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Visitors looking for relaxation and adventure in the great outdoors can surely find it in McAllen. After all, we’re known among bird watchers as the premier spot to spy everything from the hook-billed kite to the red-crowned parrot at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and Bentsen Rio Grande State Park. Not to mention the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission’s $750,000 grant for McAllen’s World Birding Center, a learning showcase for those who want to know more about conservation and environmental issues. Here you’ll also find a butterfly conservatory and a water garden.

It’s easy to find unusual draws like this everywhere you turn in McAllen. It’s a rare visitor who can turn down a ferry ride at Los Ebanos — an operation that still relies on hand-pulled ropes to transport passengers and up to three cars per trip. The cost is just pennies.History buffs also like to drop in at nearby Harlingen’s Marine Military Academy to view the Iwo Jima Memorial – the original statue used to cast the more famous monument of U.S. Marines planting the flag during this WWII battle.

Just north of McAllen, cowboys reign as they compete in calf roping, bull riding and Quarter-horse racing at the Saturday evening rodeos. Over the border in the opposite direction, bullfights thrill audiences on a Sunday afternoon in Reynosa.

Speaking of Mexico, simply stroll across the bridge to reach the Zaragoza market. If you drive, you can easily reach Monterrey — Mexico’s third largest city — within two hours.

But definitely count on us to treat you like royalty at one of the 2,700 hotel rooms in McAllen. Whether you choose a full-service hotel with an attached night club and award-winning chef or family-style inns, you’ll stay in the heart of it all.sponsored by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce to entertain the Winter Texans.

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