By: Alexis Harborth Photos by: Rachel Benavides
Corpus Christi has a new hotspot for tourists and locals alike. Sunset Island, a development by Mitchell Kalogridis, is the recently opened boardwalk on S. Padre Island Drive.
Many will be familiar with this area; longtime local favorites Snoopy’s Pier and Scoopy’s Ice Cream Shoppe are at the heart of Sunset Island. The locale suffered damage following 2017’s Hurricane Harvey and still had not fully recovered years later. In 2018, Kalogridis decided to purchase and develop the marina, and in 2019, Snoopy’s and Scoopy’s were purchased – bringing to life his longtime vision.
“It’s been my heart’s desire to build an entertainment district,” Kalogridis says. “I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time. I saw this as an opportunity to be much more than just a marina.”
And expand it he has. Mile Marker 37 has become a first of its kind in the city. Located on the waterfront, it features restaurants, shopping, sightseeing, and an array of outdoor activities – all nestled in lush landscaping.
“There’s art, it’s a music venue, a nationally recognized fishing tournament spot, a birdwatching destination, an area recognized for water sports of every kind, a wedding venue, and more,” Kalogridis says. “We have retail shops; Sunset Island is home to one of the largest Panama Jack shops in the state, the iconic Snoopy’s restaurant, and we’re continuing to grow.”
Water sport and rentals of all kinds can be found at Sunset Island, for whatever mood you may be in, from relaxing activities to high-adrenaline sports. “Sunset Island has kayaking, jet skis, stand-up paddleboarding rentals and classes, boat rentals, windsurfing, and more.” Kalogridis added that this aspect of Sunset Island will continue to be developed. “We are focused on growing, recruiting, and facilitating and putting in the infrastructure to be a national headquarters for wind sports: windsurfing and sailboarding.”
And from the surf to the sand, another favorite at Sunset Island is volleyball for leisure and professional players of all ages. “We are very excited about our volleyball courts,” says Kalogridis. “We want it to be a stopping place for beach volleyball, collegiate volleyball, and state organizational volleyball.”
From the activities to the events, hours of fun can be had in just one spot. A unique aspect of Sunset Island is that you can find something new every time you visit, from tournaments to boat parades. It’s an ideal spot to try a new activity or just enjoy the views. The sunsets come at no cost because at Sunset Island, parking is always free, and there’s no charge to enter the boardwalk.
“We want everybody to be able to come.” Kalogridis encourages. “Come and enjoy the prettiest sunsets in Corpus Christi.”
There is something for everyone at Sunset Island, and it was created with families in mind.
“We are all about family. If we are about any one thing, it’s family.” Kalogridis explains that each day, Sunset Island has tens of thousands of feet of deck work for families to eat, play, and relax. “It’s very touching to see.”
Kalogridis, who has been visiting and living in the Coastal Bend throughout his entire life, has a fondness for the simple joys of the Coastal Bend and finds it heartwarming to see wholesome simplicity captured for visitors.
“Someone asked me why I did all this, and I had a picture on my phone. It’s of two little kids sitting at the ends of the pier, arms around each other, watching the sunset, holding ice cream cups. That’s what it’s about.”
13313 S Padre Island Drive | @sunsetislandcc