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The 15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In McAllen

The 15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In McAllen

Living in McAllen my whole life has been a journey within itself. Check out these 15 things that people will understand if they're from McAllen.

A lot of people are familiar with the Texan cities of San Antonio, Austin, and even Dallas. But there is one locale that I feel deserves a little more attention. This list is a dedication to McAllen, Texas of the Rio Grande Valley, and the things that only the people who grew up there will understand.

1. Local Sitrus Is A Great Gift

A lot of produce, such as oranges and beets, within McAllen is grown locally. In fact, quite a few homes have at least one orange tree growing crop during the summer. There’s nothing quite like giving a gift which was grown in your own yard.

2. The State Farm Arena Is Where The Real Fun Happens

Cirque Du Soleil, Gabriel Iglesias, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers; the State Farm Arena hosts a lot of fun events, and every time one comes to town, a lot of people from McAllen attend. People always make it a habit to periodically check the Arena’s list of upcoming events so they can buy tickets months in advance, where they’re a lot less expensive.

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The 15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In McAllen

3. Traffic At The Intersection Of Trenton

Every town has one or two areas where traffic is absolutely horrible, and McAllen is no exception. For us, the intersection of North 10th St. and Trenton is absolute murder. And the worst part is, it only seems to be that way when you’re driving, especially during your lunch break or when you’re trying to get home from work.

4. There’s No Winter

In South Texas, we really don’t experience any drastic changes in weather as the seasons change. Sure, things may get a little cooler come December, but that doesn’t mean much. Really, winter in McAllen means possible lows of 50 and highs of 75 as opposed to lows of 85 and highs of 95. You might want to break out that new jacket in preparation of the cold, but that’s about it.

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5. Beautiful Bike Trails Are Everywhere

Biking is a favorite pastime within the Valley. There are dozens of biking trails that encircle parks and worm throughout the city, alongside major thoroughfares. It’s an excellent source of exercise and a great way to relieve stress. Just be careful not to crash into other bikers or joggers. A bell or lights are strongly recommended.

The 15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In McAllen

6. Whataburger Is The Real Burger King

While this applies to Texas in general, it must be mentioned all the same: Whataburger is the best burger chain in the state. You’ll find more people waiting for a Patty Melt in the drive-thru during the evening than you will waiting for a Big Mac.

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The 15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In McAllen

7. If You Want A Cheap Dentist, Then Go Across The Border

McAllen is pretty close to the Mexican Border – 10 miles from Reynosa, in fact. Because of this, quite a few people sometimes go to Reynosa in order to sample some Mexican culture, try the food, and use less expensive services, such as dental care. A few years ago, people would say they’d attend a party in Mexico for lunch, and then come back to Texas for dinner.

8. McAllen Is Part Of/ Called The Valley, Even When It Shouldn’t

Let me explain. The Rio Grande Valley includes the countries of Starr, Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy, as well as the cities of Brownsville, McAllen, Harlingen and Edinburg, as well a few others. But since all these locales are so close together, people often just group them all together and label the place as ‘the Valley.’ Funny thing, it isn’t really a valley, but more of a floodplain. It was called ‘the Magic Valley’ by land developers to attract settlers and investors. The name stuck, and we’re proud of it.

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The 15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In McAllen

9.La Plaza Mall – The Largest Mall In South Texas

You heard me right. La Plaza Mall is the biggest mall in South Texas, and one of the most prosperous malls of the Simon Property Group. Bottom Line: A lot of people in McAllen shop here, whether it’s for gifts or high-end clothing. Some people even come from other counties to get their shopping done.

10. We Love Our Winter Texans

People from the Northeast, Northwest, or even Canada sometimes come down to Texas to escape the harsh cold for a slightly more tropical climate. Thanks to them, McAllen gets a little extra boost in the economy during the ‘cold’ season. Recently, South Texas has experience a boom of RVers from places like Canada, who prefer our state to Florida, as they enjoy our climate with the threat of a hurricane.

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The 15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In McAllen

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11. Red Lights Mean ‘GO FASTER’ And Stop Signs Mean ‘YIELD’

Some people from McAllen tend to view traffics signs as more ‘guidelines’ than laws. Often, you’ll find drivers barely stopping for a second at a stop sign before racing off to their destination. Or, rushing to beat red lights, outright ignoring them in some extreme cases. ‘It turned red when I was halfway through the intersection, Officer. Honest!’

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12. You’ll Drive Across Town For The Right Snow Cone Shop

Snow Cones are a pretty popular snack within the Valley. Some people take them very seriously. If they happen to find a shop that serves a snow cone that’s ‘just right,’ then they’ll be pretty dedicated to that shop from then on out. They’d be willing to drive to the other side of town, through horrible traffic, if it meant tasting the perfect snow cone.

The 15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In McAllen

13. McAllen Is A Birdwatchers Paradise

As it turns out, McAllen is pretty big in the birdwatching scene. It’s one of our biggest draws in tourism, and has one of the nine World Birding Centers in the Rio Grande Valley. Whether casual or dedicated, many ornithologists and bird watchers come to the McAllen to catch peeks at the many tropical bird species that are found nowhere else in the U.S., such as the Olive Sparrow and Green Jay.

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14. Mariachis At A Party Are A Must

McAllen has deep ties to Mexican culture. One of the forms these ties take are Mariachi Bands. Outside restaurants, birthday parties; any casual occasion, and even a few formal ones, wouldn’t be complete without at least one Mariachi playing a guitarrón.

The 15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In McAllen

15. Taco Cabana Has Nothing On El Pato

While Taco Cabana is reasonably popular throughout Texas, in McAllen, it doesn’t hold a candle to El Pato. In South Texas, this is the place to go if you want homemade-style Mexican food. Many in the Valley are proud patrons of this small chain of restaurants, and they’d choose this over Taco Cabana any day.

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I’m sure there are other things I missed about McAllen that native of the Valley would love to add to this list. Tell us about them below!

Featured Image: Weheartit