Incorporated in 1973, this small resort town is on the southern tip of Padre Island just across Laguna Madre, the bay separating the island from the mainland. Access is via free causeway on Texas 100. Visitors find a wide range of accommodations—campgrounds, family motels, high-rise luxury hotels, condo rentals, marinas and seaside cottages. Restaurants feature fresh Gulf seafood.
South Padre is known for its water sports, including jet skiing; bay, surf and deep-sea fishing; parasailing; sailing; and windsurfing. Other island activities include bicycling, tennis, shelling and horseback riding on the beach. The popular Laguna Madre Nature Trail—for nature enthusiasts and birders—is north of the city next to the convention center.
Fishing is available from beach, piers and jetties. Group boats provide bay and deep-sea fishing for full or half days; charter cruisers are available for individual or small-party offshore sport. Marinas provide fuel, bait, tackle, launching ramps and boat rentals. Small boats with guides are available for bay fishing.