The Best Time to Visit South Padre Island

The Best Time to Visit South Padre Island

When is the best time to go to South Padre Island? If you are planning a visit to our sandy shores, that is the question that is undoubtedly ringing in your ears. While some people love the intense heat of our SPI summers, others prefer the cool breezes and bright skies of winter. Our tropical climate means spring and fall visitors can enjoy swimming, boating and many beach activities that would otherwise be relegated to summertime in most resort towns.

No matter what time of year you plan your SPI getaway, you are sure to enjoy beautiful beachfront views, warm weather and activities your whole family will enjoy. Here is a breakdown of what each season has to offer visitors to our seaside paradise located right here in Texas.

Spring in South Padre Island

Spring in South Padre Island offers a tropical oasis from the cooler temperatures our northern neighbors may still be experiencing. This pre-summer season offers pleasantly warm days. The water temperatures average about 68 degrees this time of year, too, so it is perfect for enjoying a dip.

For just over a month every spring, SPI transforms into a spring break destination. Every March, students make their way south to the sunny beaches of South Padre Island. If you're a fresh-faced college student or a young adult looking to cut loose and party, March is the month for you. As the weather warms up each spring, our shores become the number one party scene in the nation. South Padre Island KOA Holiday® offers an affordable alternative to many of the high-priced hotels during this season. 

There's so much to do in SPI during spring break that you may not be able to fit it all into one week:

  • Countless concerts from some of the top names in the music industry
  • 24-hour beach bashes
  • Dancing into the wee hours of the night
  • Zany contests 
  • Pool parties
  • Gulf waters warm enough to enjoy SPI's many water sports 

College spring break may not be the best time for a family vacation — but just wait. South Padre Island in April and May offers a sweet spot for visitors who may want to enjoy the cool tropical breezes of spring but aren't looking for a crazy spring break getaway. Once the college kids have come and gone, SPI changes back to the mild-mannered resort town you know and love, perfect for sun-seekers or families bringing their little ones for a kid-friendly excursion.

At South Padre Island KOA, we know that a family spring break vacation is a perfect opportunity for some much-needed bonding. You can enjoy our onsite amenities, like our year-round pool or sandy playground, or experience some local adventures, like beach horseback riding or a nature tour. There is always something to do in spring. 

Spring is also an opportunity to celebrate some fun-filled local events. From the beginning of sea turtle nesting season and an epic Easter festival to the Mexican celebration of Semana Santa, you will not want to miss these yearly springtime traditions in South Padre Island.

best time to visit spi

Summer in South Padre Island

During South Padre Island's summer season, water reigns supreme. If you prefer hot weather, then summertime is the best time to visit SPI. This season's temperatures hover in the upper 80s and low 90s, making all things water a must. If you plan on visiting South Padre Island in June, July or August, pack plenty of sunscreen and prepare to enjoy long days in the sun and surf. Our island oasis offers plenty of exciting water adventures, including:

  • Swimming.
  • Kiteboarding and windsurfing.
  • Kayaking.
  • Parasailing
  • Standup paddleboarding.
  • Surfing.
  • Beach Park waterpark.

Visitors to South Padre Island KOA Holiday® can also enjoy lots of ways to cool off around the campground on those hot summer daysTake a dip in our crystal clear pool. Get a nice, cool workout with our pool aerobics classes. As the sun slips behind the Laguna Madre, enjoy delicious cocktails with your new friends on our Bayside Sunset Deck.

There are also plenty of amazing events to enjoy each summer in South Padre Island. From SPI's Independence Day celebration to the Summer Causeway Run, you may want to book your vacation so it coincides with one of the area's many summertime happenings.

Fall in South Padre Island

If you're not a spring breaker or a heat enthusiast, one could argue that autumn is the best time to go to SPI. As temperatures dip back into the mid-80s, you can still enjoy the area's outstanding water activities in the gorgeous Gulf waters or sandcastle lessons along the shoreline. Fall is also a great time to explore the many sights, sounds and tastes of the island. 

While SPI boasts nearly 300 days of sunshine, September tends to be our rainiest month. However, some of the island's most memorable events happen throughout September, October and November, including Sandcastle Days and a delectable Shrimp Cookoff.

Fall is also an excellent opportunity to experience SPI's local flavor, including wildlife, outdoor attractions and delicious eats. The cooler weather makes for a lovely day on the water, so fall may be a good time to plan a fishing charter or water wildlife cruise. You can also grab the kids and head to Gravity Park to enjoy racing on this unique multi-level go-kart track. Sundays are extra special because that's when the Farmer's Market offers locals and guests a delicious taste of SPI.

