For those who enjoy the tranquility of nature, Mission offers some to the most spectacular locations for birding and butterfly watching on Earth! The World Birding Center, NABA International Butterfly Park and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park have created a haven for these special species and invite birders and naturalists to their sites by offering viewing stations, watching towers, interpretive centers and various programs.
For those who love being outdoors, the City of Mission features world class fishing and hunting opportunities at the many nature parks in the area. Anzalduas and Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Parks are one of the few areas in the Rio Grande Valley to offer water skiing and boating on the Rio Grande River.
World Birding Center, Mission is the headquarters for the World Birding Center which is a network of nine sites dotted along 120 miles of river road from South Padre Island west to Roma. Habitats range from dry chaparral brush and verdant riverside thickets to freshwater marshes and coastal wetlands. The World Birding Center will be striving to invite novice as well as advance birders/naturalists to the sites by offering viewing stations, watching towers, interpretive centers and programs.
NABA International Butterfly Park, Unlike various butterfly conservatories that have been built across the United States, NABA International Butterfly Park provides intensive outdoor gardens of native nectar plants and specific caterpillar host plants. The park also serves as a natural habitat to attract large numbers of wild butterflies and helps conserve the rare butterflies’ native to the valley.
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park has more than 600 acres set aside to preserve native flora and fauna along the banks of the Rio Grande. Facilities include primitive camping sites, boating ramps, open group shelter, playgrounds, picnicking areas and bird observation blinds.
Anzalduas County Park and Dam, is located on the Rio Grande River in Mission. Its defining feature is the Anzalduas Dam, yet it is also a beautiful spot for picnicking, barbecuing and boating. Anzalduas Park also offers excellent birding, butterfly and nature watching.
Mission is the home town of several notable natives and residents for among our notables are Tom Landry, legendary NFL coach of the Dallas Cowboys, was born and raised in Mission, and played for Mission High School, Lloyd Bentsen, former U.S. Senator and vice-presidential nominee, born in Mission in 1921, William Jennings Bryan, presidential candidate and former Secretary of State, William S. Burroughs beat poet and author of Naked Lunch, lived in Mission for a short while, Tito Santana (aka Merced Solis), World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE) star is from Mission, and last but not least, Kika de la Garza, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mission and the Rio Grande Valley area are proud of our men and women in uniform and take pride in our military tradition. The State Veterans Cemetery in the Rio Grande Valley is a special place to the many from this community who have served their country. The Rio Grande Valley is a very proud, patriotic community and has a long history of honoring our heroes. From the Iwo Jima War Memorial in Harlingen to the Veteran’s War Memorial of Texas in McAllen we honor and respect our heroes.
Mission also has some of the best shopping in Texas from one of a kind boutiques offering exclusive collections to major retail shopping centers with name brand merchandise, Mission is your place to shop till you drop.
Mission is conveniently located minutes away from major performing arts venues and is a great place for live entertainment including musical events, performing arts, hockey games, baseball games and basketball games. The Mission area is full of experiences, from artwalk, and farmer’s markets, to breath taking sunsets, your experience will be first-class.
If you are planning your visit to Mission during the last week in January make sure and take in our Citrus Fiesta. Mission has had the distinction of being known as the “Home of the Grapefruit” since 1921. Every year, the city holds an annual parade celebrating Mission’s rich agricultural heritage. The parade is citrus themed and features hundreds of fruit decorated floats.
We hope you enjoy your stay in Mission and the South Texas Tropics of the Rio Grande Valley. Mission is rich with visitor opportunities, offering a variety of outdoor and indoor fun. We invite you to be part of this rich cultural and natural treasure that the Greater Mission Area offers to our heroic leaders of the Military.