With 34 miles of coastline and over 300 days of sunshine, South Padre Island is the perfect spot to spend Spring Break. Awarded Destination of the Year 2022 by Texas Travel Awards, SPI has something for everyone.
While most local colleges and high schools are on break March 13 to 18, Spring Break season at SPI is not limited to one week.
“In South Padre Island, we consider the whole month of March to be Spring Break season,” said Dennise Hernandez of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.
There are many ways to enjoy a day at the beach. Some may want to simply rent an umbrella and chairs to relax in the sun, while others may enjoy a swim or some playtime in the water. The more adventurous will want to try parasailing, flyboarding, kiteboarding, wakeboarding, or stand-up paddleboarding.
There are also many options for boat tours. Combine dolphin watching with an ecology lesson on what is pulled up in a trawling net. Become a pirate on the Black Dragon Pirate Ship. Go bay fishing in the Laguna Madre, or deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Snorkeling excursions in Laguna Madre may reveal stingrays, eels, jellyfish, turtles, herrings, dolphins, crabs, and a large variety of fish.
The Laguna Madre Nature Trail boasts a 1,500-foot boardwalk through marshlands where visitors have spotted more than 300 species of birds. Alligators, butterflies, and sea turtles can be seen from the boardwalk, which begins at the South Padre Island Convention Center.
“Families can enjoy eco-tourism centers like Sea Turtle Inc. and the SPI Birding Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary,” Hernandez said.
Sandcastle Trail is a collection of 30 sand sculptures throughout the island, including the largest sandcastle in the United States. The Sea Turtle Art Trail consists of 11 permanent sea turtle sculptures around town.
While there are plenty of things to fill the daytime hours, many college students visit SPI during Spring Break for the nightlife. Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill is the largest beach bar in Texas and has its Spring Break Beach Bash daily from March 1 to 24.
This year’s concerts include Lil Wayne, Steve Aoki, Kodak Black, DJ Diesel (aka Shaquille O’Neal), and GloRilla. The venue holds up to 7,000 people and has the largest spring break daytime event in the world.
Spend the day swimming in the gulf and the night listening to music all at Clayton’s.
On the Laguna Madre side of town, Louie’s Backyard has four distinct bars on two floors. One bar is for locals only and is not available to students on Spring Break. In total, the venue can hold over 5,000 people and offers nightly music featuring Dee Jay Silver, DJ Big Easy, and DJ Slim McGraw. Known for its prime rib and seafood buffet, Louie’s Backyard advertises nightly contests with cash prizes.
Two other activities directed towards college students during Spring Break occur weekly. Peninsula Island Resort and Spa will be holding its “Infamous Infinity Pool Parties” on Mondays throughout the month of March from noon until 5 p.m. On Tuesdays at 4 p.m., students can take the Inertia Tours Party Yacht Cruise.
“College students can expect great concerts with famous artists live,” Hernandez said. “We have new artists headlining concerts that haven’t been to our island before. The college group ‘Beach Reach’ will also serve our island by providing free transportation services and meals.”
The island offers accommodations for all party sizes and budgets, including campsites, condos, hotels, and motels. Food options include everything from food trucks to fine dining and cover all cuisines. This year, the Nautico Island Grill and a Peruvian restaurant, Rocotto Grill, were introduced to SPI.
“Our visitors can’t forget that we offer the freshest seafood, and several restaurants offer the cook-you-catch service,” Hernandez said.
For families and college students alike, SPI is an ideal destination for Spring Break.