South Padre Island, on the southern tip of Texas, is beach-resort central. How could it not be with its sunny climate, white sands and many water-related pursuits? Whether you’re looking for an adults-only retreat or a family-friendly getaway, there’s something for you here. Check out our list of the best hotels on South Padre Island.
For an all-rounder resort, complete with the only resort spa in town, look no further than the beachfront Pearl South Padre. The rooms, suites and condominiums all come with private balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. With views of the sea, its pool is one of the largest on the island and has a swim-up bar. There are plenty of child-friendly activities, and you can stop by the Beachside Bar & Grill for seafood and karaoke.
For a central hotel within walking distance of the beach, bay, shops, restaurants and bars, the Inn at South Padre is a good bet. The pet- and family-friendly resort has bright, clean rooms, which come with a complimentary breakfast (try the waffles). In the evenings, watch a movie by the pool while tucking into popcorn and ice cream. You can also snap up a free coffee from the hotel lobby at any point during the day.
If sipping on a signature cocktail while watching a game of beach volleyball sounds appealing, Wanna Wanna is likely to be a hit. Its bar springs to life with live music during the weekends, but it otherwise offers laid-back vibes you can enjoy while chomping on shrimp and burgers. The rooms have a simple setup – a space to comfortably lay your head after a Turbo Piña Colada or two.
For a simple and affordable base for a beach holiday, the Lighthouse Inn is a great option with clean rooms and friendly service. It’s close to the Port Isabel Historical Museum, Isla Blanca Park, Sea Ranch Marina 1, and the South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Sealife Nature Center. After exploring the island, you can take a dip in the shaded pool.
Need space? This all-condo resort has a range of beachfront and inner-island retreats big enough for large groups and families. Each one is different, but all are cheerfully decorated and make an ideal base for a getaway of beach activities and ocean sunsets. Book one of the 13 Sea Vista condos and enjoy access to the resort’s hot tubs, tennis courts and pools.
Stay in the striking yellow building of La Quinta, right next door to Clayton’s Beach Bar – one of the largest beach bars in the United States. You can spend your days dipping in and out of the beachfront pool and whirlpool tub or working out at the fitness center. There is a free breakfast every morning featuring fresh waffles and a made-to-order omelet station. Don’t want to leave your furry friend at home? Cats and dogs are welcome.
This pet-friendly rental is one of the most elegant lodgings on the island. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a comfortable wood-floor living room, and its large patio is perfect for socializing over a few drinks. The owner and his family live below and are often on hand to answer any queries. Nearby adventures include scuba diving or snorkeling the local waters, or hiking and biking the nearby trails.
Alta Vista is a red earth-hued property built in 1931; its colonial style is reminiscent of Old Mexico. While it retains most of its original features, including the oak flooring, its kitchens and bathrooms feature Talavera and Saltillo tiles from central Mexico. Outside, you’ll find tropical gardens and a courtyard swimming pool. There’s also an outside kitchen with a wood-burning churrascaria-style barbecue, a fish fryer, a gas grill and a bar.
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