First time visitors to the Rio Grande Valley are captivated by the majestic palm trees that line many of the roads and highways and the lush foliage and colorful flowers that subtly perfume the air. Because of its fertile soil and subtropical climate, the Valley grows many fruits and vegetables year round. The Valley has long been famous for its delicious citrus fruits, most notably the Ruby Red and Rio Red Grapefruit, which are prized internationally for their eye appealing color and their burst of sweet-tart juiciness.
Frequently called “the gateway to Mexico”, The Rio Grande Valley has a number of border towns that share international entry points with towns in Mexico. Visitors can drive their vehicles across the Rio Grande River into Mexico, or they can park and walk across a footbridge to the neighboring Mexican town for shopping or dining. The Valley itself is a delightful blend of “Tex-Mex” traditions, culture, language and food!
Once a parochial collection of scattered, rural communities, the Rio Grande Valley has matured into a vibrant, thriving integration of cities clustered along a bustling expressway corridor that efficiently shuttles traffic from east to west or north to south. Two international airports in McAllen and Brownsville offer flights serviced by multiple airlines to international destinations, while Harlingen provides domestic flights serviced exclusively by Southwest. The Rio Grande Valley now boasts excellent accessibility, whatever transportation a traveler may choose.
Each of the cities along the expressway corridors has its own unique attractions. The local Chambers of Commerce provide online information regarding each city’s “must sees” and a monthly calendar highlighting special events. Edinburg as home to UT-RGV, hosts many university related activities, such as varsity basketball and baseball games, and art, music and drama presentations. There are several multi-purpose complexes in the area that present live concerts, sporting events and other special entertainment venues. McAllen’s Convention Center hosts a number of conventions, expos and other special events throughout the year, drawing large crowds from the entire region. A plethora of museums offer visitors a variety of subjects to pique their interest, including history of the area, maritime and aviation, science and the arts. For nature lovers, the Valley provides numerous opportunities to view the flora and fauna and wildlife that are indigenous to this sub-tropical region via the many local, state and national parks scattered throughout the area. Indeed, there is something to please everyone!