15 Best Things to do in McAllen, Texas (2024)

McAllen, Texas is located in Hidalgo County at the southernmost tip of the state, down on the Rio Grande.

McAllen offers its visitors an array of interesting attractions and activities.

With a vibrant downtown area offering great restaurants, historical museums and galleries, McAllen is a great underrated destination in Texas.

Also Read: 40 Best Places to Visit in Texas

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There’s also plenty to do outdoors – from visiting the unique Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park to tubing down the river.

The river is popular with nature lovers and birders.

It’s easy to spot many beautiful birds like white-tailed kites soaring overhead.

Here is an ultimate guide to visiting McAllen, Texas.

Things to do in McAllen, TX

McAllen, Texas, a vibrant city located in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, is an ideal vacation spot for curious visitors.

This bustling border town is known for its kaleidoscope of culture and local attractions such as the International Museum of Art & Science and Firemen’s Park.

Adventure-seekers will enjoy local outdoor activities like kayaking down the Rio Grande.

After an adventurous day out, explore McAllen’s popular nightlife and music scene with live performances from all over Latin America.

Here are the best things to do in McAllen, Texas on your next trip.

Take a stroll in downtown McAllen

Downtown McAllen is the perfect place to explore and take in the culture of this Texan town.

With its many small shops, boutiques, galleries, museums and restaurants it’s easy to find something new to do every time you visit.

Explore the downtown area by day or night and get a taste of the great food, drinks and music McAllen has to offer.

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Check out the McAllen Arts District

The city’s Arts District with its art galleries, stores, and art studios is a must for art lovers.

This vibrant part of McAllen has plenty to offer, with its creative atmosphere and countless works of art ranging from paintings and sculptures to printmaking, pottery, and photography.

Visit beautiful Quinta Mazatlan

Quinta Mazatlan is a beautiful outdoor birding center located on the banks of the Rio Grande.

This stunning 15-acre site contains walking trails, bird watching areas and exhibits about local ecology, plants and animals.

The Quinta Mazatlan building is built in the style of a Mexican hacienda and is home to an art gallery, classrooms and meeting rooms.

This stunning destination is the perfect spot for birders and nature lovers alike.

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Go tubing down the Rio Grande

McAllen is located on the banks of the famous Rio Grande river, making it a great spot for water activities like tubing.

Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced tuber, get ready for some fun and relaxation on the water.

Tubing down the Rio Grande is one of the best ways to enjoy nature in all its splendor while taking in the unique local culture of South Texas Plains region.

Also Read: 7 Regions of Texas

Enjoy McAllen’s nightlife

McAllen’s vibrant nightlife is something to experience and enjoy.

The city has a great selection of bars, clubs and live music venues featuring performances from local artists and musicians from all over Latin America.

Head out to the McAllen clubs for an unforgettable evening of music, dancing and fun.

See the exhibits at International Museum of Art & Science

The International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) is a great place to visit for art and science enthusiasts alike.

With its two main exhibit halls, the museum features changing exhibits that highlight international and local art as well as interactive exhibits about science and technology.

The museum has an excellent atmosphere and is great for kids.

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Enjoy shopping at La Plaza Mall

La Plaza Mall is the premier shopping center in McAllen.

This sprawling mall features over several stores, including popular high-end retailers, department stores, and eateries.

It’s a great spot for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re looking for a unique gift or just enjoying some retail therapy.

Spend the day outdoors at Firemen’s Park

Firemen’s Park is McAllen’s premier outdoor park.

This beautiful park has a variety of activities for everyone, including walking and biking trails, playgrounds, sports courts, an outdoor stage and picnic areas with grills.

The highlight of the park is Town Lake. Here you can rent kayaks and paddle boats, take a scenic ride on the lake or just relax and enjoy the views.

Firemen’s Park the perfect spot to enjoy some fresh air.

See a show at McAllen Performing Arts Center

McAllen Performing Arts Center is a great place to catch a show.

The center features performances from local and international artists, as well as plays, musicals and stand-up comedy acts.

Learn about the history of the city at McAllen Heritage Center

McAllen Heritage Center is a great place to learn about the history of McAllen.

The center has interactive exhibits that tell the story of McAllen’s growth from a small village to the bustling city it is today.

Visitors can also explore artifacts and photographs from the area’s past, as well as a replica of the city’s important icons.

The Heritage Center is the perfect place to explore McAllen’s rich culture and history.

Also, be sure to check out the museum gift shop for unique souvenirs.

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Attend an event at the McAllen Convention Center

The McAllen Convention Center is a great place to attend events all year round.

The center hosts concerts, conventions, conferences and other special events from local, regional and national organizations.

It’s a great spot for families to enjoy some fun entertainment or business travelers to find something unique to do during their stay.

Go hiking at McAllen Nature Center

McAllen Nature Center is the perfect spot for outdoor lovers.

The nature center features several hiking trails, as well as a butterfly garden and bird watching areas.

This beautiful park also has an observation deck where visitors can take in the stunning views of McAllen.

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Visit the McAllen Public Library

The McAllen Public Library is the perfect spot to catch up on some reading or research.

This unique library has a great selection of books, magazines and newspapers as well as computers with access to the internet.

The library also offers classes and workshops for adults and children alike.

See the bandstand at Archer Park

Archer Park, located at N Main Street, is great for history lovers.

The park features a replica of an old-fashioned bandstand, which is a great spot to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

There are also picnic areas, playgrounds and plenty of green space for children to explore.

Buy fresh produce at the Earth Born Market

Earth Born Market is a great place to pick up fresh local produce.

This market sells a variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products from local farmers.

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Enjoy nature at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

One of the unique McAllen TX things to do for nature and adventure lovers.

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect spot to escape to nature.

The refuge features over 400 species of native plants and animals, as well as a variety of trails for walking and biking.

It is especially popular for its hanging rope bridge – it is a hit with kids.

McAllen, Texas must be experienced to truly understand its beauty and bounty.

The city offers something for everyone, from passionate destination shoppers to adventure seekers looking to explore this corner of Texas.

With its mild climate year-round, McAllen is the perfect fun day trip or weekend getaway for all Texans.

What are your favorite things to do in McAllen, Texas? Let us know below.

15 Best Things to do in McAllen, Texas (2024)
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