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Isla Blanca Park: RVing on South Padre Island in Texas

Texas is an amazing place to vacation no matter which part of the state you visit. Today, the spotlight is on one particular location within the Lone Star State. Postcard-perfect South Padre Island is located on Texas’ southeast coast and is home to a spectacular place to make your base camp: Isla Blanca Park. The park has a spectacular campground, which is both a great destination and place to call home while you explore other areas of south Texas.

The Campground at Isla Blanca Park

Tucked away on the southernmost part of the island, Isla Blanca Park is arguably the best park in the state. The park’s pet-friendly RV campground offers more than 500 sites with full hookups including 15/20/30/50-amp electric. There is also a cable/satellite television hookup at most sites. The park is big-rig friendly and has pull-thru sites. You can choose from dry camping, partial hook-up, standard without cable, standard and premium sites. The price per night varies depending on type of site selected and the season (summer, winter or off-peak). If you decide to extend your stay, monthly rates are available. The campground allows tent camping and has cabanas for rent as well. For guests’ convenience, there are also restrooms, showers, a picnic area, boat ramp and a dump station. The metro has a stop just beyond the park’s gate, so you don’t have to drive around the island yourself. 

Isla Blanca Park

Isla Blanca Park has more than a mile of stunning shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico. There are numerous recreational opportunities along the shore, and the park’s location ensures that they are accessible to everyone. The park is home to two beachfront pavilions that offer food and beach rental vendors and offers plenty of parking. Spend a leisurely afternoon on the hiking trail or try your hand fishing in the surf or from the jetties. Dolphins frolic in the water near the boats in the channel, so sightings are frequent. You can fish in the bay or join an offshore fishing trip, go snorkeling, diving, jet skiing and parasailing right from the park. There is an onsite water park, plenty of restaurants and a full-service marina.

For a great overview of the park and South Padre Island, check out this video.

South Padre Island

Known for its miles and miles of shoreline, the barrier island also has numerous attractions and activities to keep you as busy (or relaxed) as you want to be while on vacation. There are several chances to view wildlife while in South Padre Island. Birdwatchers will love the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. It features a five-story tower that lets guests view migrating birds. Sea Turtle, Inc. does amazing work rescuing and rehabilitating sea turtles.

There is no shortage of watersports available on the island. Kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding and windsurfing are extremely popular activities. Kids (of all ages) will love building sandcastles (lessons are available) and splashing in the calm waters near the shoreline. Don’t miss out on seeing the largest outdoor sandcastle in America. South Padre Island Adventure Park has tons of great activities including zip-lining, horseback riding on the beach, petting barn, go-carts, and putt-putt golf. Be sure and go on a sunset cruise while in the area.

Port Isabel 

Just across the Laguna Madre, which is part of the Intracoastal Waterway, is the charming town of Port Isabel. It is home to a historic lighthouse, which was built in 1852 to help ships get through the Brazos Santiago Pass and reach Port Isabel. There are plenty of boat cruises to choose from, including dolphin cruises and a pirate cruise. Take a leisurely stroll through Lighthouse Square and check out the unique shops. If you’re feeling brave, take the ghost walking tour and learn about the pirates and gangsters of Port Isabel’s past. Bring your appetite because Port Isabel has some of the best seafood (and freshest) seafood in Texas. Better still, go deep-sea fishing and reel in your own dinner.


Brownsville is located at the southernmost point of Texas and is known for its warm breezes and palm trees. Boca Chica State Park is a must-see location where the Rio Grande River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The beach is not as populated as the one at South Padre Island, and it is a great place to collect seashells.

The Gladys Porter Zoo is home to almost 400 different animal species as well as over 200 species of plants. Visitors can view the baby animals in the nursey and interact with domesticated animals in the petting zoo. History buffs will want to visit the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, which is the location of the first battle of 1846’s Mexican-American war. Brownsville has numerous museums, including the Children’s Museum of Brownsville, the Stillman House Museum and the Historic Brownsville Museum.


Just across the river from Brownsville is the Mexican city of Matamoros (Heroica Matamoros). It makes a perfect two-nation vacation. The town was the site of several battles in the Mexican War of Independence, the Mexican Revolution, the Texas Revolution and the Mexican-American War. It prides itself on being ‘undefeated, loyal and heroic’. If you visit in February, be sure and attend Charro Days and the Sombrero Festival. These two-nation festivals celebrate the heritage of both the United States and Mexico.

Matamoros is home to some great beaches (costa Azul and Bagdad) and a great art gallery (Galeria Matamoros). Don’t miss out on seeing the beautiful Cathedral de Matamoros. Of course, no visit to Matamoros would be complete without dining on some authentic Mexican cuisine.

South Texas

Whether making the campground at Isla Blanca Park your entire vacation, or traveling to some of the surrounding cities and towns, you can’t go wrong with a visit to south Texas. The area is full of stunning beaches, amazing restaurants and attractions that you’ll talk about for years to come. 

Planning your next trip

No matter where you travel, be sure and use RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard to plan the perfect vacation. RV LIFE Campgrounds is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE app, RV LIFE Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes tailored to your RV and travel preferences.

Been to a campground lately? Don’t forget to leave a review! Reviews help other RVers like yourself, and they help the campground. Leave a campground review today!

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