Nuevo Progreso is a favorite weekend getaway for many South Texans. Everything is within walking distance, so most people park on the US side and walk across the bridge. There is a parking lot on either side of the road right before the bridge and the cost is $2 for all day. If you do drive across, be prepared for traffic to back up as you wait to clear customs on your way back into the United States.
There are several great restaurants, numerous shops and bars. Use the map below to find them. Most of the action is along the main drag, Ave Benito Juarez, but you may also find shops near the bridge on Coahuila St and on Reynosa St, one block to the West. There is also a small shopping center, several blocks back at the corner of Reynosa St and Baja California. The level of activity in this "Mercado" fluctuates, but there is a fun bar here that is popular with Winter Texans and usually has live music.
Arturo's Restaurant has been in business for over 50 years and is by far the most popular restaurant in town. Across the street is Angels, which is on the top floor of a four-story building and offers great views of Progreso. Another nice place is Garcias, which is located above the Canada Store and has a long history in Matamoros, Mexico. The Arizona Restaurant is another high rise with great views. These restaurants all offer international cuisine. La Fogata is a little different, they specialize in meat dishes and have a large window facing the street which lets you look into the kitchen.
Shopping is one of the most popular activities here. The numerous shops and stores offer pottery, glassware, leather goods, clothing and arts & crafts from all over Mexico. In addition to the smaller places, there are two "superstores", The Canada Store and El Super Disco.
Progreso is also a popular place to buy duty-free alcohol, cigarettes and perfumes. There is a duty-free shop, next to the bridge, but you must pick up your purchases as you are leaving Mexico. Many people also cross the border to buy prescription medicines that are cheaper than they are in the United States.
Progreso can be a lot of fun, but remember, you are entering a foreign country. It is considered to be one of the safest border towns on the Texas-Mexico border, but you travel there at your own risk.
Stop by the U. S. Customs Office and pick up the "Know Before You Go" brochure to answer your questions about what you can bring back into the United States. Passports are now required.