Things to Do in Rio Grande Valley Texas

Whether you’re feeling a bit of cabin fever this winter or just need a change of scenery, the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of Texas is a “must see.” If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience the warm weather and beautiful landscapes, it’s time to start planning your itinerary.

Rio Grande Valley
Rio Grande Valley

Although traveling via plane is convenient, you will need to rent a car once you arrive at the airport. The easiest way to travel to the RGV is by car. Many areas throughout the RGV include college towns which see a high rate of accidents related to alcohol, distracted, and reckless drivers. As you should when traveling in unknown areas, always be alert and map out your trip.

Need some help planning your trip? Check out some of these “must see” destinations:

Things to Do in Rio Grande Valley Texas

Checking out Wildlife

If you’re traveling from the North on US 77 or 281, you’re probably escaping snow and cold weather, which has left you itching to get outdoors. Connecting with wildlife can be calming, educational, and a once in a lifetime experience. Thanks to the climate in the RGV, there are many opportunities to see a variety of wildlife.

Birds at Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park.
Birds at Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park. Flickr: Diann Bayes / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, located in Mission, TX, is a bird watcher’s paradise. Green Jays, Plain Chachalacas, Ferruginous Pygmy-owls, and Gray Hawk are just some of the birds you’ll see at the 760-acre attraction. For a small fee, you can take a walk and watch birds that only live in the deep South of Texas.

Another popular spot for lovers of the outdoors is the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which is located in South Padre Island, TX. The Wildlife Refuge homes thousands of plants, over 700 animals and birds, and hundreds of different kinds of butterflies. Experience biodiversity at its finest.

While you’re in South Padre Island, check out the Dolphin Research and Sea Life Nature Center or Isla Blanca Park. Enjoy the sun, sand, and opportunities to see sea life in their natural habitat.

Just for Fun

While nature and wildlife watching is fun for the whole family, the kids may want to experience something a little more thrilling. After you’ve spent the day at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, why not stay in town and take the kids to the Children’s Museum for some hands-on fun?

Gladys Porter Zoo
Gladys Porter Zoo. Flickr: Deyaun Villarreal / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Gravity Adventure Park in South Padre Island is a must see for thrill seekers in your caravan. Enjoy the view as you try out Texas’ tallest bungee jump or the reverse bungee ride. Have small kids? There are plenty of safe rides for the tiny thrill seekers. Other attractions to check out while you’re in South Padre Island include the Black Dragon Pirate Cruise and Schlitterbahn Beach Water Park.

Whether you’re traveling to RGV for wildlife, history, or just some thrill-seeking fun, there are many stops to make along the way. Pack up the car, grab the sunscreen, stay hydrated, and get ready to visit one of the most diverse regions in Texas.

About Landon B

I enjoy traveling to destinations across the US in my free time. I enjoy places that have lots of outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and ziplining.

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