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Best Places to Live in and Around McAllen

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      McAllen, TX

      McAllen is a border city in Texas. It neighbors Mexico and, as such, serves as an entry point for many immigrants into the country. It is a bilingual and bicultural town, and the Hispanic influence on the city is strong. It is often portrayed as a dusty border town teeming with illegal immigrants and soaring crime rates. Nothing could be further from the truth. The city is one of the safest places to live in the country and offers an excellent quality of life to its residents.

      Like any other part of Texas, McAllen is hot and humid all year round. Summers in the town are harsh and scorching. On the bright side, this makes for mild and pleasant winters.

      The cost of living is below the nation’s average, and this is one of the cheapest places to live. Homes cost less than the national average as well. It is therefore hardly surprising that most residents of the town own their homes as opposed to renting them.

      The public schools in the area rank higher than the national average. The city has three high schools, seven middle schools, and 24 elementary schools. The South Texas Community College offers associate degrees to the residents of the town. It should not be difficult to find the right educational institution for your child here.

      Getting around the city is easy and convenient. The average commute time is lower than the national average, and the town’s metro system is efficient and effective. Nevertheless, most residents prefer to commute using their cars. The city also provides bicycles that residents can use under the B- Cycle program. McAllen International Airport is also very close to the city center.

      Mexican influence in the city is strong, and Catholicism is the most popular religion here. The city hosts various annual festivals such as the Palmfest and a lighted holiday parade. Most of the city’s population is young and liberal. There are numerous employment opportunities in the city, and its unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Over one hundred Fortune 500 companies have offices there.

      McAllen is only about 70 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and attracts people who enjoy water sports. Kayaking and boating are some of the most popular recreational activities in the city. Additionally, the beach also attracts its fair share of tourists and locals. The Rio Grande Valley also attracts bird watchers since it is a major migratory corridor.

      The town also boasts of one of the nation’s largest single- floor libraries. In the library, there is also a children’s gallery and a café. La Plaza Mall is one of the most popular retail centers in the town.

      If you are looking for a town with a strong sense of community, sufficient social amenities, and numerous recreational options, then McAllen might be a good fit for you.

      Top Rated Schools in McAllen

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Achieve Early College H S9 - 1249189%
      Idea Mcallen College Preparatory6 - 1169378%
      Gonzalez Elementary SchoolPK - 588875%
      Sharyland North J H7 - 886768%
      Morris Middle6 - 895968%
      Milam Elementary SchoolPK - 592367%
      Cathey Middle6 - 81,00366%
      Houston Elementary SchoolPK - 552065%
      See all McAllen schools

