Best Places to Stay in South Padre Island


Escape to the warm-weather destination of South Padre Island, Texas, at any time of year. Spring, summer, and fall in South Padre Island are filled with warm days and temperatures well into the 70s and 80s, perfect for a beach getaway. During winter, temperatures dip slightly into the high 60s and low 70s during the day, ideal for exploring some of the outdoor recreational areas that are located on this scenic barrier island. No matter the time of year, there are always many options for spending your time when vacationing in South Padre Island.

Not only does this island boast favorable year-round weather and exciting oceanside activities, but visitors here are treated to a wide selection of vacation rental options in which to call home. From condos right on the oceanfront to private homes tucked away on quiet palm-lined streets, finding the vacation rental that’s just right for your family or group makes it even easier to come back year after year to soak up the sun and create memorable family traditions on South Padre Island. With the budget, location, easily accessible activities, beach proximity, and onsite amenities as factors to consider in your South Padre Island vacation rental selection, choosing the right rental can seem overwhelming. This guide to the best places to stay in South Padre Island will help you get the lay of the land for the island’s top areas, making it easier to find the vacation rental that’s right for you!

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Staying on the beachfront in South Padre Island is a sure way to make the most of your island getaway. A variety of vacation properties are located along the island’s east coast, directly facing the Gulf of Mexico. Here you’ll find boutique condos, high-rise condos, and private homes. Depending on your budget and desired amenities, the beachfront strip of South Padre Island can be a great place to fully embrace life along the ocean.

The majority of the condos situated along with the beachfront range from 2-3 bedrooms, though you’ll also find a small number of one-bedroom units in the mix. Smaller boutique condominium buildings range from 3-5 stories tall, while some of the larger complexes house 10-15 stories. Opting for an oceanfront condo in South Padre Island is a great way to reside within walking distance of the beach while also staying within budget. Most of these condos offer a spacious open floorplan, with a comfortable living room for relaxing in the evenings and a full kitchen to prepare meals. These buildings have been thoughtfully constructed to make the most of their location, with many offering ocean views and private balconies from which to enjoy the sights. When you stay in a beachfront condo, you’ll also be treated to a host of onsite amenities. Most of these condos offer a shared swimming pool and hot tub, many of which overlook the ocean so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Also along the beachfront are exquisite private beach homes that offer ample space and privacy all right on the ocean. Most of these homes range from 3-6 bedrooms, offering plenty of square footage for the whole family or group. Luxury abounds in your beachfront vacation home in South Padre Island, where the beach is just steps from your door. These homes offer multi-level living with upper-level great rooms that take full advantage of ocean views. Multiple private balconies, breezy great rooms with full kitchens, and restful private bedrooms are just a few of the features you’ll find on the interior of these beach homes. Depending on the home selected, some also offer amenities such as a private pool and hot tub. Whether you stay in a beachfront condo or beachfront private home, your days on the beach lie right in your backyard!

Inner Island

At just over 1.5 miles wide, you’re never far from the beach on South Padre Island, even when spending time inland. Those who aren’t set on having a view of the ocean from their vacation rental will find there are a large variety of high-quality accommodations situated on inner island. While you’ll find a few townhomes and condos located on the island’s interior, the majority of the accommodations found here are private 3-4 bedroom homes great for families and small groups. Most of these homes offer multiple levels of living space tucked along picturesque palm tree-lined streets. Modern great rooms, multiple decks, and spacious private bedrooms make it easy to quickly settle into island life from these comfortable homes.

Despite being tucked back from the beachfront, many Inner Island vacation homes ensure there’s always a way to stay cool and refreshed by offering an onsite private swimming pool. Enjoy leisurely days spent poolside in the privacy of your own backyard, followed by an evening soak in your private hot tub from your inner island vacation home in South Padre Island! In addition, many of these residences are situated within walking distance to the beach, so days along the coastline are still easily enjoyed. Walk to cafes, restaurants, and many of the island’s conveniences and activities from this central location!


While the Gulf of Mexico borders the eastern coast of South Padre Island, the western side of the island is situated along the Laguna Madre Bay. This estuary is home to an abundance of fish and is the gathering place of local and migrating birds. Ranging from just 2-5 feet in depth, this unique lagoon offers beautiful waterfront views as well as activity options such as snorkeling and fishing. Vacation accommodations along the bayfront offer spacious accommodations from which to soak in views of South Padre’s Island’s natural areas. A variety of accommodations are located along the bayfront, including condos, townhomes, and private homes. Ranging from 2-4 bedrooms, couples, families, and groups can all find their perfect home away from home on the bayfront.

