Midnight to Noon in McAllen
Where to stay? McAllen has nearly 3,600 hotel rooms, from luxurious traditional hotels to new motels with all the contemporary bells and whistles. The Renaissance Casa de Palmas, a four-star hotel on Main Street, was built in 1918 and lavishly restored into a luxury property featuring Mission architecture that recalls McAllen's past. Or try the Spring Hill Suites, just off the expressway, for a more modern take.
After a comfortable night, start the morning off with breakfast at Jimmy's Egg, a new outpost of a longtime Oklahoma favorite. Here, enjoy nearly any kind of egg you can imagine for breakfast "“ or atop a burger at lunch. Go further south of the cuisine border at Las Cazuelas Grill, another popular new eatery, for Chilaquiles con Huevo or Molletes.
The hike and bike trail at on Second Street and another on Bicentennial offer the chance for a leisurely 2.3-mile stroll around town "“ you've got work off that breakfast, after all. And then head over to the International Museum of Arts and Sciences, where a wide variety of changing art and science exhibits always offers something interesting.
Another must-see is McAllen's new public library, which at a whopping 123,000 square feet is the largest single-floor library in the U.S. This former Walmart building underwent a total transformation into an aesthetically pleasing community resource that's already gaining attention worldwide for its colorful, open and functional design. Opened in December 2011, the facility has already won first place in the International Interior Design Association's 2012 Library Interior Design Competition.