      McAllen Reviews

      Write a review about McAllen Tell people what you like or don't like about McAllen…
      Great place for families!
      Attractions7/10
      Community9/10
      Nightlife7/10
      Dining8/10
      Shopping8/10
      McAllen/Mission is an overlooked gem. It's safe, affordable and warm. The local culture is welcoming to outsiders.
      Schools are good in general and some are great (Idea schools). The university (UTRGV) is expanding and helping the economy.
      Lots of business opportunities for trade with Mexico. Only drawback is summers are hot, though less humid than Florida, and there is usually a breeze, but no hurricanes this far inland.
      4 0
      Roughly 90 percent of the population is Latino
      Attractions4/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife2/10
      Dining4/10
      Shopping5/10
      McAllen is a small to medium-sized city. I lived there from 2019 to 2022. As American cities go I don't think it's very friendly or hospitable. Your experience may be different, especially if you're Latino and/or speak Spanish. Roughly 90 percent of the population is Latino, and most speak English. I'm an educated non-Latino older male, white, not bad looking I'm told, and I repeatedly had trouble with rude employees at a variety of businesses for no apparent reason, including a bank. I'm not poor. The cost of living and cost of housing is below average for the US. Almost all the doctors in McAllen are Latino, and most went to a foreign medical school in some Spanish-speaking country. Many were quite rude to me for no apparent reason. I do have insurance. My impression was that healthcare in McAllen is usually inferior and slow compared to the US as a whole. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, McAllen was one of the last cities in Texas to get vaccines for the public. The weather is very hot most of the year for the US, often in the 90s or over 100 F. It's frequently windy. In January or February the temp will often go down to the 40s at night. You seldom need more than a lined jacket. RB
      1 -1
      justice system
      Attractions6/10
      Community6/10
      Nightlife6/10
      Dining6/10
      Shopping7/10
      Although i think McAllen Texas is a great beautiful city its justice system lacks a lot. For lack of a better word it sucks. I know this because i have been involved in the system helping my girlfriend with a custody case for the last 4 years. As far as the DA in McAllen he is very corrupted would not even look at evidence we had. Instead he told our lawyer to get out of his office and said my girlfriend was lying about everything. The lady judge that handles most of the custody cases in McAllen, well very corrupted and very bias. In fact we had her removed form the case after 4 years of fighting and the court got us another judge from out of town. The child protection department in McAllen well don't get me started. They certainly don't put the children first. Tell you what if you are white and have money or are related to someone who is considered a well know figure in the community, well you have it made. Also some of the lawyers in McAllen can be bought if the price is right. You have to be careful who you trust in McAllen. This man got away with child abuse and no one helped, its all about how much money you have to give these people. For those of you out there fighting in McAllen's justice system i wish you good luck.
      3 -1
      Great place to live!
      Attractions10/10
      Community10/10
      Nightlife8/10
      Dining8/10
      Shopping10/10
      We moved here from Louisiana. We actually live in Mission but Mission and Mcallen have pretty munched merged. Everyone is very friendly. We moved to Sharyland Plantation and couldnt be happier with our purchase. This is a family community. The schools are the best. We have 2 daughters in elementary and they live it. The teachers am principal are great and run a tight ship. Shimotsu is the elementary and the junior high is right down the road you have to live in this area with In 1 mile to attend Shimotsu. The area reminds me of Mayberry Str. Lol! Kids ride their books and walk to school. They have great walking paths and sidewalks throughout the plantation.

      Sharyland Plantation has several subdivisions in it with different price ranges through out. We have found Taft so many people that move around a lot move here. So you have lots in common with a lot of people. We live in Camino Real and its amazing how family friendly our neighborhood is. Family riding bikes together. Kids playing everywhere. I couldn't be happier with our choice. We feel so safe here. My husband travels so I wanted to be somewhere I felt safe. Good thing about this neighborhood is people are constantly moving in and out, when there. 3 to 5 is up, so you won't have a problem selling your home. :)
      1 0
      Fun in the Sun - McAllen, Texas
      Attractions7/10
      Community7/10
      Nightlife6/10
      Dining6/10
      Shopping7/10
      After living in the Rio Grande Valley and visiting there yearly I can testify to its constant tropical beauty along with a variety of places to go, attractions to see and things to do. It's hard to mention McAllen without also mentioning Edinburg and Mission. Over the years they have merged into a metropolitan whose only differences are distinguished by their City Limit signs. Three cities equals trice the fun for younger as well as older generations. The cost of living in McAllen is very low, allowing you to get a great bang for your buck!

      The city of McAllen reeks with Mexican Flavor from authentic Mexican food; there is a restaurant on every corner, to the diverse colorful shops at the Las Palmas mall. Bird watching in McAllen is awesome with a spectacular variety of birds, traveling on their migratory path between North and South America. With palms, bougainvilleas, oleanders and a host of exotic tropical flowers and fruit trees, butterflies abound as well as a diverse wildlife population.

      I still enjoy crossing over into Reynosa Mexico from McAllen, where the drug cartel is less volatile and shopping for inexpensive souvenirs, trinkets, alcohol, reduced dental treatment and pharmaceutical drugs. Take a trip to McAllen, I promise you won't be disappointed.
      3 -2
      Source: The McAllen, TX data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).