The largest city in Hidalgo County and the 21st biggest city in Texas, McAllen sits on the Rio Grande across from the Mexican city or Reynosa, which is a huge reason that it has such a unique culture. The origins of McAllen begin in 1904 when the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railroad reached the town. At this point in time, the city's economy was almost exclusively based on agriculture, and the town grew as there was now a way to export crops such as figs, grapes, alfalfa, and others. During the early history of the city, there were also border wars, resulting in the deployment of 20,000 New York state troopers.
Since that time, conflicts have dwindled away, and today McAllen is a vibrant city of culture and nightlife. if you're here for business or pleasure, you're bound to have a stellar time whether you're hanging out in your hotel or out on the town.
When to Visit McAllen, TX
The best time to visit McAllen, Texas is in the fall. Between September and November, the city's temperatures fall considerably. However, September is also the height of tropical storm season, and the city is subject to tremendous rainfall at times, though it's not an everyday occurrence. The fall is also festival season in McAllen with celebrations such as the Texas Onion Festival, the Texas Butterfly Festival, and Palmfest. Because these festivals draw huge crowds, finding a hotel room is sometimes difficult, so booking your hotel in advance is well advised.
Another great time to visit McAllen is in the spring between March and May when temperatures are mild and rainfall is at a minimum. During this time, the lush plant life provides a beautiful landscape, while many local markets offer some of the freshest and best-tasting produce in the state. The weather is perfect for strolling around the city or through one of several local parks such as the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge and the Bentsen-Rio Grand Valley State Park.
In the summertime, McAllen becomes oppressively hot, reaching average highs in the upper 90s. However, the city is only an hour's drive from South Padre Island, providing an ideal way to beat the heat. The high temperatures still keep most tourists away, giving you ample opportunity to find the hotel of your choice at an affordable price.
The winter in McAllen is mild but still warm, with temperatures ranging between 50 and 70 degrees. It's also low tourist and business season, although the nearby Texas Citrus Festival draws in people from neighboring towns and south Texas. Like the summertime, finding a hotel isn't necessarily a hard task, but make certain to check ahead of time to ensure you get the hotel of your choice.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Mcallen, TX:
Mcallen by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Mcallen, TX. You can use these charts to determine the cheapest time to book in Mcallen during the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in McAllen, TX
4 Star Average Prices: $126.77
If you want a more luxurious option, McAllen has several choices to suit your needs. Located just five minutes from the airport in downtown McAllen, the Smart iStay Hotel offers one of the more opulent experiences in the city. At the Smart iStay, you'll enjoy complimentary amenities like 24-hour fitness facilities, free parking, free breakfast, and an indoor pool. Room choices include a standard bed, a king bed, or two queen beds, and each of these rooms has an LCD television, free Wi-Fi, a hair dryer, and free local calls.
One of the other lavish choices in McAllen is the Drury Suites. At this hotel, you'll enjoy a bevy of complimentary amenities such as free drinks daily between 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., free sodas and popcorn from 3:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., hot breakfast, wireless high-speed internet, and an exercise room. Each room features a large floor plan, free coffee, HBO and ESPN, a microwave, a refrigerator, and a radio. It's also close to the Chase Texas Tower, Quinta Mazatlan, dining, and nightlife.
Affordable Hotel Choices in McAllen, TX
3 Star Average Prices: $86.81
Finding a hotel on a budget in McAllen is an easy task; the hardest part may be choosing from the seemingly endless pool of options. The La Copa Inn is located in the heart of downtown McAllen, and it's just steps away from the Chase Texas Tower, which is the tallest and most iconic commercial building in the city. It's also close to 17th Street, which is the city's bustling restaurant and nightlife corridor. Here you'll enjoy in-room features such as cable television, private lanais, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Other on-site amenities include a hair salon, a restaurant next door, a coffee shop, and free breakfast on weekends.
If you're looking for something that's closer to the airport, the Deluxe Inn offers a great location within walking distance from McAllen Miller International Airport, as well as the Quinta Mazatlan, which is a historic home that now houses local exotic birds. Each room at the Deluxe Inn provides a refrigerator, microwave, cable television, and free Wi-Fi. Also on-site, you'll find a picnic area, barbecue grills, an outdoor pool, laundry facilities, and a range to practice your golf swing.
2 Star Average Prices: $60.03
Mcallen: Real Discounts
To save even more money on your travels, many McAllen hotels offer significant discounts. The Springhill Suites by Marriott offers AARP discounts on king bed and queen bed rooms with proof of AARP membership or a valid ID. If you have a group, the Springhill also offers discounts of up to 24 percent. You can make yourself at home in their room with features like a refrigerator, a microwave, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Guest amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, a newsstand, a 24-hour fitness center, and a complimentary shuttle that takes you anywhere within four miles of the hotel.
Best Value Options in McAllen, TX
Aside from budget and luxury options, McAllen also has a variety of mid-range options to suit your travel situation. La Quinta Inn offers a prime location in downtown McAllen with restaurants, shopping, nightlife, bars, the McAllen Botanical Gardens, and La Plaza Mall within a short walk or pedicab ride. Hotel amenities include a free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a fully-equipped business center, flat panel televisions, and a soft pillow-top mattress.
For another downtown value hotel, go for the Comfort Suites. Each room has impressive features such as a kitchenette with refrigerator, a sofa bed, a pillow-top mattress, and daily housekeeping. You'll also love the other features of the Comfort Suites, like a 24-hour business center, a 24-hour fitness center, barbecue grills, free coffee and tea, a spa tub, a picnic area, an outdoor pool, a complimentary buffet-style breakfast, a roundtrip airport shuttle, and a safe-deposit box at the front desk. This hotel is also within close proximity to Quinta Mazatlan and Fireman's Park.
Top Things to Do in McAllen, TX
No matter where you're staying in McAllen, you'll be right by the city's best features. Make sure to set out on an adventure on South 17th Street, also known as the Historic District. Here you'll find some of the best food and drink in the city. Make sure to stop by the famous Patio on Guerra. This brick building is famous for its tasty steaks, seafood, beef tenderloins, and lamb. If that doesn't suit your tastes for the day, try one of the other Mexican, Tex-Mex, or American cuisines in the area.
If you're looking for something exciting to do when you aren't enjoying a great meal, head to one of the many festivals throughout the year. The Borderfest, which is held in nearby Hidalgo, is one of the most famous and well-regarded festivals in Texas.
Just south of McAllen, you'll also find one of the best venues for concerts and sporting events in all of southern Texas. The State Farm Arena seats up to 6,800 people and hosts up to 150 events a year. It's home to the NBA Development League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and has hosted some of the world's biggest musical artists such as Ricky Martin, Janet Jackson, Juanes, Shakira, and many others.
For the art or history enthusiast, McAllen also has tons of options. One of the best places to get some culture is at the International Museum of Art and Science. This Smithsonian-affiliated museum has several exhibits, such as European paintings, Mexican art, lithographs from Picasso, and Japanese prints. Another place worth visiting is the Museum of South Texas History. Here you can learn about much of the history of south Texas, from native inhabitants to the Spanish to 20th century settlers. The museum also offers interactive exhibits that highlight the rich plant and animal life from the area, as well as the impressive fossil record of the nearby land.
No matter where you choose to visit in McAllen, you're bound to have a memorable experience. The only thing that makes it just a bit better is finding the perfect hotel room to accent your trip.