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Best Tourist Spots in Brownsville

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Brownsville is steeped in history and culture, which is reflected in its attractions. The city is surrounded by wildlife refuges, stunning parks and scenic landscape. Needless to say, there is plenty of culture, history and art to enjoy and beautiful scenery to take in. From posing with the animals at the Gladys Porter Zoo, camping at the park, taking a walk and enjoying bird watching at Resaca De La Palma State Park to walking through the history at the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site and getting an insight into the artistic and cultural fabric of the city at the museums, Brownsville charms and enthralls you in every way. We’ve compiled a list below of the best tourist spots in Brownsville to suit all interests.

Spot native flora and fauna at Sabal Palm Sanctuary!

Native flora and fauna
Image By StephenRamirez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sprawling across 527-acre area, the Sabal Palm Sanctuary features a variety of flora and fauna, including rabbits, cottontail, bobcats and several other tropical and endangered birds and wildlife. It has 5-miles of trails. Stroll along the sanctuary trails and discover local Texan and Mexican animals in their natural habitat. A perfect spot for nature lovers and birdwatchers!

Address: 8435 Sabal Palm Grove Rd, Brownsville, TX 78521, United States
Phone: 1 956-541-8034
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:00am-5:00pm; Wednesday: Closed

Experience the early days of Brownsville at Historic Brownsville Museum!

Map data: Google, DigitalGlobe

Situated in the old Southern Pacific Depot, the Historic Brownsville Museums is a perfect example of Spanish Colonial style architecture. It features plenty of hands-on exhibits, maps, photographs, furnishings and artifacts that depict the history of Brownsville that spans over 100 years. From the Mexican-American war to American Civil War, the museum highlights it all. The museum brings the early days of the city alive. It also houses a wide collection of military artifacts and memorabilia from the early days of the city as Fort Brown. Exhibits include military fort artifacts, ranching and agricultural tools, railroad locomotive, and much more. A must-visit place for history buffs!

Address: 641 E Madison Street, Brownsville, TX 78520, United States
Phone: 1 956-548-1313
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am-4:00pm

Learning is fun at Children’s Museum of Brownsville!

Children’s Museum of Brownsville sparks creativity and impart learning through playful activities. Although actual classrooms are the centers for learning, but this museum offers an experience unlike the classrooms. It engages young minds through hands-on interactive exhibits. It fosters skill development, creativity and learning. Kids can learn about health, history, art, science and more at this museum. Exhibits include a construction zone where kids can build a site or play as an architect, all world’s cafe where the kids can role play and be cashiers, customers, waiters and cooks; Texas farmhouse where the kids can ride a tractor, milk a goat, pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, and learn about farming; the plaza where kids can out together a puzzle and be a part of a puppet show; discover all the facets of the sea at the under the sea exhibit, weather exhibits where kids can be meteorologist and predict the weather, and many more exhibits.  There is fun and learning for all children.

Address: 501 E Ringgold Street #5, Brownsville, TX 78520, United States
Phone: 1 956-548-9300
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday: 12:00pm-4:00pm

Experience Central, South and North America culture and tradition at Costumes of the Americas Museum!

The Costumes of the Americas Museum features over 400 indigenous clothing from the western hemisphere. It features rotating exhibits of the Central, South and North America native clothing and accessories. The major focus is on the colorful costumes, traditional designs and hand woven textiles. The clothing highlights beautiful hand-worked embroidery, beading, dyeing and weaving. Exhibits showcased here depict the political, cultural and religious beliefs attached to each outfit and articles of clothing.  It includes costumes for religious ceremonies, tribal group, everyday life, work, sports, formal and informal, and classic and traditional. Also, traditional crafts, art and handicrafts are also displayed here. Tours in English and Spanish is available. 

Address: 501 E Ringgold Street # 5, Brownsville, TX 78520, United States
Phone: 1 956-547-6890

Marvel at the animals at Gladys Porter Zoo!

