Things to do in McAllen

Southern Texas contains the city of things to do in McAllen. European paintings, Picasso lithographs, and interactive exhibits are all available at the International Museum of Art & Science. Quinta Mazatlan, a Spanish Revival mansion to the south, is encircled by bird-rich woods. The McAllen Heritage Center contains exhibits on local history and is housed in a former post office from the 1930s. Fireman’s Park is one of the numerous parks in McAllen TX.

After the 2020 census, McAllen TX will have a 142,210 population, ranking it as the 22nd largest city in the state. People from all over the world are drawn to the city by its remarkable natural beauty, its moderate winters, and its affordable prices of living.

The people of the city are defined by their rich culture and history, which sets them apart from neighboring communities. The spectacular beauty of McAllen TX draws visitors from all over the world. The subtropical temperature of the city is perfect for outdoor activities. McAllen is a city with a rich history and culture in addition to the enormously tall palm trees that dot the landscape.

List of things to do in McAllen

Given below is the list of things to do in McAllen TX during the visit.

1. McAllen Nature Center

McAllen Nature Center mcallen

Near downtown McAllen, the approximately 20-acre McAllen Nature Center is surrounded by natural beauty. The Center was constructed primarily to provide residents with opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities.

The McAllen Nature Center is a popular location for bird watching and provides both adults and kids with a variety of important programs. The Center is home to a picturesque cactus garden, forested property, and about a mile of ADA-approved nature trails.

Here, wetlands and meadowlands support a diverse range of bird species. Therefore, be aware of ducks, horned owls, herons, teals, and other wildlife. The McAllen Nature Center also has picnic tables where you and a few of your close friends can relax. You can also enroll in yoga courses or guided tours.

2. McAllen Performing Arts Center

McAllen Performing Arts Center

Even though the McAllen Performing Arts Center was only inaugurated in 2016, the local community and its culture already rely heavily on it.

The cutting-edge space has 1800 simultaneous seats. Here, you can see comedy acts, plays, dance performances, music performances, and more. When you visit the city, make sure to see a performance at the McAllen Performing Arts Center.

3. McAllen Convention Center

McAllen Convention Center

The McAllen Convention Center hosts entertaining events frequently and serves as a popular destination for locals to congregate. On the weekends, you can use their great fountain to ride the swan pedal boats.

You never know what you’ll wind up seeing when you get there, and we were fortunate to see that they bring in boats from Xochimilco for us to ride in.

4. Quinta Mazatlan

Quinta Mazatlan McAllen

The Quinta Mazatlan should be at the top of your list of things to do in McAllen TX. This beautiful estate, which doubles as a birding and environmental center, is home to a historic adobe building in McAllen TX.

Beautiful architecture and well-kept gardens surround the land of the 1930s mansion. To explore the art and history that make this such a unique monument in south Texas, schedule a few hours for a visit and a tour. The Quinta Mazatlan welcomes guests with a pathway lined with palm trees that leads to the grounds’ sculpture gardens, cactus gardens, and explanatory signs.

 Additionally, it is a well-known birding destination worldwide. The environment surrounding the mansion serves as a refuge for hundreds of different species of birds.

5. International Museum of Art & Science

International Museum of Art & Science McAllen

For a more educational experience, add a trip to the International Museum of Art & Science to your list of the top things to do in McAllen Texas. The Rio Grande River’s ecosystem is the exclusive focus of various educational programs and exhibition space available to the public at the International Museum of Art & Science.

Our young children may explore and discover additional information about the Rio Grande at a lovely science playground. a NASA-built science show that depicts planetary and celestial systems exactly as observed by satellites and telescopes.

More than 5,000 square feet of exhibit space, including a permanent collection from many centuries ago and hundreds of works of folk art, may be found at the International Museum of Art & Science. Visit the gift shop to get one-of-a-kind presents and mementos for you, your loved ones, and your friends.

6. Earth Born Market

Earth Born Market McAllen

Earth Born market stays true to its principles by obtaining the best ingredients for its products from regional farmers. Earth Born market is proudly owned and run by the Holbrooks. This family is steadfastly committed to using organic farming methods and protecting the environment.

The majority of the ingredients in South Tex Organics’ juices have a USDA organic certification, which helps to ensure the products’ excellent quality. South Tex Organics is Texas’ largest USDA-certified organic citrus producer.

Its organically farmed produce is free of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms.

7. Nuevo Santander Gallery

Nuevo Santander Gallery McAllen

The museum Nuevo Santander Gallery focuses only on artifacts from the American Old West. Especially if you’re an art enthusiast, a trip to this family-run store should be on your list of the top things to do in McAllen, Texas. The Nuevo Santander Gallery is where a wide variety of things are kept.

