South Beach

Entrance to South Beach, which is open to beach driving and primitive camping.
Drive and camp on South Beach. It all begins here at the South Beach entrance and extends 60 miles south to the Mansfield Channel, the park's southernmost boundary. Beach driving is at your own risk- please be prepared.

NPS Photo

Fee: Park entrance fee required as well as a free camping permit available at the park entrance station or the self-registration kiosk at the entrance to South Beach.

Description: South Beach is the shoreline that runs along the Gulf of Mexico from the south end of Closed Beach to the Mansfield Channel, about 60 miles in total length. 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 or amenities and all driving is on the beach. Cell reception is often non-existent or very spotty. Check the weather or call the Visitor Center at 361-949-8068 before driving down island to check on beach conditions. A high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle is needed to reach most of South Beach. All beach driving is at your own risk so please be prepared! 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. No food, firewood, or fishing licenses are sold in the park, and the park does not have a gas station. The nearest amenities from the park entrance station are about 12 miles away, so please come prepared. The park also does not have a post office or sell stamps, and cannot mail items for visitors.


  • 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.
  • A 14-day camping limit is in effect at all camping areas. At the end of 14 days of camping anywhere within the park, campers must vacate their site and leave the park for a minimum of 14 days before returning to camp. The total number of days spent camping in the park should not exceed 28 calendar days per year, in any combination of visits or consecutive nights.
  • Please remove all trash- pack out more than you brought in. Free trash bags are available at the entrance station and Malaquite Visitor Center. There are dumpsters located near the entrance to South Beach.

Last updated: February 26, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, TX 78480


(361) 949-8068
This is the primary phone number for the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore.

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