By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Welcome Spring Breakers! Welcome to our beautiful South Padre Island, where the sun shines warm, the wind blows cool and the music plays loud.
I know I speak for many when I say we’re glad you’re here. And we hope you enjoy your week of fun and sun beside the glittering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There’s plenty to do while you’re here, from the beachside parties during the day to the electric concerts that go down once the sun sets. But there’s also a lot of things you may not know about our little Island.
For instance, did you know you can see sea turtles up close and personal without ever getting your feet wet? The Island is home to Sea Turtle, Inc., an organization that focuses on sea turtle conservation. They also play a key role in rescuing and rehabilitating injured turtles. Their facility, located on the north end of the Island near the SPI Convention Centre, serves as a permanent home to several turtles who would love to say hi.
Also, did you know you can learn how to build sandcastles like a pro? I’m sure you’ve seen some of the intricate sand sculptures that sit outside some of the Island’s best restaurants, bars and landmarks. They’re part of the sandcastle trail and many of the artists who created them love teaching others how to make sandcastles, too. One quick search on sopadre.com and you’ll find several artists to choose from.
If you think the waves look enticing and might be fun to surf, you’re in luck there, too. There are several surf shops across the Island that also offer surfboard rentals and lessons. Again, a quick Google search will set you up with a list of who’s and where’s.
If you’ve got a bit of an outdoorsman or outdoorswoman streak in you, then you might want to try your hand at fishing while you’re here. With the Gulf to the east of the Island and the bay to the west, there’s many different kinds of fishing to try. You can toss a line directly into the surf from the beach, or wade out directly into the calm waters of the Laguna Madre from the tidal flats north of the Convention Centre with your fishing pole in hand. If that’s not your style, not to worry! You can hop on a bay fishing or offshore fishing charter and learn all the secret hot spots from boat captains who were practically born with a rod and reel in their hands.
Or maybe getting an up close and personal view of the water sounds good, but the fishing doesn’t. Well, there’s something for you, too. Take a ride on one of the Island’s or Port Isabel’s dolphin watch cruises. The captains of these double decker boats will pilot you around the bay and the entrance to the ship channel out by the jetties on the south side of the Island where you’ll be able to see bottlenose dolphins playing in the water.
That’s just some of the stuff you can do that’s off the beaten path. There’s so much more! I hope you give some of it a try and I guarantee you’ll have fun if you do. Be safe, and have a happy Spring Break!
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