If you're looking for a Mexican experience in a Texan state, Eagle Pass is a city you need to visit.
It's the easiest route to Mexico from San Antonio and is dubbed "La Puerta de Mexico," which means Mexico's Door.
The city is also the first American settlement established in the Rio Grande by General William Leslie Cazneau, founded in the 1840s.
Eagle Pass got its name from the shape of the hills that resembles the wings of the Crested Caracara, an eagle-like falcon abundant and native to the region.
Originally known as Camp Eagle Pass, it also functioned as a temporary outpost during Mexican–American War to prevent illegal trading on the border.
Today, this Texas city and its nearby areas are hosts to many specialty shops, Mexican restaurants, and historic sites.
Here are the best things you can do in Eagle Pass, Texas:
Go Back to History at Fort Duncan Museum
Fort Duncan was an army base constructed in the 1840s built to defend the first U.S. settlement in the Rio Grande, where the city is currently located.
During the Mexican War, the fort served as an outpost and garrison for military personnel.
It ceased its operations in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War but continued to serve the Frontier Regiment and became a customs point for the cotton and weaponry trade for Confederates.
In 1935, the city acquired the property utilizing it as a facility for military members stationed near the Eagle Pass Air Field during WWII.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and you will see the seven original refurbished buildings that now stand as historic landmarks.
Among these is the headquarters that now houses the museum.
You'll see exhibits of the fort's history and its role in the different events of the country's history, the military presence in the city, and the growth of the Eagle Pass area.
Get inside these buildings and view the stone magazines, stables, and old adobe quarters formerly occupied by military officers.
Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Maverick County Lake and Park
Maverick County Lake and Park is a favorite local attraction in the city.
The park features playgrounds and a water park where little ones can have a blast and picnic tables where families can have lunches out.
If you want a relaxing walk or a leisurely bike ride, the park has a 1.5-mile walking path, riding paths, and plenty of spaces in the park for you.
Play sports like baseball, softball, or tee ball on the fields or get to catch small public concerts and events at the park.
Spend an afternoon fishing at the Maverick County Lake and catch largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish.
You can also enjoy nature at the lake, watch ducks wade around, or end the day looking at the beautiful sunset.
Have Some Downtime at Shelby Park
Shelby Park is one of the public parks where you can relax with the family.
The 47.4-acre park lies on the beautiful banks of the Rio Grande, a great spot to have a boat ride.
Enjoy the surrounding nature and fresh air while having a pleasant stroll.
The park also offers a vast area with two ball fields and two soccer fields where you can play and practice.
You can catch some community events here or watch scheduled public concerts with your family and friends.
Other amenities at the park include playground equipment and ample parking space.
Savor Signature Cuisine at Parrilla de San Miguel
Take your family for an authentic and traditional Mexican feast at Parrilla de San Miguel.
Experience a warm and family-friendly service with colorful Mexican decors and a spacious dining area.
The restaurant has been serving Mexican classics like tacos, fajitas, and margaritas for over 12 years.
Try their appetizers like the Champiñones Huérfanos, a mix of sautéed mushrooms and shrimp with guajillo pepper and garlic, or the Champiñones Bombis, breaded cheese-filled mushrooms with chipotle dressing.
They serve mouth-watering steaks like rib eye and New York steak served with salad, baked potato, and grilled onions.
Have a serving of their hearty soups, tasty salads, and Chef's specialties like Filete Maya and Filete Monasterio, served with your choice of side dishes like salad, mashed or baked potato, rice, or vegetables.
Enjoy Games of Poker and Bingo at Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino
You'll have big wins and great fun at Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino.
Enjoy hours of great live poker games, join the Texas Hold 'Em Tournaments and try the latest casino games to bag more wins.
Play bingo sessions and avail of their promotions, or get to play free on your birthday.
You can sing your heart out at the Que Pasa Lounge for a Sunday night karaoke.
