Date: December 3, 2019

Top 5 Experiences for the Best Holiday Getaway

Tired of shoveling snow and dealing with the stress of the holidays? Escape to South Padre Island, where twinkling lights reflect on warm, tropical waters, and delicious culinary delights help make for a festive and memorable getaway for all ages. Without a doubt, you’re sure to see, do and celebrate this holiday season.

“Shellabrate” at Sea Turtle, Inc. 

South Padre Island is a nesting ground to the world’s most endangered sea turtle, the Kemp’s Ridley. Sea Turtle, Inc. is a non-profit organization rescuing and protecting marine turtles on the Island for more than 40 years. They provide the Kemp’s Ridley, and other sea turtles, with medical and rehabilitation care to return them to the wild. 

A key part of Sea Turtle, Inc.’s mission is to educate visitors about sea turtles and conservation efforts. During a visit, guests can attend “Turtle Talks” to learn more about the organization’s mission, species native to the Island, conservation efforts and more; these typically run for roughly 20 minutes. Visitors are also encouraged to take self-guided tours of the outdoor facility and make time to watch turtle patients and resident turtles swim and play in the pools and tanks. Guests can also participate in Turtle Enrichment, where turtles are fed and worked with to practice important skills to return to the wild.

Catch a Texas-sized sunset 

Everything is bigger in Texas, right? Not only is that completely true, but a Texas-sized sunset is one of the most breathtaking experiences. Beachside or bayside, no matter where you’re located on the Island, you won’t have to look hard for a spectacular view of our painted skies. There are many restaurants and bars on the Island that boast great sunset views, but here are a few you should definitely check out while you’re here. (Read Drinks with a View)

Stuff yourself with seafood

Long before the City of South Padre Island was established, the neighboring community, now known as Port Isabel, was a prominent fishing village. With commercial fishing and shrimping beginning as early as the late 1800s, the area has long been known for its abundance of fresh seafood. And, since we’re surrounded by the waters of the Laguna Madre Bay and Gulf of Mexico, a variety of fish are literally in our backyard, and available year-round thanks to our mild weather. Most restaurants on the Island serve some sort of fish or shrimp, whether it’s grilled, blackened, fried, in a taco, on a bun, or in things like ceviche. 

Island Insider Tip: If you happen to go fishing while you’re here, several restaurants will cook your catch!

Experience the magic of the holidays at our Holiday Sandcastle Village

Come visit our Holiday Sandcastle Village filled with unique holiday sand sculptures built by incredibly talented sand artists. From a Sand Snowman to “Sand-ta” and his sandy throne, and much more, this exhibit also includes a lighted musical performance. The Holiday Sandcastle Village is open to the public from Nov. 25, 2019 through Jan. 13, 2020 in the Entertainment District (near Louie’s Backyard and Gravity Park).

Brave the winter waters of the Gulf at the Polar Bear Dip

Take a wintry plunge into the Gulf of Mexico with hundreds of other brave souls at the Annual Polar Bear Dip & New Years Day Party! The event includes live music, costume contests, and family-friendly entertainment. Ring in the new year in style on Texas’ best beach!New Year’s Day Registration at 10AM – Dip at 12PM | Clayton’s Beach Bar & Grill

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