Working, Wintering, and Living in the Rio Grande Valley

As the Rio Grande Valley continues to grow and evolve it attracts more and more people to the area.

Some are coming for the new work opportunities that are developing all the time. Others are coming to spend the long winter in a nice, warm climate. Still, there are those who are looking for a new living experience that combines small town feels with modern, big-city amenities.

Whatever you’re coming to this area for, there is a lot to see, do, and experience. Let’s take a closer look at the Valley and all it has to offer.

Getting to Know the Area

Rio Grande Valley is regularly featured on lists of the fastest growing regions in the country – and for good reason.

From the white, sandy beaches of South Padre Island to the beautiful environments in Falcon State Park, the entire area offers enough geographic diversity to appeal to a wide range of people.

The Valley itself stretches all along the north bank of the Rio Grande River along the U.S./Mexico border. It includes around 4,244 square miles of territory, encompassing four different counties (Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy). That makes this the single largest border region in the United states.

Some of the growing cities and towns in this region include:

  • McAllen – This city started as an agricultural community, but quickly grew into a major international trade area. 
  • Brownsville – The lower valley area around Brownsville also includes South Padre Island and Harlingen.
  • Mission – This city has become one of the fastest growing MSAs in the country.
  • Edinburg – This is the educational and technological capital of the Texas-Mexico border region.
  • Laredo – This town is a great place for families and entrepreneurs with three modern hospitals and a well-known university.
  • Kingsville – There are many educational, business, and recreational opportunities here.

While the Valley started off in agriculture, it has developed into a thriving center for manufacturing and trade. There is also plenty of retail, tourism, and other industries that continue to bring people to the area.

For those who are looking for an educational experience here, you’ll find two universities and a range of technical schools and community colleges.

Working in Rio Grande Valley

For years, now, the Rio Grande Valley job market has shown constant positive growth in a wide range of industries.

A lot of this comes from the young workforce coming out of the universities here every year. New companies see this happening and are very attracted to the area, which has led to many startups here hitting the big time.

A lot of the companies in the area focus on manufacturing and warehousing – another important factor in attracting new companies – but many of the new developments are taking advantage of the port of entry, international railway, and other beneficial factors.

This has increased the need for corporate housing solutions in the area, as new employees arrive and require a place to stay while they explore all their options.

Wintering in Rio Grande Valley

Rio Grande Valley is perfectly positioned to offer a subtropical climate, which means some very moderate winters. For comparison’s sake, it sits at around the same latitude as the Florida Keys, so it has basically the same mild and dry winters with temperatures that rarely fall below 50 degrees, and tend to hang out in the 70s.

This great climate (along with all the other attractions in the area) has made the Valley a very popular winter destination. While the people who come here just to escape the cold climate sometimes referred to as “snowbirds,” most simply take the name “Winter Texans.”

Some estimates suggest that the population increased by more than 100,000 people between October and April every year.

There are even several events that cater specifically to the Winter Texan population, including:

  • Winter Texan Music Festival – Experience a ton of dancing and fun, as you listen to some of Rio Grande Valley’s most talented and popular musicians.
  • Winter Texan Expo & Health Fair – This 2-day event is held every January and includes entertainment, free health screenings, and a lot of info about the local scene.
  • Winter Texan Appreciation Fiesta – The city of Harlingen hosts this festival, filled with music, dancing, food, and more.

This is one of the most popular destinations for people who want to winter in Texas. All they need is a simple, temporary housing solution so they can still enjoy the comforts of a home away from home.

Living in Rio Grande Valley

After staying many winters in the Valley, it’s not uncommon to see people make the area their permanent home.

There are a lot of reasons for this, not least of which is how far your housing allowance can go.

The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most affordable places to live in Texas (at least compared to the big cities), and it has a comparatively low cost of living.

There are also a wide range of shopping centers, dining and nightlife options, and more than a few options for getting out into the Great Outdoors.

In other words, it has all the amenities you’d expect from living in a big city, but with a more pronounced “small town feel.”

Of course, before you make that final decision to move to one of the cities in the Rio Grande Valley, you can experience living here for yourself in one of our long-term temporary housing solutions.

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