Places to Visit
Plaza de San Benito
The City of San Benito's Cultural Arts Department works to strengthen the quality of life by promoting a family friendly cultural district, giving residents and visitors alike the chance to experience history, culture, music, dance, and art at various venues located at La Plaza de San Benito. The San Benito Cultural Heritage Museum features rotating exhibits showcasing the cultural arts and ethnic flavors of South Texas. The facility is part of the City's overall Cultural Heritage District, located on the 200 block of East Heywood Street. Rounding out the Plaza de San Benito is the City's Community Building and Auditorium, and the Cultural Arts Center.
Museum hours and admission:
Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Group rates available to schools and other institutions.
Call 956-281-0810 for more information
Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park
The popular Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park on the Laguna Madre is located within and surrounded by the huge Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. Facilities include lighted fishing piers, picnic areas, a playground, boat ramp, nature trail, and 35 RV sites with full hookups. Take F.M. 106 east 3.1 mi. to F.M. 2925 and travel north 14.8 to the park entrance. Find the Best Western San Benito lodging nearby. for more information call 956-748-2044.
Cottonwood Country Club
Cottonwood is a public par three course located at 1001 South Ed Carey Drive in Harlingen. For more information call 956-428-7758.
Forever Aloe Plantations
The Valley is the aloe vera capital of the nation. The magic healing aloe plant is vital to the skincare industry and is being tested for treatment of arthritis and diabetes. The visitor center at Forever Aloe Plantations features a 15 minute video on how this unassuming plant is grown, harvested, and processed. A variety of aloe products are available in the gift shop. Located on U.S. 83, take the Altas Palmas exit. For more information call 956-425-2585.
Gladys Porter Zoo
The Gladys Porter Zoo is one of the top ten small zoos in the country. The zoo is on a 31-acre preserve with more than 1,800 mammals, birds, and reptiles. Located at Ringgold and Sixth Streets in Brownsville. For more information call 956-546-7187.
Harlingen Art Forum Gallery
Harlingen Art Forum Gallery is the city's only co-operative gallery featuring original work by local artists. Located at 305 W Van Buren. For more information call 956-425-4030..
Iwo Jima Monument & Memorial Museum
The original working model of the famous bronze staTuesday at Arlington National Cemetery was donated by sculptor Dr. Felix W de Weldon to the Marine Military Academy. It depicts the raising of the U.S. flag during World War II. A visitor center includes a museum, focusing on the battle and features a 30-minute film, "The Battle for Iwo Jima." Located next to the Valley International Airport at 320 Iwo Jima Boulevard.
For more information call 956-412-2207 or visit the Marine Military Academy informational page about the monument, by clicking here
Knapp Chevrolet Antique Auto Museum
The Knapp Chevrolet Antique Auto Museum features a showroom full of antique and classic autos, including a 1929 Chevrolet, 1957 Belair convertible, and several collectible Corvettes. Located on U.S. 83, Stuart Place Road exit. For more information call 956-423-1370.
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Reserve
With 45,000 acres Laguna Atascosa is the largest protected area of natural wildlife left in the lower Rio Grande Valley. The refuge also features two roads for touring by car or bike, and five hiking trails with an alligator pond. Designated sites within the refuge permit camping, fishing, boating, and hunting. Located just 14 miles northeast of San Benito. For more information call 956-748-3607.
Los Ebanos Preserve
Los Ebanos is a unique private 82-acre bird and butterfly preserve. Visitors can stroll through the gardens, hike the nature trails, sit and enjoy the water birds on the lake, or just relax with a book in the pavilion. Located in San Benito at 27715 Highway 100. For more information call 956-399-9097.
Los Indios Free Trade Bridge
The Los Indios Free Trade Bridge is centrally located about ten miles south of San Benito on FM 509 at Los Indios on the U.S. /Mexico border.
Rio Grande Valley Museum
he Rio Grande Valley Museum brings South Texas history to life through tours of historic Harlingen buildings. Visitors can step inside the Paso Real Stagecoach Inn, built during the Civil War. Vintage medical equipment is on display in the city's first hospital. Visitors can a take a peek at daily life inside the home of city founder Lon C. Hill, which features many original family possessions. Located off Loop 499 at Boxwood and Raintree Streets in Harlingen. For more information call 956-430-8500.
South Padre Island
Located just 29 miles east of San Benito is South Padre Island, the premiere beach resort on the Texas coast. The island is know for its long white sandy beach and water sports, including jet skiing, bay, surf, and deep-sea fishing, parasailing, sailing, dolphin cruise, and windsurfing. Other popular island activities include:
- Horseback riding on the beach
The location of the island also makes it one of the premiere spots in the state to observe wildlife in its natural state. For more information call 956-761-6433.
Tony Butler Municipal Golf Course
Named after local golf pro legend Tony Butler, this 27 hole course dates back to 1929 when it was known as the Harlingen Country Club. Both the nine hole original course and the 18 hole championship course that was added later are fairly short and have narrow fairways lined with mesquite trees. From Highway 77 south take exit M Street, and then turn right. For more information call 956-423-3934.