Destination of the Year

South Padre Island

Parasailing, surfing, snorkeling. It may sound like the itinerary for a Caribbean vacation, but it’s all within easy reach during a visit to South Padre Island. Texas’ own tropical island boasts 34 miles of sandy beaches and the waters of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre Bay. With hotels and vacation properties lining the beaches (including many new additions), restaurants dotted in between, and a variety of off-beach attractions—SPI has the makings of a perfect getaway, no matter what that means to you. 

Thrill seekers can indulge in all the aforementioned water sports and pretty much any other they could want (windsurfing, kiteboarding, skydiving—the list goes on). Families can spend mornings building sandcastles and take a break in the afternoon to learn about ocean animals and the bay area’s wildlife at Sea Turtle, Inc., the Sea Life Marine Center, and the SPI Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary. Sportsmen flock to the island for the fishing, and if you’re looking for nightlife, head to some of the award-winning beach bars for dinner, drinks, and live music.

There’s truly something for everyone in South Padre Island, and it just keeps getting better.