a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Camping on South Padre Island
Camping on South Padre Island

Camping on South Padre Island

There are many camping options on South Padre Island. Since we were heading there to kite and bike, we started by checking the Andy Bowie County Park across from the South Flats/Convention Center. Unfortunately with only 18 sites, it was fully booked for this trip.

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Bridge to South Padre

Isla Blanca County Park

We ended up booking a site at the Isla Blanca County Park on the south end of the Island. At $40 a night it is a relatively expensive campground, but each site is equipped with 30 amp electric, water and a picnic table.

The only available sites were outside the gates near the marina because they are a bit larger and less crowded.

Pros of Isla Blanca

  • 30 Amp electric
  • Water
  • Concrete pad
  • Picnic table
  • Restrooms
  • Extremely friendly neighbors
  • Easy walk to the beach
  • Dog friendly

Cons of Isla Blanca

  • No hot water for the showers
  • Lots of sand burrs
  • Not the cleanest facilities we have ever used

We were here in December… so prepare for temperatures ranging from 45-75 degrees F (bring a rain jacket or cold-weather jacket just in case).

On our Next Trip we’ll bring a longboard for surfing.

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JoVanna at the Beach

On our next trip here we are going to attempt more camping on the beach towards the north end of the island (with more off-grid abilities & a surfboard rack hopefully).

The paved part of South Padre Island runs from south-to-north just over 12 miles and gives way to more sandy/less crowded areas in the northern end (away from the busier tourist areas in the southern end). The greater Padre Island chain stretches 113 miles from Port Isabel to Corpus Christi.

You can drive out onto the beach on “Public Beach Access #5.” It requires a $12.00 entry fee or a day-pass/annual-pass, but does not cost anything to camp overnight. There are restrooms and showers here for public use, but no electricity or water hook-ups on the beach.

The sand is fairly firm at Access #5 and is decent for 2WD vehicles for a couple of miles. Be careful of the changing tides and shifting sands. The public beach access areas further north of here have softer sand and require 4WD.

You can also just park on the road if you don’t want to get your vehicle sandy.

End of the Road in South Padre
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End of the Road in South Padre

We will follow up with more van-camping adventures in 2021. Thanks for following our adventures. ~KiteBikeVan

Night Sky over South Padre
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Night Sky

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