DAY TRIPS | Half the Fun is Getting There

Falcon State Park

Falcon State Park

At the southern end of the International Falcon Reservoir in Starr and Zapata Counties. The park was leased from the International Boundary and Water Commission in 1949 and opened to the public in 1965. The waters of the Rio Grande River have formed a beautiful 60-mile-long lake behind the dam. This dam was built for conservation, irrigation, power, flood control, and recreational purposes. The park features camping, swimming, fishing, and water skiing. There is a 1-mile, self-guided nature trail. Campgrounds and cabins available for reservation by calling Falcon State Park Office (956) 848-5327.

Guerrero Viejo

Guerrero Viejo

A thriving city in its day, was abandoned with the sudden filling of Falcon Reservoir in 1954. The city presents an archeological paradise to history enthusiasts who visit every year. One can still admire the Spanish architecture of the old city, which until recently, had been under water. Only 25 minutes south of Zapata on the Mexico side.

Hebbronville, Texas

Hebbronville, Texas

Located slightly northeast of Zapata County lies the tiny hamlet of Hebbronville, Texas.  The seat of Jim Hogg County, Hebbronville boasts a rich treasury of history, rustic buildings and a culture all its own. Rich in history and lore, Hebbronville beckons visitors to explore its treasures and, perhaps, bring out their “inner vaquero”.

For more information please visit our websites at www.VisitHebbronville.com • www.VaqueroFestival.com

King Ranch

Kingsville, Texas

A living legend King Ranch, the birth place of the American ranching industry and a National Historic Landmark. On guided tours, you can see the Santa Gertrude’s and King Ranch Santa Cruz breeds of beef cattle and the Quarter Horses that have garnered fame. The King Ranch offers public bus tours of the famous ranch, and in recent years nature trips have been offered as well. With the entrance of the King Ranch into the nature tourism business, trips solidly devoted to bird watching may be arranged at (361) 592-8055.

La Gloria

La Gloria

The area newest form of entertainment is bloodless bullfighting, featured October-March at the 900-seat Santa Maria Bullfighting Arena, one mile east of La Gloria. Matadors train here for matches in Mexico and Spain. Margo Ranch at La Gloria , provides a lodge, B&B accommodations, native plant, nature and historical tours, (956) 487-3827.

Laredo, Texas

Laredo, Texas

Laredo’s history and architecture is a reason for a visit. The atmosphere of old-time Laredo pervades side streets around Plaza San Agustin area where settlers first located in 1755 to form one of the first Spanish colonies on the north bank of the Rio Grande. Get your historic bearings straight at the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum, 1003 Zaragoza St., (956) 727-3480.

Rio Grande City

Rio Grande City

In the City is located the Chachalaca Wildlife Refuge. Chachalacas are tropical birds indigenous to Central America, Mexico and the extreme reaches of South Texas. The Chachalaca Refuge is a lush and placid 94.2 acres reserve discretely nestled in the middle of the town. Birdwatchers travel to the RGV to spot Chachalacas as they perform their rancorous mating chorus from where they derive their name. Another place La Puerta Tract is the eastern entrance to the 11 sites in the Lower Rio Bravo section of Starr County. Within La Puerta’s large encampment can be found several rare species of plants and animals. www.visitlaredo.com

Roma, Texas

Roma, Texas

The World Birding Center can be found on the old plaza of a once-thriving steamboat port. Part of a national historic district it includes a riverside nature area of 3 acres. The gateway to unforgettable birding adventures. Diverse activities such as walking tours, to birding float trips along the RG are operated by Friends of the Valley Wildlife Corridor. For information call (956) 849-4930.

San Ygnacio, Texas

San Ygnacio, Texas

The oldest town in Zapata County, was settled in 1830 by former residents of revilla (now Nuevo Guerrero, Tamaulipas) under the leadership of Jesus Treviño. The site was in the southwest corner of the original Hacienda de Dolores, a grant made in 1750 by Col. José de Escandón to José Vázquez Borrego and was named for the patron saint of Guerrero, Saint Ignatius Loyola. In 1830 Treviño built a sandstone home, known as Fort Treviño, 100 by 140 feet. Jose Villarreal placed a sundial at the home in 1851 and has become a tourist attraction.

Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife Refuge

A Sanctuary for birds and other wildlife nestled just outside of Falcon State Park. The world famous and elusive White Collared Seedeater can often be seen here. Bring plenty of memory cards for your camera. You are going to need them. Open daily 8am - 4pm.  Call World Birding Center (956) 849-4930.