Texas State Travel Guide/South Texas Plains
An inviting climate, combined with friendly people, make up a large part of the spectacular South Texas Plains region. While this part of Texas might feature some flat terrain broken only by mesquite and brush, there’s definitely nothing “plain” about this region. Rich in history and culture, the sights, sounds, tastes and experiences are sure to entice and intrigue you while you’re here.
This region - incorporating the southeast corner of the tropical Rio Grande Valley, the rugged beauty of the westernmost tip near Eagle Pass, and northwestern wonder that is San Antonio - is packed with adventures.
History buffs can travel across parts of Texas that conquistadors once traversed on their explorations, and visit locations where Franciscan monks set up missions to Christianize and educate the natives. Texas is said to have the second finest examples of Spanish mission architecture in the United States, some of which can be found in the mission district of San Antonio and Mission Espiritu Santo in Goliad.
In the eastern part of the region, the communities of Goliad and Fannin pay tribute via museums and historic sites to the sacrifices made by those who fought for the Lone Star State’s independence from Mexico. In the middle of the region, museums in Falfurrius, Alice and George West detail life for early settlers in this part of Texas.
For nature lovers, the semi-tropical Rio Grande Valley also is one of the best bird watching spots in North America, with nearly 500 bird species and more than 300 kinds of butterflies that call this area home. Located where major bird migratory routes converge, this region houses the World Birding Center, a network of nine sites with headquarters at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park near Mission.
In Three Rivers, Choke Canyon State Park features ample fishing and boating opportunities on the massive 26,000-acre Choke Canyon Reservoir, while those who like to enjoy nature can hike, camp, picnic or just relax.
The Rio Grande Valley also is quite popular with winter visitors due to the area’s balmy weather. Conditions are inviting for those who want to escape the sleet, snow, ice and cold of more northern climes. These Winter Texans move into the Valley for extended stays, often returning year after year. The inviting climate and wonderfully mild winter weather means visitors can look forward to golf, tennis, fishing and other outdoor activities year-round.
While there is plenty of entertainment on this side of the border, neighboring cities in Mexico offer enchantment and intrigue for visitors’ young and old alike. The beauty and hospitality of the Mexican culture is evident throughout the region in the border cites of Eagle Pass, Laredo, Roma, Rio Grande City and McAllen.
Last, but certainly not least, is the gem of the region - San Antonio. The area’s largest city and one of the biggest cities in the state, San Antonio is home to destinations that are known the world over - the Alamo and the River Walk. Other family attractions include SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio Zoo, Guiness World Records Museum and Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, and the San Antonio Children’s Museum; but there’s so much more to experience. The city proudly showcases some amazing artwork, in places like the McNay Art Museum, Mexican Cultural Institute and the San Antonio Museum of Art, and provides some outdoor adventures at Natural Bridge Caverns, Brackenridge Park and the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.
So, hola amigos, and welcome to the wonderful South Texas Plains!