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South Padre Island

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We frequent Port A/ Corpus more often than Galveston for beach and other reasons but this summer we decided to go down a little further to SPI.  We're glad we did.  The weather has been beautiful this week and fishing plentiful.  It is pretty amazing the difference just a few miles down the gulf coast makes.  The beach has been better than expected.  I don't remember my last trip here as it was during college.  The water is clear, the food good and the people friendly and hospitable.   

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Womens had the “bright” idea to try and go over on the Saturday of Memorial weekend. 

Traffic was backed up past the wind farm. Needless to say they got an, “I told ya” and we turned around. 

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2 hours ago, RollLeft said:

We frequent Port A/ Corpus more often than Galveston for beach and other reasons but this summer we decided to go down a little further to SPI.  We're glad we did.  The weather has been beautiful this week and fishing plentiful.  It is pretty amazing the difference just a few miles down the gulf coast makes.  The beach has been better than expected.  I don't remember my last trip here as it was during college.  The water is clear, the food good and the people friendly and hospitable.   

Yep, it's been incredible all week, the surf was absolutely flat on Saturday and crystal clear. And we crushed the trout.

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4 hours ago, RollLeft said:

We frequent Port A/ Corpus more often than Galveston for beach and other reasons but this summer we decided to go down a little further to SPI.  We're glad we did.  The weather has been beautiful this week and fishing plentiful.  It is pretty amazing the difference just a few miles down the gulf coast makes.  The beach has been better than expected.  I don't remember my last trip here as it was during college.  The water is clear, the food good and the people friendly and hospitable.   

Next time  you do this, if you do... Let me know, my cousin is a fishing guide there.

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1 hour ago, Rip76 said:

Next time  you do this, if you do... Let me know, my cousin is a fishing guide there.

Thanks friend, will do.

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10 hours ago, RollLeft said:

We frequent Port A/ Corpus more often than Galveston for beach and other reasons but this summer we decided to go down a little further to SPI.  We're glad we did.  The weather has been beautiful this week and fishing plentiful.  It is pretty amazing the difference just a few miles down the gulf coast makes.  The beach has been better than expected.  I don't remember my last trip here as it was during college.  The water is clear, the food good and the people friendly and hospitable.   

It's pretty awesome. Gets a bad rap because of the spring break crowd. But I guess that's good because it keeps it affordable and not too crowded the rest of the year.

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HAven't been in 20+ years but looking at going down there in July. We need a place that can take dogs and houses 5 people. We'd like to be beach front.  Any thoughts about the best area to stay in?

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16 hours ago, Dbeasy said:

HAven't been in 20+ years but looking at going down there in July. We need a place that can take dogs and houses 5 people. We'd like to be beach front.  Any thoughts about the best area to stay in?

We are doing that in July as well. I grew up in the area, honestly SPI is not that big. Find a airbnb/homeaway that allows pets and be good to go. 

If you are looking for a hotel, the Hilton Garden inn and the La Quinta on the very north end are good because the fireworks happen right there so you get a great view. 

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Heading down ahora. Eating everything except one meal in. Any recommendations for said meal out?

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2 hours ago, Hank_Hill said:

Heading down ahora. Eating everything except one meal in. Any recommendations for said meal out?

I like Sea Ranch pretty well. Reasonably priced, on the marina/water, solid food. I like eating meals at their bar as opposed to getting a table. https://www.searanchrestaurant.com

Also for Italian, http://gabriellasspi.com is surprisingly good.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

There is a really fucking good take out ceviche place that we ate 5 lunches at last summer. Maybe if it’s takeout, you can add it on.

 

edit to add, it’s called Ceviche Ceviche

Edited by UnivTex34

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10 hours ago, Hank_Hill said:

Heading down ahora. Eating everything except one meal in. Any recommendations for said meal out?

Cap’n Roy’s is good and cheap. Damn good cheese enchiladas and fried seafood. Gabriella’s is always a good choice. Yummies for breakfast. 
 

But we usually eat in with fresh caught fish or get shrimp from the Quick Stop. 

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I haven’t been to SPI in the summer. How does it compare to Port Aransas/Mustang Island? The last time we went to the latter was in September about 20 years ago, and it was so fucking miserably hot and muggy we haven’t been back (during the summer, that is). 

