When visiting Texas, it is plain to see that it is a beautiful state full of attractions, events and more sights than you can ever hope to see in one lifetime, maybe two!. The weather is warm most of the time, especially in South Texas. It's perfect for those people that want a warm, friendly, active place to spend the winter. Perhaps the most beautiful places within Texas include South Padre Island and Port Isabel, located in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. These places boast incredible views and a wonderful sight-seeing experience. For those interested in visiting the Rio Grande Valley, here are some amazing facts as well as attractions and places to visit while you are here.

South Padre Island

Attraction await the visitors from the north country. Whether you come for the history or just for the water sports, South Texas has what your looking for! Here are a few attractions to be found on South Padre Island, what some call the sandbox of the Rio Grande Valley; others call it the jewel of the Valley. Come see for yourself!
• Sea Turtle Inc. – This amazing venue is a great place to get acquainted with one of nature’s most fascinating creatures, the sea turtle. Get up close and personal with these creatures for free (donations are accepted.) You'll learn a lot and it is great for all ages.
• South Padre Island Dolphin Research Center – If sea life is what you came for, you certainly will want to get to know the dolphins. The SPI Dolphin Research Center allows you to see these creatures up close and to learn more about their habits and life. Great for all age groups and perfect for a day trip.
• Boat Tours – There are various boat tours of the island available. These include cruises around the island as well as surrounding areas. Great for relaxation and taking in the ultimate water view, A great way to learn about South Padre Island and Port Isabel..
• Schlitterbahn Waterpark – One of the largest waterparks, the Schlitterbahn is a fun alternative and addition to the beach. Take the family and enjoy water slides, wave pools and other fun attractions.

Throughout the year, South Padre Island and Port Isabel feature events throughout the year.
• Summer Events – These include fireworks displays on the 4th of July as well as kayak fishing tournaments and the Texas International Fishing Tournament. South Padre is also home to the Skim Jam, a skim board event that is unique to the area.
• Fall Events – These include a 3-Day Walk for Women as well as fishing tournaments. Sandcastle Days is also in the fall which is a gathering of the best sandcastle sculptors along the Gulf. There are opportunities for amateurs as well so you can join in on the fun. South Padre and Port Isabel also have various Halloween events and a Championship Shrimp Cook-off in November.
In winter there are still chances for you to enjoy south Texas with events such as the Lighted Boat Parade in December and special New Years celebrations in January. There is also the Annual Penguin Plunge every January as well.
While you are on your vacation to South Padre Island, you should take the time to get in touch with yourself and to relax. You can include using spas such as Center Pivot Massage, Sapphire Spa and La Vinas all located on South Padre Island. Various hotels and resorts come equipped with fitness centers and pools to both get your sweat on and to relax.
South Padre of course comes with amazing beaches perfect for relaxing and catching some sun by the beautifu blue waters of the gulf. Enjoy some sandcastle lessons from various instructors while you are here. There are also options for eco-tours and dolphin sight-seeing. There are boat rentals, kayak rentals and boogie boarding available for your days at the beach. You are always only steps away from the ocean when you are on South Padre.

No trip would be complete without some serious shopping. South Padre is home to several amazing shopping centers. From small boutiques to larger shopping centers, you are sure to find what you are looking for. South Padre Island is home to hundreds of local shops that offer souvenirs as well as beach finds and antiques. You can also find bathing suits, sunglasses and everything you need for your beach trip. Find local historical artifacts too and take a piece of the island home with you.

There are more than 50 restaurants, bars and nightclubs located on the island for your enjoyment. This includes fun quick stops such as bagel shops to theme shops and places such as galleys. You can also find local five-star restaurants for that special night out on the town. A trip or visit to the island isn’t complete without local seafood cooked to perfection. Enjoy various types of fish and shrimp, all with a beautiful seaside view.

Other Events
The convention center houses several different events throughout the year including concerts and even dog shows. You can check out the calendar online or through the locals downtown. There is always something going on around South Padre Island. If you can’t see it, ask for it. Chances are it exists.

Port Isabel

Port Isabel is located on the Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and a popular destination for excellent seafood and quality local dining. Port Isabel is home to 3 beautiful museums; The Keepers Cottage at the Historic Lighthouse, Treasures of the Gulf Museum & Port Isabel Historical Museum in the Champion Building. Read these historical facts about the area from the Museums of Port Isabel website.

The Longest Causeway Run & Fitness Walk happens every January across the Queen Isabel Causeway. The next Summer Longest Causeway Run & Fitness Walk is coming up June 3rd, 2017.

The Annual Port Isabel Bay Classic fishing tournament is a one day event open to anglers of all ages and happens every May.

The Annual World’s Championship Shrimp Cook-Off happens every November. The next event is set for Sunday November 6th, 2016.

Area Attractions
South Padre Island
The Island is just across the bridge for a day of fun in the sun.

Brownsville, Texas is just 15 minutes down the road and home to Gladys Porter Zoo, major shopping and dining establishments.

The community of Laguna Vista is home to the South Padre Island Golf Club and the nearest golf course. You'll also discover the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, an important habitat that shelters several endangered species like the Ocelot.

Explore Port Isabel and discover a rich history with shipwrecks, pirate adventures and war stories. Learn about the Laguna Madre Bay and all the sea creatures from the area. Visit the Historic Lighthouse, go on an exciting pirate cruise or dolphin watch trip.

As you can see, the Island and Port Isabel offer so much for tourists and those visiting through the winter months. It is a beautiful place with hundreds of attractions, dining, sea life, the amazing beach and of course night life. There is something for the entire family to enjoy on the island. With a rich history dating back to 1759, South Padre has become one of the top rated places to visit and to live. Plan your trip now to visit one of America’s sweet spots.
Local Links:
South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Center
South Padre Island Chamber
Port Isabel Chamber
Museums of Port Isabel


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