Tropical Weather at Tropic Winds RV Resort in South Texas

You don’t have to fly to an island to enjoy tropical weather. Texas has a gem of a place for delicious tropical breezes in Harlingen, Texas. Friendly staff and dozens and dozens of Winter Texans will make your stay here one to remember. Tropic Winds RV Resort is just 48 km (30 mi) from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Located in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, the resort offers a wide variety of fun filled activities.

Home Away from Home

Melissa Cortez, the Tropic Winds RV Resort manager makes sure there are plenty of things to do for her guests. “Here at Tropic Winds we have a variety of activities for our Winter Texans. The activities they like the most are pickleball, our remote-control race track, arts and crafts, and the entertainment we provide.” Other activities include shuffleboard, horseshoes, bocce ball and the ever-popular line, square and ballroom dancing.

Most Winter Texans think of Tropic Winds as their home away from home. It’s the perfect place to sit back, relax, pour yourself a cold drink, read a book or have a friendly chat with your neighbor. Then when the mood strikes, there are plenty of adventures just outside the RV resort to fill you with wonder and get your heart pumping.

Water Fun, Golf and Birding

When you’re ready to explore the area, the warm, sandy beaches of South Padre Island await. Nestled between Laguna Madre and the Gulf of Mexico, the warm embrace of the water entices you to come and swim or sail.

The area surrounding the resort also offers world class golf at various local public golf courses. There are over a dozen golf courses near Harlingen. Just a golf swing away you’ll find two 18-hole championship courses at Rancho Viejo Resort and a scenic 18-hole course at the South Padre Island Golf Club.

If exploring nature and wildlife captivates your interests more, Harlingen is home to the World Birding Center and two of the most unique wildlife refuges in the country. The city is also home to Bass Pro Shops, a new and exciting attraction.

Hunting and Fishing

This area is akin to a hunter’s paradise. Texas is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, nilgai (antelope), javelin (similar to a wild boar), wild pig, dove, quail, ducks, wild turkey and more. The landscape and year-round greenery gives the area a unique advantage, as it encourages the growth and development of some of the largest animals found in the state.

Excellent fishing opportunities abound, whether you want to try and catch a big one off the pier or do some deep-sea exploration. Harlingen offers excellent fishing opportunities because of its location at the southernmost tip of Texas. Anglers can enjoy some of the best sport fish available year-round. Some fish species you may find include redfish, speckled trout, flounder, tarpon and many more. Offshore anglers can target marlin, sailfish, Dorado, snapper, grouper, amberjack, and others.

Museums, Theatre, and Shopping

There are several local museums that provide an excellent opportunity to explore the history of Harlingen. Be sure to plan a visit to the Iwo Jima Monument, Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum, and historic Jackson Street.

There’s great live entertainment here too. You can take in a variety of events such as community theatre, sporting events, and world famous musical acts. If retail therapy is on your mind, the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets are a short drive away and feature over 140 name brand stores.

Family Fun

For family friendly fun, schedule some time to discover the 1,600 exotic and native animals at Gladys Porter Zoo. This dynamic zoo is organized into four distinct zones: Africa, Asia, Tropical America, and Indo-Australia. Within these zones, you will see such creatures as Galapagos Tortoises, Caribbean flamingos, tree kangaroos, kookaburras, and Bactrian camels.

And Relax

Once you get back to Tropic Winds, make sure you check the activity board. There could be a card tournament, live entertainment or a dance to close out the day. Tomorrow is another day; perfect for wherever you want to explore or just relaxing.

Meet Melissa from Tropic Winds RV Resort in Harlingen, Texas

Profile

  • Name: Melissa Cortez
  • In position since: September 2008
  • Title: Resort Manager.
  • Work Location:  Tropic Winds RV Resort
  • Previous parks you’ve worked at (if applicable) Southern Comfort & Country Sunshine RV Resort
  • Favorite hobbies or sport(s): Spending time with family and friends

1. What brought you to Tropic Winds RV Resort?

Before going into the RV industry, for 16 years I worked for a power line construction company as a Regional Business Administration Manager. The regional office closed and gave me the opportunity to change industries. Before becoming the resort manager at Tropic Winds in 2013, I was the resort manager for several years at two other Encore resorts in South Texas – Southern Comfort and Country Sunshine.

