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New & Notable on SPI

Jamie Whetstone
September 21, 2018

For our Winter Texan visitors that will soon be joining us on the little sandbar that we call home (and to those of you that may be first-time visitors) we’d like to fill you in on what’s new and notable on South Padre Island. From attractions, to restaurants and lodging, to brand new events, there’s plenty see and do on your island!

Sea Turtle Inc. Renovations/Expansion

In February 2018, Sea Turtle Inc. officially opened their new, multi-million-dollar Educational Center, featuring kiosks and museum-quality features in the lobby, large sea turtle outdoor viewing tanks, as well as a marine life touch tank. The facility’s expansion also includes an amphitheater with stadium seating for 300, fitted with an audio-visual theater system. The last phase of the expansion is a 500-foot walkway over the Laguna Madre that connects the old facility — which is being transformed into a full-service sea turtle hospital — to the new Educational Center. With the expanded facilities, Sea Turtle Inc. will be able to accommodate three times the number of turtles it could previously hold, increasing capacity from 50 to approximately 150!

Cameron County Beach Improvements

Over the past two years, Cameron County has been undergoing a concerted effort to revamp much of its park system focusing on the popular county beach accesses at Isla Blanca, E. K. Atwood and Andy Bowie Parks. Improvements include new pavilions, restrooms, beach boardwalks, rinse stations, lighting and parking. The result? An even better visitor experience at our stunning beaches.

 

NEW RESTAURANTS

LongBoard Bar & Grill

After major renovations, what used to be Tequila Frogs is now LongBoard Bar & Grill. This new restaurant and entertainment venue is located on the South side of the Entertainment District and has brought an old-school favorite back to life as a venue, bar, and grill for all ages. LongBoard is a colorful open-air venue complete with a beachy vibe and an entertainment stage that sits right on top of the Laguna Madre Bay. Their food menu is a mix of “classic beach cuisine with Southwest and Caribbean flavors.”

205 W. Palm St. | (956) 772-7022 | Website

Los Compadres

Los Compadres is a new addition to the Island, setting up shop in the building that used to be the last of the South Texas historic Palmetto Inn Restaurants, the Palmetto Inn. The property retains much of that old Tex Mex charm and character, and the owners of Los Compadres believe in preserving that. Open 7am–11pm daily, they serve up authentic Mexican cuisine at a reasonable price.

1817 Padre Blvd. | (956) 433-5250 | Website

F&B SPI

F&B (Food & Beverage) SPI is a bright and beautiful new restaurant serving modern American cuisine with a coastal flair. Walter Greenwood (Executive Chef) and Brandi Hackett (General Manager) are part owners of the restaurant and both have impressive resumes when it comes to the industry. Their combined experience spans fine-dining establishments in New Orleans, Las Vegas and Los Angelos, as well as working for Wolfgang Puck. Regardless, Greenwood and Hackett don’t refer to F&B SPI as a fine-dining restaurant. Instead, they look to offer “a culinary sophistication blended with a nod to the Island lifestyle.” So true to the majority of South Padre Island, F&B SPI is “island casual.”

3109 Padre Blvd. | (956) 772-8114 | Website

 

NEW LODGING

The Lighthouse Inn

This brand new hotel is minutes from popular attractions, including the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, and the beach. You’ll find inviting guestrooms, an outdoor pool complimentary breakfast, and free high-speed WiFi.

1701 Padre Blvd. | (956) 299-4154 | Website

Coming Summer 2019…Courtyard by Marriott

This full-service beachfront hotel will feature over 10,000 square feet of meeting space and 205 large guestrooms. The hotel will also feature a beachside restaurant and world-class bar with service out to its beachside pool

6700 Padre Blvd. | Website

 

NEW EVENTS


FAM Fest
Nov. 16–18

South Padre Island is excited to bring a premier film, art and music festival to Texas’ best beach! You are invited to participate in this year’s event, where film, music, food and family fun complement fine original art. This three-day event will feature outstanding artists, art demonstrations, children’s art activities, live music, film, and local food and beverages.


Holiday Sand Castle Village
Nov. 30–Dec. 16

Join us in celebrating the spirit of Christmas the only way we know how…South Padre style! Make sure you check out our newest addition to Lights Over South Padre Island, the Holiday Sand Castle Village. This exhibit will be filled with unique Holiday Sand Sculptures built by incredibly talented sand artists. From a Sand Snowman to Sand-ta, and much more, this new exhibit will include a lighted musical performance. The Holiday Sand Castle Village will be open to the public every Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 30 through Dec. 16 at the South Padre Island Convention Centre.

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