I’ve never before heard anyone call South Padre Island laid-back, relaxing or anything but a college spring break shit show. But, I’m here to tell you that I’ve probably not had a more relaxing vacation… well, ever.
My Dad moved to Texas about 5 years ago and I’ve taken many trips to and around Texas since he’s been there. Fall had left a bitter chill in the midwest and so we were ecstatic to find some warmer temperatures and a beach to play on for the long weekend. My sister packed up her kids, and my brother and I packed up ourselves and we flew down to South Padre for some fun in the sun with our padre.
Except, we didn’t actually get much sun. South Padre doesn’t experience quite the sunny November that we hoped we would experience. It was around 60 degrees, windy and cold all but one of the days. Although the weather ruined some of our plans, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we got to have one super fun day on the beach and a lot of other super fun, chill days hanging out with each other, playing euchre, and exploring a really quiet South Padre Island.
The first day was insanely beautiful. We took to the beach straight away. My family enjoyed playing model for me:
With lots of gray skies and two toddlers to entertain, we sought out some other island entertainment. We went to Sea Turtle, Inc. a not-for-profit sea turtle rehabilitation, education and conservation center.
Sea Turtle, Inc. treats 40-100 ill and injured sea turtles each year. Some of the residents include Mitch – a victim of a shark bite, Buddha – an underdeveloped hatchling, and Hula – a turtle with buoyancy problems stemming from tar and oil ingestion.
The kids loved learning about the turtles. We watched Gerry, an Atlantic Green Sea Turtle devoured a load of lettuce, saw Alison swim with a prosthetic fin and fell for Boudreaux who kept popping up right in front of us to say hello.
The kids were helping us do some research on things to do in South Padre in off-season. They came up with tearing apart magazines, throwing cards all over the floor and making a mess wherever possible. They loved it. But, the adults were getting stir-crazy. So we took a drive about 30 minutes off the island to Bobz World (the most outrageous surf/souvie shop I have ever seen). Bobz had it all – photo props, an arcade, laser tag, mini golf, jungle tour, and mini-bowling. Mira loved it.
The house we stayed in at The Pearl was perfect for our crew, and for an unprecedented amount of time inside. We had large common space with an enormous kitchen (perfect for all-day Thanksgiving feast preparation). We had 4 bedrooms, one with a set of bunk beds for the littles. And a whopping 4 bathrooms so we could almost all go at the same time if we needed to.
Best of all, we had access to four pools just at our resort – and one just for us. It would have been exceptional if the weather was better to have this private pool. However, I doubt that hot tub has ever had more use.
This view was pretty great too. After this chill trip – I really just can’t picture the island packed with spring breakers. At this point in my life, I probably will never see it. So South Padre Island for me will forever be this peaceful little private island with a resort to ourselves and nothing to do but relax.
Tropical weather would have been great, but this overcast vacay was probably just what we needed. If you’re planning a peaceful Thanksgiving away with the fam, I highly recommend South Padre. But pack some games and warm clothes!