A perfect way to educate yourself on the overall history of the Rio Grande Valley is by visiting the Museum of South Texas History. Whether it be ecologically, archaeologically or historically, you’ll be intrigued by this well- curated museum. And if visiting on a Sunday afternoon, the museum offers a wonderful guest speaker series.
Make your way over to McAllen’s Quinta Mazatlan. Once a privately owned adobe mansion sitting on 20 acres, it’s now one of the most popular attractions in all of South Texas, and is a unique blend of nature center, birding center, and art museum. Wonderful to visit year round, each season offers a different opportunity to view multiple varieties of indigenous plants and migratory birds and butterflies. Enjoy the gardens along with the sculptures, historical/nature tours, artistic/children’s programs, and a series of impressive guest lecturers. Rounding out your experience is the art gallery and museum store.
The first Friday of every month (September-May) you have the opportunity to engage with up and coming artists. Whether you choose to partake in one or both-McAllen Art Walk and Music After Hours & Crafters Fair (no December event) run concurrently. During Art Walk, local art galleries along Main Street from Beech to Pecan are open for visitors to view and purchase local art. The McAllen Creative Art Incubator is a participant in this event. The McAllen Incubator supports local artists working in a variety of mediums and disciplines, by leasing them affordable studio space. Additionally, the Creative incubator offers a stimulating array of classes. Music After Hours & Crafters Fair showcases local talent-great musicians and local artisans.
Along the 17th Street Entertainment District, treat yourself to viewing some amazing artistic murals while frequenting the wide variety of bars, pubs, and live music venues. Whether your taste is Cumbia, Tejano, Bachata, Dance/Rap or good old Rock and Roll, you’ll find it here. If clubbing isn’t your scene, visit historic Cine El Rey. This historic venue hosts an array of events-comedy, pro wrestling, film festivals, live theater and even live music.
If you’d like to delve more deeply in to McAllen’s culture & history, The The McAllen Heritage Center is your best option. The Center preserves and exhibits art, pictures, historical items & documents that celebrate our area’s traditions, folklore and cultural values. Or visit the City’s most highly regarded fine arts museum Nuevo Santander. Here you’ll find an outstanding collection of Old West & fine Mexican collectibles, original paintings, and sculptures all in a historically fashioned setting.
Further North in McAllen is the International Museum of Arts and Sciences (IMAS). IMAS is perfect for families, as the intention of the museum is to promote a deeper appreciation for the arts & sciences through its culture exhibits, events and visitor’s programs. There are both permanent and revolving collections available for viewing.
The McAllen Convention Center hosts many events, trade shows, and conventions throughout the year- check the schedule to see what events are being featured during your visit. A highlight of the season is Fiesta de Palmas, a celebration of McAllen’s art, heritage, food, and music. Attendees will enjoy food and music.
Our adjacent Performing Arts Centeris a premier venue for Broadway, domestic, and international performance companies. On the 2nd Saturday of each month-March through May and October through December on the surrounding grounds you’ll enjoy Sunset Live Concert Series. This free, pet friendly event provides wonderful musical entertainment, local vendors and food trucks for your enjoyment. Bring your own blankets and lawns chairs to enjoy this fun night of entertainment.
For those inclined to the more traditional music genres, the Valley Symphony Orchestra performs throughout the year at the McAllen Performing Arts Center. Even the Metropolitan Opera is available in the valley October-May each year in area Cinemark Theaters