McAllen, Texas

McAllen is in Texas' lush lower Rio Grande Valley, noted for its subtropical climate, access to Mexico and tourist facilities catering to thousands of summer and winter visitors. McAllen is a great destination for birders and other nature-oriented visitors. Many Midwesterners and Canadians spend the entire winter here, strolling amid blossoming citrus groves. Mobile home parks and tourism organizations cater to visitors with planned daily activities such as dances, tours, bridge, domino and shuffleboard tournaments, shows and concerts.

The economy is based on tourism, citrus, vegetables, oil, gas, international trade with Mexico and conventions that enjoy extensive facilities. Outdoor activities are enjoyed year-round due to the subtropical climate. Golf is very popular and there are numerous courses available. This area is one of the best birding locations in the entire country. Several wildlife refuges and state parks offer excellent bird watching activities. The McAllen Marsh on Idela Street is a popular place for birding when the ponds are full. Birders often see grebes, black terns, and black-necked stilts. Flocks of red-crowned parrots and green parakeets are frequently seen and heard throughout the city, including the unique setting at La Quinta Mazatlan. Debate ensues over whether the birds are escapees or have been pushed to the northern reaches of their habitat. Nonetheless, they are thriving in McAllen. The best time to find them is at dusk. Several citrus groves and fruit and vegetable growers offer tours. The McAllen Information Center can provide the information and location.

Shoppers find La Placita a great place to shop in renovated historic houses in the downtown area at 301 South Main Street. Antique hunters enjoy several good antique stores sprinkled throughout the city, many specializing in Mexican antiques and furnishings.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Reynosa, Mexico

Reynosa is a charming Mexican city of over 500,000 just 8 miles south of McAllen, just across the Rio Grande. Several fine restaurants long famed for elaborate wildgame dinners; occasional Sun. afternoon bullfights. Gift shops cater to U.S. visitors with wealth of handicraft items in the Zona Rosa (

McAllen, TX Day Trips

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

About 2,000 acres of thick, brushy growth, typical of Valley before agricultural development. Preserves and protects abundant wildlife and plant species, many found nowhere else in U.S. Rare birds prominent during winter season. Interpretive wildlife tram operates late Nov. - mid-Apr.;

McAllen, TX Wildlife Refuges

Things to do near McAllen, TX

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

About 2,000 acres of thick, brushy growth, typical of Valley before agricultural development. Preserves and protects abundant...

Olmos Basin Golf Course

Course Access: PublicHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: 180 days...

Carrizo Springs Municipal Golf Course

Course Access: PublicHoles: 9Reserve Advance Tee Times: Yes...

Mission San Francisco de la Espada

Established 1731, favorite of many students of Spanish period in Texas, and popular with photographers. The little church bui...

Donna Wet Lands

City of Donna started this project in 1999 in an effort to promote the area's wildlife, and is home to excellent birding and ...