The school year is ending, weather is getting warmer, and you're getting the itch for a family vacation. It can only mean one thing: Summer is here.

And after a year of missing family members and friends, why not make time this summer for a vacation reunion at the beach? South Padre Island is the perfect setting for everyone, from seniors to young children.

Here are all the things you need to know to have fun and plan your get-together:

 

Hit the art trails
South Padre Island has several art trails that are hard not to love. The Sandcastle Trail features about 30 sand sculptures that are located throughout the island, all sculpted by professional sand artists. 

For vibrant, colorful reminders of local marine life, the Sea Turtle Art Trail shows off more than 10 sea turtle art sculptures across the city. Regional artists have transformed a fiberglass sea turtles into a wide variety of beautiful island expressions. 

Make sure you don't miss any art trails with the South Padre Island Art Trails map, which you can pick up at the visitor center. It includes the two trails listed above, plus all the details on the island's local art scene.

 

See the sea life
Animal lovers in the family can spend hours at South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center & Alligator sanctuary. It's a premier birdwatching destination and shows off all the indigenous wildlife of the island. You can take a guided tour to see stunning local birds, or feed the 50 young alligators in the sanctuary.

To see rehabilitated sea turtles and learn all about these amazing creatures and conservation efforts, head to Sea Turtle, Inc. You can even visit a lovable rescued turtle who has received a prosthetic limb for a second chance at survival.

 

Find family accommodations
Booking the perfect hotel or condo can be challenging with a large family, but South Padre Island has plenty of great options.

There's a new Courtyard by Marriott with modern, amenity-filled accommodations that will make just about everyone in the family happy. If renting a house is more your speed, Airbnb has homes and condos that fit any families' needs, regardless of size.

If you're looking for fun near your lodging, be sure to check out Beach Park, a fun mega-waterpark on the Island. It has slides, rapids, and one of the longest rivers in the state — perfect to keep the kids (and kids at heart) entertained. It’s also situated near tons of hotels and condos for easy access.

 

Eat well
Finding a restaurant that everyone can agree on isn't the easiest task. But the Painted Marlin Grille is a local family favorite, with a kid-friendly atmosphere plus food and drinks the adults will appreciate, including tempting daily drink specials and craft beer at Mako Bar.

For low-key, delicious eats, Ceviche Ceviche offers fresh, no-fuss meals, and Yummies Bistro is open daily with classic American fare for breakfast, brunch, and lunch.

To see the original article in Culture Map Fort Worth, please click here