Why People Get Padre Island and South Padre Island Wrong



You’ve seen people say it on your social media channel of choice: “I Love Padre Island!”

We want to set the record straight –  if you’re traveling to Padre Island, that’s a whole lot of Gulf Coast to tackle in one trip. Padre Island is the world’s largest barrier island (yep, everything in Texas truly is gargantuan.) So when you say you’re vacationing on Padre Island, you really mean you’re going to the coast (in general,) which can be anywhere from South Padre Island to Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi, Texas

South Padre Island, Texas

Depending on how far south you go, there are clear differences in your surroundings. Corpus Christi sits more in line with South Central Coastal Texas, while South Padre Island, truly feels like a “tropical island” (as Visit South Padre Island puts it.)

We aren’t here to debate which coastal destination is better. Each destination is unique to itself. We just want you to stop saying “Padre Island,” because you probably mean Corpus Christi, or South Padre Island.

In the spirit of all things travel, we want to help you plan your next trip to Corpus Christi and South Padre Island.

Here’s why locals and travelers love each:

Corpus Christi, Texas

1. Padre Island National Seashore

Phone: 361-949-8068
Padre Island National Seashore Address: 20420 Park Rd 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418

2. Texas State Aquarium

Phone: 361-881-1200
Texas State Aquarium Address: 2710 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402

3. Texas Surf Museum

A post shared by Ben Distefano (@bendistefano) on

Phone: 361-882-2364
Texas Surf Museum Address: 309 N Water St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

4. Horses on The Beach: Corpus Christi

Phone: 361-949-4944
Horses on The Beach Address: 16499 S Padre Island Dr, Corpus Christi, TX 78418

5. Cole Park Amphitheater

A post shared by Megan🌻 (@megzill) on

Cole Park Amphitheater Address: 1526 Ocean Dr, Corpus Christi, TX 78404

Eat Your Way Around Corpus Christi

Of course, no trip is complete without some good food and we can’t pay homage to good food without recognizing the real OG Whataburger.

6. The Original Whataburger

A post shared by Triple Oswald (@th3_tripl3) on

Phone: 361-881-9925
Original Whataburger Address: 121 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

7. Kikos

A post shared by SEAN CHARLES (@seaninthecity) on

Phone: 361-991-1211
Kikos Address: 5514 Everhart Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78411

8. The Post at Lamar Park

Phone: 361-452-0907
The Post Address: 411 Doddridge St #102, Corpus Christi, TX 78411

9. BKK Kitchen

A post shared by Ryan Rios (@mrryanrios) on

Phone: 361-334-0857
BKK Kitchen Address: 3850 S Alameda St Suite 27, Corpus Christi, TX 78411

South Padre Island, Texas

1. Banana Boat Ride: Parrot Eyes

Phone: 956-761-9457
5801 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

2. Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Phone: 956-761-1160
Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Address: 100 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

3. Parasailing: Breakaway Cruises

Phone: 956-761-2212
Breakaway Cruises Address: 33384 State Park Rd 100, South Padre Island, TX 78597

4.Jet Ski Rental: Coconuts South Padre Bar and Grill

A post shared by Hannah Bakk (@djhannahbakk) on

Phone: 956-761-2212
Coconuts South Padre Bar and Grill: 33384 State Park Rd 100, South Padre Island, TX 78597

5. Paddleboard: Eh Brah Sup

A post shared by EhBrahSUP.com (@ehbrahsup) on

Phone: 956-433-9116
Eh Brah SUP Address: 5009 Padre Blvd Ste. 16, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Eat Your Way Around South Padre Island

6. Blackbeards

A post shared by Priscilla Perez (@prisspluv) on

Phone: 956-761-2962
Blackbeards Address: 103 East Saturn Lane, South Padre, TX 78597

7. Dirty Al’s

A post shared by Alex (@alexander_huerta718) on

Phone: 956-761-4901
Dirty Al’s Address: 33396 State Park Rd South Padre Island, Texas 78597

8. Palm Street Pier Bar and Grill

A post shared by John (@_johnthefourth) on

Phone: (956) 772-7256
Palm Street Pier Address: 204 W Palm St, South Padre Island, TX

9. Tom & Jerry’s

A post shared by Sally (@celina.a.jorge) on

Phone: 956-761-8998
Tom & Jerry’s Address: 3212 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX

It doesn’t matter which Texas beach destination you choose, heck, choose both – but definitely get to Texas and experience a different coastal vibe compared to other costal cities in the United States. If you’re up for it, make a trip out of going to both Corpus Christi and South Padre Island in one trip – they are only about 2.5 hours apart by car on US-77 South.

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