McAllen TX Things to Do

Watch birds, play golf, go shopping and much more

By Kevin Litwin on April 29, 2014 at 11:34 am EST
mcallen bird


Courtesy of dany13 under a CC 4.0 license.

At the southern tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley is McAllen, situated on the Rio Grande River across from Reynosa, Mexico. McAllen is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in America, and there is plenty to do here – including the following:

Get a Bird’s Eye View

Try bird watching throughout McAllen, home to many rare species only found in the Rio Grande Valley. The city features a World Birding Center where more than 500 species often flock to the wetlands habitat, and visitors can view the flying creatures via wilderness walks and educational exhibits.

Visit the Historic Cine El Rey

See a concert or classic film at the historic Cine El Rey, which has been an integral part of the local Hispanic community since 1947. The theater has interesting architecture and hosts a number of live music events, comedy acts, film festivals and plays.


We've covered all of the reasons to move to McAllen: Read more!

Please Do Touch

Check out the ever-changing exhibits at the International Museum of Art & Science, which features numerous art and science offerings for adults while children are also encouraged to attend film showings or create art pieces of their own. IMAS, founded in 1969‚ is a Smithsonian affiliate.

Go Golfing

Improve your golf swing with a few rounds at Palm View Golf Course, a challenging 6,771-yard venue with rolling fairways and 14 manmade ponds. At a par-72, Palm View also has a fully remodeled clubhouse with a restaurant that overlooks the entire course.

Shop the District

Shop for local treasures as you explore Downtown McAllen, with specialty boutiques, vintage clothing and home furnishings that are unique and interesting. Also in the district are restaurants and some nightlife destinations.

Support the Arts

Discover talented local artists as you stroll along the McAllen Art Walk every first Friday of the month between September and May. The self-guided tour allows participants to experience art studios, museums and galleries such as Art House, Manichaus, S. Klein Gallery and Nuevo Santander Gallery.

Do the Ride Thing

Take a ride on Los Ebanos Ferry, the only hand-operated ferry on the Rio Grande. The ferry is 24 miles west of McAllen, and patrons can even load their car onto the watercraft to transport their vehicle to the other side of the river.

Spend Some Money

Shop at La Plaza Mall, a premier retail destination in the Rio Grande Valley that features 1 million square feet of space. More that 150 stores include name brands like Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Michael Kors, Pandora and Victoria’s Secret.

Get Close to Nature

Enjoy the outdoors at McAllen Nature Center, a 20-acre refuge formerly known as McAllen Botanical Gardens. The tourism site includes a 3/4-mile walking trail to view plant and animal species, and several educational programs occur during hours of operation. Admission is free.

Be Entertained

Stroll the 17th Street Entertainment District to see what McAllen’s nightlife has to offer. Restaurants, taverns and nightclubs are open to the public, and the district has a convenient downtown parking garage.

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