Shore fishing year-round, fishing license is required
Lifeguards are on duty during the summer
Leashed pets are welcome year-round
Swimming, Fishing, Seacombing, Surfing, Kayaking, Relaxing
Camping, Showers, Restrooms, Picnic Pavillion
Free to visit
Parking nearby and on the beach; $12 parking pass for the year
Port Aransas Beach
Boca Chica Beach
Not to be confused with Bali in Indonesia, Padre Balli Park and beach is located in Corpus Christi, Texas. It's a park and beach located on the Gulf of Mexico and offers countless water and beachfront activities, making it one of the best beaches in Texas.
If you enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and fishing, you'll love visiting Padre Balli Park. It's an excellent place for all beachgoers, especially for families looking for beach amenities like a playground, restrooms, and picnic areas.
Corpus Christi is also a great place for a vacation. It's filled with popular attractions, outdoor activities, and various accommodations.
In this guide, we'll share everything you need to know about Padre Balli Park and beach, including a bit about its history, where to stay, what to do, and answers to common questions.
Corpus Christi and Padre Balli have a deep, fascinating history. Legends say the lush bay was discovered in the 1500s by a Spanish explorer, Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda. Then, the coastal city was founded in the early 1800s by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney.
In 1845, US troops set up camp in the area to prepare for war with Mexico. About a year later, the city took the name Corpus Christi because troops needed a postmark for letters.
Padre Balli itself is named after a significant figure in the early history of Texas, Father José Nicolas Ballí. It's said that he came from a wealthy family living in Reynosa, present-day Mexico. He arrived in Texas in 1817 and helped establish the first Catholic church in the state. Father Ballí also founded several schools and orphanages. You can find the Padre J. Nicolas Balli statue on South Padre Island.
Padre Balli is also home to the Selena Memorial Statue, about 20 miles northwest of Padre Balli Park. Selena was a famous singer who was born in Corpus Christi, whose life was tragically taken in 1995.
Today, Corpus Christi strives to be progressive as it continues to update infrastructure and plan for future resources. In fact, the city is on a mission to be a national leader of excellence for residents and visitors alike.
About Padre Balli
Padre Balli Park is on Park Road 22, on the northside of Padre Island along the Gulf of Mexico. The park boasts 374 acres of beachfront and is open all year long. You can find RV and tent campsites, restrooms, showers, and a pavilion at the campground. Of course, there's also a beautiful beach.
Beachgoers can also go fishing and take their boat on Padre Balli waters. It's an excellent spot to sunbathe, enjoy water sports, and swim. If you're checking out the beach but not camping, you also have access to restrooms and showers.
Over the years, Padre Balli has become popular because of its accessibility and nearby popular tourist attractions. It's also an excellent destination if you're looking to relax and enjoy peaceful beach vibes.
Many outdoor enthusiasts also love visiting Padre Balli as the campground allows you to spend time outdoors, and there are also many outdoor activities nearby.
How to Get to Padre Balli Park
It's pretty easy to find Padre Balli Park in Corpus Christi. It's situated off the south coast of Texas on the north end of Padre Island, a few hours southeast of San Antonio.
The quickest way to get to Padre Balli is to take I-37 to Corpus Christi, which turns into S Padre Island Drive/Park Road 22. You'll take this all the way to the ocean.
Once you arrive to the beach, you can park nearby or on the shore. There's a yearly parking pass that you can purchase at these locations.
Where to Stay
One reason we recommend vacationing in Corpus Christi for your trip to Padre Balli is because of ample accommodation options. Whether you're looking to stay right on the beach or closer to the city, there's something for everyone.
You can book a campsite at Padre Balli Park, and there are also several vacation rentals and hotels nearby. If you're looking for one of the best beach resorts in the area, we recommend checking out Lively Beach, which is just a few miles away.
You can also find tons of hotels and restaurants along the S Padre Island Drive before you get to the causeway to the beach.
