Texas' largest city is Houston. A name that conjures up images of oil wells, cowboy boots and..See all locations in Gulf Coast - Texas
Harlingen is home to everything tropical, from the red-crowned parrots to the palm trees and bougainvilleas that dominate the landscape. Aloe vera farms and citrus groves surround the city.
Mexico and the seashell-littered beaches of South Padre Island are only minutes away.
Harlingen developed at the crossroads of major national rail lines, and it has long been an important trade and transportation center. Incorporated in 1910, its namesake was a canal-encircled town in the Netherlands, the ancestral home of railroad president Col. Uriah Lott.
Cotton, sugar cane and vegetables became early reasons for the city's prosperity. Harlingen has survived freezes, floods and a 1933 hurricane. The city changed forever with start of World War II and the creation of an aerial gunnery school at Harlingen Army Air Field, which later became Harlingen Air Force Base. The Port of Harlingen opened in 1952 and began barging Valley sugar and grain north.
Today, the city continues to be a magnet for thousands of retirees from the Midwest and Canada. Some have become full-time residents, while others known as "Winter Texans" live in Harlingen during the winter months. In addition, numerous visitors from Mexico regularly shop and dine in Harlingen.
The community of Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, is located southwest of Harlingen. The Free Trade Bridge, 10 miles from Harlingen, provides access across the border and connects to a four-lane divided highway in northern Mexico.
The city boasts an extensive park system with recreational facilities for both visitors and residents. The popular 27-hole Tony Butler Municipal Golf Course at U.S. 77/83 at southwest edge of city is a golfer's delight. 956/427-8870.
Amateur sports tournaments and annual events such as the JalapeÃ±o 100 Bicycle Ride attract visitors from throughout the region and the state. Harlingen's Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival attracts birders from around the world. Harlingen also is home to Texas State Technical College and the Marine Military Academy.
Produced in association with Texas Tourism
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