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7 hours ago, ImissWallyPryor said:

I haven’t been to SPI in the summer. How does it compare to Port Aransas/Mustang Island? The last time we went to the latter was in September about 20 years ago, and it was so fucking miserably hot and muggy we haven’t been back (during the summer, that is). 

Was there a few weeks ago. It was hot but the sea breeze made it very pleasant. I hadn’t been to SPI since the 80s and was very happy with the entire experience. Going again for the 4th. It’s a great getaway.

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Okay....we may be calling an audible, and ditching our usual family trip to SOCAL, and going to Padre instead.  It's within driving distance for 3 out of the 5 family units, and a short flight for the other 2 (shorter than flying to California).

We want to find a way to be together, but to minimize risk, spend most of our time together outside in the sun and sea breeze.  For those of y'all who have done Texas beach trips this year, how have they worked out for you, particularly Padre?

Each family unit would have their own condo unit to stay in, most of our connection/socializing would be outside.  We would prepare all of our own meals (we aren't going to be out hitting restaurants and bars).  We'll mask whenever in a public establishment (grocery, hotel lobby, etc.)

Any reports, advice, thoughts?  We're still cobbling this alternate plan together....

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I'm going down to SPI next week for a couple of days early in the week -- trying to avoid the crowds. I'm not sure what it will be like on the beach, but in the past I've found that the further north you go on the island, the less dense the folks on the beach will be.

We aren't eating any meals out. I figure I'll grab some shrimp from one of those places in Port Isabel and do a shrimp boil but other than that I don't anticipate going anywhere other than our rental and the beach. Doing all the grocery shopping at home and mule-ing it down.

There are tons of places available on airbnb and for relatively cheap. Navigating airbnb for 5 families in close proximity to each other may be difficult/impossible though. I would definitely stay beachside and not bayside though, especially if you are going to be clocking a lot of beach time and don't want to drive.

In general, I prefer SPI to Port A. The extra couple of hours in the car are worth it to me. Beach is cleaner, water is clearer and nobody is driving on the beach. I always worry about some drunk idiot plowing through my tent at Port A and taking my entire family out. There are also a million condos/houses/hotels to rent in SPI within a block or two of the beach, so you can load up your beach cart with all of your shit (tent, chairs, ice chest, etc.) and have an easy stumble home after a long day of drinking and fucking around on the beach.

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1 hour ago, Brisketexan said:

Okay....we may be calling an audible, and ditching our usual family trip to SOCAL, and going to Padre instead.  It's within driving distance for 3 out of the 5 family units, and a short flight for the other 2 (shorter than flying to California).

We want to find a way to be together, but to minimize risk, spend most of our time together outside in the sun and sea breeze.  For those of y'all who have done Texas beach trips this year, how have they worked out for you, particularly Padre?

Each family unit would have their own condo unit to stay in, most of our connection/socializing would be outside.  We would prepare all of our own meals (we aren't going to be out hitting restaurants and bars).  We'll mask whenever in a public establishment (grocery, hotel lobby, etc.)

Any reports, advice, thoughts?  We're still cobbling this alternate plan together....

Can you absolutely trust that the other 4 family units have followed the same quarantine lifestyle as your family?  That's where I would start.

 

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1 minute ago, CooterBrown said:

Can you absolutely trust that the other 4 family units have followed the same quarantine lifestyle as your family?  That's where I would start.

 

Well, nothing in life is absolute.  But these are all pretty conservative, cautious family units.  Nobody is going out and hitting bars, eating out, etc.

We're accepting that there is no way to eliminate all risk.  The balance is this: is the mental health benefit worth the physical health risk?  We think that if we keep the physical health risk sufficiently low, the risk/reward can be worth it.  We just want to work on HOW we can do that.

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We were down there the week after Memorial Day.  It was hot but the breezes were cool.  The water was awesome.   Not a lot of people masked up walking around, but fair amount in businesses.  Cameron County has a mask order now (didn't then), so that will be different.   At restaurants, we only ate outside, which is easy to do there.    And in each place we were pretty far away from anyone else.  The fried fish sandwich at Clayon's was a winner.  Overall, it was fun.  I grew up down there and am biased, but it's by far my favorite beach in Texas. 

