Hotels in South Padre Island, Texas

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Best hotels in South Padre Island

South Padre Island Introduction

Sun-kissed South Padre Island, or SPI, enjoys the unique distinction of being part of the largest island in Texas. This sparkling white sand barrier on the Gulf of Mexico is a popular year-round vacation hotspot thanks to its reliable climate, abundant natural beauty, and wealth of attractions. You can party the night away in friendly clubs, enjoy thrilling water sports, wander hand in hand along the moonlit beach, chill out with friends, or catch up with family—even get married! Bathe in crystal waters, watch migrating birds and graceful sea turtles, or just lie back and let the warm Texan hospitality soothe away your cares.

Hotels in South Padre Island

Proven demand means that hotels in South Padre Island keep busy all year round. The spring break and summer school vacation are traditionally the most popular months, so you’re less likely to find the cheapest rates at these times. Look for South Padre Island hotel deals in January/February and late autumn and benefit from uncrowded beaches. Most resorts offer free unlimited use of leisure facilities, so you can enjoy the ocean views from the comfort of a heated pool. For a budget-friendly family break, hire a self-catering condo and enjoy shopping for bargains in the local food marts.

Where to stay

Hotels in South Padre Island are never far from the shore, but which end of the island you choose depends on your personal preference. The northern end of the barrier is the quieter part, leading to the pristine beach of Andy Bowie County Park and scenic Ocean Boulevard. The center of the strip offers a wide range of condos, motels, and inns by favorite national brands, which offer the same spectacular views as their more upscale neighbors. Alternatively, book into a family-friendly resort on the southern shoreline and be close to the popular Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark and the attractions of downtown.

Things to see

Unless you’re a sea turtle, most visitors’ first dramatic glimpse of South Padre Island comes from the journey along the 2.5-long Queen Isabella Causeway—a local landmark in its own right. From here you can enjoy spectacular views across the Laguna Madre to SPI town and the protected wildlife haven of Boca Chica State Park. Learn about the migrating birds that benefit from this unique habitat at South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center. Boardwalks, spotting towers, and an exhibit hall guide you through the basics of bird watching. Isla Blanca County Park offers a variety of beach activities, from surf fishing to snorkeling. Take a dolphin cruise, hire a jet ski, or enjoy a stroll around the lively marina. The nearby University of Texas–Pan American Coastal Studies Laboratory is open for self-guided tours, while Sea Turtle Inc. offers the chance to see rescued turtles and learn about the conservation work of this pioneering organization.

How to get to South Padre Island

Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport is around 30 miles southwest of SPI on State Highway 48. Flights land here from Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth, with a convenient free shuttle service to South Padre Island taking around 1 hour 30 minutes or less. Many South Padre Island hotels and resorts run their own free shuttles for guests, so check arrangements before you leave. You can also hire a cab or rent a car from the terminal. Once you arrive on the island, hire a bike and enjoy the freedom to explore this beautiful coastline at your own pace.

South Padre Island travel guides