If you don’t know, South Padre Island is my absolute favorite vacation spot in Texas. We have been there too many times to even begin to count. In fact, it is my hope to live on the island someday. If you don’t absolutely love the beach, this may not be the destination for you. While there are a few cool things to do outside of sand and saltwater, the beach is definitely the main attraction. 

South Padre Island

Interesting Facts:

  • Laguna Madre is a super rare hypersaline lagoon. In fact, it is the only one in the United States.
  • On September 15, 2001, the Queen Isabella Causeway, which connects Port Isabel to SPI, collapsed after being hit by a towing barge. This senseless tragedy took the lives of eight people.
  • South Padre is the only tropical island in Texas.
  • SPI gets its name from the original settler, Padre José Nicolás Ballí, a Catholic priest.
Pirate’s Landing Boardwalk

Useful information:

  • Best Time to Visit: This will depend on how much you are bothered by a crowd. From Spring Break until the end of Summer, it can get really crowded. We always visit the week after Labor Day, which isn’t crowded.
  • What to Wear: It’s the tip of Texas – it’s hot! Casual and beach wear is appropriate in most places.  
  • Getting around: Most people drive to the island, but some do fly into Brownsville Airport. You will also see a lot of folks walking and riding on golf carts. 
Night View South Padre Island Beach

What to Do:

  • Sea Turtle Inc. is not only fun but very educational. Their whole purpose is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles. Sea Turtle, Inc. is funded through public donations and on-site gift shop sales only. So, when on the island, stop by and support a good cause.
  • Dolphin Cruises are a must when on South Padre. There are a few to choose from, but my personal favorite is Captain Murphy’s Isla Tours. We take the sunset cruise every single vacation. Who doesn’t love dolphins?
  • Port Isabel Historic Lighthouse is the perfect place to experience the island’s history along with some breathtaking views. 
  • Beach Park at Isla Blanca ( former Schlitterbahn) is located right on the beach. It is one of the state’s most prestigious waterparks. Home to waterslides, a lazy river, surf rider, a swim-up bar, and cabanas, Beach Park is fun for all ages.
Sunset Horseback Rides

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family which consists of six children and thirteen grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

Finally, Fall is here!

Well, officially.

Here in Texas, it takes a little longer for the temperature to drop and leaves to fall, but just knowing it is coming gets me all warm inside. This has always been my favorite season. Crisp air, colored leaves, scarecrows, apple cider, football, and pumpkins all make my heart content. I don’t know what it is, but this is always my most creative and productive time of year. I just love Autumn!

Here are a few ideas to get your festive groove on:

Fill your home with wonderful fragrances. The first step to getting yourself in the mood is a little aromatherapy. I have a personal favorite that I will share with you.

What you will need:

  • 1 apple of any variety
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Small pot

Fill the pot ¾ full of water. Cut the apple into quarters and add to the pot. Then add cinnamon sticks, ½ tsp of cloves, ½ tsp of nutmeg, 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Let ingredients simmer on top of the stove, being careful not to let the water boil away. You may replenish water periodically. In just a few minutes you will be amazed at the delicious aromas coming from your kitchen!

Do a little seasonal decorating. If you are a fall lover like myself, you probably have a stash of your favorite Autumn decorations safely tucked away. Don’t worry, even if you do not have one single fall-themed item, I have a few ideas for you. You do not have to spend a fortune to add a little warmth to your home. All you need is a little imagination and the gifts Mother Nature bears. It can be something as simple as filling a glass jar with pecans or acorns for a lovely centerpiece, placing a pumpkin on your front porch, painting pine cones or using twigs and cardboard to create a neat monogram. Check out an array of interesting ideas I have saved on my Pinterest Fall board.


Take a walk. The perfect way to get that Fall feeling is to get outside. The crisp air, gentle breeze and beautiful colors just seem to energize my soul. It’s healing to me. Here in Central Texas, we have this wonderful park that has miles of trails where I love to escape this time of year. Try it you’ll be amazed at how wonderful you feel!


Find a comfy spot, cozy blanket, and a good book. Not sure why, but this seems to be the only time of year I make time to read. Nothing quite says fall like curling up in a soft blanket with a good read, and a warm fire (if you’re lucky enough to live where it’s cooler).  I have already picked out this season’s reading list:

  •         When She’s Gone by Jane Palmer
  •         Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber
  •         Texas Tall by Kaki Warner
  •         Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand
  •         The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere
  •         A Christmas Message by Anne Perry
  •         The Obsession by Nora Roberts
  •         Liar’s Key by Carla Neggers

As you can see I will be in my comfy spot for quite some time.

Happy Fall Y’all!

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.