Located on the border between the United States and Mexico, Brownsville is Texas' southernmost, international seaport and the largest city in the lower Rio Grande Valley whose semi-tropical climate is recognized as one of the most delightful in the nation. Brownsville is a definite two-nation travel destination with Matamoros a few steps away and two beaches, including the popular tourist destination of South Padre Island, less than half an hour away off the Gulf of Mexico.The city of Brownsville has quickly become one of the fastest growing urban areas in the United States and the Port of Brownsville is the economic hub of South Texas. Recently, Forbes identified Brownsville as being among the twelve cities in the United States with the cleanest air.
This guide will provide you with some helpful tips and information on just about everything you need to know if you're going to be making the move to Brownsville. From the city's neighborhoods and school systems to the employment options and recreational activities available within the city, you'll find it all in this guide so that you can go into your move with the knowledge that is needed to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Brownsville's climate is primarily categorized as a humid subtropical climate. The city experiences long, hot and humid summers and very brief, mild winters. Temperatures can often reach the triple digits during the hottest parts of the summer in July and August. Brownsville's climate has been consistently ranked as one of the best pro-business climates in the United States and the city's location right on the coast contributes largely to its weather and the humidity it experiences during the summer.
Brownsville lies at an area where different climate regions intersect, like the hot semi-arid climate of the Chihuahuan desert and the climate of the Gulf Coast plain region. Rainfall in Brownsville tends to be heaviest during the summer season. The temperatures largely remain in the 50s during the winter, with snow being a very infrequent occurrence.
Brownsville Geography and Neighborhoods
Brownsville is located on the Rio Grande River, which serves as the de facto border throughout most of South Texas that separates the United States and Mexico. The city's total area of 147.5 square miles makes it the largest city by area in the lower Rio Grande Valley and the third largest city located on the U.S.-Mexico border, behind both San Diego, California and El Paso, Texas. In addition to being the southernmost city in the state of Texas, there are only a few cities in Miami-Dade County in Florida that are positioned further south than Brownsville in the contiguous U.S. states.
Living Costs in the City
Brownsville has been ranked as one of the cheapest places to live in the United States. Despite being located in a prime spot on the south Texas coast near the Gulf of Mexico and within a stone's throw of South Padre Island, a popular vacation destination, Brownsville's cost of living remains significantly lower than the national average. The costs of living in Brownsville are fairly low when compared to other similar large cities throughout the country, and the average price of rent is low throughout most of Brownsville, as are the various living expenses related to average living costs, such as transportation, food and utilities. The median family income in Brownsville is $31,202, which is much lower than the national average for median family income.
The median home price for an average home in Brownsville is around $93,607, also significantly low and well below the national average, but on par with similar real estate prices that exist throughout much of Texas, as well as most of the region.
Registering Your Car
The first few weeks can be a busy time for anyone who is new to Texas. One must make sure to register their vehicle as soon as they can. In order to do that one can find a local car service provider who will inspect your vehicle. There are also vehicle inspection stations available where one must show detailed proof of adequate insurance and your driver's license.
Upon moving to Texas, one must also apply for a Texas Driver's license. One must go to a driver's license division office of the Texas Department of Public safety. Unless you are a student or a military member you must submit any existing license and apply for a new license here. One has 90 days upon arrival to have a Texas driver's license. You must also make sure to learn about the Texas point system as getting a ticket in Texas can be very expensive.
Brownsville Moving Resources
Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Brownsville, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Texas. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:
The majority of Brownsville is served by the Brownsville Independent School District, which provides public education to 49,155 students spread out through 57 different elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. The Brownsville school district is the 17th largest independent public school district in the state of Texas. A small portion of the northern part of Brownsville is also served by the Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District. In addition to the public school system, there are also a number of private and charter schools located throughout Brownsville. A few of the colleges and universities with campuses in Brownsville are the University of Texas at Brownsville, Texas Southmost College and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health (UTSPH).
Brownsville's local economy is based mostly around international trade with nearby Mexico through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Manufacturing, agriculture, shipping, and retail are the city's major industries and the Port of Brownsville is referred to as the homeport of NAFTA. The Brownsville school district is the largest employer with over 7,000 employees. Among private employers, the largest are AMFELS, Wal-Mart and Convergys Corp.
The current unemployment rate is right around 10.1 percent as of April 2013, higher than the national unemployment rate, however the job growth rate is currently on the rise at nearly 38.24 percent. The major employers are the Brownsville Independent School District, the University of Texas at Brownsville, Cameron County, H-E-B, the City of Brownsville and the Valley Regional Medical Center.
The public transportation in Brownsville is operated by the Brownsville Urban System (BUS) and provided bus routes throughout the city. BUS contains a total of 14 buses operating on 11 different routes that traverse the city of Brownsville. A few local tour operators also provide shuttle service in the Rio Grande Valley to Matamoros.
The closest airport is the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport which is owned by the city of Brownsville and is used for general aviation purposes as well as being served by United Airlines, which offers connecting flights to Houston-Intercontinental. Other airlines operating out of Brownsville/South Padre Island are AeroMexico and American Eagle Airlines.
Culture and Contemporary Life
Brownsville is located in an ideal place for outdoor activities, and there are plenty of places to run, walk or bike throughout the city. Also, there are several annual festivals like the Sombrero Festival, the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival and the Fourth of July Parade that bring thousands of visitors to the city. Some of the more popular places of interest in the city include the Gladys Porter Zoo, the Camille Lightner Playhouse and the historical downtown area of Brownsville which features buildings over 150 years old. The city also has easy access to South Padre Island, a popular tourist resort destination.
Moving to Brownsville
Whatever your reasons for moving to Brownsville, whether it be for a change of scenery or for employment, the city beckons you with its charm. The first step in the process of moving to Brownsville is choosing a moving company after first checking their BBB ratings, insurance and license. The moving rates are charged by the hour if you are moving within the state boundary, while for a long distance move the charges will depend on the total weight or volume in cubic feet of your belongings. In the latter case, you can ask about a flat rate or any special discounts that are available with the mover.