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At the intersection of southern charm and coastal living lies the spirited South Padre Island. This idyllic resort destination sits just off the southern tip of Texas and has been summoning Winter Texans annually.
What is a “Winter Texan,” exactly? Definition: Sun-loving individuals who escape the cold and head south (think: Texas’ own breed of snowbirds) to enjoy beautiful beaches, calm waters, tropical climates, renowned restaurants and live music venues. And thanks to initiatives like its lodging tax exemption, guests can stay longer than 30 days at a time with a newfound ease.
Ready to be a Winter Texan on the Island yourself? If all of the following appeals to you, you might just be qualified:
Dining & nightlife
After a sunny day outdoors, families and self-appointed foodies will rejoice as they experience the bold and tropical flavours made famous around the Texas Gulf Coast. With a variety of local restaurants to choose from, including an assortment of fine dining, casual and view-centric spots, South Padre Island will prove to have it all. Come evening, visitors can bar hop or peruse the boardwalk in search of local nightlife.
Nature & the great outdoors
South Padre Island delivers on all levels of fun for the Winter Texan. It's easy to create lifelong memories as you explore the picturesque shoreline, birdwatch at the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, or spend time at Sea Turtle Inc., a non-profit dedicated the rescue and conservation efforts of the giant reptiles. Wildlife aficionados can spend time watching and learning about local marine life at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge and at Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center.
Beaches & watersports
South Padre Island, Texas’ best beach, is home to white sand beaches and relatively calm waters. These soft-splashing waves around the Gulf of Mexico will prove to be perfect for those looking to try their hand at surfing and paddle boarding. While the seaside creators are hard at work, families can scour the beach in search of treasures, competitions and photo opportunities. And for those looking to hook, line and sinker, the Texas International Fishing Tournament brings anglers out in droves in hopes of catching blue marlin, redfish and flounder.
South Padre Island plays host to many year-round activities, ideal for the discerning Winter Texan, including Friday night fireworks at the beach come April. As spring rolls into summer, the local markets begin selling seasonal produce and artisanal crafts. This fall, experience FAMFest, a three-day event filled with film, art, music and fun for visitors of all ages. Then, immerse yourself in holiday magic at the Island’s inaugural Holiday Sandcastle Village (Nov. 30 – Dec. 16) to enjoy holiday-themed sandcastles and a lighted musical performance from dusk until 9 p.m. each Friday through Sunday.
Art & culture
This vibrant South Texas community continues to grow and inspire thanks to an evolving artistic landscape. Think festivals, art galleries and multi-sensory cultural experiences fit for any Winter Texan. Tourists can snag locally crafted souvenirs and enjoy inspiration found at every turn, including the local waters and wildlife. The Lower Rio Grande Valley area is also home to many active local performing arts groups supported by the El Paseo Arts Foundation, a nationally recognized advocate for the cause.
With miles of white sand and clear water, South Padre Island is Texas’ best beach. Calm weather and more than 300 days of sunshine make the Island a year-round destination offering a variety of nature tourism attractions, water sports, seasonal events, local shopping and dining, and so much more!
For more information, visit www.sopadre.com.