Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Prestine beaches with white sand and turquoise waters. Not what many people associate with the Gulf Coast of Texas, however, in Cameron county down south close to the Mexico and United States border the waters and cool breeze are a welcoming respite from the Chuahuan desert heat.  South Padre Island, the largest undeveloped barrier island in the world, stretches 130 miles along the Texas coast line offering shelter to the endangered sea turtle the Kemp's Ridley. The island's beach access is limited due to preservation efforts to keep the fragile ecosystem protected, but there is a small county park that provides access: Edwin King Atwood Park Beach Access 5.

At Access 5, twenty miles of soft, warm white sand await an adventurous soul to explore the warm Gulf waters and its treasures. Sand dunes up to twenty feet high or more provides refuge to many migratory birds and other marine life. Sea turtles can be spotted at different intervals of the year, and if you spot one, contact park services; jelly fish are occasionally spotted as well. 

Besides the plethora of wildlife, bring your surfing gear, or you can set up on the beach with a shade umbrella to enjoy the breeze. The beach access is open until 10 P.M. and has a day use fee of 12 dollars plus two dollars for a trash collection fee (which is returned to you if you turn in a bag of trash). At the entrance, there is a parking lot along with a pavilion that has picnic tables, grills, and restrooms. There are outdoor showers for you to rinse sand off. 

For information about riptides and weather conditions check the below websites.

Tide information:

Local weather:

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Day use fee

Open Year-round



Blue green waters. White sandy beach.


Extreme heat in the summer.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


ADA accessible
Picnic tables
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Covered picnic areas
Potable water
Tide pools
Sand Dunes



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