Beautiful paintings in a variety of designs painted by regional artists using oil, pastel, or watercolor and emphasizing authenticity in the traditional style are available for purchase.

Military garb, guns from the Wild West, saddles, spurs, and many other essential relics from the Rio Grande Valley’s illustrious past are available at Nuevo Santander Gallery.

8. McAllen’s New Park & Spray Ground

McAllen's New Park & Spray Ground

It’s unquestionably fun to hang out with your kids at Zinnia Park’s McAllen’s New Park & Spray Ground. This beautiful park contains a spray area or splash pad, a playground, restrooms, a pavilion, and picnic tables. Children are kept safe by the playgrounds’ soft ground.

This facility serves as the summer lunch venue for the McAllen ISD summer feeding program. There are also baseball fields, skateboard parks, and hiking trails in the park.

9. McAllen Heritage Center

McAllen Heritage Center

One of the greatest things to do in McAllen Texas, if you want to learn more related to the history and culture of the city is to visit the McAllen Heritage Center.

The McAllen Heritage Center was established in 2008 and houses a sizable collection of images, artifacts, and movies from the city’s past.

The Heritage Center opens one’s eyes to the rich history of the Rio Grande Valley and how Alonso Alvarez de Pined, a European, made his discovery in 1519. You get to learn more about the period when the city was formed in the 20th century as well as the first settlers in the area, Jose De Escandon, who started doing so in the 1740s.

There is a sizable exhibition of relics, including coats from high school jackets, cheerleader uniforms, military souvenirs, and more.

10. South Texas College

south texas college McAllen

Even though South Texas College is a college, it occasionally welcomes guests. It contains a bookstore, art studios, and a student center.

The tours continue for roughly an hour and include visits to several academic buildings as well as a stroll through the campus. Put on some cozy walking shoes and, depending on the weather, a jacket or a sweater. Register as soon as you can because there is a strict limit on the number of guests it can host on each tour.

11. Dance the Night Away

Dance the Night Away McAllen

McAllen is the place to be if you’re seeking some amazing nightlife.  If you enjoy Spanish music, there are many bars on 17th Street where you may discover it.

There is something for everyone, whether you’re searching for a place to relax, dance, or even jump in a ball pit! Many of the clubs are similar to European clubs. Here you can read in detail about McAllen’s nightlife.

12.  McAllen Public Library

McAllen Public Library

Even though you might not consider visiting a public library while on vacation, the award-winning McAllen Public Library is worthwhile, especially for book lovers. The facility staff estimates that it may be the largest single-floor library in the country.

The library includes a wide selection of events that can be ideal options for things to do in McAllen, especially if bad weather interferes with your vacation, even though the book collections are amazing and support the diverse community that makes up McAllen TX.

13. 17th Street Entertainment District

McAllen 17th Street Entertainment District

The center of McAllen is home to the 17th Street Entertainment District, which is regarded as the place to be. The district’s large selection of eateries and bars provides a wide range of live entertainment options.

Everyone is welcome in the 17th Street Entertainment District, mostly young people go there. This location is for individuals who wish to unwind with a drink at the bar, enjoy a relaxed supper with loved ones, or dance the night away to live music entertainment.

Professional security guards are provided by the 17th Street Entertainment District to protect the area and its considerable parking space.

14. McAllen Farmers Market

McAllen Farmers Market

A public market where you may buy farm products from locally sourced farms is the McAllen Farmer’s Market. The market is crowded with several merchants selling a wide range of goods to meet customers’ diverse needs.

Freshly picked vegetables, dried fruits, dairy products, grass-fed meats, free-range eggs, natural honey, and other farm products are available for purchase.

You can purchase a variety of beauty products, such as health items, works of art, crafts, and decor. By offering high-quality products, the McAllen Farmers Market hopes to persuade customers to embrace a healthy eating regimen.

15. Arts District

McAllen Arts District

More than twenty art galleries, including the well-known Nuevo Santander Gallery, are located in the Arts District, which is on Main Street in the center of the city. The arts district is also home to the historic Archer Park.

It has been a significant city landmark for more than a century. After visiting several galleries of art, you may fill your stomach at one of the wonderful cafes or restaurants in the area. The hopping entertainment district is also only a short stroll away.

16. Shopping at La Plaza Mall

McAllen Shopping at La Plaza Mall

La Plaza mall, an upscale shopping center in McAllen, is one of the top locations for shopping. La Plaza Mall’s more than a million square feet of retail space draws shoppers from all over the Rio Grande Valley for some retail therapy.