2. What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a Park Manager?

There are so many rewarding aspects. First of all, I have a job that allows me the opportunity to be part of a community family. I have the ability to create memories and play a critical role in our customer’s experience. Secondly, I have a phenomenal team. There are not enough words to describe how rewarding it is to have such an awesome group of people to work with.

3. What’s the most challenging aspect of being a Park Manager? How do you overcome these challenges?

The most challenging aspect would have to be time. As a manager, you are pulled in every direction from every aspect of the operation, which makes it difficult to be everywhere for everyone. I’ve learned that you have to do your best to ensure you are producing productive quality time, regardless of how you are spending your time. Prioritizing tasks, time management, and doing your best to stay on task is key to overcome this challenge.

4. How do you help make guests vacations at Tropic Winds RV Resort special?

Whether it’s guest’s first time or they return year after year, we will make sure they feel like family. Plus, it is important for me that every guest understands that they have a direct communication line to me. They can choose any communication method of their choice. It is our mission to ensure all of our guests get the best experience and we are ready to go above and beyond the call to leave our mark.

5. Can you share something you’ve learned from your guests?

Tropic Winds RV Resort is an aged qualified community and I’ve learned from our residents that age is just a number. You are as young as you want to be. Our residents love life, are extremely active and are full of energy. They don’t let age stop them.

6. What’s special about Tropic Winds?

Tropic Winds RV Resort is special because it is one of the newest resorts in South Texas; built in 1997. Therefore this property has some of the largest RV sites and paved streets that you will find in South Texas. Plus, the moment you arrive you are greeted like family into our beautiful resort.

7. Can you use 3 words to describe your RV park to someone who is considering visiting
Friendly, Clean, Fun

 

8. What area attractions or entertainment do you recommend guests experience while at Tropic Winds RV Resort?

In South Texas there are attractions for many interests. We have the ocean shores of South Padre Island within 45 minutes. Due to the large range of birds that migrate to South Texas, one of the largest birding festivals in the country is held here in Harlingen. There is plenty of history so you may want to visit the Iwo Jima memorial, the amazing museums or a wildlife refuge. South Texas has everything you can possibly imagine within a short distance.

9. What accomplishment at Tropic Winds RV Resort are you most proud of? Why?

I’m most proud of the property being awarded Trip Advisor’s 2016 Certificate of Excellence Award. This award is based on the customer experience and confirms that our team is focused on the mission, vision and values to provide the best customer experience.

10. What does a typical day at Tropic Winds RV Resort look like?

A typical day at Tropic Winds starts off with the best sunrises you’ve ever seen. While you stroll through the resort enjoying the morning breeze, you’ll see that everyone is acknowledged with a friendly smile or wave hello. You will see guests gathered outside their rig/home enjoying their morning coffee. You will hear the paddle hitting the ball during the morning sessions of pickleball or you may hear the excitement coming from the RC track. The buildings are filled with guests enjoying each others company while they participate in daily activities. If you start getting hungry, swing by Windy Café and I’m sure you’ll see something you like or get a sample. After your afternoon nap, come join the fun in the pool and then you are off to the nearest happy hour. The evenings wrap up with gorgeous sunsets and heading to our main hall for dinners or planned entertainment.

11. Can you recall a time when the guests at your property surprised you?

The guests here at Tropic Winds continue to surprise me with their continued acts of kindness.  The guests are very supportive of each other and will do what any family member would do for one another.

12. Can you tell us about some of the friendships that have developed between guests at Tropic Winds RV Resort?

The friendships that develop between guests are very special.  Since they all live a similar lifestyle, they have a lot in common.  They are able to share different experiences they’ve had as retirees and in the RV Lifestyle.  Plus, they are now part of the same community family where they will eat, play and have fun together.

