By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Hello Spring Breakers, and welcome to South Padre Island!
Whether this is your first time to the Island for Spring Break or not we’re just glad you’re here. Now, while there’s plenty to do in terms of concerts and beach parties, what you may not know is that South Padre Island offers a variety of other forms of entertainment, too.
Adrenaline junkies can find fun by booking a skydive, a parasailing trip or even one-on-one surf lessons.
If mellow’s more your mood, then be sure to check out some of the private fishing charters available, where you can get in on all the angling action offshore or in the bay. No equipment is necessary, as the local charter fishermen will provide you with a rod, reel and bait.
If you want to go out on the water but don’t feel like fishing, then be sure to check out one of the numerous dolphin watch tours. But watch out, because pirates lurk these waters! Don’t worry, though, because they’re friendly and they accept guests on their galleon. Head on over to Pirate’s Landing on the mainland in Port Isabel in order to book your dinner cruise aboard the Black Dragon Pirate Ship and its crew of rapscallions.
And though you may have come here to escape school there’s still plenty of opportunities to learn something new. For instance, South Padre Island is the only nesting site in the United States for the highly endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. Every spring, not long after you guys head home, dozens of the turtles crawl ashore to lay their eggs. Some mama turtles will lay more than one nest. The eggs won’t hatch until early to mid summer, but it’s really quite a sight to see as an average of 100 hatchlings per clutch make their way to the surf, propelled by teeny, tiny flippers. You can learn all about them and other sea turtles by visiting Sea Turtle Inc. on the north end of the Island.
Just down the road from Sea Turtle, Inc., you can learn more about the native bird species of this region by visiting the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. For just a few bucks you can spend the afternoon walking up and down the boardwalks and seeing things like great blue herons, egrets and even an alligator or two. I can tell you from personal experience that the resident alligator loves posing for photos on sunny days.
For a hands-on experience head down to the southern end of the Island and visit the UTRGV Coastal Studies Laboratory. Located inside Isla Blanca Park, the lab offers many exhibits about local marine life.
And if you’re already inside the county park, which is one of the most popular, then you might as well make your way down to the sand near the jetties. There you’ll find the best place in South Texas to catch a wave and hang ten. The nature of the manmade jetties means that the waves that crash ashore here are higher than elsewhere on the Island, making this a surfing hotspot.
Finally, if you need any more tips, feel free to ask a local. We’re glad you’re here, and we’d be glad to help. Thanks for making the Laguna Madre your Spring Break destination, and as always, be sure to visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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