The southern end of South Padre is the tourist hub. Accessable via a long bridge extending several miles from the mainland, all hotels and lodging are in the town of South Padre Island, which boasts a population of around 2500 people. Many of these are locals who serve the tourism industry, others, retirees from the northern states. Included are a few local personalities as well, whom migrated down here at one time or another and stayed. You will know them when you see them! The view coming onto the island is quite incredible. There truly is a significant lodging presence here as witness by the string of high rises that ramble on for over two miles. Virtually all of the major properties are beach front, and, since the State of Texas has a law requiring all beaches are public and accessable by all, you will not find any of the "private" beaches like found in Jamiaca for instance. This allows you to take a morning stroll down the beach as far and long as you wish. There are many resturuants and attractions here....check them out under the Attractions link.
There is one main boulevard that runs north and south thorugh the village. This extends northward to where beach access by vehicle is allowed. The length of this road changes (mainly shortens) every year due to new or changing sand dune formation. On the beach, you can drive for approximately 15 miles from initial access, but be careful, four wheelers on the beach drive are recommended, and you do not want to get stuck a few miles up, as cell phone coverage ends fairly quickly after beach access. Two notes of caution: Driving in the dunes is strictly prohibited, and while you will see many doing this, and various rental agencies cator to this by renting dune buggies, it is illegal and you will be ticketed. Second, respect the 30 mile speed limit in the village, this is watched closely. Enjoy!