Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park adventure.
Brownsville, Texas, isn't just about spring break vacations. It was here, on the plains of Palo Alto, that the U.S. Army clashed with Mexican troops on May 8, 1846. The two-year war that followed changed the shape of America.
Tour the battlefield by starting at the visitor's center and taking a walk through the surrounding fields. Cannons show you where battle lines were drawn between opposing forces near the present-day Mexican border. A guided tour from one of the Rangers interprets the history of the place. Special events at the park have people in period costume explaining both sides of the story.
Grab some lunch at some picnic tables set up in the fields. After lunch, it's back to thinking about how troops in the early summer heat might have dealt with the pending battle. Natural areas of this tall-grass coastal prairie preserve the habitats of butterflies, flowers, and turtles. This grassy area extends for miles to the east where it touches the Gulf of Mexico.
This is the only site in the National Park System solely dedicated to the Mexican-American War. It was a two-year conflict between bordering nations. At the end of the war, the United States gained control of Texas, most of the southwestern states, and California. As such, this battlefield park serves as a living history memorial to the entire war. Inside the visitor's center, you find facts about the entire conflict.
Plenty of nearby campsites have year-round camping thanks to the area's warm weather. Try visiting the battlefield in off-peak seasons, such as fall and even early winter, to avoid the heat and the crowds flocking to the beaches of Brownsville.