Padre Island & South Padre Island
Texas' Premier Vacation Beach
Padre Island (the largest of the Texas barrier islands as well as the world's longest barrier island) is located on South Texas' coast of the Gulf of Mexico and is famous for its white sandy beaches, popular with spring-breakers, at the south end.
photo from Padre Island National Seashore
It is named after Padre José Nicolás Ballí (c.1770-1829), who served as collector of finances for all the churches in the Rio Grande Valley and founded the first mission in present Cameron County.
Padre Island is the second largest island by area in the contiguous United States, after Long Island, and stretches from the city of Corpus Christi, in the north, to the community South Padre Island in the south. The island's northern end connects to Mustang Island by roadway. The southern end of the island is separated from Brazos Island by the Brazos Santiago Pass.
The town of South Padre Island is located on its southern end, but the island as a whole is sparsely populated. The central part of the island is preserved in a natural wild state as Padre Island National Seashore, which is known for its programs to aid the survival of Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles. Since 1964, the island has been divided by the artificial Port Mansfield Channel, and as a result, the terms "North Padre Island" and "South Padre Island" are often used to refer to the separate portions of the island. Parts of Padre Island are located in Cameron, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, and Willacy counties.