Best Things to Do in South Padre Island Texas

When you choose South Padre Island, TX for your next vacation spot, you have plenty of exciting activities to choose from. Of course, you can spend all your time on the golden sand beaches and playing in the warm ocean water. You should not miss out on unique opportunities like dolphin tours, water parks, parasailing, fishing, and the hottest bars and nightclubs. Ready to find the perfect activity or adventure for you? Everyone can find things to do in South Padre Island Texas.

Best Dolphin Tour South Padre Island

The Original Dolphin Watch and Breakaway Cruises are two top options for watching dolphins play and swim. They both offer diverse schedules for your convenience. Show up on time to board the boat and settle in for a fun couple of hours on the water. The companies know exactly where to go for the best chances to see dolphins, so all you have to worry about is keeping your eyes open and your camera ready. Choose the best dolphin tour in South Padre Island for you after contacting the companies listed above.

When is the best time to see dolphins in South Padre Island?

Schedule your tour for the morning or evening if you want to increase your chances of seeing large pods of these playful aquatic mammals.

best dolphin tour south padre island
Source: Padre Island Rentals

South Padre Island Adventure Park

Multiple packages exist for individuals, couples, and families at the South Padre Island Adventure Park. That is the first choice you will have to make when you spend a day at SPI Adventure Park. From there, the possibilities for fun are endless.

Do you love animals and the beach? Consider a horseback ride along the water’s edge or a stop in the petting barn with the kids.

Are you looking for more excitement?

Zip lines send you flying through the air over land while parasails hoist you skyward with the ocean waves below. People of all ages love the high-speed banana boat rides, and the go-karts and mini golf at the Island Fun Park keep the action going.

Need a break instead?

Adults can get a relaxing massage and take it down a notch.

Credit: South Padre Island Adventure Park

South Padre Island Water Park

Schlitterbahn Waterparks South Padre Island is an entertainment destination for those who want to experience amazing fun with water and slides all day long. Although many still call it by its original name, it is now called the Beach Park at Isla Blanca after it changed ownership in 2019.

South Padre Island Water Park Details

It covers 15 acres and has 13 total waterslides of all sizes. There is also a five-story tall Sand Castle play area with turrets, ramps, net climbs, spraying water, dump buckets, and plenty more for kids to enjoy and keep cool. Other options include beaches, sand volleyball, a wave pool, tubing on a meandering river, and the country’s biggest body boarding ride anywhere.

south padre island water park aerial picture
Source: Bryan Tumlinson / City of South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

Best Bars South Padre Island

The best South Padre Island bars are really in the eye of the beholder. People like to enjoy their drinks in all different atmospheres. Some of the highest-rated focus on a comfortable, welcoming, neighborhood feel great drink and food menus, and proximity to all the best hotels and activities in the area.

Kelly’s Irish Pub

The selection starts with Kelly’s Irish Pub. A friendly, fun atmosphere greets you when you step in the door. Enjoy a beer with friends or sit down to an Irish feast including loaded potato and a corned beef Reuben sandwich.

Clayton’s South Padre Island

Clayton’s is a popular beach bar that gives you a tropical experience with its Signature Pina Coladas, seafood, and ocean views. They have live music, dancing on the sand, and summertime events.

Harry’s Bar

One of the highest-rated South Padre Island bars is Harry’s, a friendly, local place that offers real ambiance and affordable drinks.

Best Clubs In South Padre Island

Dancing, drinking, and meeting other vacationers or locals can all happen in one night at the best clubs in South Padre Island. Although most of the hotels and resorts have their in-house bars and entertainment venues, there are other options to explore.

First, you cannot skip Quarterdeck Lounge at Isla Grand when talking about SBI nightlife. Enjoy live music every night, tons of signature cocktails, dancing until 2:00 am, live sports, and the incredibly unique weekly crab races.

Another popular hotspot near the bay is Tequila Sunset Bar & Grill. Although also an eat-in or take-out restaurant, the place has great live music, TV, and a full bar to enjoy.

Louie’s Backyard is a huge sports bar with live music events on the bay. They have a full menu and fireworks over the water.

Family-owned Long Board offers daily live bands.

Best Parasailing In South Padre Island

For brave and adventurous visitors, parasailing over South Padre Island waters may be the perfect activity. SPI Excursions is one company that offers a wide range of watersport activities. Parasailing high above the bay is just one of them.

Parasailing Over the Gulf of Mexico

A unique option comes from Sonny’s Beach Service. They are the only company that parasails over the Gulf of Mexico instead of the bay. They also offer fully certified pilots and operators by the US Coast Guard, so you know safety is a top concern.

Horseback Riding South Padre Island

Three top choices exist if you want to go horseback riding on South Padre Island. Choose a sunrise tour from the large entertainment company South Padre Island Adventure Park. The highly rated SPI Equestrian Center specializes in a variety of horse-centric things including rides on the beach, polo lessons, games, a regular instructional and safety classes. Their number one priority is the safety and comfort of their horses, which makes the experience so much better for riders, too.

Horseback Riding South Padre Island picture

Best Souvenir Shop South Padre Island

After enjoying an amazing vacation in South Padre Island, you need plenty of souvenirs to take home with you. The top-rated options in the area are Ship Shape, which sells clothing and gifts, New Wave Beach & Wear shop, and Shell World, where you can find everything from beautiful shells to beach towels for less than $6.00. This is the spot if you want authentic, local shells, sand dollars, starfish, and more. Choose the best souvenir shop in South Padre Island based on the kind of items you’re looking for.

Best Fishing Spots South Padre Island

When it comes to South Padre Island fishing, there are many ways to enjoy the experience. Renting a rod and reel and heading to a local fishing pier is a great option.

Best Fishing Times South Padre Island

June to October is the most active season for the widest variety of fish. Of course, it depends on the species. You can find white bass in February and Bonito in November. Do your research about specifics before heading to the area.

Best Place to Fish in South Padre Island

You are allowed to fish from shore or the popular Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier, which is the longest one in Texas.

Best Deep Sea Fishing in South Padre Island

Charter fishing is equally popular for those who want to get out on a boat or do deep-sea fishing at South Padre Island. Captain Murphy’s offers bay fishing and family-friendly educational tours and dolphin-watching trips. Full-day deep-sea fishing can bring in tuna, kingfish, red snapper, and more.

The uniquely named SPI Fish Killer Charters gets exceptionally high ratings for both bay and nearshore excursions. Due to the popularity of fishing on South Padre Island, you have a whole list of top options to look into before you charter a boat and buy some bait.

best place to fish in south padre island
Source: Padre Getaways

The Best Things To Do In South Padre Island Texas

Discover unbelievable fun, adventure, and opportunities to relax in South Padre Island, TX this year. For more information about activities, events, and more, sign up for our email list today.

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