Get a true taste of history by visiting Laredo’s Historic District, which is officially known as the San Agustin de Laredo Historic District. Much like its name, Downtown Laredo offers a unique experience from the cobblestone streets to the architecture!
Once the original city of Laredo, the San Agustin de Laredo Historic District was established by Don Tomás Sánchez in the mid-1870s. Downtown Laredo is unlike any other downtown in Texas thanks to its brick streets and stunning Spanish and Mexican architecture. Some of the area’s most iconic buildings are the San Agustin Cathedral, the Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol and Museum, and the La Posada Hotel.
The San Agustin Cathedral dates back to 1872 and is one of the oldest standing cathedrals in the Southwest today. The Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol is home to the Republic’s Museum that was first built in 1830 as a hacienda or house. Presently, the building showcases memorabilia from the short-lived Republic and features three authentic rooms restored from the original 1830 home.
Next door to the Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol and Museum is the historic La Posada Hotel, which is a four-diamond hotel whose entrance was once the first Laredo High School after the hotel was converted into the school in 1886. Torn down in 1916 and briefly housing a municipal building and jail, the land was repurposed, and La Posada Hotel was built on the banks of the Rio Grande River as a cultural center for downtown Laredo. Today, the hotel is a landmark in Downtown Laredo and offers breathtaking views of Mexico and the Rio Grande as well as rich look at the history of Laredo.
Downtown Laredo borders San Agustin Plaza, which is the heart of Old Laredo and features many historic buildings. Adjacent to this is Laredo’s original main street, San Bernardo Avenue. Today, the 40-block passage is lined with eclectic boutiques and stores that are home to some of the finest Mexican goods in the United States. You’ll find everything from Mexican pottery, artwork, and jewelry to dresses, trinkets, and more!
Beyond shopping, Laredo’s Main Street is dedicated to revitalizing and showcasing the community’s rich heritage through special events, farmers markets, and more. This makes it one of the top weekend destinations for locals and visitors looking for authentic Mexican cuisine, a piece of Laredo history, or a trinket to take home!