No trip to the Texas coast would be complete without seeing a sea turtle, but in South Padre Island, it’s easy to see many at Sea Turtle, Inc., a rescue center for rehabilitating turtles found locally. Some of the turtles will be released back into the wild after they recuperate, while those with life-altering injuries will remain at their facility! One such turtle is Allison, who only has 1 flipper and wears a prosthesis! The work they do with turtles is amazing!
Located on the North end of Padre Blvd., like everything else on the little island, it’s easy to find! Sea Turtles, Inc. was founded by Ila Fox Loetscher, the Turtle Lady, in 1977. Since her death in 2000, volunteers have continued her life’s work as an advocate for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley and other sea turtles!
Parking is free. South Padre has sand sculptures all over the island, and even a scavenger hunt to find all of them! This was located right in front of Sea Turtles Inc.
Inside the facility, you’ll find lots of tanks holding both the recuperating turtles, and the life-long residents. Each turtles has their own story of how they came to Sea Turtle, Inc., and you can read about them!
Since we were traveling with our pup, we were thrilled that Sea Turtle, Inc is dog-friendly! She loved seeing the big turtles as much as we did!
Miss Winks-A-Lot is one of the turtles we met!
There are also educational displays.
I didn’t get a picture of the gift shop, but be sure to bring your change if your child loves to collect pressed pennies. My little boy is getting quite a collection!
During our visit, there weren’t any turtle releases scheduled, as the weather was turning VERY cold. In fact, many sea turtles were brought in during the cold days that followed, stunned by the cold waters! These turtles were released when the waters warmed up.
You can see a release from a boat or on-shore.
All hatchling releases take place in the late spring and early summer, are from the beach, and are not scheduled in advance. If you happen to visit during a release, it’s a wonderful experience not to be missed. Check with Sea Turtle Inc for upcoming releases!
Things To Do in South Padre Island
Parrot Eyes Watersports offers boat and jet ski tours into the Laguna Madre to see stingrays and dolphins! Click HERE for more information.
Isla Blanca Park offers beach access, a fishing pier, restaurants, and more! Click HERE for more information!
South Padre Island Adventure Park offers horseback riding on the beach, zip lines, petting zoo and more! Save money by purchasing online. Click HERE for more information.
Pier 19 is our favorite! Enjoy a walk along their long pier, and watch dolphins in the bay as you dine! Click HERE for more information.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Beach Resort offers beachfront rooms and admission into the waterpark with your stay! Click HERE for more information.
Sea Turtle, Inc.
6617 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island
Click HERE to visit their website.
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