If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our South Padre Island guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in South Padre Island for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like Louie's Backyard to busy places like Coconuts that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the South Padre Island area? No fear - we share all the facts!

5 Sea Ranch Restaurant
Upscale but still in keeping with South Padre's unspoken "keep it casual" credo, Sea Ranch offers breathtaking water views, patio dining, and a smartly appointed dining room adorned with original artwork. A favorite end-of-day gathering spot for the area's more affluent visitors, the restaurant's cocktail lounge, Dirty Dave's, offers indoor and outdoor seating. In fact, rumor has it that there are few better places on the island to watch the sunset than on Dave's deck, evening cocktail in hand. (956-761-1314)

4 Louie's Backyard
Although its tropical pink facade is more SoBe than Lone Star, this busy baysider earns high marks as a laid-back place to enjoy delicious local-inspired fare, play a few games of shuffleboard, and share cervezas or cocktails with amigos. Indeed, Louie's Sports Bar is a popular gathering place — one that features 44 TVs with satellite feeds, complimentary hors d'oeuvres at happy hour, and a mind-boggling selection of domestic and international brews. A spectacular summer-long firework series (on Friday nights) and frequent live bands ensure great crowds. (956-761-6406)

3 South Padre Island Brewing Company
Billed as the sole brewpub south of San Antonio, this South Padre stalwart earns high marks for tasty house quaffs like the Tailing Red Amber. To complete the scene, the owners have decorated the place with old brewing odds and ends, including burlap bags hanging from the ceiling, copper kettles, and an enviable collection of beer bottles and beer-related posters. In addition to the island's only handcrafted brews, the Company also serves delicious American pub grub that ranges from its signature ribs to pizzas, steaks, and burgers. Outdoor seating is available on the second floor deck. (956-761-9585)

2 Coconuts
This quirky, open-air joint takes the nightlife thing and gives it a South Padre twist, thanks to live bands most nights and parasailing and wave-runner rentals during the day. Billed as one of the island's first palapa bars (courtesy of its open-sided, thatched-roof structure), Coconuts overlooks Laguna Madre, making it an ideal place to enjoy the sunset over a few cervezas. Adding to the resort-inspired scene are the music selection and Caribbean-heavy menu, both of which add touches of spice to the place. (956-761-4218)

1 Tom & Jerry's Beach Club Bar & Grill
The island's top sports bar, Tom & Jerry's never seems to run out of energy. With big games on the tube and NTN trivia, the bar stays lively and abuzz with action, and servers earn points for being some of the friendliest on South Padre. In addition, the kitchen serves a delicious selection of traditional and Gulf-style pub grub, including fresh fish and seafood entrees. Terrific happy hour prices tend to make early-evening crowds run large, and Tom & Jerry's potent margaritas are rumored to be among the island's best. (956-761-8999)

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Maps and Directions

Sea Ranch Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Lounge
Neighborhood: South Padre Island
Louie's Backyard 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Sports Bar
Neighborhood: BAYSIDE
South Padre Island Brewing Company 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar
Coconuts 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Beach Bar
Tom & Jerry's Beach Club Bar & Grill 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Late Night / After Hours, Sports Bar
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