McAllen is not only near the Mexican border, but also a natural border. To the east are the lush green lands of the Rio Grande Valley, with farms, palm trees and fast-sprouting population. To the west is the beginning of the Chihuahuan Desert, where the land becomes more barren and the climate increasingly arid.
McAllen is the center of two Texas industries: grapefruits and Winter Texans. The former are picked when ripe and juicy and, increasingly for the region's tourism industry, the latter are as well.
Although McAllen may be a little short on attractions, its hotels and restaurants make it a good base for exploring the natural delights of the surrounding area, including the many sites of the World Birding Center.