Sabal Palm Sanctuary

Sabal Palm Sanctuary, Brownsville: Hours, Address, Sabal Palm Sanctuary Reviews: 4.5/5

Sabal Palm Sanctuary
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Cradled in a bend of the Rio Grande, this 527-acre preserve is home to one of the last stands of old-growth Sabal Palm forest in the United States as well as one of the few remaining historic river plantations in the region. Over 4 miles of hiking trails lead visitors through the palm forest, wetland board walks, river observation deck, and multiple bird blinds. Green Jays and Chachalacas frequent our feeders, Armadillos rummage our trails, Least Grebes and Green Kingfishers hunt the wetlands, and Great Horned Owl calls haunt the forest. The recently restored 4,000 sq ft 1892 Rabb Plantation home now serves as our new Sabal Palm Sanctuary visitor center. Take a stroll through the grove, a short walk down to the Rio Grande, or join us for one of our guided birding walks or history tours (seasonal, typically November thru March - please call for schedule).
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
143 reviews
Excellent
94
Very good
37
Average
5
Poor
7
Terrible
0

rickaroo
Indianapolis8 contributions
Despite the dramatic picture of the Rabb home, there are no guided tours of the home, no brochures detailing the history of its owners. There are nice plaques that explain the history and you are allowed to walk around (unguided) the 4 rooms on the first floor. However, the 2nd floor with its very inviting wraparound porch - and the 3rd floor with its mysterious windows in the 3rd floor (what can you see from them and what does that room/attic look like? What there are here are very nice trails clearly marked. Not spectacular scenery but a very nice change from all the beach scenery we've seen in this area ... quite a few birds of various sorts. For the reasonable price of $5/person, it was well worth our time; we enjoyed it a lot
Written January 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

michael n
Reno, NV295 contributions
A very nice venue for birding and walking. Swarming Green Jays was a surprise. Careful of going in the middle of the day if you're birding, lots of noisy people.

Odd getting there, looks like you're going on the wrong side of the border wall. Also if you have AT&T wireless they will charge you for going into Mexico.

I didn't go through any of the house or the like, just paid my $5. One of those places you feel like your $5 is doing something.
Written January 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

fadokv
Bellaire, TX105 contributions
I love birding in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and this is one of my favorite places. I first visited in 2014, before the house was restored. The Rabb Mansion was an aged old lady, so the visitors center was the building close to the feeding station. Now, the mansion is beautifully restored and is the current visitors center. Rabb Mansion is a bed and breakfast now. I will have to stay here some day when I come back, as it would be wonderful to wake up in the Sanctuary. The birds here are spectacular, you get a beautiful view of the river, and my first visit gifted me with a gorgeous view of bobcats. I highly recommend this choice site for anyone who loves birds.
Written January 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Angeles
Burien, WA1,525 contributions
We arrived first thing in the morning. A member of the staff soon put food in the bird feeder and soon we had an incredible spectacle of birds. Seemed best to arrive at opening. We were the only ones there and the birds were most numerous at that time.
Written January 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelly D
14 contributions
Sabal Palms is a great place but it has gone downhill with the current management.

They currently allow dogs, both time I have gone there it was a like giant dog park. People bring their untrained dogs that bark at each other chase wildlife and leave feces all over the place. Almost every 5min I would see a pile of dog feces in the trail or on the side of the trail. This is the only wildlife sanctuary I have been to that allows dogs.

The guy working the front desk is very unfriendly, he seems like he is just “doing time” at the desk.

All the wooden benches and walkways are getting rotten due to lack of care and stain application.

They have a massive invasive hog problem on the backside of the property. I am sure any native ground dwelling or nesting animals are devastated. I haven seen the amount of hog tracks anywhere.

The land is a spectacular gem, it is very sad to see it in the current neglected mismanaged state.
Written February 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lindsay S
2 contributions
I ended up here alone early on a Tuesday morning. After crossing through the border wall and loosing phone signal I was a bit nervous about what I was getting into. After a briefing from the lovely attendant in the house, I set out along the trails. It felt very isolated and so cool! I saw several birds and heard lots of rustling of other animals along the trails. This is a must see if you're in the area. A nice balance of adventure and nature. The trails are easy to walk. But even in January I was batting away mosquitoes. Loved it and hope to come back!
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sylvia
Winnipeg, Canada123 contributions
Couples
We arrived a little late in the morning. The temp was 84. It was a windy day, so no mosquitoes when we were there. Did not see any wildlife, but didnt expect too given the time of day we were there. It is a nice easy hike. Good for the whole family. The jouse is beautiful as well.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

djfluth
Lufkin, TX539 contributions
Business
I went to the Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary and stepped into an amazing world of birders who had come from throughout the world to see rare birds that settle in the Sabal Palm Audubon Sanctuary at certain times when the north wind blows. On the porch outside the birding center is porch where birders with amazing cameras and binoculars, and even more amazing stories of where they had been and where they were going. Everyone seemed happy to help a novice birder. I got there early and saw birds that the experts there said that they had searched for years to see. One bird was a female-plumaged Crimson-collared Grosbeak After a few hours, the wind changed, and the birds and the birders left. Recommendation s- look at their web page and find out when is the best time to come. On the way there, you will go through a huge border fence - do not worry - you are not going into Mexico! Check into the visitor center and pay the $5 fee and get the information you need to begin a great experience.
Written April 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kmile2015
Brenham, TX3 contributions
Solo
I am so glad I finally got down here to see these truly awesome remnant specimens of native Texas palms!!! This is something you CANNOT see ANYWHERE else in the world. The only species of palm that is truly native toTexas, Sabal texana, and whole groves of them all in one preserve! Be sure you study it just a little bit prior to your visit so you know what you are looking at. And be sure to ask at the registration desk which sections have the original, older remnant palms as opposed to the newer, revegetated sections. The Green Jays and other assorted deep south Rio Grande fauna is a bonus as well as the observation deck for viewing the river. Be forewarned you are going to the jungle (!) and you WILL need mosquito protection to enjoy yourself. Also the trails can be extremely muddy after a rain...! And don't forget the camera!
Written April 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DDMontemayor
Los Fresnos, TX180 contributions
I'm lucky enough to live here in Brownsville, and this is easily the best birding place here. All you have to do is sit at the visitor center and tally up your list. The paths are nice and the type of birds change throughout the park. There are almost always Altimara Oriels, Green Jays, Plain Chachalacas, Green Kingfishers among many, many other birds. I cannot recommended this place enough. Thank you for reading.
Written September 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Sabal Palm Sanctuary

Sabal Palm Sanctuary is open:
  • Thu - Tue 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM