Boca Chica is an area of Texas on the eastern portion of a subdelta peninsula of Cameron County, at the far south of the US State of Texas along the Gulf Coast. It is bordered by the Brownsville Ship Channel to the north, the Rio Grande River and Mexico to the south, and the Gulf of Mexico to the east. The area extends approximately 25 miles (40 km) east of the city of Brownsville. The peninsula is served by Texas State Highway 4—also known as the Boca Chica Highway, or Boca Chica Boulevard within Brownsville city limits—which runs east-west, terminating at the Gulf and Boca Chica Beach.
The Boca Chica area has historically consisted of Mexican land grants, Mexican and American ranches, a battlefield of the American Civil War (Battle of Palmito Ranch), a state park (Boca Chica State Park, opened 1994), a small village (Boca Chica Village, c. 1960–2020), and, after the mid-2010s, an evolving private space launch facility (Boca Chica spaceport) which includes a large SpaceX development and manufacturing facility for space vehicles and launch vehicles, and a launch complex that has been used for ground-based and flight testing since 2019 and is intended for subsequent orbital launches; both are included in the term: SpaceX South Texas launch site.
Boca Chica means “little mouth” in Spanish, as the Rio Grande River’s flow is modest, and in droughts the mouth of the river may disappear altogether.