Welcome to South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a resort community in Cameron County, Texas, United States.  This town is located on South Padre Island, a barrier island along the Texas Gulf Coast.  It is named after Jose Nicolas Balli (Padre Balli), a Catholic priest and settler.

The Island has become a popular Spring Break destination for college students and other tourists.  Many multi-story resort hotels and condominiums have been erected along the Gulf of Mexico coastline.

Every summer tourists flock to the island and greatly increase its population.  Most are Texans, but many come from neighboring Mexico, particularly from the states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon.  South Padre is, with out questions, especially popular with residents of Monterrey Mexico.  During the winter, many "Winter Texans" from the north and midwest live on the sandy barrier island and in nearby Port Isabel.


According to the 2000 census, there were 2,422 people, 1,211 households, and 662 femilies residing in the town.  The racial make-up of the town was recorded to be 94.59% White, .70% African American, .45% Native American, .21% Asian, .04% Pacific Islander, and an overall 22.83% was recorded as Hispanic or Latino.


Children living in South Padre Island are zoned to  Port Isabel Independent School District.  Grades K-2 attend Garriga Elementary, Grades 3-5 attend Derry Elementary, Grades 6-8 attend Port Isabel Junior High, and Grades 9-12 attend Port Isabel High School.  All schools are located in nearby Port Isabel.

Parents opting for private schooling may contact Laguna Madre Christian Academy at (956) 943.4446. Brownsville offers a variety of possibilities as well.

The nearest university study programs can be achieved through University of Texas at Brownsville - nothing so close can take you so far!


Whether on a weekend get-a-way or vacationing with family, South Padre Island offers the perfect balance of non-stop activity and lay-around-napping time.


Scuba/Snorkel, Surf, Golf, Horseback Riding, Windsurf, & Kiteboard (to name a few)


You'll find out that we are Texas' hottest fishing spot.  Drop your line from a boat, a pier or cast out into the surf. Tackle an 800-pound Marlin or maybe a state-record Wahoo in the Gulf of Mexico. The Laguna Madre Bay swells with trophy speckled trout, redfish and flounder. Our fishing guides and charter boats can hook you up.

Eco Tourism/Birding

Captain Toddieie's The Pelican Services, Dolphin & Nature Research Center, Laguna Madre Nature Trail (next to Convention Center), Sea Turtle Inc., Sea Ranch Marina, & Breakaway Cruises.


Planning a tour at the Tropical Tip of Texas is as light and pleasant as our Gulf breezes. The South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau staff offers tour planning and execution, and we sell aids to travel agents and tour operators upon request.

Kid Stuff

Miniature Golf (Three Flags over Padre), boogie boarding, sand castle lessons and Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark!

Don't worry about wearing yourself out - there's always a palm tree around the corner for a siesta.


The Island boasts a full fun-filled calendar year of activities for our visitors and full-time residents.  From Market Days to Causeway Runs to Tastes of the Island - you are sure to find whole new ways to enjoy your fun under the sun!

Getting Here

South Padre Island is served by U.S. Route 77/U.S. Route 83 (US 77 is a proposed part of NAFTA's future Interstate 69) and by U.S. Route 281.  Once on Hwy 77, exiting on Highway 100 will get you here.  If you're coming in through Brownsville, Hwy 48 will lead you in just the same.  South Padre has its own airport, the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport.  This airport is used for general aviation and is served by one commercial airline, Continental Airlines.  Valley International Airport is another means by which you can fly down to our beautiful Island.  VIA is serviced by major airlines such as Continental, Southwest & Sun Country.