The future of space travel overlaps with timeless natural beauty and hundreds of years of local culture in Brownsville. Just east of the city, where the waters of the gulf meet the sands of Boca Chica, SpaceX tests and launches its newest space vehicle, the SpaceX Starship.  

When this fully reusable rocket is developed, it is expected to transport SpaceX crews and passengers to the moon, Mars, and beyond. Experience the roar of the powerful Raptor engines that send the SpaceX rockets soaring through the sky. Come drive down the famed “highway to Mars” and witness the launch of the vehicle that will one day take humanity beyond Texas and out of this world.

Boca Chica Beach

The natural beauty of Boca Chica Beach.(Photo Courtesy of Visit Brownsville)

The fun in Brownsville doesn’t end in outer space— the awesome and historic spectacle of a rocket launch is just the beginning of the spaces of Brownsville.

After you come back down to earth, there’s still plenty to experience at Boca Chica Beach beyond the launch site. Over 1,055 acres of natural beauty recall a time when only shooting stars streaked the sky. Enjoy swimming, birding, camping, fishing, and surfing in this federally and state-protected outdoor area. Take a hike and see where the Rio Grande spills into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sabal Palm Sanctuary

The historic Sabal Palm Sanctuary.(Photo Courtesy of the Gorgas Science Foundation)

For more outdoor beauty near Brownsville, come visit one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the country at the Sabal Palm Sanctuary. Birders and butterfly lovers will enjoy this 557-acre nature reserve where one of the last large sabal palm groves in the Rio Grande Valley thrives. This edible plant was sought out by pre-Hispanic people and early explorers alike. Keep an eye peeled for ocelots, jaguarundi, bobcats, armadillos, coyotes, and an array of reptiles and amphibians as well.

Mitte Cultural District

Culture and nature abound in Brownsville’s Mitte Cultural District. (Photo Courtesy of Visit Brownsville)

When your orbit brings you back to the city proper, remember to explore the rest of Brownsville, starting with the Mitte Cultural District. You’ll find many attractions within walking distance. Young and old alike will delight in the botanical, mammalian, and reptilian wonders at the Gladys Porter Zoo. There are also many museums to see, including the Children’s Museum of Brownsville, the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, and the Costumes of the Americas Museum.

For outdoor recreation with an educational focus, visit the Historic Battlefield Trail, where you’ll find the site of the first battle of the Mexican-American War. Explore in your car, by foot, or by bike. Cyclists will be pleased that the Historic Battlefield Trail connects to the Caracara Trails, which connect to hundreds of miles of hiking and bike trails. These trails provide space to explore and be active all around Brownsville.

Downtown Brownsville

The Brownsville Market Square dates back to the 1850s. (Photo Courtesy of Visit Brownsville)

SpaceX isn’t just launching rockets into space—it’s also helping with a historic revitalization of downtown Brownsville. There’s never been a better time to explore the downtown cuisine, culture, and nightlife. After checking out the new mural of Elon Musk, eat authentic barbacoa de cabeza. Enjoy hamburgers from an almost 100-year-old stand. Imbibe delicious, inventive cocktails while listening to the beat of nightly live music. At the center of it all is the beautiful Market Square, featuring a Spanish Colonial Revival building with roots that go back to 1850.

If you’re lucky enough to be in the area for Brownsville’s First Friday, you’ll really see the city come alive when coffee shops, art galleries, food vendors, artisans, musicians, poets, artists, and more flood every space with their art and wares.  

Visit Brownsville

Discover the cosmic, natural, and cultural beauty of Brownsville. (Photo Courtesy of Visit Brownsville)

It’s fitting that a town that’s been on the border of two countries and cultures for so long should be at the forefront of the final frontier of human exploration. The possibilities for adventure in Brownsville feature as much variety and intrigue as the long history of this storied town. Come visit and explore the enduring natural beauty of a city keeping one step in the past while taking a giant leap into the future.

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