Tropical Trail Region


Alongside Brownsville's restored Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and the refurbished 1912 Cameron County Courthouse, you‘ll find the 1870 steam-powered Engine Number One, once the locomotion mojo for the Rio Grande Railroad. These sights (and more) offer a healthy dose of Texas history along Brownsville's local heritage trail courtesy of the city's detailed (and free) guide. Good stories are told throughout the Historic Townsite District starting at Brownsville Heritage Museum through automated visitor kiosks and photo murals. Even the beautiful Old City Cemetery offers a self-guided tour of tales from the past. Be sure and visit the Mitte Cultural District where you'll find entertaining animals (the Gladys Porter Zoo) and enlightening fine art (Brownsville Museum of Fine Art).

Modern Brownsville, a temperate, subtropical retreat at the southernmost tip of Texas, saw the first battle of the U.S.-Mexican War and the last land battle of the Civil War. Being at the center of the U.S.-Mexican War, a strategic confrontation that produced consequences for the entire country, fledgling Brownsville arose from a community that formed around Fort Brown, the garrison established by Gen. Zachary Taylor to serve as security for the disputed Nueces Strip. Fort Brown maintained its border vigil until deactivation after World War II, a foreclosure that also marked the beginning of Brownsville's rise as global shipping port and winter tourist destination. Balmy Brownsville! Travel any farther south and you'd have to leave the country.

Watch the video below to learn more about the cultural corridor that lines the Texas and Mexico border. This video was produced for inclusion in the Hispanic Texans mobile tour, more information about which may be found on our Hispanic heritage page at the following link:

Brownsville is the 2011 First Lady’s Texas Treasures Award recipient. Watch the following video to learn more.