If you are a space buff or just someone who wants to see an incredible launch pad, rockets and their engines near the Gulf of Mexico, go see the SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica. It nearly feels fake to see the prototype spaceships being built so close to the road in Boca Chica but rest assured they are not.
The launch pad is truly one of a kind in the world, and you can stay very close by on the world class beaches of South Padre Island and drive over with your kids for selfies with the nearby rockets. The fact is…who knows? Elon Musk frequents the facility and South Texas. Some visitors have caught glimpses of him. You will see awe in your children’s eyes when they see these rockets.
Spadre.com has tons of great vendors specializes in South Padre Beach Rentals and hotels for a place to stay, or if you already booked, lists tons of things to do on South Padre Island. If you’d like some help in booking a great beach condo or home on South Padre, text or call Chad 512-825-2157, he runs the #1 rated Vacation Rental Management Company on the Island by Google Reviews.
SpaceX was formed by entrepreneur Elon Musk in the hopes of revolutionizing the aerospace industry and making affordable spaceflight a reality. The company entered the arena with the Falcon 1 rocket, a two-stage liquid-fueled craft designed to send small satellites into orbit.
SpaceX was the first private company to launch a payload to space and back. In 2010, SpaceX made space exploration history when it became the first company to launch a payload into orbit and return it to Earth intact.
SpaceX is a private spaceflight company that sends satellites and people to space, including NASA crews to the International Space Station (ISS). Founder Elon Musk is also creating and testing a Starship system for lunar landings and, he hopes, future crewed Mars missions.
It is believed SpaceX may be critical to US National Security and the US Military for its great technological advancements and the possible future ability to launch US Satellites into orbit without the use of Foreign unfriendlies like Russia and/or China. Currently in the Ukraine, the use of Mr. Musk’s Starlink Technology has proved fatal for Russia as they do not have the capabilities to take out Ukrainian military communications thanks to Starlink.
SpaceX has been able to create rockets that can be reused several times. Now, rockets are very expensive and account for a huge chunk of the overall costs incurred by companies dealing in outer space missions. SpaceX has created rockets that can be reused seven times!
The direct economic impact by SpaceX is more than $51 million annually in salaries, according to the Dallas Business Journal. Economic experts figure another 300 to 400 jobs will be created from suppliers either moving to or expanding in the Brownsville area.
It has been mentioned NASA projects that have companies involved, such as private space stations and lunar cargo spacecraft, but SpaceX was the only real name among them. Right now, SpaceX is currently the only way for NASA astronauts to get to and from orbit.
What is so exciting for the Boca Chica launch site known as Space City near South Padre Island? Easy.
Currently SpaceX is testing the Starship at Boca Chica - the rocket designed for missions to Mars. Mr. Musk has commented on Twitter that it is the likely location for the launch of the largest rocket engines in the history of mankind. Tens of thousands of tourists will come to South Padre Island to see this launch. Putting it likely – this could be a game changer for the human race and our quest to inhabit another planet like Mars.
The ”roll off” technology that comes by the pouring of billions of dollars into developing such tech by SpaceX to the consumer market is likely to put the United States in the future 10 to 20 years ahead of other countries technologically speaking. Further, SpaceX is a privately funded Company vs. NASA, which has in many instances proven ineffective & incredibly expensive for the US taxpayer.
Want to know what to do if you want to visit SpaceX ? Come to South Padre Island to enjoy our thousand places to stay while going to view the launch pad.
There are trips to South Padre Island, and there are trips to SpaceX Boca Chica Beach & Space City. You’ll want to include South Padre Island as seeing the launch pad and snapping some photos is likely 45 minutes there and 45 minutes back, as well as maybe an hour by the launch site. That’s it.
On a launch day, you can check back here at Spadre for launch schedules. Staying on the South End of South Padre Island or driving into Isla Blanca Park to view launches is suggested. Boats are not allowed near SpaceX on launch days for obvious reasons.
Space launches are weather based, so planning a trip to South Padre Island just makes sense, in case a launch doesn’t occur.
