South Padre Island is a town in Cameron County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,422 at the 2000 census. The town is located on South Padre Island, a barrier island along the Texas Gulf coast assessible via a causeway from the town of Port Isabel. South Padre Island is named after José Nicolás Ballí (Padre Ballí), a Catholic priest and settler.
South Padre Island Golf Club offers a 18-hole championship golf course and is situated across the Laguna Madre Bay, a short 10 minute drive from South Padre Island. This par-72 course is home of the Texas Senior Open and presents an absolutely beautiful lateral view of the Island. Decidedly different with rolling green hills and “wildlife corridors” of native brush, these grounds offer an oasis, a wildlife refuge and golfer’s paradise all rolled into one. Golf packages are offered by several of the Island’s top resort hotels and condominiums.
Laguna Vista is a short twenty minute drive west of South Padre Island on State Highway 100 and Farm Road 510. It lies five miles northwest of Port Isabel overlooking the Laguna Madre. Mexican salt traders were the first to walk the shores of the Laguna Madre and it was their stories of a delta-land full of fish and game that inspired settlers to follow. One of the first ranches was known as Los Mogotes, or wooded hills, because of the dense chaparral. Another ranch, known as Buena Vista, (named for the old Spanish land grant of the same name) first established in the 1800s, was operated through the early 1900s.
Port Isabel is a thriving community with many unique shops, restaurants, historic hotels, and museums that make up this historic and colorful area. Spend a day discovering Port Isabel, and take advantage of the many places that are within walking distance of each other. We hope you enjoy your visit to Port Isabel.
South Padre is home to many watersport activities with PWC rental and dolphin watches being the most popular. Other favorites are horseback riding adventures on the beach and ecological tours that explore Padre Island National Seashore.
Fishing is also popular. Also, every year the Texas International Fishing Tournament is held in late summer with winnings totalling almost a quarter million. Along with many other fishing tournaments such as Ladies Kingfish Tournament, Hooters Tournament, Redfish Rodeo just to name a few.
The island is a popular spring break destination for high school and college students.