Texas is a wonderful destination to visit in the United States, but one less-known spot is worth visiting.
It’s the city of Del Rio, which is about 150 miles west of San Antonio and sits on the US/Mexico border.
Del Rio has a quaint old western town appeal, while most of its structures have that Mexican/Spanish-style architecture that will surely take you back to the yesteryears.
The city has more to offer than being the home to Laughlin Air Force Base—the busiest Air Force Facility in the country.
Being the county seat of Val Verde County, Del Rio is a wonderful destination for history and outdoor recreation.
The city has tons of parks, natural areas, and historical landmarks that will keep you busy and entertained throughout your visit there.
Laughlin Air Force base itself has a museum full of vintage and present-day aircraft, while nearby Del Rio is the largest lake in Texas, where you can choose from a wide array of outdoor recreation aside from fishing.
You can stroll through dozens of art galleries, museums that highlight a unique blend of Mexican and American heritage.
It’s the best place for either vacationing or a simple excursion to escape the city bustle.
If you’re ready to head to this charming old city, check out the 15 best things to do in Del Rio, Texas.
Uncover Interesting History at the Whitehead Memorial Museum
The Whitehead Memorial Museum is a former ranch owned by the Whiteheads, a well-known ranching family in Del Rio.
They bought the Perry Mercantile in 1962, a historic building in the city which they eventually presented to the Val Verde County and the city of Del Rio as a heritage museum.
Today, the Whitehead Memorial Museum is a popular area for learning history, culture, and heritage.
It features 19 buildings and more than 30 display areas and galleries spread across the two-acre property.
Visiting the museum gives you the best opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Val Verde County.
You can take pictures, read old documents, and learn tons of history about Del Rio.
The Whitehead Memorial Museum is situated at 1308 S Main St, Del Rio, TX.
Sip Fine Wine at the Val Verde Winery
Don’t be easily deceived by the quaint and compact building that houses the Val Verde Winery at 100 Qualia Dr., because it’s where you can taste some of the best wines in Texas.
The Val Verde Winery doesn’t just produce fine wines; it’s also the oldest winery in Val Verde County.
The winery holds a lot of interesting history that you can learn while sipping their delicious wines.
Spending your afternoon there is a great experience you shouldn’t miss.
The winery has a relaxing sitting area with the vineyard as your backdrop.
Plus, many of the winery’s bottles of wines are constantly on sale.
Val Verde Winery opens up from 11 am until 6 pm, but they’re closed on Saturdays.
Get Up Close with Old Aircrafts at the Laughlin Heritage Foundation Museum
The Laughlin Heritage Foundation Museum is where you’ll find genuine old aviation artifacts dating back to World War II, including old planes, engines, and pilot equipment.
The Laughlin Heritage Foundation Museum was established through the collective efforts of passionate individuals who aim to collect and preserve aviation memorabilia.
It’s a worthy place to visit, especially if you’re a history buff interested in aviation.
The curator in the museum will gamely tour you around and provide you with insights about their amazing collection.
The Laughlin Heritage Foundation Museum is located at 309 S Main St, Del Rio, TX.
Browse through Colorful Galleries at the Falcon Art Center Foundation
The Falcon Art Center Foundation offers you a wonderful experience about art through its colorful collection of artworks.
The foundation is an independent organization founded in 2019 by passionate artists who aimed to create a venue to facilitate diverse art platforms.
Roaming around the art center’s galleries gives you a perfect chance to see different genres of art.
These artworks are from local artists, and some come from other countries.
You can visit the Falcon Art Center Foundation at 212 W Chapoy St, Del Rio, TX.
Explore the Amistad National Recreation Area
The Amistad National Recreation Area sits between the United States and Mexico border.
It’s where you’ll find the vast Amistad River, where you can engage in exciting outdoor recreational activities.
It’s also where most of Del Rio’s locals go during a hot day.
The lake itself is perfect for swimming and other waterborne activities, like kayaking, canoeing, etc.
Spend your day picnicking or swimming with your loved ones at the Amistad National Recreation Area located at 4121 Veterans Blvd, Del Rio, TX.
Play Golf at the San Felipe Country Club
Del Rio is also home to a plush golf course, the San Felipe Country Club, named after the San Felipe Springs in the area.
The municipal golf course is situated along the San Felipe River, and it features a par-of-36 9-hole course that spans 2,988 yards.
The course is recommended for advanced golfers because of its narrow and tight fairways along tree lines and bunkers, which will test one’s skills.
Above all, the golf course has a picturesque backdrop of Val Verde County’s hills and lush greenery.
So, if you want to have a laid-back golf session while visiting the attractions of Del Rio, you can head to the San Felipe Country Club, which opens from 8 am to 7 pm daily.
Set Out on an Adventure at the Devil’s River State Natural Area
This outdoor attraction in Del Rio is popular for the Devil’s Canyon nestled in the Amistad Lake premises.
However, this outdoor attraction requires adventurous people who can endure grueling hikes and climbs through its rough terrain.
Kayaking, spelunking, and hiking are the three most popular activities you can enjoy at the Devil’s River State Natural Area.
To ensure safety, you must wear safety gear since the activities there are exhilarating.
So, if you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping outdoor activity in Del Rio, head to the Devil’s River State Natural Area at 21715 Dolan Creek Rd, Del Rio, TX.
This exciting outdoor attraction in Del Rio is open from Friday to Monday from 12 noon to 5 pm.
Celebrate Arts at the Firehouse Gallery
The Firehouse Gallery was formerly the city hall, fire department, and the city jail of Del Rio.
