Why Visit South Padre Island
South Padre Island is one of the great gems of the Gulf Coast. This island paradise is just minutes from Port Isabel and a short drive from major Texas metropolises like McAllen, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Houston, and San Antonio.
Because South Padre Island is situated on the Gulf Coast, it benefits from a tropical climate, gorgeous weather and some amazing wildlife and plant life.
During our stay at on South Padre Island, we had the opportunity to see so many different varieties of birds, sea turtles and fish.
Full disclosure: We were invited to stay at KOA Holiday on South Padre Island to get the full South Padre experience as a family. All opinions are our own.
South Texans are lucky to enjoy beautiful weather year-round. That’s why it’s the perfect destination for Winter Texans or Snowbirds visiting from the Northern states, who want to escape the snow or flock to warmer places.
Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or a family holiday, South Padre Island is a great destination for your next trip. Warm weather, pristine beaches, glossy Instagram-worthy scenic views and plenty of things to do on South Padre Island, make it the ultimate destination for a tropical vacation close to home.
Family Activities on South Padre Island
Last year, we were invited to stay at a weekend rental on South Padre Island and we were glad to find lots of fun activities for families staying on the island. Public parks, beaches, restaurants, shops, and nature centers are just some of the activities you’ll find around South Padre.
There’s so much for families to do, especially on the Southside of the island. If you’re looking to enjoy a lazy day by the water or an adventure with the kiddos, there are so many great spots to relax, soak up the sun and just be.
Where to Stay at South Padre Island KOA Holiday
Our staycation started at South Padre Island KOA Holiday, where we were hosted for a weekend of activities and fun with the family. Special thanks to Kampgrounds of America for hosting us!
While at South Padre Island KOA Holiday, we stayed in their gorgeous Waterfront Deluxe Cabin Rentals. These beach-style bungalows are positioned right on the Laguna Madre Bay and include a full porch, BBQ grill and an outdoor dinette area where you can enjoy a meal together while taking in the amazing view. We spent hours out on the patio and deck, just soaking in this beautiful scenery.
Check out some of our photos from our stay below.
KOA Holiday Deluxe Cabins are conveniently located next to Pier 19 Restaurant & Bar and various fishing and dolphin watch boat cruises. This was super convenient for us since we have younger kids and didn’t want to truck them all over the island every day during our stay.
There are also lots of amenities and activities included with your stay at the KOA campgrounds, like a pool (open year-round), hot tub/sauna, a full gym, laundry facilities, fishing, playground for the kiddos, K9 park, RV/camper lots, snack bar, cable tv, and even private KOA events, like aqua Zumba classes, outdoor movies, community barbecues and campfire s’mores nights with other KOA campers. View a full list of amenities and activities.
There was more stuff than we ever could have done in a single weekend. The pool and campfire cookouts are great opportunities to socialize and so much for the kids.
Here’s an outside look at our cabins. I love the beautiful blue and white color of the cabins. It definitely brings in that beachy vibe and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous.
Every cabin is beautifully landscaped with tropical plants, palm trees, and a small garden, complete with a water feature, lighting, and benches where you can relax and take in the view or enjoy a good book.
One of the chairs at our site was a bit wobbly, but you can easily call over maintenance to tighten a few bolts and it’s good as new. All of the deck furniture is well-made and super sturdy.
Our waterfront deck also included an outdoor glider with side tables. This was our absolute favorite spot of the entire weekend. It was the perfect place to sit down for breakfast with the kids and take in the sunrise or relax and enjoy a beautiful sunset.
One of the days we stayed, there was a gentle rain over the bay in the early morning hours. Hubby and I sat on the deck before the kids woke up and just sipped our coffee. That moment was a little piece of heaven for us.
The patio area and bay view are gorgeous too, but I definitely preferred sitting on the covered deck more than the patio, which wasn’t protected from the hot sun. There were holes at the center of the tables, so maybe there is an option to request umbrellas during the Summertime.
Inside our South Padre Island KOA Holiday Deluxe Cabins
The inside of our Waterfront Deluxe Cabin was clean, well-manicured and stocked with enough coffee and linens for the whole weekend. We asked and if you need anything or are planning a longer stay, a quick call or stop at the KOA office will get you all taken care of.
One of my favorite things about staying in these cabins was the sun coming through the windows every morning and the sliding doors that exit onto the deck. I loved waking up each day to feel the warm rays of the sun through sliding glass doors and big, bright windows. And those gorgeous wood plank vaulted ceilings? Gorgeous.
There was a fully functional kitchen and dinette in the cabin, which is a great way to enjoy meals together as a family and stick to a budget during your trip by eating in.
Table seating for four and a sofa/sofa bed offer plenty of room for everyone to dine together, plus, you can open the sliding glass doors for even more room on the deck if you’re entertaining or just want more options.
The bedroom and bathroom are small but big enough to handle the job. There is also a main bedroom with a queen-size bed, side tables, a full-length mirror, nightstand, and cable tv.
The bed could have been more comfortable, but it was ok for a short stay. Same with the kids’ bunks. They weren’t the most comfortable but worked fine for a short stay.
I liked the separation between the main bedroom and bunks, but since we have smaller kids, it really didn’t feel comfortable to leave the kids out in the hall. We left our older daughter stay out on the bunks, but shared the room with our little guy so he wouldn’t be unsupervised at night.
We have a special needs child and it would have also been nice to have a lock placed higher on the door out of our little guy’s reach. I worried about him walking out unattended, so it was difficult to relax at times.
Accessibility and special needs are definitely things to take into account when visiting, as some of the cabins require the use of stairs or have child height door locks.
The cabin overall was nice and the living area was pretty spacious for the overall size of the cabin, but it could have benefitted from more decor to really personalize it.
The bunks are great for older kids and sturdy enough for adults. Under the bunks, there are storage bins filled with fresh linens and blankets. You’ll also find plenty of pillows and a ladder to help guests access the top bunk.
And if you need even more space, there’s is also a queen-size sofa bed in the main living space ready to use, with its own set of linens.
Each cabin has a fully stocked bathroom (including linens and toiletries) with a locking pocket door, storage cabinets, mirror, hairdryer, towel racks, and enclosed shower.
We really enjoyed having a camping experience with our kids where we didn’t have to give up the modern luxuries of a hotel or resort. I’m personally not one for “roughing it,” so this was a great compromise.
South Padre Island Travel Vlogs
Looking for more? You can check out our South Padre Island vlogs on our YouTube channel here.
Are you thinking about visiting South Padre Island, Texas for your next family vacation? You can leave a comment below this post with questions or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat more about KOA or South Padre. You can also reach out to the local KOA office for more information at 956-761-5665 or email@example.com.
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This post was originally published in November 2018. It has been republished for our current audience to enjoy.