After having lived in Texas for nearly 15 years I’m almost ashamed to say that I’ve never vacationed on the Texas coast.Â This year we corrected that oversight and spent Christmas week down at South Padre Island.Â Call it beginners luck but we found a nicely furnished condo on the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
Best known for its wild Spring Break parties, we weren’t quite sure what to expect for crowds during this time of year.Â We were happy and somewhat relieved to find that this time of year attracts mostly families and those euphemistically known as “Winter Texans”.
My husband spent a few hours scouring the vacation rental sites before sending me a few candidates for consideration.Â He found a couple possibilities, but he can’t help it if he’s design impaired.Â I pulled up Trip Advisor and after about 10 minutes found what I was looking for.Â
With Trip Advisor, I was able to search for “South Padre Island”, and see a list of lodging choices sorted by popularity.Â The detailed user comments not only helped us make the best choice but also provided useful insider tips.Â We stayed at the Suntide III condominiums (ranked #1 by popularity) and our experience was consistent with the Trip Advisor comments.Â Our condo was nicely furnished, extremely clean and the property had good shared amenities (pool, tennis courts, beach access, etc.).Â
When relying on Trip Advisor comments, I keep in mind that owners give themselves good comments so I focus on those with at least half a dozen comments about a place to get several perspectives.Â