South Padre Island, Texas

Coordinates: 26°6′43″N 97°10′11″W / 26.11194°N 97.16972°W / 26.11194; -97.16972
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

South Padre Island, Texas
Location of South Padre Island, Texas
Location of South Padre Island, Texas
Coordinates: 26°6′43″N 97°10′11″W / 26.11194°N 97.16972°W / 26.11194; -97.16972
CountryUnited States
StateTexas
CountyCameron
Area
 • Total3.74 sq mi (9.68 km2)
 • Land2.69 sq mi (6.96 km2)
 • Water1.05 sq mi (2.72 km2)
Elevation
7 ft (2 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total2,816
 • Estimate 
(2019)[2]
2,778
 • Density1,033.48/sq mi (399.10/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
78597
Area code956
FIPS code48-69140[3]
GNIS feature ID1376223[4]
Websitemyspi.org

South Padre Island is a resort town in Cameron County, Texas, United States.[5] It is part of the BrownsvilleHarlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,066 at the 2020 census.[6] The town is located on South Padre Island, a barrier island along the Texas Gulf Coast accessible via the Queen Isabella Causeway from the town of Port Isabel. South Padre Island is named after José Nicolás Ballí (Padre Ballí), a Catholic priest and settler.[7]

The island is only accessible via the Queen Isabella Causeway and has become a popular tourist destination for both the Spring and Summer. Featuring many activities such as Open Water and Bay Fishing, Snorkeling, Parasailing and Horse Back Riding.

Storm damage and structure issues[edit]

Storms[edit]

  • In September 1967, Hurricane Beulah caused extensive damage to much of the town of South Padre Island.[8][9]
  • On July 23, 2008, Hurricane Dolly made landfall on the island as a category 1 storm, also causing extensive damage to the town. The Bahia Mar Condominium had extensive damage and had to be gutted due to the damage.
  • In September 2008 Hurricane Ike caused moderate damage to the island.
  • In July 2010, the island received heavy rains from Hurricane Alex, but the storm left the island generally unscathed.[10]

Ocean Tower demolition[edit]

On December 13, 2009, an unfinished 31-story condominium, known locally as Ocean Tower, was brought down by a controlled implosion. Work had begun in 2006 but construction was halted in 2008 due to uneven settlement. As the problem could not be rectified, the incomplete reinforced concrete structure was demolished.

Industry[edit]

Subsequent to rebuilding from Hurricane Beulah, the island became a popular spring break destination for college students and a resort destination for families. Many multistory resort hotels and condominiums have been erected along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. The Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, the second of its kind in Texas, opened in South Padre Island in 2001.[11]

Recreation[edit]

South Padre Island beach in June. Boardwalks provide access over the dunes.

The year-round warm weather attracts tourists allowing them to experience the 34 miles of beach, over 300 days of sunshine, and all forms of entertainment from water sports to live music. With personal water craft rental, parasailing and dolphin watches being the most popular. Other favorites are horseback riding adventures on the beach and ecological tours that explore Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Fishing is also popular. Every summer, the Texas International Fishing Tournament is held the first weekend of August,[12][13] with winnings totaling almost a quarter million dollars. Other fishing tournaments include the Ladies Kingfish Tournament,[14] the Ron Hoover Tournament, just to name a few.

In March, the island is a popular spring break destination for college students.[15] The rest of the year it is a popular family resort destination, with July being the most crowded.

In January 2011, the island hosted the NBA Development League Showcase at the South Padre Island Convention Centre.

On March 27, 2000, WCW Monday Nitro was held at the former Sheraton Hotel (Now Pearl) as part of their yearly Nitro Spring Break editions.