The only downside is the bridge traffic, which is often unreasonable.  Do not plan your trip to get there on a Friday or leave on a Sunday.     Someday, they will build the 2nd bridge that they have been talking about for 40 years.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, DFWTexEx said:

We were down there the week after Memorial Day.  It was hot but the breezes were cool.  The water was awesome.   Not a lot of people masked up walking around, but fair amount in businesses.  Cameron County has a mask order now (didn't then), so that will be different.   At restaurants, we only ate outside, which is easy to do there.    And in each place we were pretty far away from anyone else.  The fried fish sandwich at Clayon's was a winner.  Overall, it was fun.  I grew up down there and am biased, but it's by far my favorite beach in Texas. 

The only downside is the bridge traffic, which is often unreasonable.  Do not plan your trip to get there on a Friday or leave on a Sunday.     Someday, they will build the 2nd bridge that they have been talking about for 40 years.

 

 

Yeah, we've experienced the weekend traffic deal.  We'd be going Monday the 6th to Monday the 13th.

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We are going down the week of July 6th. Like others I grew up in the area and know most of the pros/cons. 

Its easy to spread out on the beach as long as you are not right at the entrance to one of the park. We are renting a condo about halfway up the beach and since you cannot drive on that part it will be easy to spread out.

My only fear at this point is Texas keeps spiking and they shutdown airbnb's.

 

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16 hours ago, 4th and 5 said:

Cap’n Roy’s is good and cheap. Damn good cheese enchiladas and fried seafood. Gabriella’s is always a good choice. Yummies for breakfast. 
 

But we usually eat in with fresh caught fish or get shrimp from the Quick Stop. 

Yeah I love Roy’s. I’m never had anything there besides their Mexican food but it’s always good and as you say cheap. Really all of SPI no matter where you go is relatively inexpensive. Every time I go I’m always shocked how much cheaper it is compared to Port A.

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15 minutes ago, justhookit said:

Yeah I love Roy’s. I’m never had anything there besides their Mexican food but it’s always good and as you say cheap. Really all of SPI no matter where you go is relatively inexpensive. Every time I go I’m always shocked how much cheaper it is compared to Port A.

Hearing anything about the relative COVID safety down there?  Again, presuming that we won't be barhopping or going to restaurants and such.

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1 minute ago, Brisketexan said:

Hearing anything about the relative COVID safety down there?  Again, presuming that we won't be barhopping or going to restaurants and such.

I’ve heard nothing about what’s going on down there. I’m a very big believer though that the Texas beaches are as safe or safer than just about anywhere you can go right now. It’s really easy to avoid people. Avoid the indoor bars and restaurants and have fun.

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SPI is safer than here. Come on down. There's nothing to worry about.

Rent a place on the beach, or near a beach access point. They've all been heavily improved with walkways that reach the beach and showers.

Get your groceries. Bring what you need but the Marlin has ample supplies. Buy some shrimp at the Quick Stop. Grill your food.

Go fishing. Take a nap. Go to the beach, get zapped, hop in the pool, cook out, rinse, repeat. 

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Haven't been there in a few years, but I remember Isabel's Cafe (across the bridge in Port Isabel) had some pretty good breakfast tacos.  Could probably California it up and call them breakfast burritos, because they are huge.  

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5 minutes ago, 4th and 5 said:

SPI is safer than here. Come on down. There's nothing to worry about.

Rent a place on the beach, or near a beach access point. They've all been heavily improved with walkways that reach the beach and showers.

Get your groceries. Bring what you need but the Marlin has ample supplies. Buy some shrimp at the Quick Stop. Grill your food.

Go fishing. Take a nap. Go to the beach, get zapped, hop in the pool, cook out, rinse, repeat. 

Oh, senor.....that is indeed a sound plan.  Hoping to talk the rest of the crew into this tonight.

How's the morning trout bite in the surf been?

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8 minutes ago, 4th and 5 said:

I rarely fish the surf because

D63A0C56-F8A8-4EC5-A7D4-7415A869FE17.jpeg

Well....yeah....that would do it.  Sonofabitch.  Thanks for offering to loan it to me.  It's been a coupla years since I've tooled around in a bay boat, but I'm sure it's like riding a bicycle.

6 minutes ago, GreenspointTexas said:

Read a couple of recent reports that SPI is a new covid hot spot?

Brownsville, yes.  But not the island, from what I've seen.  That is, the urban areas of the valley (Brownsville and McAllen) are seeing a rise in cases, but the tourist island hasn't been reported as a source.  And we wouldn't be going anywhere near a city, other than passing through Port Isabel and stopping at that HEB.

