Frequently Asked Questions


 Do we need to make reservations?
 Closest airport?
 Which city is commercial center of the Rio Grande Valley?
 Is Alamo connected to "Remember the Alamo"?
 Is Alamo Inn a romantic place to stay?
 Is Alamo Inn expensive?
 What are check in / check out times?
 How big is Alamo?
 Where is Alamo Inn located?
 What services are available in the Valley?
 What is the basis of the Valley economy?
 How are your roads?
 Do you offer any specials?
 
Do we need to make reservations?
  Yes it is wise. We frequently sell out, particularly in the fall, winter and spring, and people do drop in unexpected. Simply call us at 956 782-9912  any time 7 days or e-mail us at   alamoinn@aol.com  
Closest airport?
  McAllen is 12 minutes driving time. Harlingen is 36 minutes driving time. They service different airlines so check both if you're shopping for good rates. One of our guests got a flight from St Louis to McAllen in March for $100 return per person. McAllen is served by American jets and Continental.  Harlingen is served by Southwest and Continental. 
Which city is commercial center of the Rio Grande Valley?
  McAllen. Founded in 1904 and named after Scottish-born arm captain John McAllen. Population exceeds 104,000. We are just 12 minutes driving time from the center of McAllen. 
Is Alamo connected to "Remember the Alamo"?
  No. The city of Alamo's name comes from Los Alamos, Spanish for Cottonwoods. When the King of Spain issued land grants in the mid-1700s there were many cottonwoods growing along the Rio Grande in this area and it became known as the Los Alamos land. Fort Alamo is located in San Antonio, about 250 miles north of us. We are known as the land of two summers. People also say of us "Remember the other Alamo".  
Is Alamo Inn a romantic place to stay?
  Yes. It sure is. We also offer a number of Romantic options -- refer to the last item under our Profile section. 
Is Alamo Inn expensive?
  No. Bed and breakfast rates typically run $90 to $130 per night for one room of good quality. Depending on which suite you choose we are $50 to $64 per night for two people ($5 less for one person), and we provide a suite or room with your own private bathroom, sitting area, table, kitchenette, and TV. We also have attractive weekly rates for longer stays. We offer discounts to seniors and AARP members and special rates to birders.
What are check in / check out times?
  Check in after 3 p.m. and check out by 10 a.m. We are flexible if this presents a problem. Just ask. 
How big is Alamo?
  The summer population is 14,000. In the winter we are joined by Winter Texans and exceed 30,000. We are a small farming town with lots of trees, birds, and butterflies. We have excellent stores and are the home town of Alamo Bank. 
Where is Alamo Inn located?
  We are in a landmark building built in 1919 on the original town site facing Alamo's Central Park. Central park currently supports a butterfly garden and it is in line for a face lift with more bird and butterfly plants, xeriscaping, and a pond to be added. There are several restaurants in Alamo, including El Dorado (great Tex-Mex food, across the street from Alamo Inn), Willie B’s Barbeque (great barbeque), Golden China (Chinese buffet), Subway (sandwiches) and many others. This is a safe, quiet town. The fire department and city police and post office and chamber of commerce are located on our block. The bank, grocery store and other services are also neighbors. We are close to Business 83 which runs the length of the Valley and 2 minutes from Expressway 83 which also links the Valley cities. 
What services are available in the Valley?
  At one time the Valley was isolated from the main stream of America. Not so today! National banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase have branches here. ATMs are common. Health care is top rate. The Valley is one of the fastest growing regions in United States. 
What is the basis of the Valley economy?
  Historically the Valley economy was based on agriculture. Today agriculture remains important, but it has been over shadowed by commerce and industry, stimulated by the North American Free Trade Association with Mexico. Tourism is a very large economic generator. Workers from the Valley work all across the US and send money home, and the Federal government employs a large number of customs, border patrol, immigration agents and DEA staff in this area. Unfortunately too there is money in the illegal drug trade and because Texas is a popular import point for illegal drugs some of this money no doubt filters into the local economy. Despite this activity it remains a very safe area to visit. Medical care and schools are very large industries in the Valley attracting much State and Federal money. We have a much large proportion of children in our population than most of the US. With 150,000 Winter Texans here every winter, most of whom are older than 60, we have great hospitals to serve them. The Valley also attracts Mexican nationals for schooling and health care. Finally we have many restaurants, grocery stores, motels and recreational vehicle parks to support our visitors. 
How are your roads?
  Texas has one of the best road systems in the nation. Valley roads are excellent and with a map it is easy to find one's way around.  
Do you offer any specials?
  Yes, we offer weekly rates (7 nights for the cost of 5 nights at our rack rates). We offer special rates for two or more suites. Guests who also wish to use our meeting facilities will be accommodated with special rates for facilities. If you are not sure please let us know what you have in mind and ask how we can help you. 
What are the rules about consumption of alcohol?
  It is legal and permissible for guests to bring and consume alcohol. However we do not allow drunken exhibits or nuisance when it affects other guests or our property or when it bothers us or offends our sensibilities. In any extreme case we call the police and they handle the situation. To date we have never had to call the police. Guests should be very aware that Texas aggressively prosecutes and jails anyone who drinks and drives
Is it safe to drive in Texas?
  Yes, if you drive under the speed limit. The roads are good. One has to drive conservatively as we have our share of poor drivers. Please watch for speed limit signs and do not exceed them, not even by 1 mph. In the most remote areas, when there are no other cars on the road, there are hidden officers who stop all speeders. Folks from out of this area can be arrested and held in jail pending a hearing for speeding. Don’t spoil your vacation by testing Texas’ resolve to fine all speeders.