As they are based on weather we recommend a minimum of three nights here to give you the best chance of seeing a launch if a weather delays.
Here’s a three night, 4 day trip with fun things to do for seeing a SpaceX launch at Boca Chica. We will assume that you will arrive the day before a launch is scheduled to get settled in. Remember, you may still miss a launch even with a 3 night/4 day itinerary so if you are hardcore “must see a launch” a full week is recommended. Still – no guarantees.
Get settled into your rental with www.SouthPadreTrips.com or a great hotel on the South End like the Holiday Inn Beach Resort. Make a plan as to where you’d like to see the launch that day of arrival / launch.
Dinner suggestions we have for you are for a nicer dinner on the marina, try Sea Ranch. For more informal family style, consider Russo’s or Gabriella’s Italian. Thinking steaks? Liam’s Steakhouse is a great choice. Fried shrimp or fresh oysters? Daddy’s Seafood Kitchen. Want to try a flight of microbrews? South Padre Brew Pub. Bar scene with great fish tacos or a Mexican plate? Tom & Jerry’s Seafood kitchen or Louies Backyard for great fajitas or ribs.
The SpaceX Boca Chica launch site is by South Bay, which is of course part of our Laguna Madre Bay. Great possible launch viewing site are Isla Blanca Park or from your balcony if you do have a place to stay on the South End of the Island. If you prefer, you could also drive over to Highway 48 between South Padre Island and the Port of Brownsville and watch from your tailgate on the side of the road.
Most launches have in the past been scheduled in the afternoon. Try breakfast at Yummies Bistro, Montana’s @ Kraken, or Josefinas some of the best places.
Then, definitely have a walk on the beach. South Padre Island is home to the best beach in Texas. The county park of Isla Blanca offers the most popular area of launches and is as far South as you can get on South Padre Island, when you have time, drive as far as you can for miles of unspoiled beaches and sea shells galore kids will love.
Keep in mind we would be in your viewing area by lunch time, so pack a cooler with lunch and plenty to drink to stay hydrated.
Whether you plan on seeing the launch from your balcony at your condo or hotel, or at Isla Blanca Park, or on the side of the road on Highway 48 be aware delays are super common with weather. If you have kids, mentally prepare your kids. Having fully charged phones, ipads, and or toys ready if delays will help a lot.
While we are planning for the worse and delays, these launches can and do happen and they are INCREDIBLE! You can keep track of all the action on this site Spadre.com or via several Twitter Feeds and Facebook groups.
Isla Blanca Beach Park at South Padre Island Jetties
Once you see (or don’t see) the launch, take a look at the above suggestions for dinner if you didn’t get out your first night. If you come as an adult couple, think about happy hour at Bobs on the Bay or Longboard Café or catch the band at the arena @ Kraken (Montana’s.) Many also enjoy after a hot day going inside the locals bar at Louies Backyard for a baseball game a a cold beer.
Barring any delays and you say the launch, it’s time to hit the beach after what we call “breakfast taco day” whether you pick them up to go at Yummies or hit the infamous Stripes Gas Station Tacos get some and bring back to your room or condo.
Not into the beach scene? Consider a trip to Sea Turtle Inc, the largest sea turtle rehab project on the Gulf Coast in the US, and for sure go next door to the Birding Center to pay the small extra fee to see the resident alligator on the bay.
Sonny’s Beach Service as well as Jim’s Beach Service or Sun Kissed Rentals can rent you a beach umbrella and 2 chairs for about $45 cash located up and down the beach. Consider booking a sand castle lesson as well.
Want to horseback ride on the beach? Head north to South Padre Island Adventure Park. You can also rent a jet ski or go parasailing at Coconut Jacks near Louies Backyard. In front of Louies also are go carts & the ejector seat plus a really first class mini golf course.
Hungry after? Well…fine dining our #1 choice would be F&B. Some other seafood? Check out the new Nautico. Also Pirate’s Landing or Marcellos across the bay are fantastic choices in Port Isabel