South Padre Island
South Padre Island is a barrier island with a small permanent population living in the eponymous town of South Padre Island. Both the island and the town take their name from a Catholic priest named Jose Nicolas Balli, known colloquially as Padre Balli. South Padre Island covers a total area of about two square miles, and has a total population of approximately two thousand, eight hundred residents. South Padre Island is located in the southern tip of the state of Texas in Cameron Island near Port Isabel. South Padre Island’s modern economy focuses on tourism and recreation, at least partially by virtue of its warm, mild climate and favorable location along the Texas Gulf Coast. South Padre Island sees weather in the sixties and seventies throughout much of the year, making it popular among tourists and college students, especially during spring break.
During tourist season, many visitors enjoy water sports such as kite boarding and boating, as well as dolphin watching and horseback riding. Recently, eco tourism has become more popular, focusing on the diverse offerings of the Padre Island National Seashore. Some notable festivities that take place on South Padre Island include the South Padre International Music Festival, which takes place annually in the month of November, and the summer Texas International Fishing Tournament. Residents of South Padre Island send their children to the schools of the Port Isabel Independent School District, namely Garriga Elementary School, Derry Elementary School, Port Isabel Junior High School, and Port Isabel High School. South Padre Island is home to a variety of single family home and condominiums in addition to a number of resorts and hotels focusing on the tourist industry.