Harlingen has plenty to offer, including excellent golf facilities, with four public courses. There's great shopping, with Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets being a big draw for anyone looking for a bargain on top quality clothing.
The Downtown area has more traditional appeal, with local artworks, hand-made crafts and jewellery, and antiques. The area is somewhat of an arts hotspot, so take your camera and enjoy the vibrant murals.
The beach at South Padre Island is unspoiled and offers great fishing and surfing, as well as the opportunity to spot dolphins. Also east of the town you'll find the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to a huge variety of birds, as well as ocelots and sea turtles.
Visitors can fly to Valley International Airport (HRL) from major cities in Texas, as well as Minneapolis MN and New Orleans. It serves three-quarters of a million passengers a year and is situated just half an hour's drive from Brownsville and the border. You can find on-site car rental services, as well as taxis, to make your way into the city.
Hints and tips
There's some great dining in Harlingen, with plenty of Tex-Mex as you'd expect. Garabato's Grill, on 1102 E Harrison, is good for lunch, particularly for seafood fans.