"South Padre Island...Texas' best beach" South Padre Island by rsleisk
South Padre Island Travel Guide: 164 reviews and 209 photos
Recorded history begins in 1519, when Alonso Alvarez de Pineda sailed past the Isla Blanca (White Island) while charting the Gulf of Mexico for Spain. Pineda claims giants inhabited the coast, and may have been referring to the Karankawa Indians, a tall people as feisty as longhorn steers. The "Kronks", as they were nicknamed, wintered on the mainland and spent the summer on the island, living on fish and clams. Early stories portray them as cannibals who ate flesh of still-living victims or roasted their foes over campfire.
In 1804, Padre Jose Nicolas Balli, a Catholic Missionary Priest, founded a settlement on South Padre Island called Rancho Santa Cruz where he raised cattle and horses. At the eastern foot of the Queen Isabella Causeway stands a bronze statue of Padre Jose Nicolas Balli clad in a cassock and clasping a crucifix in his right hand. In 1829, the year he died, Balli was awarded title to the Island by the Mexican government. His nephew, Juan Jose Balli, lived on the Island until 1853. Rediscovered in 1931, the site of Rancho Santa Cruz is known as the Lost City of Padre Island. Numerous Balli descendants still live in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
- Pros:Texas' best beach, plenty to do.
- Cons:Gets busy during Spring Break!
The Laguna Madre Nature Trail was a great place to take a stroll and watch the different birds and even alligators... more travel advice
Good food and service. Great view of the bay, especially at sunset. The interior is cooly decorated with all sorts of... more travel advice
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- 8 Photos
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