Introduction to San Juan, Texas
San Juan History
This area was originally a part of two Spanish land grants issued to José María Ballí and Narciso Cabazos in 1767. Families of these two men occupied the land till the mid-1800s, and used it for farming and ranching. John Closner organized the community of San Juan in 1909 and the city is said to have been named after him. It was incorporated on December 29, 1917. Following the construction of the Virgen de San Juan del Valle Shrine in 1954, San Juan became a major attraction for tourists and pilgrims. This shrine suffered serious damages after Francis B. Alexander smashed a single-engine plane into it on October 23, 1970. The economy of San Juan is largely based upon agriculture, commerce, and tourism.
San Juan and Nearby Attractions
- Virgen de San Juan del Valle Shrine
- Anzalduas State Park
- Weslaco Bicultural Museum
- International Museum of Art & Science
- Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
- Gladys Porter Zoo
Things To Do In San Juan
The Virgen de San Juan del Valle Shrine, built by Rev. Alfonso Jalbert, is a major attraction for tourists and pilgrims. Weslaco Bicultural Museum features exhibits reflecting the heritage of Weslaco and Rio Grande Valley. A large collection of fine art and Latin American folk art is housed in the International Museum of Art & Science. A variety of recreational activities like boating, fishing, hiking, camping, and picnicking can be enjoyed at the Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park. The city of San Juan is also home to several parks including the North San Juan Park, Aldridge Park, Tierra Del Sol Park, Bears Trail Park, and Lions Park. Gladys Porter Zoo is also close by. Another popular destination is the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, which is spread over 2,000 acres and is a prime habitat for more than 400 species of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and other wildlife.
San Juan Transportation
McAllen Miller International Airport is close by.
San Juan Higher Education
South Texas Community College, Texas State Technical College - Harlingen, and University of Texas-Pan American are some of the colleges near San Juan.