The tourism in the Valley is a popular place for tourists wishing to visit Mexico. Other popular Rio Grande Valley tourism destinations that are across the border include: Matamoros, Nuevo Progreso, Rio Bravo, and Reynosa, all located in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The Rio Grande Valley also attracts large numbers of tourists from the Mexican states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Distrito Federal, and Tamaulipas.
The region is known for its warm weather, exotic birds, and citrus orchards. The warm weather attracts a large number of retirees from the Northern United States and Canada (Winter Texans), during the winter months. The abundance of great shopping opportunities attracts Mexican Nationals throughout the year. Beach lovers and sports fishermen are drawn to South Padre Island, Port Isabel, and Port Mansfield on the Gulf Coast. Bird-watchers can watch a wide variety of exotic birds at one of the 9 World Birding Centers locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
The Rio Grande Valley tourism encompasses several landmarks that attract tourists and it’s primary tourist attraction is South Padre Island.
Popular destinations include:
- Port Isabel Lighthouse State Park
- Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
- Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
- Bentsen – Rio Grande Valley State Park
- El Sal del Rey
- First Lift Station at Chimney Park
- Los Ebanos Ferry Last hand operated ferry on the Rio Grande River
- La Lomita Historic District
- Fort Brown
- Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site
- Resaca de la Palma
- Rancho de Carricitos
- USMC War Memorial original plaster working model, located on the campus of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen
- Museum of South Texas History Originally the County Court House and Jail, built in the late 19th century
- Battle of Palmito Ranch, location of the last battle of The Civil War
- Brownsville Raid
- Battle of Resaca de la Palma