South Padre Island is much more than an ocean-side retreat to relax. Home to a colourful array of wildlife, including unique marine life and migrating birds, South Padre Island is a wind-swept paradise for explorers keen to get in, on or near the water on outdoor adventures. Here are several ways to fly, fish and float on your next trip to South Padre.
SPI Kite Fest offers visitors the opportunity to get involved in a bizarre, wind-reliant sport: competitive kite flying. From wind surfers on wheels to indoor performers, expect to see a variety of flying skills demonstrated at this annual festival. Bring a lawn chair, a kite (if you have one), a camera and an open sense of adventure. This one-of-a-kind experience takes place every February. Learn more here: spikitefest.com
Fishers will feel at home on South Padre Island. With inshore and deep sea fishing, there’s a little something for every type of fisher.
Even if you’ve never caught a fish before, charters will take you to the best local spots, or simply join the cast of lines bobbing off the jetties pier.
Deep Sea Fishing
If you’re keen for a nautical adventure, climb onboard with serious anglers in search of big billfish. The clear blue waters of the gulf stream will capture your imagination as you make use of fighting chairs and deckhands to reel in massive grouper, shark and triggerfish.
If you’re looking to travel just a few miles off the island, you’ll still find Mahi Mahi, grouper, tuna and snappy biting in the bay. Hire a guided charter or bring your own boat for an ocean-based adventure.
You don’t have to get on the water to find the fish. The shallow flats of Laguna Madre and South Bay are home to speckled trout, redfish, flounder and snook. From the jetties, fishers can hook kingfish, Spanish mackerel, tarpon and grouper.
With subtropical temperatures, strong winds and clear blue skies, South Padre Island has ideal conditions for a variety of water sports. Take a swim in the waves or try something new!
Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
Take advantage of the 18 mile per hour winds. Windsurfers flock to Laguna Madre Bay on the island’s western shore. Ambitious kitesurfers should head to the “backcountry” and explore the undeveloped northern beaches.
Kayaking & Stand-up Paddle Boarding
Rent a kayak and explore the translucent waters. You can choose your vessel for adventure: single, double, triple, fishing, glass bottom and surf kayaks can all be rented on the beach.
When the wind dies down, paddle out on a SUP. Take a lesson with an instructor or venture out on your own.
Surfing professional instructors stick around all year in this tropical slice of Texas. Join a daily lesson or sign up for a surf camp. Open to adventurers preschool age to senior, the Gulf’s waves are suitable for beginners, experts and everyone in between. If you’re visiting in March, don’t miss the annual Texas State Surfing Championship.
Snorkeling & Diving
Once you’ve gotten out on the waves, go under them. Snorkel to see tropical fish, red snapper, turtles and sharks off the shores of South Padre Island. For a deeper adventure, dive down to explore an artificial reef along the U.S.T.S. Texas Clipper, a 473-foot sunken vessel. There are 40 other shipwrecks and 16 oil and has rigs nearby to explore under the sea.
No matter how you spend your island days, you're likely to find a dose of adventure, enjoyment and sunshine unlike anywhere else.
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