Hotels in Port Isabel

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What you should know about Port Isabel

With its 5 centuries of history, 150-year-old lighthouse, and 30 miles of beach (on next door South Padre Island) Port Isabel is not your standard Gulf resort. A little town with a real end-of-the-road vibe, it's the southernmost port in the mainland U.S., with the Mexican border just across its bay. It's also a place where adventures abound, whether on a dolphin-spotting cruise, on a fishing trip to reel in a marlin, or setting sail for a genuine pirate adventure.

Hotels in Port Isabel


Compared to South Padre Island, with its numerous beach resort hotels, Port Isabel accommodation tends to focus more on the budget side of things. It has several inns and motels scattered along its main thoroughfare, State Park Road. The Casa Rosa Motel, which lies close to the bridge to South Padre Island, has an outdoor pool and business center, and Port Isabel hotel reviews praise its location and value for money. Another good-value hotel is the Port Isla Inn. It has an outdoor pool and kitchenettes in rooms, and offers some of the best hotel rates in Port Isabel

Things to see in Port Isabel


South Padre Island may have the beaches, but historic Port Isabel has the museums. Standing head and shoulders above the others is Port Isabel Lighthouse. Built in 1852, it was occupied by both sides in the Civil War and is the only lighthouse open to the public in Texas. You get great views over the Laguna and South Padre Island from its 50-foot tower. The nearby Port Isabel Historical Museum is housed in a former 19th-century goods store, and is known for its collection of artifacts from the U.S.-Mexican War of 1847. The coast here was first explored by Spanish galleons in the 16th-century, and at the Treasures of the Gulf Stream you can discover more about these. It houses the spoils of 3 Spanish ships wrecked in 1554. Lastly, the Black Dragon Pirate Ship gives you a chance to set off on your own pirate adventure on the high seas, complete with firing cannons.

Good for budget travelers


This port neighborhood makes for a great base for travelers wanting an affordable vacation in the South Padre area. Most of Port Isabel's historic attractions are free, and there are many inexpensive eateries and cafes in its downtown area. And don't forget that there are several discount hotels in Port Isabel too. With a free bus service (the Wave) running between the Port Isabel and South Padre Island, the sun, sea, and surf of its endless beaches can be yours just a few minutes from your Port Isabel hotel.

How to get to Port Isabel


Given its location in the far southeast tip of the U.S., flying in is the main way to travel to Port Isabel. There are 3 airports within driving distance, the closest being Brownsville. The drive down from here along the TX-48E takes half an hour. There's also a bus service from Brownsville into Port Isabel, which is a great option for budget travelers. Valley International Airport is further out, about 60 minutes' drive away, while McAllen Miller International Airport in is the most remote. It takes about 2 hours to make the car journey down I-2 and I-69E from McAllen Miller.

South Padre Island travel guides