Laredo, situated on the north bank of the Rio Grande River, across from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, is the county seat of the Webb County, Texas. The economy of the city is mainly dependent on international trade with Mexico. Laredo is, in fact, considered to be the largest inland port in the United States. The city was founded in the year 1755 and over the years, it has grown from a villa to the Capital of the Republic of the Rio Grande to a large trading center. Today, Laredo has the distinction of having seven flags flown over the city. It is also home to 4 international bridges and 1 Railway Bridge.
Laredo is well known for its scenic beauty. Situated on the west end of the Rio Grande Plains, south of Edwards Plateau, Laredo is a prime location for Javelina and deer hunting for the Cola Blanca Contest, which is held every year in the city. The most spectacular geographical feature in Laredo is Lake Casa Blanca, situated in the Lake Casa Blanca International State Park. The city is also famous for its annual cultural events, recreational activities, and nightlife. The most awaited annual event is the Washington’s Birthday Celebration (WBCA). This month-long held event celebrates the birthday of George Washington and attracts over 400,000 attendees every year. Jalapeno Festival and Jamboozie are popular events held as a part of Washington Birthday Celebrations.
A number of outdoor recreational activities are offered by the Lake Casa Blanca International State Park. The major activities at the Park include cooking out, boating, mountain biking, skiing, picnicking, camping, fishing, and lake swimming. The major nightlife establishments in the city include Hal’s Landing, Las Cananas, Club Eros, South Beach, Chelseas, Agave Azul, Old No.2, FLounge, and El Sitio. The main places of tourist interest in Laredo include the Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol Building Museum, the Laredo Center for the Arts, Imaginarium of South Texas, the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center Planetarium, San Agustin Historical District, and the Laredo Public Library.
Laredo is also known for the extraordinary architecture of its buildings. The city’s architecture is a combination of Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and American flavors. The major buildings of Spanish Colonial architecture include the Laredo Medical Center, the Laredo Town Center, and Texas national Bank headquarters. American architecture, on the other hand, can be seen in buildings such as the Hamilton Hotel, Walker plaza, the Laredo City Hall, and the Laredo Federal Courthouse.
Republic of the Rio Grande Museum
Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol Building Museum, situated in the downtown San Agustin Historical District in Laredo, Texas, was once the Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol building. At present, the Museum exhibits memorabilia from the short-lived, unsuccessful Republic of the Rio Grande. It holds a huge collection of books, pictures, and furniture from the 19th century Laredo. It also displays saddles, guns, and house hold goods of frontier homes. Most of the Museum’s exhibitions place special emphasis on the period of Rio Grande Republic, 1839-1841.
Besides, the Museum also offers guided tours for adults and school age children throughout the year. It also hosts presentations made to schools, civic groups, detention facilities, and travel writers on a regular basis. Located just next to the La Posada Hotel in San Agustin Plaza, the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum can be reached easily. This museum is a great learning experience and is well worth visiting.
- Address: 1005 Zaragoza Street, Laredo, TX 78040
- Telephone: (956) 727-3480
- Hours: Tues – Sat, 9 AM – 4 PM; Sun, 1 – 4 PM; closed Mon
- Website: www.webheritage.org