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Louie’s Backyard has turned into a fucking shell of itself. Don’t go there. Wanna Wanna is still ok, and there’s a cool little bar called Cocunut Jacks on the bayside that has good coconut shrimp.

I get emotional every time I think about SPI. Went there literally every summer as a kid. Usually 10ish relatives staying in one hotel room, swimming at the beach with my cousins all day, seeing how many different hotel pools we could sneak into, crab hunting at night. Some of my favorite memories in life.

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4 hours ago, Brisketexan said:

Oh, senor.....that is indeed a sound plan.  Hoping to talk the rest of the crew into this tonight.

How's the morning trout bite in the surf been?

Son & Dil went bay fishing down there three weeks ago. They stayed at Seabreeze1

 

652C483B-D4B8-4B23-B070-100106E9F4A7.jpeg

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30 minutes ago, Helobious said:

Louie’s Backyard has turned into a fucking shell of itself. Don’t go there. Wanna Wanna is still ok, and there’s a cool little bar called Cocunut Jacks on the bayside that has good coconut shrimp.

I get emotional every time I think about SPI. Went there literally every summer as a kid. Usually 10ish relatives staying in one hotel room, swimming at the beach with my cousins all day, seeing how many different hotel pools we could sneak into, crab hunting at night. Some of my favorite memories in life.

Son & DiL went to Wanna Wanna 3 weeks ago.

 

 

BC9C32CE-0A9D-43FD-B852-038178404F57.jpeg

C805BFB8-56C5-478E-9367-6698F2E2994F.jpeg

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15 hours ago, Helobious said:

Louie’s Backyard has turned into a fucking shell of itself. Don’t go there. Wanna Wanna is still ok, and there’s a cool little bar called Cocunut Jacks on the bayside that has good coconut shrimp.

I get emotional every time I think about SPI. Went there literally every summer as a kid. Usually 10ish relatives staying in one hotel room, swimming at the beach with my cousins all day, seeing how many different hotel pools we could sneak into, crab hunting at night. Some of my favorite memories in life.

I have no idea what Louie's is as a night spot any more.  25 years ago it was fantastic.  But, on our post Memorial day trip we had an early lunch there.  Because of the size of the place, you can sit outside as far away from anyone else as you like.  Totally socially distant.  Servers should be wearing masks now.  The crab stuffed jalapenos were legit and the fish tacos were good enough.

Some of the best moments in my life are also on SPI.  Shit.  Since we can't go anywhere now and since the drive from Dallas is an easy 9 or less hours now (and may include a stop in Lockhart for some meat), we may just need to get a place there. I'd never use a lakehouse, but I would go down there just to sit and watch the waves.

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Son & Dil went bay fishing down there three weeks ago. They stayed at Seabreeze1
 
652C483B-D4B8-4B23-B070-100106E9F4A7.thumb.jpeg.5dde9a5d014df842988e9f15b8a40cc9.jpeg

Don’t you mean great grandson?

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On 6/22/2020 at 8:56 PM, UnivTex34 said:

There is a really fucking good take out ceviche place that we ate 5 lunches at last summer. Maybe if it’s takeout, you can add it on.

 

edit to add, it’s called Ceviche Ceviche

uhhhh yea this was really fucking good

AD1-C15-AA-AFFF-4-BD5-A771-7-B0-FE723-DE
 

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Hank_Hill said:

uhhhh yea this was really fucking good

AD1-C15-AA-AFFF-4-BD5-A771-7-B0-FE723-DE
 

That looks awesome!

Edited by CycleTex87
NM wrong thread

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Los Tortugos in Port Isabel slams and goes hard. You can eat there (though probably no way to social distance) but can get your fresh scrimps And fish there, too, and cook at the house. Looks shady but is legit. It’s right by the HEB I think. 
 

We are fans of Manuel’s but wouldn’t waste our one meal out there. And again, probably can’t social distance. 
 

This may be cliche but we like Dirty Al’s, right there by the bridge on the Port Isabel side. Perhaps overpriced because of the location but definitely room to spread out. 

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Son & Dil went bay fishing down there three weeks ago. They stayed at Seabreeze1
 
652C483B-D4B8-4B23-B070-100106E9F4A7.thumb.jpeg.5dde9a5d014df842988e9f15b8a40cc9.jpeg

If that trout on the right is 15”, how big was the biggest one ???


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