Explore RGV’s List of Featured Destinations
Explore RGV’s mission is to encourage the exploration
of the Rio Grande Valley by highlighting its assets spreading across the four counties: Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron. The Explore RGV directory will put the cities of the Rio Grande Valley, whether rural or large, in the spotlight for locals and visitors to visit. Our intention is to give visitors and residents alike a greater appreciation of our beloved Rio Grande Valley, and to bring everyone here closer together.
Explore RGV has compiled a list of the most visited attractions across the Rio Grande Valley. To view videos and more information on these featured destinations, visit www.GoExploreRGV.com.
BASILICA OF OUR LADY OF SAN JUAN DEL VALLE NATIONAL SHRINE
The Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle National Shrine is a Minor Basilica of the Catholic Church located in San Juan. It is also a national shrine under the direction of the Diocese of Brownsville.
400 Virgen de San Juan Blvd., San Juan, TX 78589
(956) 787-0033 | [email protected] | olsjbasilica.org
BENTSEN-RIO GRANDE VALLEY STATE PARK
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park serves as the headquarters for the World Birding Center.
2800 S. Bentsen Palm Drive, Mission, TX 78572
(956) 584-9156 | [email protected]
BROWNSVILLE MUSEUM OF FINE ART/LINEAR PARK This museum offers exhibits by local and international artists with programs for kids and adults.
660 E. Ringgold St., Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 542-0941 | [email protected] | bmfa.us
DOWNTOWN HARLINGEN (AND MURALS)
Many larger-than-life-size murals brighten the streets of downtown Harlingen and decorate walls inside businesses. Most depict aspects of Valley history and culture.
209 W. Jackson St., Harlingen, TX 78550
(956) 216-4910 | downtownharlingen.com/murals
EDINBURG SCENIC WETLANDS
Edinburg Scenic Wetlands & World Birding Center is a
40-acre destination featuring walking trails for birdwatching and an educational center.
714 S. Raul Longoria Rd., Edinburg, TX 78542
[email protected] | www.edinburgwbc.org
ESTERO LLANO GRANDE
Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco attracts a spectacular array of South Texas wildlife with its varied landscape of shallow lake, woodlands and thorn forest. Even beginning birders and nature lovers will enjoy exploring this 230-plus-acre refuge, which is convenient to all the Rio Grande Valley has to offer.
3301 S. International Blvd. (FM 1015), Weslaco, TX 78596 (956) 565-3919 | [email protected]
GRACE HERITAGE RANCH
Grace Heritage Ranch offers unique educational tours of a 100-acre homestead located in Deep South Texas. They take you along for a fun adventure as we set off to inspire you with the wisdom of our forefathers. We will have an exciting time together as you get to interact with some very special animals.
27539 Old Alice Road, Lyford, TX 78569
(956) 230-6903 | [email protected]
HARLINGEN ARROYO COLORADO
A gateway to the entire World Birding Center network, Harlingen’s Arroyo Colorado is close to major highways and an international airport, but remains a quiet wooded retreat from the hustle of urban life. Connected by the arroyo waterway, as well as hike-and-bike trails meandering through the city, Hugh Ramsey Nature Park to the east and the Harlingen Thicket to the west anchor an important reservoir of nature in a fast-changing world.
1001 S. Loop 499, Harlingen, TX 78550
(956) 427-8873 | [email protected]
Hilltop Gardens is a garden, farm, and Inn! It captures the eternal wisdom of aloe vera and allows you to truly experience the best nature has to offer.
100 Lees Lane, Lyford TX 78569
(956) 262-2176 | [email protected]
INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART & SCIENCE
The International Museum of Art & Science is a museum located in McAllen. It is dedicated to exhibiting Latin American art, as well as educating visitors about science. 1900 W. Nolana Ave., McAllen, TX 78504
(956) 682-0123 | [email protected]
ISLA BLANCA COUNTY PARK
Isla Blanca Park is located on the southernmost tip of South Padre Island and is the crown jewel of the parks system. Located within the park, there is over a mile of pristine beach along the Gulf of Mexico that offers an abundance of waterfront recreational facilities.
33174 State Park Road 100, South Padre Island, TX 78597 (956) 761-5494 | [email protected]
IWO JIMA MONUMENT & MEMORIAL MUSEUM Harlingen’s most recognizable heritage tourism attraction is the Iwo Jima Monument. This massive structure is the original working model used by sculptor Dr. Felix de Weldon in his casting of the official bronze version in Washington, D.C.
