The 10 BEST Things to Do in McAllen, Texas – (With Photos)

Looking for something fun to do in McAllen, Texas? You’re in luck – this vibrant city has a lot to offer, from exciting nightlife to outdoor adventures. Here are just a few of the best things to do in McAllen:

If you’re looking for a night out on the town, head to 10th Street Entertainment District, where you’ll find a variety of bars and clubs. Or, if you’re in the mood for some live music, check out one of the many venues along Main Street. For something a little different, try your hand at roller derby at The Bunker Skatepark.

If you’re looking to get outdoors, McAllen is home to a variety of parks and greenspaces. Visit Quinta Mazatlan for a taste of history, or take a stroll through Town Lake Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the Rio Grande River.

No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in McAllen. So go ahead and start exploring – you won’t be disappointed!

Quinta Mazatlan

One of the best things to do in McAllen is to explore Quinta Mazatlan, a truly beautiful and exquisit estate that was once home to a wealthy Mexican family.

The estate grounds feature lush gardens, an impressive bird collection, and a historic mansion that has been beautifully restored.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the mansion, or simply wander the grounds at their leisure.

The museum has an excellent collection of art and artifacts from around the world, and also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Top Review: “A must visit when you’re in McAllen.  Whether you’re a bird lover or not, this venue gives you a piece of mind and education on birds, animals, and historial information.  There’s a variety of birds to be seen here and the landscape of the wildlife combine to make this place a serene location filled with zen.  Also priced favorably making this a more attractive destination.  Bird lover or indifferent, you won’t regret visiting here.”Victor H.

600 Sunset Dr McAllen, TX 78503, (956) 681-3370

International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS)

McAllen, Texas is home to a variety of art and science museums, including the International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS).

The museum features a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as a planetarium, library, and educational programs.

IMAS is dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of the arts and sciences. The museum’s permanent collection includes works from Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

The temporary exhibitions feature a rotating selection of local, national, and international artists. In addition to the exhibitions, the planetarium offers live shows and educational programs about astronomy.

The library provides access to a variety of resources, including books, magazines, and DVDs. IMAS also offers a variety of educational programs for all ages. These programs include classes, workshops, lectures, and more.

Whether you’re interested in art, science, or both, the International Museum of Art & Science is sure to have something for you.

Top Review: “First time here since just moved to the valley.  I was very impressed. Lots of indoor activities for kids -great docents !  All the exhibits were impressive. Please check it out if you’ve never been here.”R S.

1900 W Nolana Ave, McAllen, TX 78504, (956) 681-2800

McAllen Nature Center

Nestled within the vibrant city of McAllen lies a hidden gem that beckons nature enthusiasts and curious explorers alike – the McAllen Nature Center. This captivating oasis serves as a sanctuary for those seeking to immerse themselves in the breathtaking wonders of the natural world.

With its winding trails, lush vegetation, and diverse array of flora and fauna, the center provides an unparalleled opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of urban life and reconnect with the serene beauty of Mother Nature. Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher eager to spot rare species, a budding botanist keen on studying indigenous plants, or simply a soul in search of tranquility, the McAllen Nature Center offers a multitude of experiences that will leave you in awe of the intricate tapestry of life that surrounds us.

Top Review: “The McAllen Nature Center is owned by the City of McAllen, and is a lovely area with nature trails and good birding.  They have 33 acres and 1.6 miles of trails (including ¾ mile ADA accessible) and offer various programs. Parking, picnic tables and restrooms available.  Best of all, it’s free!”A H.

4101 W Business 83 McAllen, TX 78501

Town Lake at Fireman’s Park

Town Lake at Fireman's Park, fun things to do in McAllen this weekend
Photo: Pedro C.

One of the best things to do in McAllen is to visit Town Lake at Fireman’s Park. The park offers a variety of activities for families and individuals, including swimming, fishing, hiking, and picnicking.

The lake is also a popular spot for birdwatching, as it is home to a variety of birds, including herons, egrets, and ducks.

In addition to its many recreational activities, the park also offers stunning views of the surrounding area. You can admire the tall buildings downtown, the Rio Grande River, and the nearby mountains.

