South Padre Island
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Welcome To South Padre Island

Area Attractions

South Padre Island Travel

Entertainment Parks

Wildlife Refuges



South Padre Island zoo animalEntertainment Parks:

Gladys Porter Zoo- The Gladys Porter Zoo is a 31-acre preserve of lush tropical plants and some 1,800 animals, the Gladys Porter Zoo is known for its successes in breeding endangered species of wildlife. Opened in 1971 as one of the first zoos in the country with no barred cages, most animal species are displayed in settings that closely resemble their own natural habitats. In a mere ¾ mile trek, a visitor will encounter a diverse ensemble of animals and plants.

500 Ringgold St.
Brownsville, TX 78520
General Information: 956-546-7187


Schlitterbahn Beach Water Park - Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark on South Padre Island South Padre Island - Schitterbahn Beach Water Parkoffers the latest and greatest in water attractions. Located on the south end of South Padre Island next to Isla Blanca Park, Schlitterbahn Beach is spread across 26 acres. Open 4 pm-10pm Monday -Friday and 11 am- 10pm Saturday and Sunday.

90 Park Rd, Highway 100
Phone: (956)772-7873 or (956) 772-9772

Valley Race Park - The thrills and excitement of both greyhound and horse racing at the Valley's premiere entertainment facility. Valley Race Park has year round full card simulcast racing from the finest racetracks throughout Texas and the United States. Live Greyhound Racing returns November 29th, 2002.

Valley Race Park Inc.
2601 S. Ed Carey Drive
Harlingen, Texas 78552
956 412-RACE (7223)

Wildlife Refuges

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge - Laguna Atascosa NWR is the largest protected area of natural habitat left in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, an oasis for wildlife with few alternatives. Open daily from sunrise to sundown (about 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.). $2 per vehicle

From South Padre Island, take Highway 100 out of Port Isabel and exit right on Farm Road 510 at Laguna Vista. Continue 5.4 miles to the Cameron County Airport road. Take a right and continue approximately 7 miles to the visitor center.


Sabal Palm Audubon Sanctuary - The Sabal Palm Audubon Center is dedicated to providing visitors, from school children to birders, with a uniquely Audubon nature experience. The Center also contains educational displays, a wildlife viewing bird South Padre Islandarea, and small gift shop.

Visitor Center is open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily
Sanctuary is Closed for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Sanctuary Trails are open year-round 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sanctuary gates close at 5:00 p.m. for incoming visitors
(Visitors must be out of the Sanctuary before dark)
For safety reasons and to help preserve our sanctuary Sabal Palm Sanctuary may be closed to the public during inclement weather.
Visitors and volunteers can contact the Manager for volunteer opportunities and job descriptions specific to Sabal Palm Sanctuary.

Jimmy Paz, Manager
Sabal Palm Audubon Center & Sanctuary
P. O. Box 5169
Brownsville, Texas 78523
(956) 541-8034
FAX: (956) 504-0543

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge - Along the banks of the lower Rio Grande is the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, a 2,088 acre refuge established in 1943 for the protection of migratory birds. Considered the ‘jewel’ of the refuge system, this essential ‘island’ of thorn forest habitat is host or home to nearly 400 different types of birds and a myriad of other species, including the indigo snake, malachite butterfly and the endangered ocelot. The Visitor Center is open seven days a week (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day) from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

(210) 787-3079 787-7861
FAX (210) 787-8338


Historic Brownsville Museum -The Historic Brownsville Museum, opened in 1986, houses a variety of exhibits that interpret events from Brownsville's past. These exhibits include data from the earliest military fort in our area, the arrival of French teaching nuns and displays of agricultural and ranching tools.

Phone: 956-548-1313
641 E. Madison St.
Brownsville, TX 78520

wagon wheelHidalgo County Historical Museum - Hidalgo County Historical Museum exhibits give a broad overview of the region, from prehistoric tribes through Spanish exploration and colonization, the Mexican War, Rio Grande steamboat era, Civil \Var, early ranching and farming, border wars and more. Partially housed in the 1910 County Jail, HCHM includes a hangman's trap used for a public execution in 1913.

Phone: 956-383-6911
121 E. McIntyre
Edinburg, TX
Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m
Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and
Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.

Iwo Jima Memorial Museum - This is the original sculpture used in casting the famous bronzed Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, VA., depicting the raising of the US flag over Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945, during World War II. It is over 100 feet high and weighs 130 tons. It was given to the Marine Military Academy in October of 1981.

Phone: 956-412-2207
320 Iwo Jima Blvd.
Harlingen, TX
Military and Texas gift shop.
Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and
Sunday 12 - 4 p.m.

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