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South Padre Island Vacations - Things to Do on South Padre Island Vacations

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Down at the very southern tip of Texas, South Padre Island sits and waits to welcome visitors with its charms. It is known most famously as the destination for the hordes of college students that drink themselves silly on its shores during spring break. Although most people know it by its destination as a party location for college kids, there are a wide range of fun activities everyone can enjoy on South Padre Island vacations.

Of course, the most famous way to spend time on vacation at South Padre Island is at the beach. The beaches of South Padre are broken up into four separate parks: Isla Blanca Park, Andy Bowie Park, Edwin K. Atwood Park and Adolph Thomae Jr. County Park.

Isla Blanca Park is located at the southern tip of South Padre Island. It is the best beach on the island. It is over one mile of clean, spectacularly white sand. It has picnic and playground spots, a fishing wharf, restaurant, clubs and a full service marina. This is the most popular area on the island for nearly everything, especially swimming, sunbathing, surfing and fishing. Entry costs $4 per vehicle until 5 p.m. and $2 after that.

Andy Bowie Park is on the northern end of the island. It is highly popular with nature lovers, because its signature attraction is the Laguna Madre Nature Trail. This trail is a must for bird lovers. Other areas of the park cater to boogie boarders, wind surfers, picnickers, sunbathers, horseback riders and fishermen. This is the park to go to for a laidback, natural feeling. The entry fee is $4 per vehicle.

Edwin K. Atwood Park is located 1.4 miles north from Andy Bowie Park. Its most popular feature is its beach access road, which gives drivers access to 20 miles of spectacular beachfront driving. Again, it is $4 per vehicle for entry.

The last park to know for your South Padre Island vacations, Adolph Thomae Jr. County Park, is a gated location within the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. This park is mainly geared towards nature lovers and fishermen.

When you want to get off the beach for a while, one of the best ways to spend some time on South Padre Island vacation is to tackle the abundance of water slides and rides at Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark. The park has a long endless river that connects all of the rides throughout the grounds, known as Rio Adventura. Schlitterbahn Beach’s most famous feature is the largest artificial wave machine in the world, the Boogie Bahn. Another great attraction at the park is the Sea Trek, a helmet diving adventure that lets visitors view the native ocean creatures. One of the best attractions for families with small children is Sandcastle City, which is a 5- story high sand castle complete with wading pools and three levels of water slides.

If you are a scuba diving fan, South Padre Island vacations have a lot to offer. The waters off of the island feature an abundance of marine life, most exciting of which is the giant sea turtle. The water has great visibility levels to enhance the viewing. One of the most exciting areas to dive off of South Padre is the Texas Clipper, which was purposely sunk to provide a wonderful home for marine life and dive excursions.

If you can plan your vacation to South Padre Island for the month of October, you are in for a real treat. Usually scheduled towards the end of October, Sand Castle Days is one of the most magical events you could ever witness. Amateur and professional sand sculptors from all corners of the globe gather to create sculptures made only with materials found on the beach. The highlight is the Masters of Sand completion. Twenty-four of the most talented sand sculptors on the planet have three days to create some of the most beautiful art you will see in your life. This competition is one of the biggest sand sculpture competitions in the world. The best part is that it is a nonprofit event, dedicated to coastal preservation. All of the proceeds are donated to organizations that are committed to preserving the planet’s coastal areas.

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