Snowbirding Locations –Harlingen,TX

    Well this year we have settled in Harlingen,Tx to wait out the coldest of the winter weather.  Just wondered where others have chosen and what advantages they find.  Please comment and share your findings.

    Harlingen is a pleasant area with a wide variety of activities for seniors.  There is the close proximity to Mexico for border shopping,lots of great places to eat and a variety of activities at the hundreds of RV parks here in the Rio Grande Valley.  They often have special entertainment programs so with so many parks nearby there is a constant array of things to do.  Music shows and jam sessions,dances,bingo,card tournaments,and similar activities abound.  We have found locals around here to be extremely friendly,except for the speed traps in places like Los Fresnos where you need to be extra careful.  Also many stop lights in Texas are equipped with cameras for automatic ticketing so it pays to be alert when driving here.

    There are lots of super places to visit such as the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge about 30 minutes East of Harlingen.  It is a great opportunity to observe birds and other wildlife in their native environment.  A full day devoted to the refuge would definitely not be too much time and if you are into wildlife photography you might spend many days there.  Just a few miles further is Port Isabel which is a great port city and the gateway to South Padre Island.  There you will find a great selection of excellent seafood restaurants and fun activities including both sound and ocean fishing excursions and water sports.  S Padre Island has lots of activities for all ages and is somewhat of the beach tourist Meca environment,but without excessive traffic congestion that is found in a lot of places.

    A favorite visiting place here is the Mexican town of Progresso which is easily accessible from near Mercedes,TX.  Most folks simply park their car for $2 for the day and walk across the toll bridge into Mexico.  There you are surrounded by lots of inexpensive dental clinics where the doctors are mostly trained in the US and many of them use dental labs in McAllen,TX for crowns,bridges and the like.  Prices are much less than US and most people seem to find the services satisfactory.  I had several fillings done there this year and several crowns done in years past.  Cost is about 1/3 of what I was quoted in the States.   Drug stores there are on every corner and several down the block as well.  Generic drugs there are also widely available at bargin prices so many of the “Winter Texans”stock up while here in the valley of the things they need.  Up and down the streets you will find the street venders selling tacos,burittos,lonchies  and other local fare.   More upscale restaurants are available as well with a selection of Mexican,seafoods,and other items.  I would only caution that the water here is like many areas of Mexico and the locals use bottled water.  I recommend you do the same.

    In all,the Rio Grande Valley is a great place to winter as is evidenced by the many thousands of US and Canadian snowbirds that flock here each winter.  There are hundreds of RV parks to choose from and the fees are quite modest by many standards.  Typical monthly RV space rentals run from $200 to $350 per month plus electric.  Temperatures we have enjoyed here in mid February have ranged from a high of 65 to 85 degrees with lows from the 50s to low 70s.  Sure beats shoveling snow!!

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