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Winter Break



For a great holiday gift, what about an escape from cold weather? South Padre Island fills the bill. Daytime temperatures average 70˚. The water’s a bit cool for swimming but there are other ways to enjoy it – paddleboarding, kayaking, windsurfing, cruising and fishing. Thrill-seekers can parasail or even parachute onto the beach. For me, nothing beats getting up early and savoring sunrise on the beach, padding along the wet sand, letting the waves tickle my feet.

Maritime Marvels

Left: Sea Turtle Inc. resident    Right: A dolphin shows off for a Breakaway Cruise. Photos by Elaine Warner

If all you’re looking for is a beach book and a tall drink, you can certainly find it. But there are treats you shouldn’t miss on South Padre.

Sea Turtle Inc. is a research, rescue and rehab facility with a big dose of education thrown in. You’ll be able to get up close (but not too personal) with these wonderful reptiles and you’ll marvel at Allison, an Atlantic green sea turtle, who lost three flippers but is able to swim with the help of the first successful turtle prosthesis.

Speaking of flippers – you’ll see lots of Flippers on one of Breakaway Cruises’ dolphin cruises. And they have a specimen tank onboard where they’ll show you examples of other Laguna Madre residents.

Birding is big business in South Texas with locations of World Birding Center facilities strung throughout the Rio Grande Valley. The South Padre site features a visitors’ center with a film and displays and two-thirds of a mile of boardwalks.

For sheer relaxation, take a Southern Wave sunset/dinner cruise. Admire the beautiful homes along the Laguna Madre, listen to music, enjoy jumbo grilled shrimp and fajitas and watch the sunset – the perfect way to unwind.

Castles in the Sand

Sand Castle Dave with his masterpiece. Photo by Elaine Warner

There are other attractions to this turf. Sand Castle Dave, with SandCastleLessons.com, was my instructor on a bit of beach behind Boomerang Billy’s Beach Bar. Since I wanted to take photos, I let him do most of the work.

In a short time, he’d completed an impressive two-towered creation with a door that went all the way through. The instructors are generous with their time and the hour lessons can stretch to an hour and a half and longer. And after the lesson, you can stay and play in the sand. Next time I go to Padre, I’m chucking my camera and getting into it with both hands!

Shop, Sup and Sleep

Pull up a beach chair and prepare to relax. Photo courtesy SPI CVB

If you forgot your beach book, head for Paragraphs, a great independent bookstore. Boutiques abound – a favorite, Isla, features unique clothing with lots of linen and flax and funky shoes. Across the bridge in Port Isabel, stop in Art*Sea Gallery for clever gifts and beach-themed items.

Sea Ranch is a sentimental dining favorite featuring local wild-caught seafood. Pier 19 goes heavy on the touristy décor with fun photo ops and life-sized pirate figures but the food’s an attraction, too. Their breakfast rolls are big enough to serve several people.

Pier 19 breakfast roll, photo by Elaine Warner

I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn – right on the beach and featuring a lovely large pool. You have lots of options on SPI but The Palms, retro and cool, is a hidden treasure with a great little restaurant – the Café on the Beach. Don’t be fooled by the casual appearance, these folks are serious about good, healthy food.

South Padre is one big grab-bag of great choices. Pick yourself a present. 

Don’t-Miss Holiday Events
Saturday, December 1 Christmas Lighted Boat Parade
Friday, December 14 SPI Holiday Parade
Tuesday, January 1 Polar Bear Dip

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Calendar

January 2018

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Entertainer Matt Cowell has performed publicly from an early age. He attended the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is known for his acoustic, classic...

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 West Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: NOIR Bistro & Bar
Telephone: 405.208.4233
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Do you love a fine wine? Craft beer? Sipping bourbon? So do we. Join Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge for Fork + Bottle, a unique dinner series in which we educate, pair, and taste inspired menus...

Cost: $59 per person

Where:
Mary Eddy's Kitchen x Lounge
900 W Main Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.982.6918
Contact Name: Emily

More information

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma will present a one-day unique learning experience: The Festival of Arts and Ideas. USAO students and faculty from diverse fields of study will...

Cost: Free

Where:
USAO Ballroom
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.574.1362
Contact Name: Zach McGrew
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Oklahoma City's premier platform for improvised comedy theatre features weekly performances with shows Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Enjoy buy one get one ticket prices with your...

Cost: $10, or see both shows nightly for $15

Where:
The Paramount Theatre OKC
11 North Lee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Improv
Telephone: 405-456-9858
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Dr. Nathan Brown, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate (2013-14), has been keeping journals since he was 12 years old, and they're the basis for this new exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center...

Cost: $6 adults (see website for all prices)

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni
Website »

More information

Oklahoma City's premier platform for improvised comedy theatre features weekly performances with shows Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Enjoy buy one get one ticket prices with your...

Cost: $10, or see both shows nightly for $15

Where:
The Paramount Theatre OKC
11 North Lee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Improv
Telephone: 405-456-9858
Website »

More information

The urban soul sounds of BORN IN NOVEMBER will capture and hold you. With influences from Stevie Wonder and Ray C. Cooke, this talented duo perform R&B with a style all their own. Enjoy...

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 West Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: NOIR Bistro & Bar
Telephone: 405.208.4233
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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