13. RV communities look out for each other. Can you share an example of how Tropic Winds RV Resort exemplifies the idea of community?

In South Texas we are very fortunate that there are 10 resorts in close proximity and it is easy for us to exemplify community.  For example, if a guest is requesting a specific amenity/activity that I may not offer, we will refer them to our sister resort that will be able to accommodate our guest.  Another example would be with our park model rental program.  If our rentals are booked we do the same and forward the perspective lead to a sister resort.

14. Why do you think your veteran guests keep coming back to Tropic Winds RV Resort?  I believe they keep coming back because it is very affordable to stay in South Texas.  Our winter weather is top notch.  Plus, they enjoy the feeling of belonging to a community that embraces their return.

15. Do you have any last words or thoughts for your guests?

As you travel throughout the different RV Resorts across our beautiful country, you know firsthand of what sets each one apart.  I’d love to personally invite you to come and experience what Tropic Winds RV Resort and South Texas has to offer.  We’d love to have you as part of our growing community family.

Top 16 Achievements in 2016 – Texas RV Resorts

In order to ensure an amazing customer experience for the region’s Winter Texans, Team Texas worked diligently to improve all aspects of its RV resorts in 2016.

To express our appreciation of such hard work, we’ve compiled a list of the top 16 Texas achievements that made us proud. These successes ranged from property upgrades to the annual Encore Inter Resort Games, while even witnessing the rise in popularity of RC cars! 

1/ Victoria Palms RV Resort (City: Donna, TX). Received the prestigious “Official Best of Texas” award as the Best Age-Qualified RV Resort in the state. The RV property recently replaced its 11,000 sq. ft. ballroom floor with new maple wood flooring, and will be ready to host activities and concerts throughout the winter season.

VicPalms

2/ Sunshine RV Resort (City: Harlingen, TX). Added three new indoor pickleball courts to its portfolio of amenities, as well as a two petanque courts.

Sunshine Pickleball

3/ Lake Conroe RV & Camping Resort (City: Willis, TX).  Added 33 new homes – a mix of 2-3 bedrooms. Also, this beautiful property underwent several property improvements, including upgrading its swimming pool.

Lake COnroe 2

4/ Encore Inter Resort Games. All ten Encore RV resorts in South Texas created and participated in an Olympic style competition amongst one another. 500+ residents competed in 15 games including pickleball, shuffleboard, darts, swimming, billiards, bridge, and bocce ball just to name a few. This annual competition has been going on for about eight years, with Fun-N-Sun RV Resort taking home the trophy last season.

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5/ RC Cars are Getting Very Popular. Added four more remote controlled car tracks in the region, growing from one track to five now. Tropic Winds, Fun-N-Sun, Victoria Palms, Country Sunshine, and Alamo Palms all have tracks for RC car enthusiasts to enjoy and compete.

rc2

6/ Rallies, Festival and Trade Shows in the US & Canada. During 2016, our team attended over 50 events all over Canada and the US in order to promote South Texas and other Sunbelt destinations. If you attended a major RV show, you might have met our very friendly and resourceful colleagues.

Shows

7/ More Canadian guests flocked to South Texas. Throughout 2016, we are extremely pleased to notice a growing number of Canadians who choose to spend their vacation in South Texas. 21% more Canadians stayed with us than the prior year, and we love it!

Canadians More flocking

8/ Medina Lake RV Campground (City: Lakehills, TX). Built 2 boat docks for guests to enjoy a variety of water activities such as fishing, boating and kayaking.

9/ Conferences & Seminars in Canada. During 2016, our very own Team Canada promoted our South Texas properties at 22 conferences and seminars across Canada such as Montreal, Quebec City, Hamilton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Seminars

10/ Fun-N-Sun RV Resort (City: San Benito, TX). Added two great amenities, including four indoor pickleball courts and by popular demand, an RC track and RC airplane field.

