Living: Spring Break at South Padre

Island Students find a new Fort Lauderdale on the Texas coast

After students thundered through his lobby, the manager of the South Padre Hilton resort christened it the Gaza Strip and barricaded one entrance with potted plants. The Holiday Inn signed on 80 additional workers to deal with the overflow of revelers. The Sheraton, its $270-a-night suites jammed, brought in a security force from Dallas.

In various ways the tiny Texas beach town of South Padre Island (pop. 1,052) was coping with an invasion of college students and the questionable distinction of being the newest hot spot on the spring-break circuit. A short causeway ride off the south Texas coast, South Padre...

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