McAllen is a subtropical community with Palm trees and beautiful flowers at every turn throughout the city. The population of McAllen almost doubles during the winter months, October through March. The city of McAllen has become a popular destination for retirees for the winter. These retirees move in their RVs to the beautiful city to wait out the cold in the Northern states. These retirees are often referred to as “Winter Texans.” Recently, a few of these “Winter Texans” have permanently relocated to McAllen to enjoy its beautiful weather and climate year round.
McAllen is a multicultural community and makes for a great place to shop. Shoppers can find goods from the South American and Mexico because of the city’s close proximity to the border. As it is only five miles away from Mexico, the city is a gateway to travelers leaving Texas and going to Mexico. There are also a lot of goods and other items brought from Mexico that are sold in stores throughout South Texas. Close proximity to Mexico causes McAllen to have an environment all of its own. There is a large influx of Mexican culture. This has been both good and bad for McAllen, however, some American residents have moved because of the Mexican immigration into McAllen. The streets of McAllen are filled with the Spanish language as well as Spanish music and guitar. Reynosa, Taumaulipis, Mexico is the closest Mexican city to McAllen.
The Rio Grande Valley is known for its citrus industry and McAllen has played a large part in the industry. Crops of vegetables, sugar cane, grapefruit, and orange trees can be found throughout the city and outside the city. The Ruby Red Grapefruit was developed in the Sharyland area outside of McAllen.
McAllen is also a hot spot for avid birdwatchers. The city and the surrounding area is one of the most popular bird watching spots in the United States. McAllen is in the path of a migration wave that a variety of different species of birds travel yearly on their migration from the cold North to the warm South. McAllen also has a large wildlife population.
McAllen also hosts several events and festivals in the downtown area annually. The first weekend of every month from January to March, the city hosts a Street Market. The Street Market allows residents and visitors to shop the areas citrus and vegetables as well as goods imported from Mexico. A Mini Grand Prix Car Race is held the last weekend of every February. There is a large display of fireworks and a parade for the 4th of July. At Christmas the city hosts the annual Candlelight Posada. These events are great for the family and tourists.