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  • Writer's pictureMake The Most of the Dash

Beach Camping on South Padre Island

On the northern end of South Padre Island is a strip of beach that allows for driving and camping on the beach. Camping spots are primitive and require that you abide by the pack it in-pack it out rule.

Entry is at E.K. Atwood Park Beach Access #5 where you will pay $12.00 to enter regardless of your length of stay. This area serves as the separation point where cars are allowed (north) and the pedestrian only area (south). There are bathrooms and outdoor showers in the park pavilion at this entrance.

Beach access runs from this entrance to the end of the northern part of the island. Note that the first couple of miles are accessible to two-wheel drive vehicles and RV's, but after that point, a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. ATVs are prohibited on state and federally owned beaches and may not be driven on the island's roads. The beach is regularly patrolled by law enforcement throughout the day and night.

We picked a camp spot between Beach Access #5 and #6, and had the beach to ourselves for the six days we were there in early December 2021. During this time we experienced warm and breezy days and took the opportunity to slow down and assess the travel we had done in what is the first weeks of a year and a half to which we have committed. It's make it or bust for us, but hey, what do we have to lose?


- Visit South Padre Island:

- South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce:


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