A Weekend in South Padre Island and Port Isabel, TX

Travel / Monday, May 16th, 2016

How is it already mid-May? It’s this time of year that has us consistently heading outdoors. It’s not super hot yet, with mornings and evenings still cool and breezy, so you’ll find us living on a patio sipping on something. It’s been a while since I’ve posted because we’ve had some really fun weekend things going on and sometimes we just need to unplug. We recently spent a weekend in South Padre Island with my in-laws and I have to admit I was really surprised by what SPI has to offer. I think we had envisioned a loud and crazy beach littered with aluminum cans and the occasional unclaimed flip-flop (or worse); basically a never-ending state of wet-t-shirt contest and beer pong. It’s definitely a spring break destination here in Texas and since that’s not really our scene anymore, I think we were a little hesitant. But we had heard really positive things and decided to see it for ourselves. This was our first visit and we will definitely be back. I could not get over how clean everything was. It is definitely one of the nicest beach towns I’ve been to. Here are a few things I’d recommend when planning your trip. I included some photos that I took on my phone, as I left our big camera at home, so I apologize for the quality.

Timing: I think the time of year you visit SPI is very important. Spring break is usually in March and we visited in May. I think it’s the sweet spot between spring break and summer where crowds will be a little smaller and you won’t have trouble staking out the perfect spot for your beach chair.

Lodging: There are many rental options available. We chose to rent a condo at Seabreeze 1 which was the best option for us. We had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a full kitchen so if you enjoy cooking (or mixing your own margaritas) then this is the place for you. Our unit had a huge balcony right on the water as well as a pool, so either way you can be swimming in minutes. Seabreeze 1 has everything you need and is an affordable option for a quick weekend.


Restaurants: We had two requirements when choosing restaurants for lunch and dinner. It had to be on the water and it had to have seafood. Our favorite spot for cheap eats, fun cocktails, and a live music scene is the Wanna Wanna bar. Just walk up from the beach and let the good times roll. There’s nothing better than the sounds of a steel-drum version of Hall & Oates. On our last night we had dinner at Pier 19  and watched a beautiful Texas sunset over the water.


Activities: In addition to enjoying the beach and pool, we enjoyed stopping by Sea Turtle, Inc. and seeing their amazing efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and release sea turtles back into the wild. It’s free to visit (with a donation recommended – you’ll definitely want to do this) and they have several resident sea turtles you can watch swim, eat, and interact with volunteers.

We also spent some time walking through some cute shops and having lunch in Port Isabel. It’s just right across the bridge from SPI and is steeped in Texas history. Be sure to check out the historic light house if you can.


Our weekend went by way too fast. We could have easily spent another day or two, but at least now we know that SPI is a great spot to recharge our batteries and enjoy being on “island time.” Now, back to work!

A Weekend in South Padre Island and Port Isabel, TX first appeared on Cathedrals & Cafes.

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