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Summer Survival Guide

Welcome to South Padre Island! Below is summer survival guide to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience!

  • Parking & Transportation

    • Park vehicles with all tires off the pavement; do not block intersections, pedestrian path, sidewalks or driveways

    • Get valid parking permit at SPI Police Department to park on resident streets between Padre and Gulf Blvd.

    • No overnight parking in public beach access spaces during times market on posted signs.

    • Use free and low-cost transportation, such as;

    The WAVE, SPI’s free public transit system

    Operates along Padre and Gulf Boulevard 7am to 9pm daily (hours are subject to change without notice based on traffic conditions.) Just wait at designated bus stops or wave down an approaching bus.

    Licensed Taxi Service Providers

    A Cab / A Taxi(956) 761-2222

    Airport Taxi – (956) 761-1040

    BB’s Taxi(956) 761-1111

    JJ’s Taxi(956) 761-9292

    Padre Cab(956) 761-2525

    Rates: $4 maximum or $2 per person maximum, whichever is greater on trips anywhere on South Padre Island, not restricted to City Limit. $10 maximum for trips from South Padre Island to anywhere in Port Isabel.

  • Law Enforcement

    SPI Police handle numerous calls for service each day. It is the goal of the Police Department to provide the residents and visitors to South Padre Island with the highest quality and most efficient service possible.

    Basic Vehicle and personal security times tips:

    • Always lock your windows and doors when you are out.

    • Make sure valuables are not visible through car windows.

    • Be aware of your surroundings.

    • Protect your personal information and identity from criminals by not carrying all of it in your wallet or on your person.

    • Report any and all suspicious activities.

    If it is an emergency please call 911.

    Remember that you are an important partner in the fight against crime.

  • Municipal Court

    The City wants summer to be an enjoyable time for all visitors and residents!

    Oops, you got a ticket? Please visit www.myspi.org and select Municipal Court Department to read important information concerning your violation.

    Alcohol related offenses carry a fine and may also require completion of a mandatory Alcohol Awareness course and result in suspension of your Drivers License. The Municipal Court website also has the option of paying your citation online at www.municipalonlinepayments.com/southpadretx.

    Additionally, appears for all Class C offenses can be made in person or in writing by the original court date. Please Call (956) 761-3225 for more information.

  • Beach Safety

    Summer Beach Saftey Tips for South Padre Island

    • Never swim alone.

    • Stay aware of children. They can easily become distracted and disoriented and can quickly walk a long distance unable to find their beach spot.

    • Avoid drugs and alcohol that may cause impairment when swimming.

    • Need help in the water? Yell and wave! Don’t wait.

    • Call 9-1-1 to help a swimmer in distress.

    • Flag down Beach Patrol for help or to report hazardous conditions.

    • Swim parallel to shore when caught in a rip current (a strong current that rushes suddenly away from shore into deeper water). NEVER fight the current’s pull!

    • If stung by a jellyfish, flag down Beach Patrol for help. Stings are rarely serious and can be easily treated.

    Beach Patrol

    The Fire Department operates a Beach Patrol to monitor beach activities and to provide rescue services as needed on the City’s beaches. Beach Patrol members use mobile patrol units to cover the City’s each area. If you need assistance, wave down the nearest unit. For an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

    Flag System

    RED – Heavy surf, dangerous currents.

    YELLOW – Calm to moderate conditions. Does not assume safe water.

    PURPLE – Presence of venomous marine life.



  • Treasure it.. Don’t trash it

    We love our beaches and visitors. Let’s work together to make sure you, and those who vacation here after you, have the best experience with clean, litter-free beaches. Please observe the following city ordinances:

    Beautiful Beaches

    Please help us keep South Padre Island clean; littering violations can result in fines up to $2,000

    No Glass On Beach

    Glass on the beach can pose a serious Hazzard to beachgoers and marine life; glass on beach can result iin fines up to $500 per violation (glass item)

    We Love Your Pets

    Loose animals can be a danger to themselves and others. Dogs must be on a leash and restrained at all times within the Citys public areas. Animal waste must also be disposed of in trash receptacles.


    Overnight camping is prohibited throughout all City beaches. Parking in the City’s public beach access overnight is also prohibited. Fines up to $500.

    No Shade Devices (Tents, Umbrellas, Canopies, etc.) or Charis on the beach from 10pm – 9am

    City staff conducts regular maintenance and cleanup of the beach daily to make ti safe and enjoyable for beachgoers. To allow maintenance, no shade devices or chairs may be placed on the beach before 9am each day; and all shade devices and chairs must be removed from the beach by 10pm. Fines up to $500.


  • Fun in the Sun

    • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages (water is the best choice)

    • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Apply sunscreen 30-60 minutes before heading out and reapply every three hours.

    Ambulance & Medical Care

    EMS (Emergency Medical Service) is operated by the South Padre Island Fire Department. For help:

    • Wave down the nearest Beach Patrol Unit.

    • For an emergency, call 9-1-1

    • For non-emergencies, call (965) 761-5454

    • Look for nearest post with warning flags for your location

    Local Medical Facility and area Hospitals

    International Family Clinic – (956) 761-46492217 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island 

    South Padre Island Clinic – (956) 761-39963808 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island

    Harlingen Medical Center – (956) 365-10005501 S. Expressway 77, Harlingen

    Valley Baptist Medical Center – (956) 698-54001040 Jefferson, Brownsville

    Valley Baptist Medical Center – (956) 389-11002101 Pease St., Harlingen

    Valley Regional Medical Center – (956) 350-7000100 Alton Gloor Blvd., Brownsville





  • City Departments

    SPI City Hall – 4601 Padre Blvd.

    • Police Department

    • Municipal Court

    • Code Enforcement

    SPI Fire Department – 106 1. Retama St.

  • Our Environment

    We are glad you are here. Please enjoy your stay and help us take care of our delicate environment. Don’t litter. The City fully implemented a plastic bag ban in 2012 to help protect our endangered Kemp Ridley Sea Turtles that confuse plastic bags found in the water with jellyfish. Since jellyfish are a favorite food of the turtles, they mistakenly eat the plastic bags, which may lead to their death. We love our Island and ask you to join us in protecting and promotion our environment.