Top Things to Do on South Padre Island

Enjoy a wide array of activities and water sports excursions for the whole family on South Padre Island! From jet-skiing and parasailing to eco-tours and marine conservatories, your island has it all. Check out our list below and give us your feedback on your experience!


Sea Turtle, Inc.

One of the most popular attractions on South Padre Island, Sea Turtle, Inc. is a non-profit sea turtle conservatory and rescue center, that has wonderful exhibits for all ages. This organization was founded in 1977 by Ila Fox Loetscher, better known as “The Turtle Lady of South Padre Island.” View huge sea turtles that are recovering from injuries, thanks to the Sea Turtle, Inc. team. They also have regularly scheduled baby turtle releases on the beach!


South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary

Locally known at “the Birding Center”, this is a great activity for the whole family. From indoor education exhibits, to a beautiful bayside observation walk, witness the point where flora and fauna meet on South Padre Island! The birding center also has live alligators viewable from the bayside boardwalk, as well a chance for family to hold a live baby alligator and snake!


Jet Ski Rentals

One of the more popular water-sport activities on South Padre Island is jet skiing. Jet ski tours on SPI are a great way to spend your time while here. The calm waters of Laguna Madre provide a fun and safe environment for jet skiing, as well as an opportunity to spot dolphins and other sea life up-close!



Parasailing is another popular waterborne activity on South Padre Island. Harnessed to a parachute, and tethered to a speed-boat, parasailers enjoy incredible panoramic views of South Padre Island, the Queen Isabela Causeway, the Texas mainland, and the Gulf of Mexico!


Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

The warm and calm bay water of Laguna Madre, alongside South Padre Island’s secure coves, provide a safe and fun environment for stand-up paddle boarding. If you don’t have your own gear, several island vendors will rent you theirs. There are also many boat ramps that provide a safe launching area for you and your family!


Sandcastle Lessons

South Padre Island is home to several expert sand sculptors who happily share their skill with visitors year-round. Sandcastle lessons on South Padre Island are renowned as the top-rated island activity for families. Take a lesson on your next visit for a great time in the sun and sand!