Travel Guides

On Location: Rio Grande Valley

Escape the Winter Deep in the Heart of Texas!

Life in The Rio Grande Valley  is easy and beautiful – the Texans who live here do it affordably and celebrate the beauty of South Padre Island, the excitement of so many species of wildlife, and the creativity and culture of its people every single day. The Rio Grande Valley is an outdoorsman’s paradise – hunting, fishing, birding – there is plenty for anyone down here in “The Valley”!

Port Isabel Lighthouse

The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most biodiverse regions in North America which makes it one of the most desirable birding destinations in the world. The World Birding Center boasts nine different locations in The Valley, each with its own attractions – from educational birding tours to special holiday events. South Padre Island is flush with activities for adventurous and curious Texans and Winter Texans. Kayak and jet ski rentals are hard to miss here and if you look up to the sky, you may also see paragliders and hot air ballooners flying over the Island’s sandy beaches. Visitors of South Padre Island can also visit the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and observe many species of birds, butterflies, and other natural wildlife that live in coastal South Texas.

The Rio Grande Valley isn’t just nature and water sports – in Downtown Harlingen, TX, visitors can take a walking (or driving) tour of the 20+ murals painted on the sides of buildings and inside local businesses. These murals depict the life and culture of the Rio Grande Valley and were created by local artists commissioned by the city of Harlingen.

Spend your winter getaway in the Rio Grande Valley and there will be no shortage of culture, wildlife, and surprises along the way!

To visit the Rio Grande Valley, visit one of our 10 Encore properties in the area. Visit to book your next stay!

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