All along the U.S. southern border (with Mexico) and likewise on the Mexican side, 15 to 50 miles away from the border there are additional check points where all traffic is checked. Federal Officers seek to apprehend people in the U.S. illegally and people carrying illegal drugs. Border Patrol Officers also patrol all the roads and country side on the U.S. side of the borders. These officers may enforce all U.S. laws, including traffic laws. This adds to the safety of travel in the border region. Border Patrol are aware of visitors and are friendly toward visitors.
 
Is it safe to visit Mexico?
  Yes, if you are not carrying fire arms, or drugs or quantities of medication. Mexico jails visitors who are armed or are carrying quantities of drugs or medications. Unfortunately visitors remain jailed until the courts have time to try and sentence them, which may take months or years. Don’t test Mexico’s laws in these areas. We recommend visiting Nuevo Progresso, and since it is right on the river one can park on the U.S. side for $1.00 and effortlessly walk across the bridge. U.S. rental cars are generally not insured in Mexico and the contracts frequently state that they may not be driven in Mexico. If you plan on driving in Mexico it is best to talk to the car rental company and usually better to rent here in the Valley rather than in interior Texas cities.

It is best to dress conservatively and leave expensive items behind when traveling, including when crossing the Mexican border.
People who visit Mexico regularly recommend eating at the large American style restaurants (like Arturo’s in Nuevo Progresso where it is also good to park), and avoid eating at street stands. We visit Mexico regularly and have experienced no problems. U.S. immigration will require passports or U.S. green cards for all who are not U.S. citizens. U.S. customs collect duty on all alcohol brought into U.S. and the limit is one bottle per person. Excess will have to be poured out onto the road. Dogs are used to check all cars at the border so do not carry anything for someone else and don’t give rides. Medications may be purchased in Mexico for personal use providing one has a doctors prescription when returning across the border. There is not duty payable on them. Many generic medications cost less in Mexico and the pharmacies will look up the U.S. name to find the Mexico equivalent. Their medications are normally good quality and may often be made by the same company that makes the U.S. equivalent.

Businesses in the Mexican border towns accept U.S. credit cards, though they charge a 3% fee for processing them. They also accept U.S. currency, so it is quite unnecessary to buy Pesos in order to shop or dine in Mexico.