Enjoy serene bay views from your bayfront vacation rental in South Padre Island. Among these accommodations, you will find open-concept floorplans great for gathering together during downtime. In the private homes located here, many boast multiple bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, making them ideal for groups. Outdoor areas such as balconies and patios make for the perfect spot for sipping a morning cup of coffee as you look out over the bay. Great for the avid angler or boater, many of these homes boast a private boat dock for your day out on the water. Head out for a day of fishing, dolphin watching, or a sunset cruise from your convenient location along the bayfront. While specific amenities vary among properties, most accommodations along the bayfront offer a private or shared swimming pool, ensuring you enjoy the best of both worlds. When you’re ready to venture away from your bayfront accommodations, top South Padre Island attractions such as the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and the Laguna Madre Nature Trail are also located along the bayfront, putting some of the area’s best outdoor activities within easy reach.

The Shores Community

Nestled toward the northern end of South Padre Island is an exquisite community known as The Shores. This exclusive enclave is positioned with the warm waters of the Gulf to its east and the Laguna Madre to its west, offering the best of both worlds to guests. The architecture within The Shores is meant to fit seamlessly with the beautiful nature that surrounds, offering classic coastal charm. The vast majority of vacation rentals within The Shores are private homes that offer an abundance of luxury and space. Most of the homes situated within this community range from 3-4 bedrooms, while you’ll also find a few that fall outside this range. Great for couples, families, and groups alike who want to take advantage of the beauty and laid-back lifestyle that life on South Padre Island has to offer, your time will be well spent while calling The Shores your home away from home.

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The Shores residences boast all the coastal charm you’d desire in a beach home. Breezy, open rooms are spread out across multiple levels of living space. Open concept great rooms with top-of-the-line kitchens and relaxing living rooms offer an ideal space in which to relax. Enjoy quiet moments sipping morning coffee or evening cocktails on one of the multiple decks and balconies, many of which overlook the Gulf or the bay. Many of these luxury homes also boast a private swimming pool and hot tub and are just steps from the beach. It’s easy to enjoy an active lifestyle within the shores, where activities such as biking, swimming, boating, and horseback riding are all easily accessible. With palm-lined streets and nearby amenities, it’s easy to see why The Shores Community has quickly become one of the most highly desirable vacation communities in South Padre Island!

Exploring South Padre Island

No matter where you stay on South Padre Island, beautiful beaches, activities, shopping, and dining are within easy reach. Most accommodations are within walking distance to the beach, a long stretch of sugary white sand that makes South Padre Island such a desirable destination. Aside from lounging along the shoreline soaking up the views, it’s also easy to participate in a wide variety of water activities in SPI. Swimming, snorkeling, fishing, jet skiing, and parasailing are just a few of the ways to make the most of your time along the coast. Several boating outfitters also offer excursions such as dolphin watching trips, sunset cruises, and fishing expeditions with all of the details taken care of. And to explore the scenic coastline from a different vantage point, consider horseback riding along the beach, soaking in the pastel colors of morning, a romantic sunset, or even a night ride under the moon. Check out South Padre Island Equestrian Centre, South Padre Island Adventure Park, and SPI Stables for some of the best equestrian activities on the island.

A trip to South Padre Island doesn’t have to be all about the beach, however. When you’re ready to take a break from the sea and sand, head to a top South Padre Island attraction such as the South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center. The SPI Birding & Nature Center offers a scenic bayfront boardwalk, a five-story viewing tower, and five bird blinds that make it easy to spot local and migratory birds and enjoy the surrounding scenery. Guided tours through the tidal wetlands are also available for those who would appreciate a more informative experience. The nearby Laguna Madre Nature Trail is another favorite place to stretch your legs as you explore the extensive boardwalk through marshlands.

Though many of the accommodations in the best South Padre Island communities offer full kitchens with the option of dining in, the dining scene in SPI has much to offer. Feast on fresh seafood at the SPI mainstay Sea Ranch Restaurant & Bar or snag a waterfront table at the casual Pier 19 for a basket of shrimp and hush puppies. Beyond seafood, cuisine that ranges from Italian at Gabriella’s to Mexican at On the Border are all available.

Get your shopping fix by browsing the variety of unique stores that are located in South Padre Island. Beachwear, souvenir and gift shops and boutiques can all be found among the island’s picturesque streets. You’ll also want to explore the farmer’s market that is held on Sundays for fresh produce and locally-made products.

Whether you’re spending your time at the beach, taking a nature stroll, or sipping a tropical cocktail while watching a spectacular sunset, your time on South Padre Island is sure to be memorable!

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Contact Us to Learn About the Best Places to Stay in South Padre Island

At Franke Rentals, we are on the ground specializing in the best places to stay in South Padre Island. As a company that has been in the family for several generations, we truly have a passion for South Padre Island and helping others enjoy it as much as we do. Our friendly team is more than happy to assist you in selecting the best rental for your vacation, providing top-notch customer service every step of the way. Contact us today!