Texas Resort Close to Gulf of Mexico
The biggest of the Texas barrier islands, Padre Island has the country's longest sand beach, yet it remained relatively untouched until the 1950s. That's when the Queen Isabella Causeway connected the island's southern stretch to Port Isabel, making the island Texas's primary beach getaway and a popular spring-break destination. La Copa Inn sits right across from the causeway bridge that put the island on the map. The resort is connected to a swath of white-sand beach and offers easy access to a range of outdoor pastimes, including kitesurfing and horseback riding.
Each morning at La Copa Inn begins with a free hot breakfast of fresh fruit and warm entrees such as belgian waffles and omelets. Many visitors enjoy lounging on the outdoor pool deck overlooking the gulf. There's a communal jacuzzi next to the pool, and some rooms are outfitted with hot tubs. Opt for a beachfront room to enjoy a private balcony with views of the coast.
South Padre Island, Texas: Vibrant Marine Life and Educational Centers
South Padre Island isn't actually an independent island—it's the name given to the resort town on the southernmost point of Texas’s much larger Padre Island, which stretches nearly 130 miles along the Gulf of Mexico. The town is linked to mainland Texas by a single bridge, the Queen Isabella Causeway. Because it occupies such a narrow stretch of land—at its broadest point, South Padre Island is only a few blocks wide—getting from the Gulf on the east side to Laguna Madre on the other takes only about 10 minutes on foot. Many visitors spend their vacations laying out on the area’s sandy beaches, which are home to more than 300 types of waterfowl, lofty sand dunes, and the occasional kemp's ridley sea turtle. Others set sail on fishing charters to seek out swordfish, redfish, and spotted seatrout.
For a better understanding of the area's history and culture, head across the causeway to the Museums of Port Isabel. The complex encompasses three facilities, including one that showcases the artifacts found in three 1554 Spanish ships that sunk about 30 miles north of Port Isabel. Another, the Port Isabel Lighthouse, was built in 1852 when the low-lying Texas coast presented visibility problems to incoming ships. Today, you can climb a spiral staircase to the top for views of the causeway, Laguna Madre, and Port Isabel's historic downtown.
On the northern end of South Padre Island at Sea Turtle, Inc., you can observe endangered kemp's ridley sea turtles, which the organization rescues, rehabilitates, and releases at nearby beaches. Ila Fox Loetscher, affectionately known as "The Turtle Lady," founded the nonprofit organization in 1977 after spending more than 10 years rehabilitating sea turtles in her South Padre Island home.
No-shows will be charged total Groupon rate; no refunds, rescheduling, or rebooking allowed. Read the Fine Print for important info on offer details and other restrictions.