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padre locals, help...

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padre locals, help...

hey guys, glad your here.... I was hoping I could bounce a few things off ya.....

I am coming down for some EXTREMELY overdue downtime.... I'm a 33 yr old single chick traveling by myself. My friend has a bungalow I'm staying at, address hasn't been disclosed to me yet. I won't be able to come until the second week in March. APPARENTLY that's not the best time for a 30 something due to spring break. I heard i may not even be able to get over the bridge... is this true? I'd loose it if I showed up after a 25 hour drive from Michigan and couldn't get in.... How do I avoid this? Besides the obvious don't come unitl April..\LOLL Where do I want to avoid? I don't mind partying, but I am not that college crowd girl anymore. I'm planning on staying awhile maybe a few months.. are there places on the island I can get temporary cash jobs if I run low on funds? I'm NOT a homely, trashy, uneducated, boring, antisocial, drug addict, freakshow. And what about cell phone reception on the island I'm with Centennial, if that helps. Also internet.... wireless? or don't bother...? And island transportation..... one of my buddies said you can get anywhere on the island for $1 cab ride, I'll have my car , but I could just imagine the parking or lack of parking. I also plan on bringing my mountain bike, is that a good idea or not?

And the last question I'll plague you with is this, I plan on eating at home a lot.... what is the cost of living there like? How much more expensive are the grocery stores compared to main land? Or is this not an issue... Ahhhh.. and what about gas prices there? I'm paying between $2.15 and $2.29 a gallon up here in Michigan.

I soooooo appreciate you help, hope I didn't try to cover too much there, I just like to do as much research as possible before going to a new place so I'm not blindsided. I'm openminded to any suggestions, questions, comments....


Arlington, Texas
Destination Expert
for South Padre Island
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809 posts
21 reviews
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1. Re: padre locals, help...

You have found the right place if you are looking to "regroup", SPI is very laid back and relaxed. It will be a little crazy during the Spring Break time, especially Texas Week, which I think is the third week in March, but it is manageable. You will be able to get back and forth across the bridge; it will be worse at peak times of the day. Travel during morning hours won't be a problem ,b/c all the breakers are sleeping in.

Can't tell you about the jobs, but I am thinking that job prospects may be limited. Cell phone service is fine (at least with Cingular), you are still in Texas. Same with internet if you have one of those doobers that you stick into the side of your laptop. Parking is not a problem anywhere unless you are bar hopping during peak spring break. There are taxis, but you won't need them if you have your own car. Gas prices are the same basically as anywhere else...you might pay a few cents more on the island than the mainland. The one grocery store on the island is probably a little more expensive (not significantly) than the super Walmart or HEB in Port Isabel. South Padre is NOT a high tone Florida beach town...it is just a few miles from the border of Mexico. Most of the people here are hard working, struggling family folks that just happen to have an ocean for a yard. Think old fishing village with a few high rise condos.

Hope this answers some of your questions.

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2. Re: padre locals, help...

This year, Texas week is March 9 to 16. It is the most crowded week. As linlo said, just travel back and forth early in the morning. You will get over the bridge...it'll just take time. If you want to park your car, there are taxis. There also is the Wave, our local bus service (it's free), but don't know if it runs during Texas week. Gas at present is $1.999 on both sides of the causeway.

For internet, many of the hotels have free wireless internet in their lobbies and there are several internet cafes on the island.

If you need a short term job, you can probably get one at the local bars or restaurants. They are often short-staffed, during March especially. You'll probably get around better on the island on your bike than your car. If you are living on the north part of the island as opposed to down near the big hotels and bars, you won't be as bothered by the big crowds.

Best advice...look on Spring Break as an adventure to enjoy as an observer, have lots of patience and keep your sense of humor intact. We've had senior friends who've stayed all through spring break and thought the kids were wonderful!! After SB comes Semena Santa (Holy Week) and there will be crowds of Mexican Nationals, and then, after Easter, peace and quiet for a while till summer vacation. Please don't let the craziness scare you away. It is a great little town!!

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3. Re: padre locals, help...

Definitely bring your bike! I you can ride anywhere on the island or put your bike on the free shuttle that even goes to port isabell across the bridge. i run a bike taxi service during march and work part-time as a kiteboarding instructor. lots of fun things to do and many places to avoid the spring breakers. taxi's are $3 pp and traffic is an issue! email me with any questions . -jason


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4. Re: padre locals, help...

THankS ... gotta love the internet...i'm sure i'll have many more questions as the days draw nearer. And i'm alway open to suggestions and words of wisdom.

South Texas
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3 reviews
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5. Re: padre locals, help...

Hi Gypsy --

You're going to have a great time on the island, but you will probably enjoy it a lot more after your first week here (after Texas Week). Come across the bridge before noon and you won't have an issue. The locals seem to hang out at Wanna Wanna's beach bar, Dorado's Baja Bar & Grill, and the Island Brewery; all places a "thirty-something" would enjoy and away from the very crowded spring break entertainment district. Definitely bring your bike -- you can get anywhere on the island on a bike very quickly -- just watch for crazy spring break drivers!! Cabs are more like $4 anywhere you want to go but worth it if you plan on having drinks.

I think you could probably get a temp job waiting tables if you wanted to.

You're going to LOVE IT!

6. Re: padre locals, help...

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