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Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
A Look Back at SA\'s Homebrew History

A Look Back at SA's Homebrew History

The Beer Issue: Homebrewing is a foundational American virtue. Not just Sam Adams smiling back from the bottle that bears his name—virtually all the... By Lance Higdon 10/15/2014

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Cover 07/10/2013

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Photo: Photo by Callie Enlow, License: N/A

Photo by Callie Enlow

Not a bad view in Port A

Aside from the debaucherous Spring Break crowd, South Padre delivers hedonistic good times no matter the season and you won’t need beer goggles to find
the soft, sandy beaches attractive. However, you might need to be sauced to ignore the trash in more crowded spots. There’s an incredibly helpful Google map online titled South Padre Island Beach Access Map or you can pony up $5 to drive into Isla Blanca Park. Isla Blanca has some of the best surfing in Texas, and many visitors are lucky enough to glimpse dolphins. Others can’t get past grungy facilities and lackadaisical park employees, preferring to spend their dough at a hotel with beach access. More than 50 bars populate less than 30 square miles, making it easy to get your swerve on before, during, and after surf sets. Like most other Texas Coast spots, SPI lacks for refined lodging (for instance, Holiday Inn Express is the No. 1 ranked hotel on Trip Advisor’s webpage for the island), and visitors should expect to pay River Walk prices for economy motel rooms (last we checked, HIE’s rooms were more than $200 for a one-night summer weekend stay).

Sleep: A better deal than paying through the nose for an Econo Lodge might be renting a condo. One complex that’s both affordable and highly recommended is Gulfview 1 and 2, which has public beach access and is within walking distance of Isla Blanca. There’s also a pool, hot tubs, and tennis courts. Look for their units on the VRBO website.

Food: The 35-year-old Blackbeard’s has staying power for a reason. Go big with the seafood supreme platter, which includes fish, bivalves, and crustaceans galore, broiled or fried. Kill your hangover with a breakfast quesadilla and enjoy the island’s best cup of coffee at Yummies Coffee Shack.

Nightlife: You can’t go a half-mile on the beach without running into some type of drinking establishment, but if you’re hoping to winnow the options: Clayton’s Beach Bar is a giant wooden shack on the gulf side of the island that sets off fireworks every Saturday night; Wanna Wanna is another famous bar on the beach, as noted by party aficionados Playboy and MTV, serving up strong cocktails and nightly live music. Padre Island Brewing Company, a grandfather of the Texas indie brewing scene, prices their rotating brewed-onsite beer at a remarkably low rate ($2.75 for a 10-ounce pilsner) and will let you leave with a growler (half-gallon jug) of your favorite for $16, which you can refill during happy hour for $8.

Boca Chica: The Survivalist Beach

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