Texas / Travel There

A Houstonian’s Guide: 24 Hours in South Padre Island (In the Fall)

When I was younger, we did South Padre Island a lot. We’d rent a condo on the beach, play on a boat, dip our toes in to Mexico for a bit (back when getting in and out of Mexico was NBD) and just get BAKED by the sun.

I haven’t been to SPI in years and years, so my roommate’s 3-month gig in Brownsville sounded like a perfect reason for a girls’ fall trip down south.

Guess what we learned: The beach in the fall is effing gorgeous. The sun is out, the water is cool and there’s little to no tourists. Paradise!

Early morning walk on the beach

Join the other zero people (ok, a few locals) on a morning run/walk. Reports of creepy old men, so stay in groups! (Not that anyone felt unsafe, just objectified). Anyways, basically anywhere you want to go, you can take a slight detour to walk there along the beach. Worth it.


We walked to Cafe on the Beach, because that sounded pretty self explanatory. My favorites were the migas (bc basically mexico) and the french toast sandwich thing (french toast meets jam meets cream cheese meets heart attack).

Day drinking and volleyball on the beach

We were planning on doing SUP, but due to some crazy wind (and, uh, freezing water), we simplified our plans to some V-Ball and sangria. The sun (eventually) came out and we dipped our toes and played volleyball.

Dolphin spying

There are tons of cute little decks near Pier 19 where you can spend $10-15 for a 2-hour dolphin watch boat ride around the island. We did the 5 pm ride and watched the sunset. Oh, yeah! It’s BYOB. Best $14 I have ever spent.

Seafood on Pier 19

Go to Pier 19. Do it. It is your traditional tourist-friendly greasy spoon. We got the beer-margarita things, and they even brought us each a second glass with the extra marg that didn’t fit in the souvenir glass. This and the tequila shots we took were dangerous. Then, after we ate, watched the Cubs win (and the Coogs lose), we walked out to the pier, drinks in hand. (We ended up pouring our melted margs over the β€” lol, we couldn’t hang).

Karaoke with the locals


Nightlife in South Padre is…… not a thing. We followed the locals to The Coral Reef where we enjoyed quite a show (someone’s grandma singing Baby Got Back), and put on a show ourselves (Spice Girls, Wannabe). Such a great end to a beautiful day.

One thought on “A Houstonian’s Guide: 24 Hours in South Padre Island (In the Fall)

  1. Pingback: A Houstonian’s Guide: Paris in 48 Hours | It's Not Hou It's Me | Houston Lifestyle, Food and Culture Blog

Leave a Reply