Offbeat South Padre Island Sights And Destinations

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. Get off the beaten path and experience the real spirit of South Padre Island:

Unique & Offbeat South Padre Island Activities

Walk On Water

Fly boarding is one of the unique and offbeat South Padre Island activities making Texas tourism awesome
Fly boarding, one of the new unique and offbeat South Padre Island activities

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.

Attend a Crawfish Boil

Crawfish boil in South Padre Island
No trip to South Padre Island is complete without 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!

Food? I Like Food!     Derek Eats That!


Andy Bowie Park

The beach at Andy Bowie Park is one of the overlooked South Padre Island activities
The beach at Andy Bowie Park is another one of the overlooked, offbeat South Padre Island activities

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.

SPI Birding and Nature Center

South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, one of the unique and overlooked offbeat South Padre Island activities
SPI Birding and Nature Center, one of the unique and overlooked offbeat South Padre Island activities (via Efrain Barajas

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

No trip to South Padre Island is complete without eating proper Cajun food
Proper Cajun food outside of Louisiana is rare but one of the unique and offbeat South Padre Island perks

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.

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!

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!

  // thesuperstar always_hungry

Ever visited South Padre?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

4 thoughts on “Offbeat South Padre Island Sights And Destinations”

  1. Fly boarding and that nature walk would be high on my list Derek. #1, I only saw it mentioned in movies save a few videos online. Definitely some new age isht 😉 #2, big nature and birding fan here. I could get lost for hours in any reserve, snapping shots and being in the moment. Thanks for the fun list of things to do.

    Ryan

    Reply
    • It is some tricky ass shit and you need very strong legs Ryan because that is where all the force is coming from. Definitely check it out if you ever get the opportunity. It’s popping up in more and more places — my buddy owns a dive resort in Sabah and earlier this year they got the first flyboarding rig in Malaysia 😉

      Reply
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