Brownsville, TX
By Arlena M. Boxton

Bordering Mexico, the city of Brownsville, is located on the southernmost tip of Texas, on the northern bank of the Rio Grande River.  Brownsville has a rich and storied American and Mexican history which is honored via its landmarks, museums and parks.  Brownsville is the third largest inland area bordering Mexico, after San Diego, California and El Paso Texas.  Residents and visitors alike enjoy Brownsville’s sub-tropical climate despite the humidity, most likely because the waters of the Gulf of Mexico keep Brownville cooler in the summer with temperatures which do reach the nineties but very rarely reaching 100 degrees, unlike other inland Texas cities.  Palm trees in most neighborhoods add to the “tropical” feel of Brownsville.

Brownsville and surrounding cities are serviced by the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport (BRO).  The airport is city-owned and located approximately 8 miles east of Brownsville’s city center business district.  Transportation from the airport includes rental cars, taxis, shuttles and Metro buses. 

Thinking of visiting the historical city of Brownsville?   Planning a trip to Brownsville was never easier!  Book your flight and hotel on  Major airlines servicing Brownsville include United Express, American Eagle, and Aero México. You can start your search for low pricing here (   Brownsville offers several hotel choices whether you prefer inexpensive, moderate or a more upscale hotel, and whether you are planning a visit just for fun, or attending a business meeting. You can use to hunt for low pricing in the city (

A “must see” attraction for history buffs and outdoor lovers is the Palo Alto Battlefield National Park , the historical site where a conflict on May 8, 1846 between American and Mexican troops became the first battle which led to the two year Mexican-American War.  There are battle reenactments held at the park throughout the year.  With over 80 musket and artillery demonstrations a year and thousands of visitors, Palo Alto Battlefield has enjoyed great success with its “Living History” program.  On Saturdays from September through May, visitors can witness Mexican-American War era weapons demonstrations, listen to interpretive talks and interact with the actors who p reenactment war time battles.  Palo Alto Battlefield National Park is located at 7200 Parades Line Road in Brownsville, and is about 5 miles north of downtown.

For art lovers, the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art at 660 East Ringgold Street, in downtown Brownsville, offers exhibits showcasing works Mexico and of regional south Texas artists, and traveling shows from its partner museums.  The museum’s permanent collections contain work by regional artists dating back to the 19th and early 20th centuries.  In addition, programs and classes which complement the exhibitions are offered for both adults and children. The museum is open every day except Sunday.

There are many choices when it comes to day time activities and entertainment in Brownsville.  Those who love to shop certainly won’t be disappointed.   Brownsville offers grand shopping experiences at the Sunrise Mall at 2370 North Expressway with 90 different stores and shops, and the 15 acre North Plaza Shopping Center at 1 North Park Plaza.  Movie theaters like the Cinemark Sunrise Mall in the Sunrise Mall on North Expressway, and the Cinemark Movies 10 Valley Race Park are open daily. 

Those who would rather be outdoors instead of taking in a movie will appreciate and enjoy taking a trek through the Gladys Porter Zoo at 500 Ringgold Street in the center of Brownsville, with its 337 species of animals and 225 species of plant life.  Adults and children alike will enjoy the zoo’s “geography” lessons – the zoo is divided into four “zoogeographic” areas: Africa, Asia, Tropic America and Indo-Australia.  There is a harbor seal exhibit, Macaw Canyon, and a Bear Grotto just to name a few of the sights. 

Virtually “next door” to the Gladys Porter Zoo is the 24.6 acre Dean Porter Park at 501 East Ringgold Street, complete with beautiful walking trails and a boardwalk.  You can also visit the Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary, on Sabal Palm Grove Road, encompassing a land preserve of 557 acres and featuring wildlife, native birds and native plant species.  

For those who don’t mind venturing outside of the city, there is Boca Chica State Park, 20 minutes away from Brownsville at the end of Texas Highway 4 East, where you can enjoy fishing, swimming, surfing, birding and camping.  Or, for a different outdoor experience, you might consider spending time enjoying greyhound racing at Valley Race Park, 30 minutes outside of Brownsville.  The Valley Race Par is located at 3471 Old Highway in the city of Harlingen.
Nightlife is abundant as well in Brownsville.  Its many bars, pubs, and nightclubs will keep “night owls” busy.  After enjoying Brownsville’s outdoors, its activities and entertainment, you certainly won’t need to worry about where to eat.  Brownsville features a wide range of culinary choices ranging from American fare, to Spanish, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese.  You will easily find your favorite foods whether you are looking for a good burger, tacos, seafood, pasta, sushi, noodles, barbecue or steak.

“Something for everybody” is a phrase that must have been coined in Brownsville.  Let – from getting you there, to finding a great hotel and renting a car – to make your visit to Brownsville, Texas a memorable one!

MUST SEE IN Brownsville, TX LIST:

  • 1. The Carriage House Day Spa
  • 2. Palo Alto Battlefield National Park
  • 3. Brownsville Museum of Fine Art
  • 4. Gladys Porter Zoo
  • 5. Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary
  • 6. Boca Chica State Park
  • 7. Resaca de la Palma State Park
  • 8. Sunrise Mall
  • 9. Historic Brownsville Museum
  • 10. Camille Lightner Playhouse


  • 1. Charro Days Fiesta - February
  • 2. Air Fiesta - March
  • 3. Student International Art Show - April
  • 4. Pint Night - June
  • 5. Fourth of July Parade - July
  • 6. Junior Ranger Camp - August
  • 7. Palo Alto Battlefield National Park Living History Program - September/May
  • 8. Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival - October
  • 9. Boo at the Zoo - October 30-31 (Halloween)
  • 10. Holiday Village - November/January