For guests at our KOA Campground, we have plenty of on-site entertainment, from horseshoes to tetherball, which is perfect for a warm fall day. As a barrier island near the Mexico border, SPI is renowned for its seafood and Tex-Mex offerings. One of the best places to enjoy a great meal can be found right at our campground — Pier 19 Restaurant & Bar. Whether you have a craving for locally caught fish or outstanding tostaditas, you will find it on the menu.

Off-season perks if you visit South Padre Island in the fall (or winter!) - 

  • Check out the Beautiful Beach - South Padre Island's climate lends itself to being ideal beach weather all the time. It is especially nice thanks to a regular breeze. Get away from the bustle of everyday life and kick back on the sandy shores of this island in the Gulf.
  • Attend the Sandcastle Days Festival - Do you love the idea of making sandcastles? You will get lots of inspiration for your next seaside creations when you go to the Sandcastle Days festival. Held in late September or early October, Sandcastle Days features the work of master sand sculptors. Kids and kids at heart adore this unique fall activity on South Padre Island.
  • Fish to Your Heart's Desire - It is cooler  — but still warm — water temperatures and calmer winds are a recipe for fishing success. Charter a boat for a day-long fishing excursion, or try to catch something from the docks. If you do not have fishing equipment, you can always rent some.
  • Head to the SpaceX Launch Site - Whether you have a budding astronaut in your group or you are simply fascinated by space exploration, you will appreciate taking a trip to the SpaceX launch site. It is not far from SPI and is well worth a sightseeing trip. 
  • Get Your Music Fix at a Concert - September through December is a great time to enjoy a variety of concerts in South Padre Island. Some of the latest musical events at SPI have featured tunes from country to rock. 
  • You Can Compete Against Your Personal Best - Whether you are a walker or a runner, you will be happy to learn that SPI fall events include sporting competitions. Enter a 5K with your whole family or test your running mettle during a half-marathon race along the beach.
  • Where to Stay in South Padre Island This Fall or Winter - After you have experienced all the amazing fall activities SPI has to offer, you will need a comfortable spot to return to. South Padre Island KOA Holiday offers what you need. You will find a variety of amenities to engage the whole family, as well as vacation rentals and Deluxe Cabins, Tent Sites and RV Sites. Make sea breezes and beautiful ocean beaches a part of your fall getaway. Book your reservation at South Padre Island KOA today

south padre island long term rentals

Winter in South Padre Island

South Padre Island in November, December, and on can be very beautiful! While most resort towns close up shop during the cold winter months, SPI is still going strong all year long. South Padre Island winter vacations are a great option for couples, families and groups who wish to exchange freezing temperatures and shoveling snow for endless sunshine.

It may be too chilly to dive into the bay, with temperatures dipping as low as the mid-50s. Still, January and February provide the perfect time to explore the island's many natural and historic wonders. Take a stroll down the Laguna Madre Nature Trail or pack a picnic lunch to visit tranquil Isla Blanca Park. Learn about the island's storied past, complete with shipwrecks and pirates, when you explore the historical sites at Port IsabelClimb the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse for the best views of the Laguna Madre and the beautiful sights of our island oasis. 

The winter season also features adorable holiday events and winter happenings that are fun for the whole family. From our unique Christmas extravaganza and live music shows to sunrise socials, be sure to check our SPI KOA Winter Fun Facebook page and South Padre Winter Celebrations and Events to find out more. 

Of course, a visit to South Padre Island would not be complete without visiting the beach. While you may not want to swim in the surf, you can still sink your toes in the sand and watch the waves roll in or collect seashells as you stroll along the shore. If you must have some water fun, guests at South Padre Island KOA Holiday® can enjoy our pool and large hot tub year-round.

Winter Texans, also known as snowbirds, love the calm energy and incredible activities you can enjoy here. As one of the best winter vacation spots in Texas, South Padre Island offers blue skies, a cool breeze, and an open ocean. You can experience smaller crowds and better access to all the local attractions during the off-season, too. Enjoy a luxurious camping experience by booking one of our Deluxe Cabins right along the waterfront.

With miles of sandy beaches, you can stay in SPI for as long as you like at Kampgrounds of America. South Padre Island KOA Holiday provides family-friendly lodging and activity-filled stays, so you can explore South Padre Island winter activities and return to the campground for a happy hour sunset every night this season. South Padre Island weather in December may pleasantly surprise you with sunshine and high temperature! 

For a winter unlike any other, here are five favorite things to do on South Padre Island in December and beyond.

south padre island december weather

1. Enjoy South Padre Island Winter Weather

A winter getaway in Texas means you can escape the cold and soak up the sun. South Padre Island's average winter temperature ranges from 50 to 70 degrees, so you can feel that tropical breeze in December.

Warmer weather allows for unlimited fun with many south Texas outdoor attractions. Winter Texans enjoy fishing, bicycling, golfing and relaxing by the beach. Though these activities may seem odd for December or January, you will see the entire island doing at least one of these every day.

