Many tourists are often surprised to learn that there is a North Padre island and a South Padre island along the Texas Gulf Coast. They often confuse the two beach spots as they don’t look too far apart and they both border the Gulf of Mexico.

North and South Padre island were formed when the Port Mansfield Channel split Padre Island in two. They are opposite ends of the same Padre Island National Seashore and are more than 200 miles apart. 

Now that you know these two beach destinations are not identical, you many want to learn more about their differences before you proceed to book your vacation rental.

South Padre Island

South Padre island beaches are perfect for a tropical beach vacation. They are scenic and isolated with clear, warm waters that make them popular among beach lovers. Another advantage of the beaches is that they are accessible on foot, giving you the privilege to walk directly on the sand from one end of the island to the other.

Since everything is close by and centralized, the attractions in South Padre Island are easily accessible on foot, making it the most pedestrian-friendly vacation spot in Texas. All of the major attractions are just minutes away and can be accessed using bikes and golf-cart rentals or a ride on the Free Island Metro.

Visiting South Padre Island has its own set of advantages, but Vacation rentals in Port Aransas would like to highlight the pros of visiting North Padre Island:

North Padre Island

North Padre Island is the longest primitive barrier island in the world, housing the Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS) which consists of naturally preserved long beaches.This hidden gem off the Gulf Coast of Texas is best known as a premier fishing destination. 

Indeed, this barrier island getaway allures visitors around the country each year to take part in several activities of their choice or simply while their time relaxing off the coastline.

Fun on the Beach

Fun on the Beach

If you’re visiting the North Padre Island beaches for the first time you are in for a treat; they are the heart and soul of the Texas coast. The North Padre Island beaches offer a lot more than just a rejuvenating day in the hot sand; the array of exciting activities that tourists can indulge in make their stay even more enticing.Most of the beaches are only accessible to four-wheel-drive vehicles.

The waters at North Padre Island will keep you actively engrossed in a variety of watersports like kiteboarding, windsurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and much more. You can simply opt to enjoy a walk on the beach or or even chill with the dolphins! Did you ever go horseback riding on the beach? Hurray! You can go riding on a horse across the sand on the North Padre Island beaches. 

The National Padre Island Seashore

The 70 mile national seashore hosts a variety of pristine beaches, sand dunes, and tidal flat environments,including the Laguna Madre which is a famous windsurfing spot on the west coast.

Padre Island Seashore is designated as the fourth national seashore in the United States, which makes it a compulsion to visit the natural wonders of the seashore on your visit to North Padre Island.

It  is a primitive National Park that boasts 130,000 acres, with some beautiful beaches, sand dunes, and grassy terrain you’ll never witness anywhere else on Earth. It also provides camping options for young enthusiasts. If you and your family would enjoy watching sea turtles, as they take their first tentative steps out into the vast sea, then this is the perfect spot. You can enjoy watching numerous species of migratory birds. Opt for a bird-watching tour, or simply walk around the area, soaking yourself in the beauty of the surrounding scenery.

If you have questions about the region and its diverse ecosystem and wildlife,The Seashore’s rangers provide interesting lessons and answer every question you may have. For your little ones, the Junior Ranger exploration program will brief them about the wonderful natural environment they are witnessing. Without doubt you must add this spot to your list of must-see attractions.

Something for Everyone

Vacation Rentals in Port Aransas - The Mayan Princess

When you are visiting North Padre Island, you can drop by the nearby beach towns of Port Aransas and Rockport. You can also access the affordable activities and cultural events in the neighboring town of Corpus Christi. 

We all know the importance of beach vacations; North Padre Island provides an ideal getaway for the leisure traveler, no matter what age group you belong to or what activities interest you. 

You can go on cruise, parasailing, or leisurely hikes. There is no dearth of chartered deep-sea fishing expeditions for fishing enthusiasts on a daily basis.

Besides the possibilities of enjoying water sports,you can learn a new activity as there are many vendors providing lessons.There is so much to do in this sunny paradise that  you will have to revisit this island to explore everything it has to offer

Visiting the numerous incredible attractions and activities can only give you a sample of the excitement that you can experience when you visit North Padre Island. Shopoholics will be in paradise with the outdoor markets and shops they can venture into, where they can buy perfect souvenirs for their families from a wide range of local crafts and handmade treasures. 

Golfers Paradise

You cannot be out in the water all the time; the North Padre Island area is home to some fantastic golf courses, offering unique and challenging golfing experiences that golfers simply love. Although the courses have a typical flat terrain that is common for coastal areas, the near perfect year round weather makes it so popular with serious and casual golfing aficionados. 

Many clubs offer private lessons making it an ideal place for newbies to the game to polish their skills.

Best Kitesurfing Spot

Originating in the Hawaiian islands, this sporting activity has become an ideal fit for North Padre Island due to its natural environment. In fact, many kiteboarders have moved to the area after seeing the suitability of the Gulf winds for their favorite sporting activity. It would be a rare sight not to notice at least a few dedicated kitesurfers pursuing their favorite water sport in summer while you take a stroll along the beach. Due to its technical nature you can learn the sport on your next trip to Mustang Island and Port Aransas.

Restaurants and Bars

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Whether you want to taste the best of wines, try a little Sushi, or enjoy other exotic cuisines from across the globe, North Padre Island has a phenomenal collection of fine dining options sure to meet your needs. You can make your taste buds have some fun trying the Mexican cuisine or Mediterranean delights; we assure you that even if you are planning a lengthy stay on the island you will struggle to sample everything the area has to offer. You’ll be happy to know that many local restaurants will clean and cook your catches that you fondly captured on your fishing spree. What is more! You can enjoy your meal on the beach while viewing the mesmerizing sunset.

The night life on the island is buzzing with activities; you can hop to a bar, lounge with your clan and gulp down a few drinks, get in a relaxing game of pool, sway to some authentic island music or sing and dance with your old buddies all night long. The choice is yours!

Wonderful Weather

North Padre Island is blessed with sunshine almost throughout the year. Even in January, tourists can sunbathe in the warm sunshine as it is one of the warmest places to be in the cold weather anywhere in America. Visiting North Padre Island in any season can be awesome fun, but if you plan to visit this paradise this year in spring, make sure you Port Aransas beachfront houses for rent in advance to avoid any disappointment.

Awesome Accommodations

At the end of your adventure-filled day, you will need some place to lay down your head at night. North Padre Island offers a range of options for travelers to suit every pocket. There are popular hotel and motel chains, intimate beachfront condos, and vacation rentals that vacation goers can opt for during their stay on the island. But in order to be close to the daily action, it is best to book vacation rentals in Port Aransas, offering breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, where you just wake up each morning and run out in the water!


There are ample holiday destinations that travelers can explore both within Texas and across the United States, but none can offer the unique combination of pristine natural beauty and thrilling activities you will find on this incredible barrier island. If you are looking for a vacation with real adventure and a relaxing environment, a visit to North Padre Island is sure to meet your needs.

If you’re convinced North Padre Island is the place to visit for your next vacation, book one of our condos at The Mayan Princess. We offer great accommodations with beautiful views of the sand and waves.