Sitting right on the banks of the Rio Grande and bordering Texas and Mexico, the city of Laredo, Texas, is the epitome of Tex-Mex. It’s a blend of Mexican heritage and classic Lone Star State culture. Unsurprisingly, about 92 percent of residents claim Mexican heritage in Laredo. So, if you’re planning on living in Laredo, you need to get familiar with the culture: Learn some Spanglish, get used to eating tacos for breakfast and know that Cesar Chavez is a local hero (March is celebrated as Cesar Chavez month).
Laredo is a young city with a median age of 29, but don’t expect to meet a lot of young singles here, as only 18 percent of the population is unmarried. The cost of living in Laredo is fairly reasonable, with an average home listing price of $207,542 and a median monthly rent of $1,300.
History is a huge part of life in this town because you’re surrounded by it everywhere you turn — churches and buildings date back to the 1700s and 1800s. The San Agustin Historic District is a glimpse into the original Spanish settlement of Laredo in 1755. Here you’ll find landmarks, like the San Agustin Cathedral, Casa Ortiz and La Posada. The Rio Grande is also a huge presence in town (figuratively and literally — it’s 1,885 miles long). In fact, Laredo used to be its own nation, called Republic of Rio Grande, for the very short time between January and November of 1840. The Republic of the Rio Grande Museum highlights the history of that brief period. Today, residents like to go paddling along the river (you can see Mexico from it).
People in Lardeo are also really into golf and birding. Laredo is home to hundreds of bird species and there's even an annual birding festival. George Washington is surprisingly also a big deal around here. In February, the George Washington Birthday Celebration is a city-wide event, with festivals, a gala, a comedy jam and more. When it comes to food, you may have guessed that Mexican is the cuisine of choice. But true to Texas, BBQ is also huge, and that’s never more apparent than during the annual Big Bad BBQ Cook Off.
San Bernardino Avenue is the place to shop for Mexican imports, from clothing to jewelry and home decor. The street is lined with colorful shops that reflect the flavor of Mexico. Other places to visit: The Border Heritage Museum, TAMIU Planetarium and the Imaginarium of South Texas.