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Harlingen Travel Guide, Texas

Harlingen is a city in Cameron County in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, USA. Named after a town in The Netherlands, Harlingen has always been a center of commercial activities owing to its strategic location. With adequate infrastructure to support day-to-day existence, Harlingen has become a great choice for the retired people.


Area: 88.9 sq km

Population: 57,564

Language: English

Currency: USD


Harlingen was an air-base during the World War II days and bombers used to land in the area. When the Air Force vacated the base, the abandoned base and related housing were mostly converted to residential facilities for civilians. With a view to meeting the accommodation needs of the burgeoning population, large-scale construction of housing complexes and apartment buildings is underway in Harlingen.

Economy and Infrastructure

To start with, Harlingen had an agrarian economy. World War II military installations enhanced the importance of the city and it became an important Air Force Base. By the time the base was abandoned, Harlingen already had a diversified economy.

The implementation of the North America Free Trade Agreement, created greater employment opportunities and today the economy of the area depends on a mix of manufacturing, wholesale and retail trading and service industries. A number of corporations like Dish Network, Panasonic, Penske Logistics and United Launch Alliance have now set up their offices and production facilities within the city limits.

Harlingen promises a level of affluence and comfort – something that has been successfully enticing quality and skilled workforce. This has largely been due to the sound infrastructure of the city; common amenities like electricity, water and sewer systems, health-care facilities and an advanced telecommunications system. There are quality public and private K-12 schools in the area. The city also has a few technical and medical schools, colleges and universities for higher education. The city is served by every mode of transportation – air-traffic, railways, roadways and waterways.

People and Culture

Harlingen has a truly cosmopolitan society. Apart from the African Americans, Native Americans and European settlers, the city has become a home to the people of many neighboring nations. The city also has a large transient population of ‘Winter Texans’, who usually relocate to the city to avoid the harsh winter of the northern states arriving in Harlingen in and around November and leaving the city in March.

Harlingen is a cultural hub of the region and there are many organizations in the area – both professional and voluntary – like the Art Forum, Rio Grande Valley Art League and the Rio Grande Valley Civic Association to promote art. Music-buffs wait for the winter months for most concerts are organized in these months. Harlingen is the venue of the Rio Grande Valley International Music Festival, which is held in March every year.

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