BROWNSVILLE TEXAS

TEXAS REGIONS

GULF COAST

Brownsville Area Map with 
Additional Brownsville Information

Brownsville is the southernmost city in Texas. With a population at last count of 139,722 Brownsville is the 15th biggest city in Texas and the 130th biggest in America. In 1845, during a period of extreme instability on the border with Mexico a fort was built. Within a year the fort would be under siege by the Mexican Army in one of the early battles of the Mexican-American War.

General Zachary Taylor and his army rushed to help, but were stuck in a series of battles before finally reaching the fort, where Taylor found 2 soldiers had died in the siege, one of whom was the fort's commander, Major Jacob Brown. Taylor renamed the fort Fort Brown.

Two years later, in 1848, Charles Stillman established the city of Brownsville.

Modern day Brownsville has come a long ways from those long ago days of unpleasantness with Mexico. Brownsville's almost tropical-like climate, with its palms trees, bougainvilleas, warm sea breezes from the Gulf, all go together to make Brownsville attractive to tourists.

In Brownsville you can find yourself birding, fishing, viewing wildlife, swimming in the gulf or enjoying the natural beauty of a place like Boca Chica Beach where you can enjoy a pristine 7.5 mile stretch of beach where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico.

Brownsville is a bird watcher's dream, with more than 500 bird species counted.

Charro Days Fiesta, Brownsville's major annual event, takes place the last week of February. It's a huge Fiesta, with 3 parades and a lot of music, dancing and food. Some other Brownsville festivals are the Brownsville International Birding Festival, also in February, the Commemorative Air Fiesta in March and the Latin Jazz Festival in October.

Gladys Porter Zoo is a very well regarded zoological park where almost all the animals live in open exhibits among the surrounding waterways. The zoo has over 1,391 specimens of 360 species. 43 of the species at Gladys Porter Zoo are endangered.

Museums in Brownsville include the Brownsville Heritage Complex, which is home to Sillman House Museum. Then there is the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art. And the Children's Museum of Brownsville. The 1928 Southern Pacific depot has been restored to house the Historic Brownsville Museum.
You can visit the site of the Palmetto Ranch Battle. Union and Confederate forces fought on this spot on May 12, 1865 in the last battle of the Civil War. Word had not reached this part of Texas that Lee had surrendered at Appomattox a month before. The rebels won the last battle of the Civil War.

Matamoros, Mexico is on the other side of the Rio Grande from Brownsville. This Mexican border city has a rich history reflected in museums, festivals, shopping markets and restaurants. Matamoros' historic downtown is the location of Plaza Hidalgo, built in 1826 to honor Miguel Hidalgo, he being the man who initiated Mexico's independence from Spain.

You can find bargains in all sorts of hand-crafted Mexican goods in Matamoros, including silver jewelry, woven rugs, hand-blown glass, leather goods and pottery in the Juarez market zone.

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