South Padre is known for lots of things. Good beaches. Great fishing. The madness of Spring Break. And of course great seafood. However, there is much more culinary fun to be had on this humble island than mere seafood. Come with me on a culinary odyssey across all of South Padre Island!

Yummies Bistro

It's always important to start your day off with a breakfast that is at least filling, if not healthy. (I'm not here to give you life advice, merely food advice.) For that there is no better place than Yummies Bistro. Their food is so good they don't even need a web site to promote it -- people just know.

The breakfast is all-encompassing. From eggs any way imaginable to pancakes, waffles, burritos and more, there is something here to satisfy everyone. Be careful not too eat too much though. More times than not I've left here eager to crawl back into bed, rather than start an active day. Oh -- and they also make a pretty mean lunch.


BURGERFI, home of the best burger on South Padre Island

A good hamburger requires equal parts good beef, choice toppings, a fresh homemade bun and a dash of secret sauce. Using this powerful formula BURGERFI has managed to create amazing melt-in-your-mouth burgers that will leave you wanting to come back to South Padre Island just for them, forget the beach! Don't believe me? Try one. I recommend The Twenty Eight.

Gabriella's Italian Grill And Pizzeria

Pizza is delicious anywhere but especially on the beach with a cold beer nearby. Even more so if it is from Gabriella's Italian Grill And Pizzeria. I'm telling you, this place is amazing! Hands-down the best pizza on the island. And trust me, I've tried them all

Their menu features such decadent pizzas as The Soprano (perfect for any meat-loving man), The Leaning Tower of Cheeza and the Leonardo d’Veggie. All of these are cooked in a massive brick wood-fire oven -- as all good pizzas are. For guests who choose to dine in, you will have a magnificent view of this grill from your table. Or order delivery and have the pizza come to you on the beach.

Pier 19

No article on South Padre Island food would be complete without a little seafood. Behold, Pier 19, my favorite seafood restaurant in all of South Padre! They are also the home of the second best breakfast on the island -- although I would not recommend mixing the two.

Set out on the end of a wooden pier, Pier 19 is also a great place for a romantic dinner and great views of the Gulf. Their menu features a bit of everything, from pasta to sandwiches to south of the border; however it's with their seafood that they really shine. Whatever your preference, have confidence that the chef here will leave you impressed.

Still planning your Texas vacation? Check out my South Padre Island archives for even more travel guides, tips and advice. Enjoy!

  flickr   //   jeepersmedia

Published in United States

One of the most popular year-round beach destinations in Texas is South Padre Island. Although the island is most known for being a party haven of college students every spring break, it is also popular with families all summer and snowbirds all winter. The island may be small but is perfect for relaxing (as long as you are not trying to do that during spring break, of course). So the next time you need a quick weekend getaway, South Padre Island is where to go -- and this is how you make the most of it in just 48 hours!

Try a New Activity

Beaches are fun, but don't spend all your time lying around on them. Get up and go try something new. There are plenty of fun and exciting water-based activities available in South Padre, from kiteboarding to wakeboarding, kayaking, parasailing, snorkeling, scuba diving (and certification), even surfing. Pick one or two that you have never tried before and give it a shot!

Do Something Offbeat

Fly-boarding in South Padre Island, Texas

Most visitors come to South Padre Island for its beaches, obviously, however there is more to do than that. The island boasts several great parks and nature centers, such as Andy Bowie Park and the SPI Birding and Nature Center. Or for those looking for a bit more adventure, consider trying fly boarding while in South Padre, a hot new water-based activity that you may recognize from TV or the movies. It is essentially a water-powered jetpack that propels the wearer into the air and is wicked fun!

See more Offbeat Things To Do In South Padre Island

Eat Your Way Around Town

One of the best things about all islands is the abundance of good seafood. Thankfully South Padre is no exception to the rule. Blackbeards' restaurant is a laid-back and affordable place with great seafood. They are also the proud home of the best onion rings on the island. Don't believe me? Try them for yourself!

Crawfish boil in South Padre Island, Texas

Or if you want to treat yourself or take your loved one out somewhere nice to enjoy a romantic sunset dinner and a cocktail or two, look no further than the Sea Ranch Restaurant, the island's premiere dining establishment and a local favorite for nearly 40 years. Try the Ahi Tuna, my personal favorite. Or if you've been out fishing recently, bring your catch in here and their chefs will turn it into a delicious dinner.

Catch a Live Show & Enjoy the Night

Just because the sun has set doesn't mean the fun has to stop. If you still have energy left before heading back to your South Padre hotel, consider heading over to Clayton's Beach Bar & Grill. The serve both seafood and traditional American staples such as burgers and buffalo wings, however their real claim to fame is being the largest beach bar in all of Texas. Live music and concerts are regular events here that definitely help make for a memorable South Padre experience!

  As a native Texan, I've been to Padre more times than I can count. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask away!

Published in United States

South Padre island is an amazing island with a variety of fun activities and over thirty miles of beaches just begging for you to stick your toes in the sand and relax in the sun. Of course the only thing that makes a trip to this beautiful island better is staying directly on the beach and only having to walk a few steps from the hotel lobby to the golden sand. That having been said, these are some of the top beachside hotels and resorts in South Padre Island, Texas.