Brownsville Zoo
Image By Jc161991 (I took a picture with my phone) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Covering about 31-acres of area, the Gladys Porter Zoo houses about 1,600 animals and approx 26 acres of verdant tropical plants. It includes over 250 species of tropical and neo-tropical plants lining the paths of the zoo. The animal species range from African savanna to South American animals to Asia and Indo-Australia animals to local reptiles. Watch the birds fly high, see the slithering snakes, and check out the diverse animals from different regions around the world, like African lions, zebras, gorilla, Jentink's Duiker, Caribbean flamingos, Macaw Canyon, Bactrian camels, orangutans, magpie geese, white rhinos, and many more. It also offers train ride tours of the zoo. Several events are also held all year-round.  

Address: 500 E Ringgold Street, Brownsville, TX 78520, United States
Phone: 1 956-546-7187
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00am-5:30pm; Saturday & Sunday: 9:00am-6:00pm

A Walk through the history at Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site!

National Historic Site
Image By Schmorleitz (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Discover the Brownsville’s past at the Palo Alto Battlefield National History Site. History lovers won’t want to miss this site. It was the site of the Mexican-American War battle of 1846. Take a walk through the battleground and stand on the same battleground where the first battle of Mexican-US war started in the 1840s. Check out the artifacts and exhibits from the war in the visitor’s center. Know everything about the war, from how it was fought, causes and its consequences on the city and the America. Also, there are actors who are dressed in the battle garbs depicting the history of the battlefield. Relive the past!

Address: 7200 Paredes Line Rd, Brownsville, TX 78526, United States
Phone: 1 956-541-2785
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00am-5:00pm

Embark on bird-watching excursions at Resaca De La Palma State Park!

Birders won’t want to miss the Resaca De La Palma State Park, which is a part of the World Birding Center. The park features over 8 miles of multi-use trails covering 1,200 acres of grasslands. It has over 500 distinct species of birds. Also, it has a butterfly garden; four observation decks and tram tour are available. Go for nature hiking, biking and butterfly walks and spot a wide variety of birds and other wildlife. Carry water to combat the scorching heat of the city. A nature retreat away from the bustle of the city!

Address: 1000 New Carmen Avenue, Brownsville, TX 78521, United States
Phone: 1 956-350-2920
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 8:00am-5:00pm

Discover the story of Brownsville at The Stillman House Museum!

Brownsville history
Image By 25or6to4 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1850, the Stillman House was home of the Brownsville’s founder- Charles Stillman. This nineteenth century house features period furnishings, photographs, art and artifacts that depict the story of Brownsville’s development from the frontier town to the major hub center for industry, technology, tourism, culture and transportation to the modern times. The museum is listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places and is a Texas Historical Landmark.  Musical performances, presentations and events are held here throughout the year.  The setting here harkens back to the olden days!

Address: 1325 E Washington Street, Brownsville, TX 78520, United States
Phone: 1 956-541-5560
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am-4:00pm; Sunday: 1:00pm-5:00pm

Admire the art from around the world at Brownsville Museum of Fine Art!

      Map data: Google, DigitalGlobe

Located in the heart of the Mitte Cultural District, Brownsville Museum of Fine Art features works of art in different mediums, including sculptures, drawings, photographs, paintings and prints. It houses over 350 pieces of art by local, national and international artists. Temporary exhibits include works by well-known artists and historical artifacts. Works by notable artists like Alexander Calder, N.C. Wyeth, Marc Chagall, Pedro Meyer’s, and more is put on display. Several events and shows are held throughout the year that displays the work by artists from across the world. 

Address: 660 E Ringgold Street, Brownsville, TX 78520, United States
Phone: 1 956-542-0941
Opening hours: Monday & Tuesday: 10:00am-5:00pm; Wednesday: 10:00am-8:00pm; Thursday-Friday: 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday: 10:00am-4:00pm

Know the aviation stories at Commemorative Air Force Museum!

Aviation History
Image By RadioFan (ramp of CLT airport) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Commemorative Air Force Museum features exhibits and artifacts of World War II. Highlights include Mexican Fighter Squadron, American Boeing PT-3 biplane, German Focke Wulf-44 Steighlitz biplane and many more. Each spring, air show is also held here. It has video presentations, equipments, artifacts, vintage aircrafts and memorabilia from WWII. It offers an educating and interesting tour through the country’s WWII history!

Address: Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport, 955 N Minnesota Avenue, Brownsville, TX 78521, United States
Phone: 1 956-541-8585
Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday: 9:30am-3:30pm

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