Sightseeing in Mercedes

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Most buildings don't include a 13th floor, and for good reason. Far from simple superstition, the 13th Floor Haunted House bears out the worst fears of its visitors. Nightmares are unleashed as a group called the Darkstalkers, under the command of the powerful Harvester, prowl for visitors amid the shadows. And, once inside the Vault, intruders might find themselves unable to escape—and forced to balance the spirits' checkbooks for eternity.

3209 W Business 83
McAllen,
TX
US

The seeds for the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art were planted in 1935, when the Brownsville Art League began to meet and discuss fine art. In the 1960s, a member took the league to the next level by designing a small art studio where they could house and display their collections. In 2002, it grew again, this time into an official museum featuring a lineup of permanent and rotating fine art. Despite the expansions over time, the core mission has stayed the same: to share art with the community and enrich the cultural landscape of Brownsville. Here are some more facts about this community institution.

  • Size: 17,000 square feet of bright space that holds over 350 pieces of fine art

  • Eye Catcher: works by luminaries, such as Marc Chagall, N.C. Wyeth, and Alexander Calder

  • Permanent Mainstay: Pedro Meyer's Heresies, a collection of photographs and digital images, which are combined to create striking pieces that challenge the viewer's beliefs about what's real and not real

  • Events: every year, the museum hosts two juried art shows?one just for students?which showcase work by artists from all over the world

  • Past Exhibits: La Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo's Intimate Universe, complemented by an exhibit of photographs of the artists by Nickolas Muray

  • Special Programs: the art-making classes for adults and kids, which garnered the museum a commendation from the Texas Art Education Association for outstanding service to the community

660 E Ringgold St
Brownsville,
TX
US

For Isla Tours’ owner Captain Stephen Murphy, the Gulf of Mexico is not just the place he has fished and sailed for more than 30 years—it’s an old family friend. In 1961, his grandfather Eddie Murphy founded the boating company and dedicated himself to touring the Gulf’s waters. Since Eddie’s tenure, however, the company has changed substantially. Now operating under the name Isla Tours, its fleet incorporates three boats, which range from a 67-foot double-decker vessel to smaller ones with covered seating. Aboard these vessels, Captain Stephen—who has set multiple state fishing records—leads deep-sea-fishing adventures, sunset cruises, and dolphin-watching tours, during which passengers can glimpse pods of binocular-toting dolphins on people-watching tours.

1 Padre Blvd
South Padre Island,
TX
US

When Daniel Bryant founded Breakaway Cruises in 1995, the tour company had a fleet of one—a dolphin watch boat, the Xcape. Nowadays, the Xcape is still bringing tourists face-to-face with live dolphins, but it no longer works alone. Gliding behind one of the new parasailing boats, aquatic adventurers rise up to 600 feet above the waves without having to harness a flying fish to each shoe. Meanwhile, fishermen can seek out sand trout, redfish, and speckled trout aboard assorted fishing boats. Jet skis round out the fleet, along with a second dolphin watch boat.

1 Padre Boulevard
South Padre Island,
TX
US

Cuisine Type: Sunset/dinner cruise

Established: 2006

Reservations: Required

Handicap Accessible: No

Parking: Parking lot

Kid-friendly: Yes

Alcohol: BYOB

Delivery / Take-out Available: No

Outdoor Seating: Yes

201 W Pike St
South Padre Island,
TX
US