South Padre Island, a booming seaside resort area on the Gulf Coast at the southern tip of Texas, includes the island and the neighboring mainland town of Port Isabel. The area, about 150 mi/240 km southeast of San Antonio, is especially popular among high-school and college students during spring break. Along with much of southeast Texas, the island suffered damage from Hurricane Ike in September 2008.
South Padre Island offers thousands of hotel rooms, motel rooms and condominiums to rent and all the amenities and recreational activities you could want at a beach resort (boating, swimming, fishing, surfing, sailboarding, beachcombing on long white beaches, birding, camping, in-line skating, parasailing, bungee jumping, and eating and drinking).
Side trips include visits to Matamoros, Mexico (across from Brownsville), or the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, a 7,000-acre/2,800-hectare marshland that's home to thousands of waterfowl, as well as coyotes, javelina, bobcats and deer.
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