Visitors to McAllen have a wide array of activities to choose from—including birding at Quinta Mazatlan, a 1930s adobe home where more than 150 species of birds have been documented; checking out the art scene developing on Main Street; and exploring the city’s 17th Street Entertainment District, where restaurants, nightclubs, and even a restored 1940s theater generate excitement.
“The entertainment district has really become a social gathering place for the region,” says Nancy Millar, who has worked to promote tourism to the Rio Grande Valley for decades. She’s seen the region change dramatically in the past 20 years. “There are now about 36 restaurants, lounges, and bars in that one area of town. It’s primarily 17th Street, but the district also extends to some of the cross streets. The city has built a parking garage so that it’s easier to visit, and there’s lots of live entertainment all over the area.”
Don’t miss these hotspots in the Entertainment District:
- Cine El Rey, 311 S. 17th Street. Films, comedy, and theater.
- Frida’s Bar and Grill, 209 S. 17th Street. Outdoor patio and authentic cuisine from interior Mexico.
- The Patio on Guerra, 116 S. 17th Street. Topnotch fine dining in one of the oldest buildings in the Rio Grande Valley. Try the Akita Bloody Mary, voted “Best Bloody Mary” in the United States.
- El Pocito Restaurant, 203 S. 17th Street. Old-school tortilla factory in business for 80 years. Gorditas win raves, and it’s fun to watch the tortillas being made.