McAllen, Texas, is located in the southernmost part of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, and is on the United States - Mexican border. Homes are very affordable in this part of the country and buyers often get a lot for their money. The area also boasts a low cost of living. The housing options range from modest two bedroom ranch-style homes to large five bedroom mansions with multiple amenities, well-manicured lawns and swimming pools.
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As of 2013, the population in McAllen was 136,639 which is more than a 28 percent increase since 2000. Some of the city's most popular neighborhoods are Waterwalk, Cardona at Benston Lakes, The Rocks, Village of Westlakes, Heatherwood and Las Villas at Meadowood. Downtown 17th Street is a hub for nightlife and has many restaurants and bars. The city also offers over two dozen galleries in its arts district, which is located near the center of the city on Main Street. There is an Art Walk the first Friday of the month from September to May. Adjacent to the arts district is McAllen's historic district which runs along 15th Street, and is home of landmark Archer Park, Sam and Majorie Miller House (c. 1837) and Casa de Palmas Renaissance Hotel (c. 1918).
McAllen is well-known for spectacular birdwatching. It is ideally situated on the migratory path between North and South America, and many different species can be spotted in the area. Visitors flock to the city's historic Quinta Mazatlan's nature center and the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse for some of the best birding anywhere. The weather is great for birdwatching and other outdoor activities, and there is over 220 sunny days per year. The city has 25 parks that offer picnic areas, baseball and soccer fields, volleyball courts, playgrounds and exercise trails. The weekly Market@ McAllen is a local favorite and occurs every Saturday. It takes place at the McAllen Public Library and people from the community can purchase locally grown organic produce and other foods, as well as arts and crafts. Another unique McAllen attraction is the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle. Built in 1980, it is a national shrine and approximately 20,000 people visit each week. Another area religious landmark is the La Lomita Chapel, which was constructed in 1865 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Mexico is also a stone's throw way and provides unique shopping and dining experiences. Also nearby is South Padre Island, located approximately two and half hours from northeast of McAllen. The area's beaches draw countless visitors each year.