The building built back in 1922 was eventually converted into the art gallery by Juanita Crosby in 1970, while Eric Gibbons continued to run and operate the place since 1994.
The place features Del Rio’s local and regional artworks, which you shouldn’t miss out on.
Take a closer look at the beautiful masterpieces of local artists.
The Firehouse Gallery is situated at 120 E Garfield St, Del Rio, TX.
The gallery is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Watch Entertaining Live Performances at the Paul Poag Theatre
Aside from outdoor attractions, art galleries, and museums, Del Rio is also home to an award-winning group of performers: The Upstagers.
This renowned group regularly performs at the Paul Poag Theatre at 746 S. Main in Del Rio.
If the group is out-of-town, they have guest performers who regularly hold shows there.
You can watch musical performances, stage plays, or other live shows that will surely leave you highly entertained.
This entertainment attraction in Del Rio was formerly the “Rita Theater.”
Historically, the theater was sold to a couple, John and Evelyn Prude, who eventually donated the place to the city of Del Rio to pay homage to its original owner, Paul Poag.
The theater has a website where you can check its upcoming shows.
Shop at the Plaza Del Sol Mall
If you’re looking for a relaxing leisure time, head to the Plaza Del Sol Mall.
It’s the best place in Del Rio for shopping and dining.
The mall houses a wide array of brands like Zales, The Art Box, Ross, Marshalls, Jewelry Box, Bath & Body Works, JE’s Music, etc.
It also has numerous fast-food chains like Wendy’s Chick-Fil-A and IHOP.
Furthermore, you can watch the latest flicks at the Cinemark in the mall.
After a tiring day exploring museums and outdoor attractions, take some time to relax, shop or dine at the Plaza Del Sol Mall.
Plaza Del Sol Mall is at 2205 Veterans Blvd, Del Rio, TX, and it’s open from 10 am to 9 pm daily.
Swim at the Moore Park Public Pool
Texas’s warm climate always makes it perfect for a day to swim.
Thus, head to the Moore Park Public Pool to cool your senses down.
Del Rio, in particular, has a warm temperature that can get very high, especially during summer.
Moore Park Public Pool offers you a convenient place to swim from its three public pools with different depths for different swimming levels and ages.
One of the pools has a tall slide where you can try out.
So, if you’ve had enough of Del Rio’s warm climate, visit the Moore Park Public Pool at 100 Swift Street, Del Rio, TX.
Moore Park Public Pool is open 24/7.
Take Photos at the Brinkley Mansion
The Brinkley Mansion in Del Rio is home to the famous “Goat Gland Doctor,” only known by many as “Dr. Brinkley.”
He became famous in West Texas for making a huge fortune out of his “Goat Gland” treatments which was believed to be a potent Viagra back in the 1920s.
Today, the Brinkley Mansion, easily identified for its pink-colored walls, is considered a historical landmark in Del Rio.
The Brinkley Mansion is well-preserved, making it a perfect opportunity to take photos beside its water fountains in its front yard.
Colored lights add more drama and beauty to the mansion at night while a pianist inside the house plays beautiful songs for visitors outside.
What makes this mansion more fascinating is the hidden tunnel below it that stretches for about two miles across the border.
The Brinkley Mansion is nestled at 512 Qualia Drive, Del Rio, TX.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Del Rio is full of awesome places to visit and awesome things to do but head to its neighboring towns and cities if you’re looking for more.
You’ll come across many great things and places to visit.
Here are some of the best things to do near Del Rio, Texas:
Roam around the Seminole Canyon State Historical Park
Roughly 45 miles west of Del Rio takes you to the Seminole Canyon State Historical Park, known for its thousand-year-old petroglyphs.
The park has dozens of petroglyphs made 4,000 years ago by Native Americans that once dwelled in the area.
The entire state park covers 2,172 acres which highlights the Seminole Canyon.
Millions of years of erosion carved extensive rock formations and overhangs that served as shelters for Native Americans during their time.
The state park is also teeming with diverse flora and fauna.
You’ll come across different bird species like Green Kingfisher, Zone-tailed Hawks, and Black Phoebe.
Lastly, you can stay for the night since the state park has a camping ground near its entrance.
Walk around Ciudad Acuña’s Main Plaza
Across the border takes you Ciudad Acuña, a Mexican city known for its rich tradition and authentic Mexican dishes.
One of the city’s focal points is its main plaza, where you can roam around and witness different social and festive gatherings.
While roaming the plaza, you can buy different handmade crafts from local artisans, watch street performances from local Mariachi bands, or eat authentic Mexican dishes at nearby restaurants.
Ciudad Acuña is accessed through the Acuña-Del Rio Bridge.
Go Underground at the Kickapoo Caverns State Park
The Kickapoo Caverns State Park is roughly an hour’s drive northeast of Del Rio or 54 miles in Bracketville, Texas.
It’s a magnificent state park in Texas that highlights its cave system and trails.
Visiting this natural attraction requires you to join a guided tour.
Since the cave system is a nature preserve, guided tours are limited only on Saturdays.
Prepare yourself for a tiring but enjoyable hike in the cave system that lasts for about three hours.
You’ll come across magnificent cave formations, stalactites, and stalagmites formed after millions of years.
After exploring its cave system, you can proceed for another exciting hike at the Armadillo Lookout Trail that offers you a scenic view of the entire Kickapoo Caverns State Park.
To sum it up, Del Rio proves itself as a melting pot of Mexican and American culture and heritage.
It’s not just your average historical city but also a fun-filled destination for its outdoor recreation.
Before visiting Del Rio, make sure to bookmark this page as your go-to itinerary.
Or perhaps, you can share this post with your fellow travelers to promote this charming old city.