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South Padre Island Information

Come join us on South Padre Island... kick off your shoes, take off your suits and come relax!


34-mile long barrier reef island at the southernmost tip of Texas. The Island averages 1/2 mile wide at its widest point. South Padre Island is 2.5 miles off the coast of the mainland at Port Isabel and on the eastern edge of the Rig Grande Valley. Latitude is 26.25 degrees north, Longitude is 97.15 degrees west. South Padre Island became a separate island from Padre Island in 1964 with the completion of the Port Mansfield Gulf Channel.


Sub-tropical, semi-arid with mild, dry winters and warm, humid summers. The average annual temperature is 74 degrees. Average rainfall is 27.6 inches and typically occurs in May, June, and September. The average wind velocity is 14 mph.


1519- South Padre Island is first charted by the Spanish explorer Alonzo de Pineda. He name it "Isla Blanca" or "White Island". 1804- Missionary Priest Padre Jose Nicholas Balli establishes the first settlement on the Island after the initial grant was made by King Charles IV of Spain. Karankawa Indians waded across the Bay and roamed the Island during summer months. 1800/1804- Pirates, such as Jean Lafitte, frequented the area. 1847/1861- The shipwrecked Singer Family, brother to the sewing machine magnate makes the Island their home. 1964-The Port Mansfield Channel was complete, which separated South Padre Island from Padre Island forever. 1974- The 2.5 mile long Queen Isabella Causeway, which connects South Padre Island with the mainland was completed.


South Padre Island has 1,806 permanent residents.


Highways -U.S. 77/83 to highway 100 south to Port Isabel, then cross the Queen Isabella Causeway, Texas' longest bridge. Airports/Airlines- Valley International Airport in Harlingen and Brownsville South Padre Island Airport are the primary Airports in the Rio Grande Valley with short drives from the Island. Cameron County Airport- about 30 minutes from the Island is available for private and corporate aircraft landings, rentals and charters. South Padre Island's own motorized trolley, "The Wave" provides daily service along Padre Blvd.


Tourism is the primary industry on South Padre Island. The Port Isabel- Brownsville- South Padre Island area has the largest shrimping fleet in the country.


The South Padre Island Convention Centre, approximately 70,000 square feet, is located on a 30 acre bay front lot just north of Town. Primary facilities include a 22,500 square feet of exhibit hall space, a modern media-oriented conference auditorium for 250, and about 9,000 square feet of meeting rooms in various sizes, with a large central lobby and complete support facilities. Children of Island residents attend Port Isabel Independent School District. The Island provides full-service, professional fire, police and emergency medical services.

Recreational Activities

South Padre Island holds state records for the blue marlin, blue fin, make shark, tarpon, wahoo and spear fish. South Padre Island is a major wind surfing destination and has been named one of the top 10 wind surfing destinations in the world by a wind surfing publication. Flat water sailing, speed sailing and wind sailing are also available. Other water sports include surfing, diving, sailing, parasailing, jet skiing, wave running, water skiing and bungee jumping. Other Island activities: are shelling, birding, tennis, shopping, horseback riding on the beach, mini-golf, nearby golf, bicycling, and jogging and a water slide park. Schillterbahn Water park is now open for business!

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