Exploring Rio Grande Valley Texas

Sometimes life takes you to unexpected places. I can’t say south Texas was ever on my list of places to visit, but thanks to my boyfriend and his family, I got to explore another corner of our country. The Rio Grande Valley is filled with small towns that surround the main city of McAllen. As a Latina, I enjoyed observing how deep the Mexican-American culture is embedded in everyday life. Check out our little adventure in the Rio Grande Valley!

Things to Do

Quinta Mazatlan

Quinta Mazatlan is not only a beautiful historic place but also a world birding center. This adobe estate, which dates back to the 1930s, focuses on the preservation of plants and animals native to the Rio Grande Valley. We enjoyed exploring the desert-landscaped gardens and admiring the art and architecture. Fair warning, you will encounter different birds and critters as you walk the gardens, so proceed with caution – I made friends with lots of lizards along the way.

South Padre Island

When I think of Texas, I think of desert and heat, but just an hour away from McAllen, Texas, I got to enjoy the heat by the beach. South Padre Island is a fun destination where you can tour sea wildlife, horseback riding, good food, and a relaxing beach. We focused on the relaxing beach part.

What to Eat

Semilla Coffee Lab

If you know me, you know coffee is a must. One of my favorite things to do when I travel is checking out the local coffee scene. I found Semilla Coffee Lab through social media and was intrigued by their unique brew methods and artistic presentations. The day was scorching, so I asked to make my cortado iced and it was heavenly.

Ceviche Ceviche

One of my favorite summer dishes is ceviche – raw fish cured in citrus juices. It’s light, fresh and pairs perfectly with a margarita. I was thrilled when I learned about Ceviche Ceviche on South Padre Island! They have an incredible set up where you can order a traditional ceviche mix or you can make your own. Not to mention, the staff is amazing!

Delias’s

Most people who have tasted tamales before know that homemade ones are the best ones. Typically, tamales is a traditional Mexican dish that requires the help of the entire family – something like an assembly line. Delia’s in McAllen has turned this dish into a thriving business in McAllen and they do not disappoint. They taste as if they just came out of the steam pot at abuela’s house and they have all the trimmings to go with them.

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