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South Padre Island isn’t just a beach; it’s a diverse tropical island with something for everyone. If you’re planning a vacation with the kids, we’ve got fun for the whole family from dawn until dusk — in addition to the cleanest, widest beaches in Texas, the Island boasts mini golf, go karts, 13 water slides at the Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, and a pirate ship tour of the bay on the Black Dragon, complete with sword fights and a treasure hunt. Extended families visiting South Padre for a reunion will find that the Island offers many accommodations, tours, and activities for groups large and small. Perhaps your family will try private sandcastle building lessons with a sculpting professional, take off together on a catamaran for a cruise around the bay, or stay up late to watch the Friday and Saturday night fireworks explode over the ocean. Families who love watersports will find that the calm, shallow water of the bay is perfect for snorkeling, parasailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, and jet skiing.
Of course, South Padre Island is also the perfect destination for lovers of wildlife — both those who love to admire our many species in their natural habitat and those who like to catch them on a hook and eat them for dinner. If you’re here for birds, reptiles, endangered mammals, and nesting sea turtles, you can find them all on your own while exploring our beautifully kept boardwalks (many of them ADA accessible) and beaches, at the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, the South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Sea Life Nature Center, or by traveling to the nearly 100,000 acres of the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge. If you prefer your fish fried, you can charter a boat or kayak or take your own craft out from one of many public boat ramps, then return to the Island and have your catch cooked and served to you by many of our restaurants for a small fee. Fishing tournaments throughout the year bring a fun sense of competition to your reeling.
Island visitors who prefer the great indoors will find shops, spas, and many superb restaurants at their service. If you’re here on a romantic trip with your sweetheart, you may enjoy a sunset cruise, horseback riding on the beach, a couples massage, or even a wild and crazy adventure together like skydiving. No matter who you’re traveling with or what you love to do, South Padre Island offers something for everyone.