Fun N Sun Rc Plane

11/ Tropic Winds & Fun-N-Sun RV Resorts (Cities: Harlingen & San Benito, TX). Very proud to share that the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence has been Awarded for 2016 to these two amazing South Texas RV resorts.

12/ Lakewood RV Resort (City: Harlingen, TX). Replaced its 8,000 sq. ft. ballroom floor with new maple wood flooring, perfect for our square dancing and line dancing enthusiasts. The new ballroom floor also hosts two indoor pickleball courts.

Lakewood Floor2

13/ Paradise Park & Tropic Winds RV Resorts (City: Harlingen, TX). Paradise Park added a new 800 sq. ft. craft shop as well as two bocce ball courts for all to enjoy. Tropic Winds also resurfaced its interior roadways so that guests are greeted by smooth streets when they pull in.

Paradise Park Bocce

14/ Southern Comfort RV Resort (City: Weslaco, TX). Re-plastered its pool, giving it a new, vibrant look.

15/ Paradise South RV Resort (City: Mercedes, TX). Replaced the popular bingo system at the resort with a new system, ensuring games for the whole season.

16/ Winter Concert Series (Rio Grande Valley, TX).  Guests were able to enjoy a concert series at five South Texas RV Resorts, including Victoria Palms, Fun-N-Sun, Sunshine RV, Southern Comfort, and Country Sunshine. Performers included Dec 63, Jersey Boys, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Rhinestone Country, The Three International Tenors, Motown Magic, and The Orbison Years.

Meet Terry from Victoria Palms RV Resort in Donna, TX

portrait_terryGoss

Profile:
Name: Terry Goss
In position since: December 2014
Title: Resort Manager
Work Location: Victoria Palms RV Resort
Favorite Activities: Sitting around a campfire (yes it’s true)


1. How does a typical day at Victoria Palms look like?  What is your favorite moment of the day?

Believe it or not, we start the day by baking cookies. We have become known for having warm, fresh baked cookies waiting for our guests as they arrive. It’s a small token of our appreciation for our customers when they arrive, often after a long time behind the wheel. From there it’s off to tour the property to make sure everything is ship shape and everyone is ready for the day. That’s the fun part. After that I move into running the daily reports, reading and responding to emails, and digesting our online presence and reviews. All that being said, my favorite time of the day is when I get to socialize with guests, old and new, and hear about their travels, their family and what their “other” home is like. It’s really a pretty good gig.

2. You are working, while people at the resort are enjoying their vacation. How do you handle that?

Here at Victoria Palms I am both a manager and a cheer leader. Of course I can’t be everywhere, all the time, but I try my best to be a vibrant part of the community. Even when I can’t stay for an entire event, I am very likely to stop by and cheer on the contestants. I love being around fun loving, happy people, and this position gives me lots of opportunity. I am the first one on the dance floor, love anything where there is food, and was the runner up in last year’s belly flop contest. You just can’t be at a place like Victoria Palms and not have fun.


3. When people ask you what the best experiences are in the surrounding areas, what would you recommend?

The area around Victoria Palms has something for everyone. We are less than an hour away from the best beach in Texas with lots of entertainment and great eats. We are on the migratory path for both birds and butterflies and are one of the premier places to see them in the entire United States. We have some truly incredible shopping with an international flair. For even more fun, we can cross into Mexico for great shopping, food, drinks and services. Of course we have a zoo, museums, theaters, and every restaurant chain known to man. But my absolute favorite thing here in the valley, as we call it, are the little mom and pop restaurants. Not only is the food incredible (and very reasonably priced), but when was the last time the owner came to sit with you on your second visit, and actually remembered your name and what you like to eat. Just incredible!


