Laredo Texas offers numerous things to do for visitors, including the chance to revel in more than 250 years of history. Found on the Rio Grande in the southern part of the state, Laredo was once part of "New Spain" after being founded by Spanish settlers, and in 1840, it assumed the role of capital of the Republic of the Rio Grande. Texas Rangers moved in and took control of Laredo during the Mexican-American War some six years later, and after the war was over, the city was ceded to the US.
A mix of Spanish Colonial, American, and Mexican architecture offer testament to Laredo's rich history, and no visit to the city would be complete without taking a tour of the historic district. Among the structures that you can find in this district is the San Agustin Cathedral. Originally established in 1755, the present church structure was built in 1872 and exhibits a lovely Gothic Revival style. 214 San Bernardo Avenue is where you can find the beautiful San Agustin Cathedral.
The history of Texas is rich in general, so it's not hard to understand why visitors to the state's numerous towns and cities have museum visits in mind. For those who find themselves in Laredo, two museums that can provide excellent historical insight are the Republic Rio Grande Museum and the Border Heritage Museum. Both are found along Zaragoza Street and are close to the San Agustin Cathedral. At the Republic Rio Grande Museum, visitors can see what a typical house from the Republic of Rio Grande era would have been like, while the Border Heritage Museum puts the region's all around history on display. Laredo TX tours that highlight these museums, the San Agustin Cathedral, and the historic Casa Ortiz are offered by the Webb County Heritage Foundation. They are open by appointment Tuesday through Saturday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Visitors to downtown Laredo Texas often find themselves shopping when they aren't checking out historical structures and interesting museums. Laredo has long been a regional economic hub, and this has a lot to do with its location on the Mexico border. The city's San Bernardo Avenue entices with its more than 40 blocks of stores that mostly sell imported Mexican goods, and also worth highlighting on the shopping front is the Mall Del Norte. This popular mall boasts more than 150 stores, and when a break from shopping is in order, you can hit the food court.
The Laredo TX restaurants aren't limited to those that can be found at Mall Del Norte, and as you might expect, many specialize in Tex-Mex cuisine. Among the city's favorite ingredients is the jalapeno. There's actually a local festival that highlights this spicy pepper, and it is aptly known as the Jalapeno Festival. As is true of a number of other Laredo festivals and events, the Jalapeno Festival is part of the larger Washington's Birthday Celebration. This celebration is basically a month-long festival that was originally intended to honor the birthday of President George Washington. It begins in mid-January and lasts until the end of February, with side events including an air show, concerts, and fireworks displays.
The warm year-round weather is just one reason why Laredo Texas is growing fast, and it doesn't hurt that the area offers an abundance of recreational opportunities. One of the best places to go for some outdoor recreation during a Laredo TX vacation is the Lake Casa Blanca International Park. Swimming, boating, fishing, and mountain biking are among the options for things to do at Lake Casa Blanca International Park, and campsites are available should you wish to pass on the Laredo hotels.
For Laredo visitors who prefer staying at a hotel versus a campsite, there are some good lodging establishments to select from. Chain hotels are in especially good supply along the Interstate 35 corridor and they include a number of both nicer and cheaper options. As for a more original Laredo hotel that can be found downtown, it is basically impossible to top the upscale La Posada Hotel at 1000 Zaragoza Street.
Image: AMAPO (wikipedia), CC BY-NC-SA 2.0