Top things to do

Top Choice Mexican in Laredo

Taco N' Madre

These are, without hyperbole, some of the best tacos we've ever eaten. The meat is juicy and perfectly seasoned, the tortillas fresh, the salsa piquant without being overbearing. Two or three is a reasonable meal, b…
Top Choice Mexican in Laredo

El Meson de San Augustin

Six days a week, superb food pours forth from this tiny, ubernondescript family-run restaurant just off the historic square. Walk through the barely marked door and be immersed in a wonderland of home-style Mexican …
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…
Mexican in McAllen

Ms G's Tacos n' More

Ms G herself arrives every morning at 4:30am to make the region's best flour tortillas for her deceptively simple tacos. Options are numerous, but you'll never go wrong with chorizo and potato, especially at three f…
Mexican in Brownsville

El Ultimo Taco Taqueria

Tacos, flautas, tostadas and beans. That's it. Yet they're so good they've been voted the best tacos in the Rio Grande Valley several times, and the small dining room and large patio aren't enough to hold the crowds…
Bakery in Harlingen

Antigua Bakery

A small menu of healthy, filling breakfast and lunch choices completely offsets (in calorific content, of course) the tempting desserts on display in this adorable tea room. Service is a little slow, but that just g…
Nature Reserve in Around McAllen

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

A self-proclaimed birder’s paradise, this 2088-acre refuge is one of the valley’s most beautiful spots. Lakes, wetlands and subtropical thorny forest combine for a peaceful setting where the only noises come from bi…
Historic Site in Around Brownsville

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site

On May 8, 1846, General Zachary Taylor and his troops defeated a larger Mexican army on this site in the first major battle of the Mexican-American War. The visitor center does an excellent job of putting the battle…
Lake in The Upper Valley

Falcon International Reservoir

This 136-sq-mile lake was formed by the Falcon Dam (1953) on the Rio Grande. Although seemingly tranquil, the lake has also suffered from the border tensions: fishing boats have been beset by pirates as recently as …
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 …