National Butterfly Center

Rio Grande Valley

Who isn't enchanted by butterflies? This park is both a learning center and a sanctuary for butterflies and endangered plants. More than 300 species of the little winged jewels have been spotted amid its 5 acres, which are laced with walking trails. It is 1 mile east of Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park along Military Rd.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rio Grande Valley attractions

1. La Lomita Chapel

2.73 MILES

While the current structure is believed to date back to 1920, chapels have stood on this lomita (hilltop) since at least 1899, when the area was made the…

2. Quinta Mazatlan

8.48 MILES

This 1930s Spanish Revival adobe hacienda is one of McAllen's best-preserved historic buildings. It also happens to be part of the World Birding Center,…

3. Museum of South Texas History

15.28 MILES

The Museum of South Texas History covers transborder history with interactive multimedia exhibits that take visitors through frontier ranch houses and on…

4. Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

15.74 MILES

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…

5. Villa de Cortez

23.4 MILES

Opened on New Year's Eve in 1928 as the Cortez Hotel, this four-story beauty was the first of what would becomes many Spanish Mediterranean–themed…

6. Weslaco Museum

23.42 MILES

Informational displays and authentic artifacts help bring to life the long history of Weslaco and the Rio Grande Valley from the Native American and…

7. Frontera Audubon

23.5 MILES

Despite the fact that it's only 15 acres and surrounded by the city, wandering the mile or so of nature trails through this well-conceived nature center…

8. Estero Llano Grande State Park

25.72 MILES

The geographic center of the World Birding Center properties in Texas, the 230 acres of reserve here are mostly wetlands and contain over 5 miles of…