Schlitterbahn Beach Resort

This sprawling 25-acre water park and hotel is one of the prime highlights of the island. Schlitterbahn South Padre is home to over a dozen gigantic indoor and outdoor water slides, nearly two dozen blood-pumping and water-spraying attractions, and several slow-moving rivers that are perfect for a lazy tube ride. Staying on-site offers the added convenience of being able to enjoy the beauty of the beach, the excitement of the water park, and the privacy of your hotel room all in one place, not to mention plenty of dining options.

Schlitterbahn South Padre Island, Texas

Isla Grand Beach Resort

This picturesque resort is known for throwing some of the best beach parties, most notably their annual Spring Break bash. Regardless of the time of year, every day and night the week Isla Grand has themed activities and events to keep guests entertained. This includes family fun like sandcastle building on the beach and arts and crafts, as well as evening shows in the nightclub. Other seasonal options include parasailing and banana boat rides. There is also plenty of year-round fun to be had at the tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, and hot tubs.

Pearl South Padre

Nestled on the beach right across from the bridge, the Pearl South Padre is one of the island's gems. All rooms have a balconies and amazing oceanfront views, plus there is even a large pool featuring a swim-up bar and grill for guests looking to avoid the salt water. Another popular feature is the Pearl's collection of packages and daily trips designed to make the most of your stay on the island. The hotel is also located right next to Schlitterbahn, making it a breeze to get the best of both worlds.

Hilton Garden Inn

One of the most popular and well-reviewed hotels on the island, the Hilton Garden Inn is located mere footsteps from warm white sand and sparkling blue water. As the northernmost hotel on the island, guests can enjoy a large and less-crowded portion of the beach. Windsurfing and jet-skiing are popular with guests here, as are snorkeling and fishing. Above all, do not miss out on the breakfast buffet, easily the best breakfast in all of South Padre!

La Copa Inn Beach Hotel

La Copa ia a pet-friendly hotel and ocean side restaurant, and it offers one of the best values for the price on the entire island. It has an intimate, almost family run atmosphere and helpful staff. However, during Spring Break, it does have a tendency to be overrun by college students lured in by the cheap price. All the exciting water-based activities from parasailing to dolphin-watching can be booked through the concierge, and the Schlitterbahn water park is less than a five-minute walk away.

The beach at South Padre Island, Texas

The Palms Resort

If a laid back resort with a "mom-and-pop" feel is what you crave then look no further than The Palms Resort. Located a little further north up the island, this resort is all about relaxation, whether on the beach, in their indoor heated pool, or the Cafe on the Beach. The only thing better than the food is the breathtaking Gulf view.

  As a blogger ambassador for Hipmunk I have written several articles for their site and am now taking part in Hipmunk's #citylove campaign, where they have given me the opportunity to share some of my favorite locations with you.

Have you ever been to South Padre Island?

Published in United States

South Padre Island may be small, but it packs abundant sights and activities to ensure visitors have a remarkable vacation. While the crowds flock to the well-known attractions, break free from the masses and experience the island's best hidden gems. This is South Padre Island off the beaten path:

Walk On Water

One of the newest water-based activities that few know about is fly boarding. Fly boarding featured in various movies over the last couple years, and now is available for public enjoyment. Think of it like a jetpack that runs on water rather than gasoline. Attached to a jet ski, water feeds up to it through a large tube before expelling down with enough velocity to propel the jetpack wearer up into the air.

Fly boarding in South Padre Island

Andy Bowie Park

Andy Bowie is possibly the most overlooked beach on South Padre, and is great way to escape the crowds. A modest $5 parking fee is all you need to drive down to the water's edge and pitch your beach chairs and umbrella, or even a tent. The park also has rest rooms, showers, and a concession stand that will satisfy anyone who forgot his or her snacks, sunscreen, or bottled water at home.

Attend a Crawfish Boil

Seafood on the gulf is so fresh and tasty you would think the server delivered it straight from the water to your plate. Of course, eating mere fish is routine. Devouring your way through a crawfish boil is a whole different kind of finger-licking goodness. Here's a little-known secret: every weekend Parrot Eyes Restaurant Bar has a crawfish boil. It's not found on their menu, but they advertise occasionally in Padre magazine. Word to the wise: don't make any plans for the remainder of the day, as a belly full of their delicious boiled crawfish might be enough to send you back to bed!

Crawfish boil in South Padre Island

SPI Birding and Nature Center

This non-profit organization is doing all it can to educate both locals and visitors on the birds, fauna, flora, and overall environment of not just South Padre Island but all the Gulf of Mexico. Besides the boardwalks and bird blinds, one of the most rewarding aspects of a trip to the SPI Birding and Nature Center is the view from the top its five-story observation tower. This is the best place around to get a photograph of the island and the gulf from a unique vantage point.

Daddy's Cajun Kitchen & Seafood Market

Yes, this recently relocated Cajun restaurant is a favorite of locals and regular visitors alike to South Padre. Originating in 2003, "Dirty Al" and son Cameron, a culinary school graduate, and what some describe as the man behind the flavor, have perfected the art of how to make hungry guests' mouths salivate. Naturally, how to also keep them coming back for more. In fact they now own a half-dozen restaurants around the island. However the original is still (and always will be!) the best.

Of course these aren't all of South Padre Islands' hidden gems; not by a long shot. If you find yourself with a little free time, then go exploring and see what interesting sights and attractions you can discover. The island does not disappoint! Plus Hipmunk has plenty of cheap hotels in South Padre Island so you don't have to worry about breaking the bank just to have a little fun.

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  flickr   //   tackletactics   thesuperstar

Published in United States

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