With many Winter Texans starting to head to the RGV, here are some Attractions, Routes and Camping Suggestions for any going down to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas via Balmorhea, Kerrville, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi:
If going to Harlingen area, I-10 to I-410 Loop hang a right on it to I-37, at least if you like interstate travel, until you get to US 77 (exit 14) take it south to the Valley. If wanting Upper Valley, McAllen Area, use same route except get off I-37 at exit 72 and onto US 281.
Corpus Christi is a nice place if you have not been to it as is San Antonio. Both are really neat places, we enjoyed visiting both in the past.
Corpus Christi Area
The Bay Loop
would be neat to do. Shoreline Blvd and Ocean Dr. have neat vistas.
San Antonio Area
The Alamo, River Walk, Texas Cultures Building, Missions Trail are just a few neat things to see.
The Museum of Western Art near Kerrville is really good, a must see for sure if possible. WestArt
We did not go see Stonehenge in Texas
, it might be neat to see. Near Kerrville, I-10 exit 505, Hwy 39 to Hunt, two miles west of Hunt on Farm Road 1340.
Lake Corpus Christi State Park southwest of Mathis was a nice one.
Lake Corpus Christi State Park
** RV park review Mathis area
In the same general area, but I have not been to it, is Choke Canyon State Park
. Of course, we may have stopped at Choke Canyon & not Lake Corpus Christi. :h
Nor have I been to this one in George West is not on the interstate however RV Camping
, but it is not too far from it. Three Rivers
is just north of George West and is just off of the I-37.
You can overnight in any of the Texas Rest Areas
and we did off this route some years ago. We have often used Rest Areas, Just be Viligant, some are better than others, if spooky, don't, if not stay. Welcome centers have been nice to stay in as well. Consider your surroundings carefully and if you feel uncomfortable with the area, move somewhere else. I feel comfortable when there are one or two (more so if more) RVs are overnighting at a location.
More information post
I have never make a stop at the King Ranch
headquarters, but have head it is neat to do. It is by Kingsville, of course, on the way to the Valley using US 77.
Once in the Valley (really a Delta
in the Harlingen-Brownsville area), I would suggest going to the Laguna Atascosa Nat'l Wildlife Refuge
out from Rio Hondo. Refuge
. The last time we were there on a Spring Break, we got to see a couple of alligators as well as birds. "Alligator Pond: Alligator watching has become very popular at the refuge. During wet years they seem to inhabit every pond. Alligator Pond, .25 miles south of Osprey Overlook, usually has a gator or two. Alligators can also sometimes be seen on the resaca on Lakeside Drive. Alligators can be dangerous; stay on the road and do not feed or disturb them. Keep a close eye on small children and pets."
However, if you want a trip out into the BAY
, try Capt. Richard Weldon
in Arroyo City. Tell him DesertHawk, Mona's brother, recommended them.
Earlier this year his site listed Sight Seeing Tours, but I did not see it listed now. "Weldon Charter Service is a fishing guide service based in Arroyo City, Texas. Centrally located on the Lower Laguna Madre, our charters may range from Port Mansfield to South Padre Island. WCS offers fly fishing charters as well as lure fishing trips. Targeted species include redfish, speckled trout and flounder."
Oh, yes, I do NOT get anything for telling you about him. His dad was my brother-in-law is all. The senior Weldon took me for a fishing trip out in the area many moons ago in the early 70s. A lot smaller boat than what Richard has now. Richard has been fishing out there most of his life. Senior Weldon was not a guide, just a sport fisherman.
The Sight Seeing and Bird Watching Tours seemed interesting, therefore I wanted to pass the information on. If they are not doing them, you might check some of the other Fishing Guide Services to see if they might. I believe if interested in them his email address is listed on his site. Wouldn't hurt to ask about them. Perhaps it is not the right season yet for them????
Up the Valley by McAllen there is another REFUGE
. I have always wanted to see it but have not. 'The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge is headquartered at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. It is located 7 miles south of Alamo, Texas, on FM 907 and 1/4 mile east on U.S. Highway 281.' I believe you will find it less humid in that part of the Valley.
One of the things I missed from the Valley: The Best Citrus AnyWhere!
, yes, they are the Very Best!
They grow some very good veggies as well down there. RGV Crops
A MUST see down there is the Gladys Porter Zoo
, an oasis nestled in the center of Brownsville, Texas. With 26 acres of lush tropical plants and some 1,600 animals, the Gladys Porter Zoo is known for its successes in breeding endangered species of wildlife.
I have never gone to see where the Last Battle of the Civil War
took place, but it there on the way to Boca Chica
Also in the area, Boca Chica Beach
might be neat, I have not been to it since sometime in the mid-1950s. Boca Chica SP photos
& Brazos Island
** Brazos Island-Boca Chica Beach
not sure how nice they are.
I always went to Port Isabel
and South Padre Island
. The Point Isabel Lighthouse
is neat to see. Museums in Port Isabel
might be of interest to you as well. The South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center with it's Nature Tail
was very neat. A must to do is drive by the shrimp boat docks in Port Isabel and stop at a Seafood Market
. We get some Crab Boil
of some kind and boil up a couple of dozen or grill some on the Bar-Bee. Oh, so good! If memory serves me, we got some shrimp close to where the shrimp boats were docked.
On the southern tip of South Padre, there is ISLA BLANCA PARK, a Cameron County Park with a pretty nice campground. We camped here one night in 2000. Park Map
South Padre Island
was where I first got a taste for camping. Very dispearsed camping back then, a '46 Jeep CJ, a tarp for shade, a cot to keep off the sand & away from the sand crabs, a summer weight
sleeping bag and food & water. Had a blast, would drive down the beach until no one else were around. Maybe 10 miles from the entry point. But my first campout was at Boca Chica
with my parents. At that time, you had to take a boat ferry to Padre Island, then get a ride on an old Army Half Track to get to the beach on the island. When my mom was a teen, to get across to the island, they could wade across, before the InterCoastal channel was cut. They also had to cross by row boat to get to Matamoros
. Port Isabell was called Point Isabell then as well, but the Lighthouse
, my hometown some 38 years ago, has some things you might want to see. See the original full-sized creation cast
for the Iwo Jima Monument erected at Arlington Cemetery near Washington, D.C. was neat as was the Marine Military Academy Museum next to it. The city of Weslaco has a link to the Iwo Jima Flag Raising
. The The Harlingen Mural Project
is something new to me, maybe worth a see. We enjoyed seeing the Murals in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan Canada when there a few years ago.
If you have to go across to Mexico, I would suggest just walking across to Nuevo Progreso, Mexico
and NOT drive
. It is seven miles south of Weslaco. There are a few historical markers alone the old Military Hwy (US 281)
between Brownsville and Hidalgo with Progreso, TX being on it as well. Used to be a neat drive, but not sure now
More Info - Rehash
This is a neat place just off of I-10 in West Texas to see: Balmorhea State Park is located in the foothills of the Davis Mountains southwest of Balmorhea and nearby Davis
Mountains State Park (along with the famous Big Bend
Nat'l Park) are very nice places and one could spend a long time at each. Been to all except Davis, but it is nice areas, be sure to visit the old Fort Davis
a nice place to see. Balmorhea
Big Bend Park
maybe not great for a summer trip, but very neat in the fall
, winter and spring.
Some other places and a little rehash Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site and Monahans Sandhills State Park