4. What’s your favorite story to tell about your time at Victoria Palms?

I believe that all of the employees at Victoria Palm are a team and each has a significant role in delivering guest satisfaction. I expect that everyone will pick up whatever task is required, even if it is not considered in their job description. That goes for me as well. Last year we were getting ready to do some street repairs. We were using fresh, hot asphalt which has a very limited time on a truck before it cools off and is no longer usable. The day our asphalt arrived we had one of our maintenance team get hurt and another go home sick. So I jumped into some old jeans, slipped on a pair of work boots and some gloves, and jumped in the truck to help pick up the slack. What makes this special is not what I did, rather it was the looks I received from residents and guests as they saw me working in that truck. I have to say I had more pictures taken that day than any time in my life. It was almost like being a rock star followed by paparazzi. It was hard work but we got the job done and I gained a story to recount.


5. What’s your best accomplishment so far at the resort?

I would like to believe that I have had an impact at Victoria Palms in a lot of areas, but I think the most significant is in communications. Not everyone is comfortable being in front of people or starting conversations with strangers. That can leave some people feeling like they aren’t appreciated or respected. I have always made it a point to make the operation of the resort an open book. I don’t dodge questions and do my best to always provide an honest answer. Sometimes that answer is “no”, but when that’s the truth, anything less is misleading. As well I have expanded the modes of communication here at Victoria Palms. We had a great newsletter here when I arrived, but I thought we could do more. We now have a new website dedicated to events and activities (www.vpractivities.com), I do monthly “Town Hall” meetings which I record and post to YouTube. This enables our residents who are not here at the time of a meeting to still get all the information and not miss anything. I believe strongly in open and honest communications and think our residents and guests really appreciate that.


6. If had to describe your RV park to someone who thinks about coming to Victoria Palms, what would you say?

Picture a fine resort with every conceivable amenity, or a cruise ship where the activities seem to never stop. If you are an RV’er, picture wide, paved and lighted streets where maneuvering your rig is easy and the sites are all concrete with full hook-ups. If you are looking for a permanent winter or year around home picture well manicured yards, lush plantings, beautiful flowers and grass. Envision neat homes (each unique) which exude a feeling of community and safety. If you like to dance, dream about multiple live bands every week, where you can dance the night away on one of the largest and most beautiful dance floors in the valley. Or join in some of our dance lessons; line, ballroom, country, round. If you are a crafter then this must be paradise. Woodworking in our supersized woodshop, firing your pottery in one of our 5 kilns, stained glass, painting, sewing and quilting, wood carving, and the list goes on and on. If you are of the sports type we can keep you pretty busy there too. From racing remote control trucks to bocce ball, petanque, horseshoes, shuffleboard, pickle ball, tennis, cycling, swimming, water volleyball, etc. Are you starting to get the picture? Victoria Palms is incredible and you can do as much or as little as you desire.

7. What brought you to Victoria Palms?

Truthfully I came to Victoria Palms quite by accident. I had previously managed large resorts and honestly was looking for something with a little slower pace. I actually applied for a position at a smaller Thousand Trails park that was somewhat off the beaten path and very rustic. Remember one of my favorite pastimes is sitting by a campfire. As I was being interviewed the question I kept being asked was why I wanted that position, and was I really sure I could be happy there. In the end the interviewer convinced me to come see Victoria Palms. When I visited it completely knocked my socks off. I was instantly in love. As a resort manager I get to live in the resort, and I knew this was a place I could really feel at home. I was hired to manage it and have never looked back. It has been a complete labor of love.


8. Any last words for your current and future guests?

If this hasn’t given you a vision of what life is like at Victoria Palms, then you simply need to come see it for yourself. Come spend a week with us and I will personally make sure you see it all. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Come join me in paradise under the palms.

Set Your Winter Texan Roots in Harlingen, Texas

tropcwinds2

In the southeast tip of Texas there lies a land overlooked by the snow king. It’s a land that offers Winter Texans a pleasant winter with a myriad of activities and one that attracts ardent bird watchers from across the continent.

