After Austin (~ Around Houston: Austin!!), San Antonio (~ Around Houston: San Antonio!!) and Fredericksburg (~ Around Houston: Fredericksburg!!), the next place I am discussing in my series “Around Houston” is our very own Hawaii of Texas, South Padre Island!
Popularly called the Hawaii of Texas, it stands true to its name… South Padre Island is located on the coastal tip of Texas boasting beautiful beaches, warm Gulf waters, fishing, boating, bird watching and tons of shopping.
We’ve been to SPI twice but have flown both times. We got lucky with really cheap tickets on Southwest Airlines but if you need to drive, it’s about 6 hours from Houston. Irrespective of flying or driving, always carry your passport and be sure to have a valid visa stamped on your passport since SPI is very close to the Mexico border, and checking for valid immigration documents can happen anytime.
When we fly into the island, we fly into Harlingen and we have taken a cab to get around but you can rent a car too. Even though we have never had an issue with the checking of documents, from what I hear, they do happen often especially if you are driving around on your own. You do not particularly need to have the visa stamped on your passport, carrying the valid documentation along with your passport should be just fine.
This is in no way an exhaustive list. I would still suggest you Google things to do, and plan for yourself. Please feel free to use this as a guide. So without further ado, here we go:
Where to stay:
Isla Grande Resort – This 4 star hotel is our favorite and I always recommend everyone traveling to SPI to stay here. The rooms are comfortable and the location amazing!! The resort is beautiful and has its own private beach which is very clean.
Things to do (in no particular order):
– Enjoy the beach!
– Schlitterbahn Water Park
– Port Isabel: Cute little town by the island – small cute stores and also go up to the Lighthouse, beautiful views!
– Pirate’s Landing cruise: This is a fun experience, especially for the kids.
– Dolphin and Whale Watch Cruise
– Rent a golf cart and ride it, super fun, can rent from Island Surf Rental among other places.
– Whaling Wall
– Sea Turtle conservatory
– View the largest sand castle
– Water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving and parasailing are fun to do!
– Isla Blanca Park to view a duplicate of Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil.
Even though the island does not boast a vast list of things to do/see, it makes for a nice and relaxing beach getaway. If you plan on driving, be sure to check out my ~ Road Trip Ready! post to know where to start to get yourself road trip ready!
Now for my favorite part, the photo-dump 🙂
In my opinion a beach getaway is the best kinda escape and everyone deserves some relaxing time 🙂 So what are you waiting for?? Go ahead and enjoy some beach time!!