things to do in South Padre Island, don’t forget to try the water sports here!