Why Choose South Padre Island for Spring Break?
Why is South Padre Island, Texas the #1 domestic Spring Break destination in the United States for university and college students?
- Home to Coca Cola Spring Break Stage
- Over ½ million college students each year!
- Great for a road trip – no passport required
- A-List celebrities – Beach Parties and Concerts
- Home to world famous clubs such as Louies Backyard
- Huge beach parties
- 18 to party – 21 to drink
- Clubs stay open 'til 2am
Spring Break Specials
Over the past decade, South Padre Island, off the coast of southern Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico, has become the premier Cheap Spring Break destination in the U.S. Consisting largely of sand dunes with sparse vegetation, the island is a popular resort, with excellent fishing and abundant bird life. Located 2 miles off the southernmost coast of Texas and only 25 miles from Mexico, with its warm tropical breezes and compact size (it is 110 miles long and up to 3 miles wide) this island comes alive with thousands of spring breakers each year getting intimate in search of sand, sun, and fun!
Padre Island is named after José Nicolás Ballí, who was a Catholic priest and settler who established a ranching operation on the island. Prior to that, Padre Island was inhabited for several centuries by the Karankawa Indians, and there is evidence that the Indians remained as late as 1850 – although by then, most had converted to Christianity thanks to Padre Ballí.
The island has a rich and colorful history, full of legends and folklore and tales of shipwrecks and buried treasure. To this very day, residents still reportedly find silver being washed up on the shore from shipwrecked vessels!
In 1967, the town of South Padre Island suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Beulah. It was after the rebuilding from this disaster that the town became a popular Spring Break hotspot, with many resorts, hotels and condos opening along the coast.
South Padre Island is notable for its beaches. Miles of unspoiled, pristine sand stretch as far as the eye can see, making South Padre Island a wonderful getaway spot for rest and relaxation in the glorious sunshine. Because of the young crowd that the town attracts, lots of tourist activities have become established, and South Padre Island offers plenty of daytime activities – watersports are particularly popular, and it's possible to try out all sorts of activities in the sea, from leisurely sailing to jetskiing and paragliding.
Fishing is a much practised pastime in South Padre Island, so you can take one of the many excursions on offer and catch your own fish for dinner! Or if you're more of an observer of nature, you can go see the dolphins swimming, or check out the island's famous bird watching haunts. On top of all this, there are loads of games available to keep the young crowds entertained, and plenty of tours and activities like horseback riding to try out. There's even a waterpark - Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, which is a great way to spend an afternoon splashing around with friends!
Around 100,000 students typically descend on South Padre Island for Spring Break, so you can guarantee that the nightlife is going to be crazy and fast-paced! There's no shortage of places to go when the sun sets, and there's something for everyone. Whether you like to dance the night away at a club or a beach party, check out some seriously cool bands and DJs at numerous live events, or take it easy listening to music at a chilled-out bar with a cocktail in your hand, you're sure to find somewhere that fits your mood in South Padre Island.
Check out the famous Spring Break favorites, like Louie's Backyard, which is renowned for its huge acts and big names – you're bound to have seen it on MTV or VH1 at some point! And while you're getting down to the beat, you've got to sample some of Louie's best known house drinks, like the Charlie's Cherry or the Whammy.
There's also Sea Ranch, a slightly more upscale place for when you want a special night out – and with gorgeous sea views and a super-cool cocktail lounge (Dirty Dave's) with outdoor seating, it's a fabulous spot to watch the sun set as you start your South Padre Island night out!
Dining and Drinking
There's a fabulous variety of restaurants in South Padre Island – fresh seafood is the speciality, and an absolute must-try. Check out the less touristy, locally-owned restaurants for some great local cuisine and a true flavor of South Padre Island. There are also plenty of the usual fast food joints and big national chains for anyone who wants more familiar food, as well as lots of international places and more stylish, upmarket establishments. Something for everyone!
Oh, and for the best beer on the island, check out the Padre Island Brewing Company, which has become a really popular place to hang out at night thanks to the good food and fun atmosphere in its rooftop drinking/dining area.
For the most part, there is none! South Padre Island is chilled out and comfortable, so expect to see people in their swimwear, day and night! Some clubs and restaurants are a bit dressier.
South Padre Island is part of the US, and shares its entry requirements.
South Padre Island has a fairly humid and subtropical climate, quite like that of the Tampa Bay Area of Florida but with less rainfall and slightly higher summer maximum temperatures.
About 50% of all spring breakers fly to the South Padre for Spring Break. They arrive at Harlingen or Brownsville airports which are 30-45 minutes from the island. Paradise Parties offers discount scheduled air service from northern cities via Continental Airlines, American, Southwest or chartered service via Sun Pacific International. Of course, you can buy your own airfare, drive, or take one of our charter buses from your campus.
To get to the island, we provide transfers from the airport to your hotel for a discount through Grayline of South Padre. If you drive, be sure to drive the speed limit once you reach Highway 100, there are often over 25 speed traps in the 26 miles remaining to the Island. Also, pay particular attention to Los Fresnos, a town that is said to derive a significant amount of it's ill gotten budget from speed traps. One mile over the limit is reported to be a problem there.
Luckily, once on the island, the police are generally friendly and while they still give out speeding tickets, they are mostly concerned with driving under the influence. Free bus service is available on the island, so be sure to use it if you need it.
The same as in the rest of the U.S.A. and Canada: 110 Volts, 60 cycles, A.C.
Just like any other city in America, tipping is expected on all services. As is normal, you should tip 15% for lunch and 20% for dinner. A few dollars will suffice as a tip for a cab ride.
The time zone in South Padre Island is Central Time (GMT-6).
About the Water
The tap water in South Padre Island is safe to drink.