Let’s Explore: SPI Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary


Hey RGV Moms, we’re adding more adventures to our “Let’s Explore” series and highlighting some great spots in the RGV to visit with your kiddos. Today’s stop: South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary

SPI Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary

RGV Moms Directory Listing

Location: 6801 Padre Blvd South Padre Island

Phone: (956) 761-6801

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $10/Adults, $8/Students 13-18, $5/Children 4-12, under 4 years free with paid adult

Time Needed: 1-2 hours

Website: www.spibirding.com/

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/SPIbirding

Let’s Explore!

The SPI Birding, Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary is a must-visit on South Padre Island! It’s part of the nine World Birding Centers in the RGV.

Admission is $10/adult and $8/students ages 13-18, and $5/children 4-12.

SPI Nature 1B
SPI Nature 5
SPI Nature 4

The grounds of the SPI Birding, Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary are absolutely beautiful! My kids enjoyed exploring the ponds and other natural areas before we even got started!

Within the building, you can enjoy the alligator room, which houses baby alligators, and where you can hear a “Gator Talk.” Upstairs, there are exhibits about the nature and history of the RGV and South Padre Island. There’s also a gift shop within the building.

SPI Nature 6
SPI Nature 3
SPI Nature 7

Once you head outside, there’s so much to explore! You can climb up the tower (or use the elevator) and see a beautiful view of the Laguna Madre. Or, you can walk along the boardwalk, you can see Big Padre and Lady Laguna, two very large alligators who have been rescued and now live permanently at the SPI Birding, Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary. Big Padre is over 12 feet long! You can also see the young alligators and tortoises.

As long as the weather’s cool, you should definitely check out the boardwalks that run all the way out to the bay. There are several shaded bird blinds where you can cool off and learn more about the wildlife at SPI. We saw pelicans, herons, turtles, lots of fish, and some other species of birds.

SPI Nature 2
SPI Nature 8
SPI Nature 9

Insider Tips:

  • Bring water and sunscreen or hats for the little ones
  • You can purchase food and a photo op with the baby alligators for an additional $10
  • Visit in the late fall or winter, when temperatures aren’t soaring.

RGV Moms, get out there and explore all that the Valley has to offer! Check out the “Outdoor Play” section of our Directory for more information and ideas!


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