• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

South Beach

South Beach

Drive and camp on South Beach, which extends down to the Mansfield Channel.

Fee: No fee is charged for use of this area.

Description: South Beach is the shoreline that runs along the Gulf of Mexico from the south end of Closed Beach to the Mansfield Channel. Mile markers are placed every five miles on the beach. All camping in this area is primitive and open to RV and tent camping.

There are no paved roads and all driving is on the beach. Contact the Visitor Center at 361.949.8068 before driving down island to check on beach conditions. Click on the following link to learn some good tips for driving driving down island.

Amenities: At the entrance of South Beach, there is a chemical toilet and a large dumpster. Flush toilets and cold-water rinse showers are available at the Malaquite Visitor Center, which are open every day and are only closed from 7:00-9:00 a.m. for cleaning.

Rules:

  • Campfires are permitted in fully contained barbecue grills or in a pit dug in the ground, unless there is a fire ban in effect. Bonfires are not permitted anywhere in the park. Remove any burned materials (Ex., charcoal) and pack them out with you.
  • Do not run generators between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
  • You may choose a location for camping, which is permitted from the end of Park Road 22 down to the Mansfield Channel. Please park or set up camp park as close to the dunes as possible in order to avoid blocking traffic.
  • Driving off the beach and into the dunes, grasslands, and mudflats is not permitted.
  • A camping permit is required and is available at the entrance to South Beach.
  • Please note that a 14-day camping limit is in effect at all camping areas. At the end of 14 days, campers must vacate their site and leave the park for a minimum of 48 hours before returning to camp. The total number of days spent camping in the park should not exceed 56 calendar days per year, in any combination of visits or consecutive nights.

Did You Know?

The National Park Service arrowhead contains a white buffalo, an animal sacred to many native Americans.

Although Padre Nicolas Balli established the first permanent settlement on the island, the island was previously owned by his father and his grandfather, who obtained the original grant from the Spanish crown. More...