South Padre Island Beach

4.6/5 (5 reviews)
South Padre Island, Texas (Cameron County)
Last Updated: 07/12/2021

Trail Information


South Padre Island Beach arguably provides visitors with the greatest diversity of activities of any beach in Texas. Whether travelers are looking for extremely remote sections of beach to camp or fish, or travelers are looking to merely dip their feet in the water while still being a stone's throw away from a myriad of tourist activities, including but not limited to deep-sea fishing, dolphin watch tours, parasailing, boat, and jet ski rentals or even renting a beach golf cart for the day, South Padre Island Beach is sure to please.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.6/5 (5)
Official Crew
Rated 3/5
Visited: 05/28/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

South Padre Island Beach is a great place to escape the crowds on more accessible parts in the area. We entered the beach via Beach Access #6. Normal fees for day use are $6 for veterans or $14 for everyone else. You will receive a ticket and a trash bag upon paying your fee. If you bring a filled bag of trash at the end of your time on the beach, they refund you one dollar. The areas around beach access are heavily crowded. You’ll see just about every type of means of transportation that you can imagine that includes, but is not limited to, horses, tractors, sedans, RVs, Jeeps, and trucks. Driving further north along the beach will lead to less populated areas. We really saw the beaches clear out just past the “UFO Beach” buoy. 4WD is a plus but is not necessary on the beach. I barely used it during my trip. A great thing about Texans is that they are willing to help you out if you need a hand. If you get stuck, someone has the gear required to get you out. This could easily be a 5 star beach but the trash that we found along the entirety of the route was disappointing. Next time we come, we plan to bring a lot of trash bags to fill.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/30/2022

If you go in at beach access 5 you have to pay a $12 day use fee. Go it at beach access 6. Nice beach, only went limited way because we had the truck and not the jeep and I did not want to get that ****** stuck.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/15/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

My girlfriend and I drove down to Padre to meet some friends and didn't want to pay for a hotel room, so the Jeep-Camp was the way to go! Had the whole beach to ourselves, with a sunset, full moon and a sun rise right at our feet in the morning. Surprisingly barren since it was spring break, but nonetheless more peaceful and enjoyable. We camped between waypoints 2 and 3. The drive up the beach is also possible in just a high-clearance vehicle, since the water hardens the surface of the beach allowing for smooth travels.
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/28/2021

We camped here in June of 2002, about halfway between waypoints 4 and 5 (yes, the "nude beach"). We slept in the back of my 94' Explorer and spent the days walking the beach all alone. We probably only saw 3 other trucks all weekend.
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/30/2021

We can and actually hit the beach twice during the Memorial Day holiday. The first was on the Friday. We got to the beach about 4pm. Though the section between and just beyond access points #5 and #6 were busy, it didn't take long before things thinned out on the beach and we found ourselves along long stretches of deserted beaches. The second time however; Sunday afternoon, we weren't so lucky. Due to the holiday weekend, beachgoers were lined up for both beach access points. At one point, we counted 250 vehicles waiting to enter the beach. None-the-less, we stuck it out - taking nearly an hour in line before we actually got on the beach. Still... the experience was well forth it for a holiday getaway after COVID... glad we went!

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