Sitting in the lower Rio Grande Valley, Harlingen is a popular stop for "winter Texans," those residents of northern climes in the U.S. who make the trek south every winter.
The city sits in fertile farming country and is very convenient to other tourist destinations and to Mexico. Day trips to Brownsville, the beach resort at South Padre Island, and into northern Mexico are easily accomplished from Harlingen. South Padre Island is about 40 miles away, and Brownsville just 25 miles away.
The Free Trade Bridge, connecting Texas and Mexico, is 10 miles southwest of Harlingen and leads visitors to Rio Progreso, Mexico.
Harlingen is considered one of the best destinations for birders in the U.S. Ramsey Nature Park and Harlingen Thicket Bird Sanctuary are popular birdwatching spots right in town; other great spots, including the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, the World Birding Center and Los Ebanos Preserve, are nearby.
For activities in town, visitors can wager on (or just watch) greyhound racing at Valley Race Park. The Downtown Jackson Street District features a ton of antiques, with Market Days held the first Saturday of every month.
The Rio Grande Valley White Wings are a minor-league baseball team that plays at Harlingen Field. The best museum in town is the Rio Grande Valley Museum.
More Harlingen Attractions
Harlingen golf courses
Forever Living Aloe Plantation
Granny Clare's Citrus Grove
Iwo Jima Monument and Memorial Museum
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Harlingen is in deep South Texas, about halfway between McAllen and Brownsville. U.S. Highway 83 connects the three cities, with McAllen to the west of Harlingen, and Brownsville to the southeast of Harlingen. Corpus Christi is about 2 hours due north of Harlingen via Highway 77.
The Rio Grande Valley International Airport is located in Harlingen and serves the surrounding area, including the resort city of South Padre Island (to the east of Harlingen). The airport is served by Southwest and Continental Express airlines. Sun Country Airlines offers charters and seasonal non-stop service to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
View Harlingen on the map (opens in new window)
Harlingen Chamber of Commerce - Visitors Info
City of Harlingen official website
Rio Grande Valley International Airport
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
Los Ebanos Preserve
Valley Race Park
Valley Morning Star newspaper