The city of McAllen, Texas is located nearly 5 miles from the border of Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley. The valley and West Texas have been connected by Route 83. Other main highways which serve the area are the US Route 281 and Texas State Highway 107. The nearest airport to the city is the Miller International Airport, which provides flights to Mexico City, and some other places in the region.
During the year 1904, the city of West McAllen was established by John McAllen. Soon after, a different group of developers helped establish the city of East McAllen. These two towns were then merged in 1911 when the City of McAllen was incorporated. The Free Trade Zone that was implicated in the 1970's resulted in the rapid expansion of industrial manufacturing and trade. More work were created in the 1990's when the North American Free Trade Agreement passed. The city of McAllen has become home to several national businesses over the last three decades and is considered the regional leader in government and commerce.
The International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen is among the most interesting facilities in the city. There are a lot of different exhibits which are annually held within the city, such as within the North Gallery, a Mexican arts and crafts exhibit, and a long term exhibit of dinosaur tracts at the Earth Science Gallery, that also has a working meteorological display. Situated at the Museum of South Texas History are some exhibits are artifacts cataloging the entire history of Southern Texas, like for instance Spanish exploration and colonization, early ranching an farming, the Mexican War and Rio Grande Steamboat era. The Quinta Mazatlan, the McAllen Wing of the World Birding Center, caters to people who love nature. Their sole mission is to maintain the 1930's adobe estate as well as the native animals and plants from the area. The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge houses numerous animals, birds, and waterfowl from around the Rio Grande Valley. The Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park provides more than five hundred acres of woodlands for ambitious campers, picnickers and hikers.
There are three regional sports teams located in the Rio Grande Valley. Based out of Edinburg are the Edinburg Coyotes, which is an independent minor league baseball team. From Hidalgo comes a professional ice hockey team, the Rio Grande Killer Bees. Likewise from Hidalgo are the Rio Grande Valley Dorados, that is a professional football team.