Good views of the nearby SpaceX South Texas launch site at Boca Chica have attracted hundreds of tourists.[16]

Geography[edit]

The town of South Padre Island is located at the southern end of South Padre Island, with the town limits extending from the northern edge of Isla Blanca Park in the south to the end of development north of Wharf Street in the north, a distance of 6 miles (10 km). The Queen Isabella Causeway is the only road access to the mainland; it leads 2.5 miles (4.0 km) across Laguna Madre to the city of Port Isabel. Brownsville is 25 miles (40 km) southwest of South Padre Island.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), of which 2.1 square miles (5.5 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2), or 8.44%, is water.[6]

Climate[edit]

South Padre Island
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
1.9
 
 
68
52
 
 
1.7
 
 
71
55
 
 
1.5
 
 
76
60
 
 
1.5
 
 
80
67
 
 
2.2
 
 
85
73
 
 
2.5
 
 
89
76
 
 
1.9
 
 
90
77
 
 
1.8
 
 
91
77
 
 
6.3
 
 
88
74
 
 
4
 
 
84
69
 
 
2.3
 
 
78
62
 
 
1.4
 
 
70
53
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Metric conversion
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
48
 
 
20
11
 
 
44
 
 
22
13
 
 
38
 
 
24
16
 
 
38
 
 
27
19
 
 
56
 
 
29
23
 
 
63
 
 
32
24
 
 
49
 
 
32
25
 
 
44
 
 
33
25
 
 
160
 
 
31
23
 
 
102
 
 
29
21
 
 
58
 
 
26
17
 
 
36
 
 
21
12
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

South Padre Island experiences a warm humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa), transitioning into a hot semi-arid climate (BSh). The average high in January is 68 °F (20 °C) and the average low is 52 °F (11 °C). The average high in July is 90 °F (32 °C), and the average low is 77 °F (25 °C). The warm season is long, as average high temperatures are 80–89 °F (27–32 °C), and average low temperatures typically around 77 °F (25 °C). The region experiences relatively high dew point values, around 75 °F (24 °C) in the summer time, resulting in higher relative humidity values from June through September. Rainfall tends to be the highest during the summer and autumn months, usually ranging from 2 to 6 inches of rain each month. September has the highest rainfall, averaging 6.3 inches, followed by October, which averages 4 inches of rain. Due to the island being next to the ocean, temperatures above 100 °F (37.8 °C) are not common. South Padre Island went down to at least 25 °F (−4 °C) during the 2021 Texas freeze.

Due to the fact that South Padre Island is surrounded by water, precipitation is a little higher than cities farther inland in the Rio Grande Valley. In March, the island is a popular resort area to many tourists. Tens of thousands of tourists come to the island to enjoy the warm temperatures South Padre Island offers. The island even ranked #1 in Best Spring Break Destinations by U.S. News & World Report

Climate data for South Padre Island, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 83
(28)
88
(31)
94
(34)
94
(34)
94
(34)
96
(36)
96
(36)
105
(41)
99
(37)
94
(34)
90
(32)
83
(28)
105
(41)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 67.9
(19.9)
70.1
(21.2)
73.9
(23.3)
78.6
(25.9)
83.8
(28.8)
88.0
(31.1)
88.9
(31.6)
89.7
(32.1)
88.6
(31.4)
84.4
(29.1)
78.9
(26.1)
71.4
(21.9)
80.4
(26.9)
Daily mean °F (°C) 60.9
(16.1)
63.0
(17.2)
67.7
(19.8)
73.3
(22.9)
78.9
(26.1)
83.0
(28.3)
83.3
(28.5)
84.3
(29.1)
82.9
(28.3)
78.5
(25.8)
72.1
(22.3)
63.4
(17.4)
74.3
(23.5)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 53.9
(12.2)
55.9
(13.3)
61.4
(16.3)
68.0
(20.0)
74.0
(23.3)
78.0
(25.6)
77.8
(25.4)
78.9
(26.1)
77.2
(25.1)
72.6
(22.6)
65.3
(18.5)
55.3
(12.9)
68.2
(20.1)
Record low °F (°C) 31
(−1)
25
(−4)
39
(4)
45
(7)
57
(14)
69
(21)
63
(17)
68
(20)
57
(14)
40
(4)
40
(4)
36
(2)
25
(−4)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.2
(30)
1.5
(38)
1.2
(30)
1.7
(43)
2.7
(69)
2.7
(69)
2.3
(58)
2.3
(58)
4.4
(110)
3.1
(79)
1.5
(38)
1.4
(36)
26
(658)
Source: [17]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
1980791
19901,677112.0%
20002,42244.4%
20102,81616.3%
2019 (est.)2,778[2]−1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census[edit]