Padre Balli is one of the best beaches and parks if you're looking for a fun seaside experience. It's also a perfect beach for relaxing and is in a great location for nearby activities. Let's check out some of the top attractions!
Beachgoers that appreciate water sports and activities love visiting Padre Balli. You can usually expect some small waves on the beach, which are fun for various beach activities. Visitors enjoy shore fishing, swimming, surfing, and kayaking.
Because the waters in Corpus Christi are clear, many scuba divers wonder if there's an opportunity for this. While you can dive around Padre Balli, you have to be mindful of the conditions. Learn all about where to dive near Padra Balli here.
For a unique experience on the water, check out GlowRow – a glowing kayak tour that takes you on a nighttime trip through different locations located on the Texas coast. Each kayak is lit up with underwater LED lights. You'll get to experience unique landmarks and spot the beautiful wildlife of Padre Balli.
With 400-acres of coastline, Padre Balli is one of the best beaches in Texas for beachcombing. You can find many seashells and walk along the beach while taking in the scenery.
Bob Hall Pier
The Bob Hall Pier is a fishing pier that juts out 1,240 feet into the water. It's an angler's paradise for catching fish along the Texas coast. You can find unique fish species from the pier, including speckled trout and grouper. You may even spot dolphins, too.
Note: At this time, the Bob Hall Pier is closed for renovations. While you can enjoy the rest of this incredibly nice beach at all times, the pier is expected to be closed until at least the summer of 2022.
If you're visiting Padre Balli, we definitely recommend trying to catch a sunrise or sunset! The views are stunning, and it offers a peaceful experience. Early morning and late afternoon are also the best times to appreciate the quiet beach.
Padre Balli Park is one of the most popular beaches in the area for camping. Camping on Padre Balli is the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of South Texas. Wide sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico provide a stunning backdrop and plenty of space to spend a day at the shore.
Take it all in at a tent or RV site at Balli Padre Park. The campground is within walking distance from the beach and offers electrical hookups, water, restrooms, and showers. On the beach, you can also enjoy bonfires and other beach activities listed above.
Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore is a coastal island and national park surrounding Padre Balli Park. This national park protects almost 70 miles of coastline, prairies, dunes, and tidal wind flats that boasts various wildlife.
Nature enthusiasts love visiting Padre Island National Seashore to bird watch, fish, and kayak. It's also a hotspot for history buffs, with its rich history, including Spanish shipwrecks from the 1500s.
If you can, visit the national seashore during a sea turtle hatchling release. Learn more here!
Mustang Island State Park
Many Balli Beach Park visitors like to change things up and visit Mustang Island State Park for a few hours or a day. This massive park is located just north of Balli Beach Park and covers 3,954 acres.
You can find 5 miles of stunning beaches and opportunities for birding and camping. It's also an excellent place to sunbathe, swim, stroll, and go bay fishing.
Padre Balli Park Review
Overall, Padre Balli Park is home to one of the beaches in Texas. It's the perfect destination to relax, enjoy the incredible views, and have some fun, too.
If you're a nature lover or photographer, you'll especially love Padre Balli! With that said, it's also a wonderful place for families, solo beachgoers, and surfers. Visitors enjoy the white sand beach, clear waters, and scenic bay.
The park campground makes it easy to spend a few days or more close to the beach. It makes it easy to hang out by the shore for as long as you'd like. You can also find hotels, vacation rentals, and resorts nearby.
Many visitors comment on Padre Balli Park's friendly staff, who work to ensure the beach and park stay clean and that all beachgoers enjoy their time.
Here are a few reviews from Padre Balli visitors:
"It was beautiful and very peaceful. We came during a week day. It was a nice break away from San Antonio."
"Always have a blast on the Gulf!!! Sun, fun, music and a freaking excellent party!!"
"Just incredible experience."
"The beach at Padre Balli is gorgeous. Camping is good, just prepare for wind."
"We have been visiting for many years. The beach is clean, they have public restrooms, and outdoor showers."