Top Review: “What a cool place to discover on my afternoon walk! Fireman’s Park has been completely overhauled and now includes a lake, a beach, sand volleyball, jungle gyms, kayaking, an island, picnic tables, a walking trail, and clean bathrooms! Oh, and ducks. Lots of ducks just randomly walking around. It was the most surreal thing to stroll along the water, sit on the beach and gaze at wildlife in the middle of 2nd Street. It made me kind of sad that I was the only person there though and that more people aren’t taking advantage of this little oasis!”Victoria S.

201 N First St McAllen, TX 78501

McAllen Performing Arts Center

The McAllen Performing Arts Center is one of the best things to do in McAllen, Texas.

The center features a 1,600-seat theater that hosts a variety of musical and theatrical performances throughout the year.

The theater is also home to the McAllen Symphony Orchestra, which performs several concerts each season. In addition to the theater, the performing arts center also includes an art gallery, classrooms, and event space.

The center is a great place to see a live performance or take a class in anything from painting to dance.

700 Convention Center Blvd McAllen, TX 78501, (956) 681-3800

17th Street Entertainment District

The 17th Street Entertainment District in downtown McAllen is the go-to spot for a fantastic nightlife experience. With its vibrant bars and clubs offering good music, cold beer, and a nice atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy great vibes. During the day, the entertainment district also boasts a variety of shops and dining options, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for great service, delicious food, or just a fun night out on 17th Street in McAllen, the entertainment district has you covered. Conveniently located near hotels like Casa De Palmas, Wyndham Garden McAllen, and La Quinta, it’s a must-visit destination for both locals and visitors alike. So the next time you’re in McAllen and wondering about the best things to see and do, be sure to add the 17th Street Entertainment District to your list – you won’t regret it!

Nuevo Santador Gallery is features a wide range of art from local and regional artists.

You can browse the collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art, or you can participate in one of the many workshops and classes offered by the gallery.

The gallery also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including artist talks, performances, and receptions.

717 N Main St, McAllen, TX 78501

The McAllen Heritage Center

The McAllen Heritage Center is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the Rio Grande Valley.

The center offers a variety of exhibits on topics such as ranching, farming, and migratory birds. Visitors can also enjoy a performance by theBallet Folklorico de McAllen, or take a tour of the historic McNay House.

In addition, the McAllen Heritage Center hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including the annual Harvest Festival and the Winter Texan Celebration.

301 S Main St, McAllen, TX 78501

La Plaza Mall

La Plaza Mall is an enclosed shopping mall with over two hundred stores, including Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears, and Dillards.

There is also a food court with a variety of options, as well as a movie theater. The mall is located in the heart of the city, close to many hotels and restaurants.

If you are looking for an enjoyable way to spend a few hours in McAllen, La Plaza Mall is the perfect place for you.

2200 S 10th St, McAllen, TX 78503

McAllen Convention Center

The McAllen Convention Center is one of the best things to do in McAllen, Texas. The center is a state-of-the-art facility that hosts a variety of events throughout the year.

From trade shows and conventions to concerts and sports events, there is always something happening at the McAllen Convention Center.

The center also features a unique design that is sure to impress visitors. The exterior of the building is covered in a lattice of metal panels, and the interior features a grand atrium with a glass ceiling.

700 Convention Center Blvd, McAllen, TX 78501

Frequently Asked Questions

What is McAllen Texas famous for?

McAllen, Texas is famous for its lively art scene, delicious food, and rich history. Located in the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen is home to a diverse community of artists, musicians, and chefs. Visitors can enjoy a variety of art galleries, museums, and live music venues. The city is also a foodie paradise, with Tex-Mex restaurants, BBQ joints, and gourmet cafes. For a taste of the past, visitors can explore the historic downtown district, which features restored 19th-century buildings. Whether you’re looking for excitement or relaxation, McAllen has something for everyone.

How far is McAllen Texas from the beach?

McAllen is located about 30 miles from the nearest beach. However, there are a number of lakes and rivers in the area where visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, and other water activities.

Is McAllen a good place to live?

McAllen is a great place to live for those who enjoy a warm climate, friendly people, and a vibrant arts scene. The cost of living is relatively affordable, and there are plenty of job opportunities. McAllen is also located close to the Mexican border, which makes it an ideal base for exploring nearby cities such as Reynosa and Matamoros.

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