South Padre Island racial composition[18]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 1,322 63.99%
Black or African American (NH) 15 0.73%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 7 0.34%
Asian (NH) 64 3.1%
Some Other Race (NH) 5 0.24%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 44 2.13%
Hispanic or Latino 609 29.48%
Total 2,066

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,066 people, 1,477 households, and 892 families residing in the town.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 2,422 people, 1,222 households, and 662 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,335.9 inhabitants per square mile (515.8/km2). There were 4,685 housing units at an average density of 2,584.1 per square mile (997.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.59% White, 0.70% African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.77% from other races, and 1.24% from two or more races. 22.83% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,211 households, out of which 15.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 4.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.3% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.00 and the average family size was 2.54.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 12.9% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 34.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 113.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $45,417, and the median income for a family was $53,250. Males had a median income of $39,250 versus $30,028 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,708. About 10.2% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Children living in South Padre Island are zoned to schools in Point Isabel Independent School District. Children go to Garriga Elementary School (prek-5th), Port Isabel Junior High School (6–8), and Port Isabel High School (9–12). All of the schools are in Port Isabel.[21]

In addition, South Padre Island residents may apply to schools in the South Texas Independent School District.[22]

All of Cameron County is in the service area of Texas Southmost College.[23]

Government[edit]

The United States Postal Service operates the South Padre Island Post Office.[24]

Coast Guard Station South Padre Island is a United States Coast Guard search and rescue station on South Padre Island.[25]

Transportation[edit]

Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport in Brownsville and Valley International Airport in Harlingen serve the island.[26]

In popular culture[edit]

South Padre Island is the main setting of Season 4 Episode 20 "Conflicted" of Criminal Minds.[27]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ Handbook of Texas Online article for South Padre Island Accessed May 17, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): South Padre Island town, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  7. ^ Handbook of Texas Online biography of José Nicolás Ballí Accessed May 16, 2007.
  8. ^ Handbook of Texas Online article on hurricanes in Texas Accessed May 16, 2007.
  9. ^ Padre Island's history with tropical systems Accessed May 17, 2007.
  10. ^ http://www.themonitor.com/articles/south-40402-island-party.html/ South Padre Island largely unscathed by Hurricane Alex
  11. ^ Background information on Schlitterbahn developments in Texas Archived 2007-07-05 at the Wayback Machine Accessed May 16, 2007.
  12. ^ "About TIFT". Texas International Fishing Tournament. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  13. ^ "Meet Felicia Calo: Hostess for the 81st TIFT". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. July 1, 2020.
  14. ^ "Ladies Kingfish Tournament Returns". Valley Business Journal. July 27, 2021.
  15. ^ Woodbury, Richard (April 6, 1987). "Spring Break at South Padre: Island Students find a new Fort Lauderdale on the Texas coast". TIME. p. 87.
  16. ^ "Fiery crash of SpaceX's Starship rocket ignites dreams of future spaceflight". National Geographic. Archived from the original on December 10, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  17. ^ "Monthly Averages for South Padre Island, TX". weatherbase.com. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  18. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  19. ^ https://www.census.gov/[not specific enough to verify]
  20. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  21. ^ Port Isabel ISD Accessed May 16, 2007.
  22. ^ South Texas Independent School District Archived 2007-08-29 at archive.today Accessed May 16, 2007.
  23. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.204. TEXAS SOUTHMOST COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA..
  24. ^ "Post Office Location – South Padre Island." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 28, 2016.
  25. ^ U.S. Coast Guard Eighth District Units. Retrieved on December 28, 2016.
  26. ^ "Southwest Airlines Cities," Southwest Airlines
  27. ^ Criminal Minds IMDB," Criminal Minds "Conflicted" (2009)
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[19][20]

External links[edit]