Harlingen, Texas and the surrounding area have all the necessary attributes to attract those looking for a great place to retire and who want an enjoyable location for the long winters. The city is built in the middle of prime agricultural land that provides fresh vegetables year round and is surrounded by several natural parks where hikers and birders alike can enjoy the outdoors. The sub-tropical climate is perfect. A multitude of RV parks are now established in the area, including four Encore Resort Parks: Sunshine RV Resort, Paradise Park RV Resort, Tropic Winds, and Lakewood RV Resort.

With its position nestled in the Rio Grande Valley, Harlingen is close to nine birding centre paradiseparkviewing areas. Migrating birds pass through this area avoiding the deserts to the west and making use of the verdant growth to find rest and food. Over five hundred species of birds come through here and there is a niche for each of them ranging from the salty wetlands along the coast, the freshwater marshes further inland and the dryer thickets to the west. Expect to see orioles, green jays and many hawks, and countless gaily coloured song birds. Since these centres are spread out, you can expect to find new experiences at each one, which include float trips, walks in the wilderness and great exhibits.

To the west, enclosed by several meanders of the Rio Grande River, you will find the Santa Anna National Wildlife Refuge. Here a mixture of the Chihuahuan Desert, the Gulf Coast, and the great plains, are home to at least 300 species of butterflies and 400 species of birds. You also can see the bobcat, ocelot and the indigo snake as you take the seven mile drive, or enjoy some of the twelve miles of walking paths. A tram tour is also available.

lakewoodrvThere is a birding centre on South Padre Island, but you may be heading there to sample the long, undeveloped beach, perhaps the longest on this part of the east coast. It’s a great beach for peaceful long strolls as the restless waves caress the sand at your feet. Opportunities abound for horseback riding, sea kayaking and fishing. You might like to stop at Port Isabel on the way to the bridge to South Padre Island. There are several seafood restaurants that have great tasting food that is worth the trip in itself.

If the grandkids have dropped in for a visit, take them to the Schlitterbahn Waterpark on the island. Here a variety of rides, slides, and swims, as well as a massive 5-storey water fun house will provide a lot of entertainment for the little ones, and just maybe… the older ones too.

Are you a shopper? If so, not far from Harlingen at Mercedes is a 140 unit outlet mall with several brand stores you will know. In Harlingen, the Bass Pro Shop is a huge tourist attraction with a wide selection of clothes and equipment for hunting and fishing, even
boats. The store features big aquariums filled with native fish, log and stone works and many wildlife exhibits. These stores are well known as places of entertainment and quality tropicwinds1goods by tourists.

The Gladys Porter Zoo has many species of native and exotic animals, always a treat to see. To increase your sense of adventure the zoo is divided into several zones such as the Tropical America, Indo Australia, Asia and Africa. As well there is a herpetarium with examples of unique nature’s shapes and several species of lizards, snakes and other reptiles.

Later, kick back and relax with a tour downtown to see buildings with attractive large murals inside and outside of the buildings. Afterwards perhaps you could take in a show at the Harlingen Performing Arts Theatre which provides top notch live entertainment. If you are interested in the founding history of Harlingen, visit the Arts and Heritage Museum.

sunshinervFor the fisherman, Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier located near the bridge to Padre Island is perfect. Some of the fish caught from the pier wouldn’t embarrass anyone relating their fish stories back home. Even if you don’t have fishing equipment with you, you can rent it at the Pier. And, they have bait too! If you want to get out on the water, select from the several private charters whether you just want a boat tour, or a chance to try for some big fish out where it’s deep.

Golfers will be happy to know that the area has four public golf courses and one private and with the most play days of any area in the USA, you can look forward to a lot of playing.

When Canadian Winter Texans head South to dodge the winter blues, they usually look for warmth, a nice place to stay, and things to keep them entertained. The Harlingen area has an abundance of all of these.

Until October 31, 2016, book a 3 month seasonal stay at Fun-N-Sun RV Resort and pay just $519/ month! To book, call 904-257-8434 and mention promo code EBFNS16