A Winter Texan Haven and the gateway to the Texas-Mexican border, Weslaco offers a great tropical environment and plenty of friendly folks, with just the right touch of history and culture.
With so many great communities in Deep South Texas it's hard to single out one as the best to visit, but Weslaco would certainly be in the top few finalists. Welcome to Weslaco, and home of the "good life" in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley.
Once a lush, subtropical jungle of ebony and mesquite and palm, Weslaco's founding is credited to the Couch brothers who bought the land in 1918 from the W.E. Stewart Land Company, from which the town's name was derived. After surveying the land, lots were offered for between $50-$400 each, a healthy price for the times.
In spite of opposition from nearby communities, Weslaco came into its own a few years later, converting the surrounding land from ranch country to farm country. The rich, tropical soils of the area proved capable of growing "just about any kind of crop", including the introduction of citrus fruit to the region.
It wasn't long before Weslaco became famous for it's citrus crop, especially the Texas grapefruit, and the success of the community has continued to this day.
With warm tropical breezes off the Gulf coast and the close proximity of border attractions at Progreso and Reynosa, Weslaco has become a favorite destination for those looking for a warm winter getaway.
And ever since the construction of the Gibson Trailer Campground in 1936, the only such facility in the Valley, Weslaco has become a magnet for recreational vehicle enthusiasts. The number of Winter Texans residing in Weslaco each winter has been estimated to be as many as 10,000, causing the winter population to swell, providing a solid economic boost each year.
Also in 1936, civic plans required all buildings in the business section to be remodeled with Spanish colonial architecture. Weslaco then acquired the nickname "City with the Neon Skyline" because neon lights were used to outline the new facades.
Modern day Weslaco offers the visitor comfort, outstanding weather, many attractions of interest to everyone in the family, and a central location from which to explore the Valley and Mexico. The summer months see an influx of adventure travelers, many who have come to experience the lower Texas coast and the pristine beaches of South Padre Island. Others stay in Weslaco and enjoy border excursions to areas of interest, like the El Cielo Biosphere near Victoria and the cosmopolitan city of Monterey.
Tourism across the border works in reverse as well, with many Mexican travelers coming across into the Texas Valley, many of who stay or maintain second homes in Valley communities like Weslaco.
The Valley Nature Center (VNC) near Weslaco is the only nature center south of Corpus Christi and east of Eagle Pass and has been in operation since 1985. The Valley Nature Center's park is home to a wide variety of the LRGV's native plants and animals.
The park features five acres of managed urban park land, a bog ponds, cactus gardens, the largest butterfly garden in the Valley and the only seasonal butterfly checklist in the Valley. There is an exhibit hall with interactive displays, a conference room with audio visual equipment, a unique gift shop with extensive South Texas book and field guide selections and a native plant nursery with plants for sale to the public.
Also of interest is the Weslaco Bicultural Museum and at least three major golf courses in and around the community.
A drive down Weslaco's Main Street these days evokes memories of the 1930's Spanish architecture that helped make the community famous. Older establishments have returned to the stucco shapes and forms that many will remember as the signature look of the community. Even newer buildings are conforming to the style of years gone by. Housed within these buildings are merchants who care about the look and feel of Main Street Weslaco.
Visit Weslaco and discover the secrets of the Rio Grande Valley. Connect to the Weslaco Chamber Web site here.