I recently went to South Padre Island for the first time and had an absolute blast. It was super inexpensive, too, so I thought I'd share some things to do.
The food is great and the service includes hilariously dry sarcasm. They have a buffet, but also offer table service. Margaritas are only $5 (plus a few dollars more for extras) and are pretty potent. It's a must.
Drunken Game Night
Now this has nothing to do with Padre, but it was a great way to spend the night before we figured out what all we were going to do the next day. Suggestions: music homemade beachy drinks, What Do You Meme, and Taboo
Breakfast or Brunch at Cafe on the Beach at The Palms Resort
Guys! This food is AMAZING! We ate there twice on the trip. They have hearty options, $30 champagne bottles for mimosas, and a wonderful beach view. They don't allow babies and dogs under the patio cover, which can be great or bad, depending on how you look at it. There are areas to eat with your dog or baby, it's just not covered. Either way I highly suggest stopping by if you're in Padre. Ask for Jason.
No matter how old you are, seeing dolphins (yes, we saw plenty) will always be taboo. These tours range from $10-$13 depending on company and include a tour of the island from the water ad well as some cool ocean finds.
Though the food wasn't great to me (everybody else said it was good, I'm picky) this was one of the most relaxing things I've ever done. The cruise was $45 a head, included a three course meal, two hours of cruising around the island, a fireworks show, and was BYOB. Note, though, that it's not your typical dinner cruise. It's hosted on a small sail boat with about 15-20 sitting on all parts of the boat.
Let me just say that whoever is over the advertising for Louie's is a genius. From morning to sunset Saturday there was a plane flying banners advertising different aspects of the party scene at Louie's. We ended up not going in because there was a cover, a cash bar, and cards are not accepted, but it seemed like the place to be. I'll definitely be in that thing when I go back to Padre.
If you're not a little over dressed because you originally planned to go to Louie's Clayton's is cool too. It's a huge outdoor bar with live cover music and a crowd to match the square footage. The best thing is the cheap shots. You can not get $8 brand name tequila shots in the city.
Depending on which way your going and coming, you'll pass some wind turbine farms. Exit the highway and drive into them. You can drive right up to one. Really, you can get right under it. It's a really different experience.
What Texas vacay activities are a must for you?