When you stay at KOA, you can take a five-minute drive to the beach, close your eyes and relax in any season. If you would rather stay at the campground, you can relish the winter sun from the Bayside Sunset Deck or 25-meter swimming pool.

2. Taste Fresh Texas Seafood and Local Flavors

The entire state of Texas has unique and delicious food that brings in tourists regardless of the season. However, there is nothing like fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico at your convenience.

Winter Texans enjoy South Padre Island flavors with freshly caught seafood. The off-season is an excellent time to eat oysters, red snapper, sand trout or kingfish. Plus, if you want to fish for your dinner, many restaurants in the area will cook your catch however you like it. If you're not a seafood fan, you can still fill up on the delicious Tex-Mex flavors that South Padre Island offers. You can also enjoy a bayside meal at Pier 19 restaurant and bar, located right on the campground. 

3. Visit Some of the Best Texas Winter Attractions

When you vacation in South Padre Island, you get the unique combination of ocean access and a rich cultural district. Winter Texans can enjoy the same attractions summer offers and more! A holiday favorite is the annual Christmas parade on Padre Boulevard, located less than a 10-minute drive from South Padre Island KOA Holiday.

There is no shortage of outdoor things to do in South Padre Island in January or December. The weather is perfect for activities like riding an ATV or going horseback riding on the beach.

On cooler days, you can also enjoy fun and educational indoor attractions. Sea Turtle, Inc. is a conservation and learning center just 12 minutes from our campground. For more marine life, you can visit the Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center to see and touch unique ocean animals. If you'd rather get on the water to meet these fish, you can take a Sea Life Safari or Fishing Excursion with Osprey Cruises. These boats take off at the KOA Docks, so you can set sail on your adventure from the convenience of the campground.

4. Witness Texas Bird Migration

One of the best South Padre Island things to do in December is watching bird migration. Over 300 different species travel from North America to Central and South America during the winter. In South Padre Island, you can see large flocks of a variety of different birds traveling south through local wetlands.

Winter Texans love the unbelievable sight of bird migration. You can see massive flocks from your campsite or drive 13 minutes to the SPI Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary. This attraction provides up-close birdwatching, guided tours and hands-on learning with native animals. South Padre Island is home to many species, such as waterfowl, shorebirds and roseate spoonbills all over the area. There is nothing like a winter getaway in Texas to experience the great outdoors.

5. Add an Extra Stop in Mexico for More Fun

Did you know that Mexico is only a few miles from South Padre Island? For a unique place to visit during winter near Texas, you can take a one-hour drive to Nuevo Progreso, Mexico. Park your car or RV in a lot on the American side and walk the pedestrian bridge — just remember your passport!  

In the off-season, Nuevo Progreso sees many Winter Texans. With over 100 local stores, you can do affordable and unique holiday shopping. Plus, you can try one of the delicious restaurants. For a fun day trip, you can enjoy easy access to our southern neighbor. Dine on authentic Mexican food, shop at local markets and see nearby orchards for an unforgettable stop on your vacation. 

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall — Book Your Stay at South Padre Island KOA Holiday®

Anytime is a great time to visit South Padre Island. Each season holds its own unique charm, so you may need to come back again and again to decide which time of year is your favorite. While choosing the right season is an important decision, finding the right place to stay will ensure you have an amazing time no matter when you visit SPI. 

South Padre Island KOA Holiday® is a year-round campground with amazing amenities, fun recreational activities and a location that puts you right in the middle of everything our island is known for. Our campground is perfect for spring breakers and families alike. It also includes all those necessities that will make your vacation enjoyable, plus lots of fun extras.

Take a soak in our giant hot tub or cool off in the pool. Release your furry friends in our off-leash dog park. Indulge in an amazing meal at our onsite restaurant, Pier 19. Bring the family boat and launch off for adventure from our campground boat ramps. Our goal is to create an unforgettable SPI experience.

best time to visit south padre island

Ways to Stay in South Padre Island to Suit Every Style

We have lodging options to suit every kind of visitor. Our luxurious Deluxe Cabins and vacation rentals with private bathrooms and a small kitchenette provide a comfortable, resort-like feel. 

Our cozy RV Sites make a great home base if you are chugging through Texas in your big rig. We even have rustic Tent Sites with lovely bridge views for traditional camping enthusiasts. If you are interested in planning a large get-together or family reunion, we also offer the perfect group camping experience

Plan Your Vacation to Our Year-Round Campground in South Padre Island

When is the best time to visit South Padre Island? Find out for yourself at South Padre Island KOA Holiday®. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway for two or a fun-filled family vacation, KOA is your perfect gateway to this island paradise.

Make your reservation online or give us a call at 956-761-5665 to book your stay — winter, spring, summer or fall.

Share This: