Until recently, the last time I visited South Padre Island was 1993. It was Spring Break and completely saturated with people, MTV, and beer. A total blur. I had no idea how much I would enjoy myself as an adult.
I was really craving some beach time and instead of going to Port Aransas, which is my go-to beach in Texas and only a four hour drive from home, I got my heart set on South Padre Island.
The roughly six hour drive is easy in the daytime, but we got a late start and left around 3pm.
Once we got south of San Antonio, we stopped for a picnic at a road side rest area. Texas is massive and while road trip opportunities are nearly endless, when you find yourself in desolate areas, like South Texas, you’ll be glad you brought a sandwich.
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn on the North end of the island. I chose it hoping there would be less foot traffic on the beach. It wasn’t too bad during the day and we had it almost completely to ourselves around 10pm when we went outside with a couple of glasses of wine.
I was happy with our balcony, Gulf-view room and the comfortable bed. I even enjoyed the dining room entertainment (pictured above). I wasn’t very pleased with the price, but it was a holiday weekend.
We managed to find one place on the island that served something other than fried food. Zeste Gourmet offered a varied selection of wine, snack items and ready-to-eat foods, as well as a space for dining-in. Our meal was Mediterranean inspired and really hit the spot, but I was on the hunt for fresh seafood. We couldn’t seem to find it anywhere.
Headed back into the state, we stopped in Port Isabel to see the lighthouse and grab a bite to eat at an oyster bar owned by a local fisherman. We finally found our fresh seafood. We had ceviche and then purchased a fresh Gulf octopus to take home.
Next time, I’ll get a beach rental with a kitchen and load up on fresh catches in Port Isabel! That (and a pitcher of mojitos) was all I was missing from this spontaneous road trip.
May your journey be your muse,