Cultural roots run deep in South Texas, providing a dynamic backdrop for your destination meeting, event or retreat. Texas Meetings + Events took a little road trip to check out three of those vibrant communities along the border and Gulf of Mexico.
Located in the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen has seen significant growth in the past decade. It’s packed with art galleries, museums, live music (including a symphony orchestra) and nightlife. The city boasts many options for hosting your next meeting or event, and thanks to McAllen International Airport, groups will find getting there a breeze. While you’re in town, check out Ms. G’s Tacos N’ More, a local Tex-Mex favorite. (Do yourself a favor and take every napkin that’s offered.)
Where to Meet
Celestial Room: The Celestial Room event center’s main room has a seating capacity of 150-250 guests. The venue offers both indoor and outdoor meeting spaces and has catering and entertainment services available.
Casa De Palmas Renaissance McAllen Hotel: Boasting 6,520 square feet of space across eight event rooms, this full-service conference center can accommodate up to 280 guests and offers restaurants, lounges, a business center and plenty of room packages, all set amid historic Spanish-style architecture.
The Old Church Winery: Located in downtown McAllen, The Old Church Winery was renovated by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. It is South Texas’ first urban winery, and provides a unique experience for up to 152 guests. It offers a fully equipped kitchen, a wine bar, sound system and modern technology for hosting events.
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
If you’re looking for an awe-inspiring beach backdrop for your event, head over to South Padre Island, located about an hour’s drive east of McAllen. A favorite spring break destination for college students and families, this barrier island off the coast of Texas is an ideal place to host a meeting or event of any size and for any reason. Whether you’re looking for a more formal meeting space or a “flip-flop-friendly” venue, the island has you covered. While you’re there, don’t miss dining at Ceviche Ceviche to build your own—what else?—ceviche.
Where to Meet
South Padre Island Convention Centre: The convention center features 45,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 22,500-squarefoot exhibit hall, and has the latest technology and multiple nearby hotel options. The center’s Sunset Terrace boasts views of the Laguna Madre Bay, and its unique Whaling Wall and boardwalk make for an unforgettable setting.
Casa Mariposa Venue and Villas: Prepare to be drawn in by this unique space with Moroccan and Mexican influences located behind the Valley Land Fund’s bird sanctuary. Its colonial courtyard features a tropical garden, and four event spaces give options for groups of up to 200 guests. It also has four bedrooms and a full living area for guests staying overnight.
NAMAR Event Center: Surrounded by windows with pristine bay views and central to hotels and nightlife, NAMAR has 3,000 square feet of space and can seat up to 200 guests comfortably. The center works with approved vendors for rentals, technology, catering and bar service and has a beautiful, sunlit, wraparound covered patio.
If you want a gorgeous drive up the coast, consider hosting your next event in the coastal city of Corpus Christi. The town is tucked into a magnificent bay, its beaches sheltered by Padre and Mustang islands. There is no shortage of wildlife and nature preserves to explore—take a group tour of the beach on horseback—and the harbor is the perfect place to unwind postagenda at one of its dozens of restaurants. Don’t leave without checking out the delicious oysters and sushi room at Water Street Market.
Where to Meet
Art Center of Corpus Christi: This unique venue can accommodate up to 2,000 people, with 1,200-, 5,000-, and 6,000-square-foot event spaces available. It has indoor and outdoor options, all set against gorgeous views of the marina or in one of its stunning galleries.
Mansion by the Sea: This is the perfect option for a memorable seaside experience. Located on a small island between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas, the venue has 3,840 square feet of indoor and outdoor space and can accommodate up to 300 guests.
USS Lexington Museum: This aircraft carrier was built during World War II for the United States Navy and is now a museum where guests can visit the flight deck, escape rooms and 3D mega-theater. Three separate meeting spaces extend 40,000 square feet and can host smaller groups of up to 200 or large groups of up to 2,600.