Monday, June 30, 2014

Five reasons to go to South Padre Island right now

Don't you just hate that I'm doing that? Going with the "five reasons" peg and using that "right now" imperative that's so excruciatingly trendy in travel writing right now? Me, too. But here we go with a summary gleaned from the trip to my South Padre Island condo from which I've just returned -- with a healthy sun glow and seriously ratty beach hair:

1. The weather is perfect. OK, I'm talking about right now -- it could change at any minute -- but the temps are in the 80s with a nice breeze. It's Texas, it's summer, and it's not 100. Go quickly, before that's no longer the case.

2. The seaweed invasion has slowed significantly. Although the mounds of already-raked seaweed against the dunes do, sadly, made the beach smaller than usual at high tide, the tide goes back out again, and the amount of seaweed washing ashore right now -- as opposed to what's been going on for about three months -- is the usual, small daily amount. Keep in mind that seaweed is good for the dunes, and try not to be bummed when you see it.

3. There are more ways to enjoy the water than ever. To parasailing, surfing, wind surfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, fishing, dolphin cruising, stand-up paddle boarding and personal watercraft zooming (always my least favorite), add two distinctly South Padre cruises: (1) The Black Dragon Pirate Cruise -- a thrilling pirate-themed cruise on a tricked-out pirate ship that typically also includes a chance to see dophins (book it in nearby Port Isabel next to Pirates Landing) and (2) a sunset dinner cruise (book it behind Laguna Bob's bar) that includes grilled shrimp and fajitas, along with music.

4. Fireworks all summer long: Thursday and Friday nights over the bay (watch from Louie's Backyard or Coconuts) and Saturday night over the beach (Clayton's Beach Bar). Oooh. Aaaah.

5.  Sand Castles. There's a new Sand Castle Trail guiding you to about 30 (they come and go; it's sand) professional castles around the island, and numerous of those pros offer sand-sculpting lessons (The Amazin' Walter, Sandy Feet, Andy Hancock -- google any of them; they're all great fun). It's the new hot activity on the island.

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