When it comes to unforgettable points of interest and cuisine, look no further than Arroyo, Texas. One of the most prominent destinations is Laguna Atascosa National Park, which is home to a preserve featuring endangered species such as the ocelot and Aplomado falcons. The expansive park also offers activities such as fishing, walking, hiking, and hunting. Don’t forget to visit Adolph Thomae Jr. County Park, where you can fish or take a boat out on the Arroyo Colorado. Book one of many incredible Arroyo vacation rentals today. Choose from fishing lodges and casitas right on the water to luxurious villas and townhouses. Here are the most noteworthy areas to check out in and around Arroyo.

1. South Padre Island

For a slender bit of land, South Padre Island has much to do and see. Charter or rent a boat and head out to the Gulf for fishing or a sunset cruise, water ski, jet ski, snorkel or scuba dive. Some people have been known to take skydiving lessons. Visit the farmers market for fresh produce on Sundays, or just find a spot on the beach to relax. Vacation rentals include roomy beach houses and condos.

2. Port Isabel

Port Isabel, one of America’s oldest cities, is the home of a lighthouse built somewhat improbably in the middle of the town. Climbing to the top rewards you with amazing views of the sea and the land. Visit one or two of the town’s museum, including the Port Isabel Historic Museum and the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, or take a fishing excursion. You can even walk down the long pier, and cast your line there. Some of the town’s restaurant will even cook up the fish for your dinner.

3. Laguna Vista

Laguna Vista hosts the championship South Padre Island Golf Club, which will interest the duffers in your family. Pleasures for those who love the sea include deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico or the bay between Laguna Vista and South Padre Island. The more adventurous can windsurf or kiteboard, while the less adventurous can watch the birds and other wildlife.

4. Bayview

Beribboned by a stream called the Resaca de Los Cuates, Bayview is found within Laguna Atascosa and has a wealth of vacation rentals. The Thompson Dairy Farms are right outside the town limits, so go there and buy fresh and all-natural goat cheese to take back to your casita. For good food in a good country restaurant, visit Harley’s Bee Garden & Country Store. They also have live music.

5. Laureles

Another community right on the edge of the Laguna Atascosa National Park, vacation rentals in Laureles may include tidy farmhouses on land that still grows corn and sugar cane. Take the kids to the Laureles County Park, which has a playground and a splash pad that is welcome on hot Texas days.

6. Rio Hondo

Besides the wildlife refuge, Rio Hondo is a place to charter a boat for fishing expeditions or tours of the area. For fresh baked goods and other delights, head to Ornelas Bakery and Food Store for their superb apple fritters, barbecue, and pan de dulce. For good pub food, go to Chili Willies.

7. Raymondville

Crossed by interstate highway 69E, this large town/small city is home to several cozy eateries. Andrea’s Snacks and Fast Food sells rib-sticking grub and has a sno-cone machine outside, while Antojitos Mexicano is a great place to come for breakfast. Lara’s Bakery sells cookies, empanadas, and sweet bread. The only complaint locals have is that the prices are too low! Have a picnic lunch, and let the kids run around at Smiley Face Park. The park also has playing fields, including a covered basketball court. Vacation rentals in Raymondville include apartments as well as houses.

8. Harlingen

Harlingen is famous for the brilliant murals painted on public buildings by its local artists. To buy sporting or hiking gear or a piece of artwork go to Bass Pro Shops. There’s also a little aquarium there. If you’re from New York and are homesick for the food, go to the New York Deli 2 or Stefano’s Brooklyn Pizza.

9. San Benito

This city is the hometown of musician Freddy Fender, and they have the water tower to prove it. You can also go to his museum on East Heywood Street. Swim or relax in the San Benito swimming pool or attend a game or track meet at the Bobby Morrow Stadium. The kids will love the fun and games at the Xtreme Jump Trampoline Park. For exemplary Texas barbecue, head to the Longhorn Cattle Company.

10. Los Fresnos

Los Fresnos hosts one of the most popular rodeos in the country, as well as the Cameron County Fair and Livestock Show. Take the kids to Bobz World theme park to view the funny statues of sharks and dinosaurs and play laser tag. Vacation rentals include cozy Spanish cottages and ranch homes in the midst of palm trees.

11. Brownsville

Brownsville is the home of one of the more beautiful campuses of the University of Texas. Don’t miss the Charro Days Fiesta, which has been held yearly since 1937. If you’re hungry, how can you resist a place called Dirty Al’s Seafood Market and Cajun Kitchen? Other eateries are the Vermillion, with its famous Mexican ceviche and Cobbleheads, which also serves Mexican.