320 North Iwo Jima Blvd., Harlingen, TX 78550
(956) 421-9234 | [email protected]
MCALLEN CONVENTION CENTER
The McAllen Convention Center is a 174,000-square-foot multi-purpose convention center with a seating capacity of 3,500. Having opened in 2007, it hosts locals sporting events and concerts.
700 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen, TX 78501
(956) 681-3800 | [email protected]
MCALLEN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
McAllen Performing Arts Center presents a wide variety of nationally recognized productions of music, dance, and theater to the people of South Texas.
801 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen, TX 78501
(956) 681-3800 | [email protected]
MUSEUM OF SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY
For almost 40 years, the museum has chronicled the heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico, preserving its rich history. The museum has been a part of the community since 1967. It first opened its doors as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the old Hidalgo County jail. Built in 1910, the old jail continues to be one the most important sections of the museum.
200 N. Closner Blvd., Edinburg, Texas 78541
(956) 383-6911 | [email protected] | mosthistory.org
OLD HIDALGO PUMPHOUSE (WORLD BIRDING CENTER) On a break from cross-border shopping excursions, visitors to this museum on the Rio Grande can learn about the steam-driven irrigation pumps that transformed Hidalgo County into a year-round farming phenomenon. They also can wander the museum’s grounds, where hummingbird gardens are planned, and where many of the Valley’s amazing bird species are regular visitors, as well.
902 S. Second St., Hidalgo, TX 78557
(956) 843-8686 | theworldbirdingcenter.com/hidalgo.html
PORT ISABEL LIGHTHOUSE, PIRATE SHIP, & FISHING PIER Constructed in 1852, the Point Isabel Lighthouse was built to protect and guide ships through Brazos Santiago Pass and the barrier islands. In 1952, the lighthouse was opened as a state park and remains the only lighthouse on the Texas Gulf coast open to the public.
421 E. Queen Isabel Blvd. in Lighthouse Square, Port Isabel, South Padre Island, TX 78418
(956) 943-2262 | [email protected] portisabellighthouse.com
PORT MANSFIELD (KAYAKING, FISHING, BAY)
Port Mansfield is a port and fishing community on the Laguna Madre opposite Port Mansfield Channel in northeastern Willacy County.
101 East Port Dr., Port Mansfield, TX 78598
(956) 944-2354 | portmansfieldchamb[email protected] www.portmansfieldchamberofcommerce.com/joomla30
Quinta Mazatlan is now an urban sanctuary working to enrich people’s lives by sharing knowledge about birds, plants, and environmental stewardship in South Texas. Quinta Mazatlan and its WBC partners promote birding and conservation of Valley habitat, especially as it benefits numerous avian residents and neo-tropical migrants.
600 Sunset Drive, McAllen, TX 78504
(956) 681-3370 | [email protected]
RESACA DE LA PALMA STATE PARK
Resaca De La Palma State Park has birding in a 1,200-acre space with bike trails, observation decks, butterfly garden and tram tours.
1000 New Carmen Ave., Brownsville, TX 78521
SABAL PALM SANCTUARY
This 527-acre preserve is host to a wonderful assortment of birds and other wildlife and is home to one of the last stands of old-growth sabal palm jungle in the United States. Green jays and chachalacas frequent our feeders, armadillos rummage around our trails, and great horned owl calls often haunt the forest.
8435 Sabal Palm Grove Road, Brownsville, TX 78521
(956) 541-8034 | [email protected]
SAN BENITO CULTURAL HERITAGE MUSEUM
The state-of-the-art Cultural Heritage Museum houses three nonprofit organizations that share a passion to preserve and share San Benito’s rich history. These nonprofits include the Freddy Fender Museum, the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and the San Benito History Museum. 210 E. Heywood St., San Benito, TX 78586
SANTA ANA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is a 2,088-acre National Wildlife Refuge situated along the banks of the Rio Grande, south of Alamo.
3325 Green Jay, Alamo, TX 78516
(956) 784-7500 | [email protected]
SEA TURTLE INC.
This facility is a sea turtle education, research, rescue and rehabilitation center in South Padre Island.
6617 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-4511 | [email protected]
SPI BIRDING CENTER/WHALING WALL
South Padre Island Birding Center is a beachfront nature area providing a birding boardwalk, interactive exhibit room and observation tower.
6801 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-6801 | [email protected]
VALLEY NATURE CENTER
Valley Nature Center is a 6-acre park and nature preserve in Weslaco. Its focus is environmental education about the natural history of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
301 S. Border Ave., Weslaco, TX 78596
(956) 969-2475 | [email protected]