Mission was established in 1824 by Oblate Fathers on a site three miles south of the present town. Priests were said to have planted an orange grove that was one of first experiments with citrus culture in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Mission has since become an agricultural center for all citrus and celebrates this industry with the annual Texas Citrus Fiesta in January. Birding opportunities are found around the city, where rare birds can be spotted. The area is a key destination for migratory birds as well as native species.
Mission Hike and Bike Trail is a five-mile trail located on South Conway and ends at the World Birding Center, featuring abundant native plants and wildlife, paved trails and two bridges.
Other events include the Texas Butterfly Festival in October.