 There are more than 150 specialist merchants in addition to the usual apparel and home furnishing stores at La Plaza mall. Be prepared to enjoy the expansive complex and go shopping for a portion of the day. You can have lunch or dinner while you are here because there are many restaurants.

17. Costa Messa

McAllen Costa Messa

Since its establishment in 2002, Costa Messa has become renowned for its mouthwateringly cooked meals that prominently feature the Gulf of Mexico style.

The restaurant is focused on providing clients with authentic Mexican food at fair prices, and unique tastes. To encourage healthy eating habits, the meals are made using fresh, locally farmed foods that are always available.

They offer dishes including Botana plate, Caldo De Res, Chile Relleno, Caldo Tlalpeo, Choriqueso, and Enchiladas Suizas with Chicken White, among others.

The staff at Costa Messa is welcoming and courteous, and the owner also goes out of their way to make customers feel welcome.

18. McAllen Art walk

McAllen Art walk is a weekly event that takes place on the first Friday from September through May. It is a self-guided tour of the numerous art studios, galleries, and museums in the most illustrious and historic sites.

The event was originally held to acquaint locals and tourists with McAllen’s vibrant art scene. Today, the Artwalk is a popular destination, drawing tourists to the city to attend the event and discover McAllen’s vibrant art scene.

19. Bike around McAllen

Bike around McAllen

You can easily travel around the bike-friendly city of McAllen on two wheels. From one of the numerous BCycle rental locations in the McAllen area, you can hire a bicycle.

Maps that show you how to go to places like the Convention Center, Main Street, bus stops, Fireman’s Park, Archer Park, and other areas are available at the bike rental facilities. Since there are designated bike lanes all across the city, cycling is a great way to see downtown McAllen and move around without a car.

20. Veteran’s War Memorial

Veteran’s War Memorial McAllen

Add a visit to the Veteran’s War Memorial to your list of must-do activities in McAllen, Texas. A five-acre property known as the Veteran’s War Memorial was established to remember those who gave their lives protecting the county.

The structure is distinguished by a roof designed in the shape of a flying eagle with a spire rising 105 feet above the ground. On its granite walls are inscriptions with the names of the troops who served in World Wars I, and II, the Vietnam war, and the Korean war.

21. The 80s at Deloreans

The 80s at Deloreans McAllen

Deloreans is a vintage bar and club that plays 80s music while serving up delectable beverages. Even video games can be played at the table. To get the most out of your visit to the Deloreans, you can dress in vintage attire.

22. Lake at Firemen’s Park

Lake at Firemen's Park McAllen

Firemen’s Park’s communal area is a wonderful place to spend some of the afternoons. The park’s focal point is the Town Lake, which is ideal for paddle boarding and is situated in the center of the area. The park’s and the lake’s outer edges can be explored on foot along a meandering, paved path that has numerous authorized observation areas.

Ducks and pelicans that live nearby should be observed at the wonderful Firemen’s park. Families will feel at ease in this park because it has a sizable kid’s play area, benches, and restrooms. There is a bike rental station right adjacent to the lake, making this an ideal place. Sand volleyball court, paved parking, and snacks are available at Fireman’s Park.

23. Trapped RGV Escape Rooms

Trapped RGV Escape Rooms McAllen

You get the chance to participate in an adventurous experience that mimics real life at Trapped RGV Escape Rooms.

To exit the chamber, you must look for hints, inspiration, and necessary items, and solve puzzles or riddles. There are four escape rooms available; select the one that best suits your interests or personality.

For those looking for a memorable, engaging 60-minute experience, Trapped RGV Escape Rooms was founded. One of the enjoyable activities in McAllen, Texas, is exploring the escape rooms.

24. Delia’s Tamales

Delia’s Tamales McAllen

The greatest tamales in town can be found at Delia’s Tamales. Delia’s Tamales has six locations around the Rio Grande Valley, compared to its humble beginnings of cooking tamales at home and distributing them door to door.

The restaurants provide vegan and vegetarian tamales cooked with real ingredients and spices, as well as 18 other varieties of tamales.

25. Embassy Suites by Hilton

Embassy Suites by Hilton McAllen

For visitors to feel at ease and live in peace, Embassy Suites by Hilton offers a secure and welcoming atmosphere.

One of the best things to do in McAllen is to get a room at Embassy Suites by Hilton if you’re still unsure of where to stay while visiting the area. Non-smoking rooms, a digital key, free Wi-Fi, a free breakfast, and the ability to bring pets into the rooms are all provided for guests.

