Newcomers’ Guide

Welcome to the City of Palms

McAllen is the twentieth most populous city in Texas and the largest city in Hidalgo CountyTexas. Across the Rio Grande river from McAllen is the Mexican city of Reynosa, a major multi-national manufacturing hub that hosts many Fortune-500 companies which work in sync with manufacturers in the McAllen area. Just 70 miles west of McAllen is beautiful sandy South Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico. The 2012 estimates put the city’s population at 129,877 and the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission metropolitan area at 804,934. From hike and bike trails to kayaking, tennis and some of the best parks in South Texas, McAllen is a great place to be.

No stay in the Rio Grande Valley is complete without visiting:

1) The Museum of South Texas History

The best way to begin to understand the complexities surrounding McAllen, Texas in all of its multicultural beauty it to visit the Museum of South Texas History.

From prehistoric times, through various wars and the rise and fall of the Rio Grande Valley citrus industry, the MoSTH guides visitors through exhibits and discover the rich heritage and blended culture found in the Rio Grande Valley between South Texas and Northeastern Mexico


2) Quinta Mazatlan

One of the first stops for those visiting or moving to the McAllen Metro area should be at the Quinta Mazatlan.

The Quinta Mazatlan is a historical Adobe mansion and nature and birding center located in McAllen, Texas. It is a true urban sanctuary that works with the community to enrich people’s lives by sharing knowledge about birds, plants, and environmental stewardship in South Texas. They pride themselves in their service to the community which connects people to the history, beauty and wonder of our natural world.

3) International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS)

The International Museum of Art & Science is a Smithsonian Affiliate and fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. IMAS is the premier art and science museum of South Texas and contains over 50,000 square feet of exhibit space.  

The IMAS galleries host a number a revolving art and science exhibits each year. IMAS’ Permanent Collection includes Folk Art, Fine Art, Decorative Art and a modest Geological Collection.


4) McAllen Public Library

Right about now you might be wondering why on Earth we’d suggest you visit the city library; the quick answer -it’s won award and it’s amazing.

The McAllen Public Library, TX, main library, which opened in late 2011, is in fact a repurposed Wal-Mart location. The library has garnered many awards, including the coveted American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Interior Architecture since it’s completion and continues to receive international attention from designers and book lovers alike. The MPL Main Library is a great place to checkout.


5) The McAllen Convention Center

With a mix of live shows and the McAllen Convention Center is the preferred venue in the region for gatherings of varying sizes. The McAllen Convention Center hosts intimate meetings, large conventions, weddings, tradeshows, sporting events, and of course… live must concerts. Checkout their website for the latest events to attend.


6) Palm View Golf Course

The beautiful par 72 championship layout boasts a length of 5,779 yards from the middle tees but can quickly turn into a challenging 6,771 yards if played from the back tees. Visit the Palm View Golf Course website for more information.



Itching for some retail therapy? McAllen’s got that covered too.

1) La Plaza Mall

La Plaza Mall is one of the leading shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations for the country. Boasting Dillard’s, Macy’s, Macy’s Home & The Children’s Store, JC Penney, Joe Brand and a plethora of other great stores, La Plaza Mall is a destination for the shop-a-holic.

   Set your GPS to: ‪2100 South 10th Street‬


2) Trenton Crossing

Located in North McAllen, Trenton Crossing has several retail stores including Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Ross, Marshall’s, Old Navy, PetSmart and Hobby Lobby. You can also dine at the Olive Garden, Logan’s Roadhouse, Red Lobster and other great restaurants nearby.

  Set your GPS to: 7600 North 10th Street


3) Palms Crossing

The Palms Crossing retail and restaurant center is shares its location with the McAllen Convention Center. Multiple restaurants and retail outlets are on site making this destination one worth visiting.

  Set your GPS to: 3300 Expressway 83


4) Downtown Business District

Located in the heart of the city, the downtown district has thousands of shoppers every day stop by for everything from wholesale items to brand-name clothing.

  Set your GPS to: 300 S Main St