Brownsville attractions

Top Choice Nature Reserve in Brownsville

Sabal Palm Sanctuary

The only palm tree native to Texas grows at this 557-acre sanctuary, operated by a foundation for the National Audubon Society. It sits in a bend of the Rio Grande River with one of the few groves never to have been…
Historic Site in Brownsville

Fort Brown

This former US army outpost, dating from 1846, is named for Jacob Brown, who died here that year fighting the Mexicans. Flooding forced an 1868 relocation to the site, where several buildings still stand. They have …
Cemetery in Brownsville

Brownsville City Cemetery

Though only officially the city's cemetery since 1868, graves here date back as far as the 1850s. A walk through the well-kept grounds is a virtual tour through Brownsville's past, detailing gunfights and cholera ou…
Historic Site in Brownsville

Brownsville Heritage Complex

The 1851 home of Brownsville founder Charles Stillman, and later the Mexican Consulate in Brownsville, is part of the Brownsville Heritage Complex. Next door, in the main museum building, a reconstruction of the his…
Art in Brownsville

Galeria 409

Founded by artist Mark Clark to showcase local talent, this small gallery hosts rotating exhibits on important local issues (border communities, especially) and more whimsical themes. The building is a historic stru…
Museum in Brownsville

Historic Brownsville Museum

Housed in the grand Spanish Colonial–style 1928 Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, this small museum houses historical artifacts and photography. In the annex is an 1872 steam locomotive that once ran the route betwee…
Zoo in Brownsville

Gladys Porter Zoo

This 28-acre zoo displays more than 1500 animals in large areas that replicate their natural habitats. Among the kid-pleasing exhibits are a free-flight South American aviary, Komodo dragons and other Indo-Australia…
Historic Building in Brownsville

Alonso Building

This two-story 1877 structure was home to the popular Los Dos Cañones mercantile store, and the cast-iron balcony upstairs is one of several around Brownsville that display Creole architectural influences more commo…
Historic Building in Brownsville


The Gem, between E Levee St and E Elizabeth St, was one of the city's first brick commercial structures when it was built in 1848. Its projecting balconies once sheltered a saloon – or as the historical association …
Historic Building in Brownsville

Russell-Cocke House

An 1877 Victorian house that shows the wealth of the local traders. Like many downtown buildings, it has an interesting historical marker, but the interior is closed to the public.