On-site great food options and scrumptious drinks are available at the restaurant and bar. The Embassy Suites by Hilton offers a conference room, a business center, an outdoor pool, a fitness facility, and free parking.

26. Hiking and Cycling Trails

Hiking and Cycling Trails McAllen

Many trails across McAllen can be used for cycling and hiking. The city promotes healthy living and physical activity for both residents and tourists.

There are walking trails and trails for walking, jogging, cycling, hiking, and even skating. Las Palmas Park Trail, McAllen Hike & Bike Trails, Retama Village Park Trail, Schupp Park Trail, Westside Park Trail, and Westside Park Trail are some of the city’s hiking and biking routes.

27. Mercado District

Mercado District McAllen

The Mercado District is among the greatest of McAllen’s emerging neighborhoods for letting you fully immerse yourself in the local culture. You may experience some of the best regional cuisines in the city at the nine distinctive food stalls that make up the contemporary food hall, each of which represents a different ethnicity.

Local artists and entrepreneurs run vendor stalls where you may get anything from genuine ceviche and gemstones to handmade salsa, arts and crafts, and other gifts.

28. The Cine El Rey

The Cine El Rey McAllen

Interstate Theatres Inc. established the Cine El Rey on April 22, 1948, and it operated successfully for forty years before closing. The theatre has been open ever since it was reopened later in 2001 under new ownership after undergoing several modifications.

The theatre, which has a sophisticated stadium-style design, features a great sound system and a big stage where everything takes place. You can buy delicious snacks and beverages at the concession stand to enjoy while taking in live performances.

29. Neuvo Santender Gallery

Neuvo Santender Gallery McAllen

While McAllen has a flourishing modern art scene, the Neuvo Santander Gallery is also a destination to find uncommon and distinctive treasures. This local institution is well-known for selling museum-caliber things, such as original artwork, antiquities from the 1700s, Mexican antiques and treasures, and other historical objects.

The Spanish-mission-style architecture emphasizes the intrigue of the artifacts inside. Even if you are not looking to buy centuries-old relics, it is still worth going just to see some of the unique objects that are being sold there.

30. Palm View Golf

Palm View Golf McAllen

For golfers seeking an outstanding experience, Palm View Golf is a well-liked destination in McAllen. Artificial lakes are another feature that enhances the natural beauty and soothes people.

A hitting room with automatic swing estimation and an outdoor driving range with designated greens are further elements that set this course apart.

In addition to the Dining Room grille, Palm View Golf has a full-service restaurant serving delectable breakfast, lunch, and supper. Wedding receptions, business gatherings, and other events may all be held at this golf course with ease.

31. Charming Picnics

Charming Picnics McAllen

In McAllen, a small local company called Charming Picnics will set up a picnic for you wherever you like. If you’re just visiting the city and don’t have everything you need for the ideal picnic, Charming Business can give you everything you need so you and your friends or family may have the picnic of your dreams.

The tiny business organizes the ideal picnic at the location you choose, complete with your favorite foods and beverages.

32. Los Ebanos Ferry

Los Ebanos Ferry McAllen

The final hand-operated ferry is still in operation, and it runs between Los Ebnos and the Rio Grande Valley, only 25 miles from McAllen. To fully appreciate the stunning surroundings and expansive views of the Rio Grande Valley, take a ferry trip.


What is McAllen Texas famous for?

McAllen has transformed from a rural village to a popular tourist destination. It is well known for its mild winters, warm breezes, colorful birds, and low cost of living. It is also a shopping magnet, drawing millions of tourists to its several retail districts each year.

Is there a beach in McAllen Tx?

Some of McAllen Texas’s top beaches include Town Lake near Firemen’s Park, Breeze Lake Campground, and Sabal Palm Sanctuary.

How charming is Texas’ McAllen?

One of the nicest places to live in Texas is McAllen, which is in Hidalgo County. Residents of McAllen enjoy a dense suburban vibe, and the majority own their homes.

There are a lot of beautiful parks in McAllen. Residents of McAllen TX tend to be liberal and there are lots of families and young professionals living there.


A lot of people travel to McAllen TX, a recognized city in Texas, in search of an extraordinary experience. The city provides residents, luxury hotels, and visitors with endless possibilities to get outside and enjoy an exciting journey while making use of all the outdoor amenities. In addition to mouthwatering cuisine and intriguing shopping options, the city offers expansive views of the Rio Grande Valley and a variety of stunning birds at the McAllen nature center that will steal your heart with their beauty.

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