The casino also has several restaurants offering a variety of food choices like the Red Sky Grill offering a unique casual dining experience, Azul restaurant serving Mexican fare, and the famous IHOP restaurant chain.
Try more food specialties at the Marketplace, have snacks at Riverbend Café, or grab some drinks at the High Limit Bar.
You can also check in at their full-service hotel and enjoy the amenities with a Southern Texas landscape.
Have Rounds of Tee Games at Eagle Pass Golf Course
Located along the Rio Grande, Eagle Pass Golf Course is a nine-hole course offering an excellent venue for tee games.
This golf course opened to the public in 1946 and offers two sets of tees for each nine-hole green.
The large fairway spans more than 6,000 yards of lush gentle greens designed with water hazards to give an excellent, challenging play for any level of golfing skills.
You can also enjoy tee games with your family at the 18-hole miniature golf course.
Have time to practice at the putting and chipping greens and a 275-yard driving range.
The golf course also includes a clubhouse where you can stay after a game.
Enjoy a Family Day at Jando Guedea Park
For a relaxing day out with the family, you can bring them to Jando Guedea Park.
This public park has a vast green space with plenty of shade and benches.
Enjoy strolling through the walking trails and let your little ones enjoy the playground equipment.
Grab some snacks and sit on the benches while enjoying the view of the city streets.
You can also walk your dog on a leash at this park.
Play sports, frisbee, or enjoy a good book at Jando Guedea Park.
Visit the Historic Eagle Pass Public Library
The Eagle Pass Public Library and the city's old post office are located in a building built in 1912.
It reopened its doors to the public in 2017 after more than a year's renovation.
If you want to know more about the public library or facts about Eagle Pass, the friendly and helpful library staff can assist you.
Aside from admiring the library's classic interiors, you can browse a variety of Spanish books and other selections on the first floor.
Visit the computer and technology wing in the basement area and tour the top floors to find children's books that your little ones can read.
Join the Dog Days of Summer Festival
If you're visiting Eagle Pass in August, you'll get to catch the Dog Days of Summer Festival on Main Street.
The celebrations happen in the 300 Block Art and Entertainment District to start the school year and the end of the summer season.
This annual celebration is open to the public with free admission.
Join the merrymaking with live music performances, rows of food trucks, and assorted refreshments.
Bring your family and join the games for some fun.
Watch the classic car show and see the different types of muscle and vintage cars competing for the prize.
Hang Out With Friends at Cooter's Pub
Cooter's Pub is a go-to local dive bar in the city if you're looking for a place to hang out with friends on a weekend.
The bar is located in a historical building in downtown Eagle Pass and is a crowd favorite, also made popular with road bikes hanging in its interiors.
You'll be served with local ales like Shiner and Coors with nachos, fries, wings, and pizzas to match.
Of course, there's also live rock band music by local performers and monthly events hosted by the bar.
You can also enjoy some jukebox music, play pool or darts.
Shop for Mementos at the Zaragoza Mercado
Located in Piedras Negras, the Zaragoza Mercado or "El Mercado" is a convenient shop spot for tourists looking for authentic Mexican items.
Just a hop across the border, this lively outdoor market was beautifully renovated and features various stores and shops.
Find handmade products like maracas, serapes, molcajetes, leather belts, boots, and a wide array of artisan products.
You'll also find toys for your little ones, Mexican dresses, figurines, decors, and keepsakes.
The place also has many lunch places to satisfy your palate and stalls that offer natural juices, sweet delicacies, and smoothies.
Enjoy the Fun-Filled International Nacho Festival
A food fact that most people don't know is that the nacho was birthed in Piedras Negras.
During the second week of October, the sister cities Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras celebrate the International Nacho Festival.
This favorite Tex-Mex mainstay was created in 1940 by master Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya.
According to the story, American visitors arrived at his restaurant, and the chef was nowhere to be found, so he quickly made a dish with ingredients he had in the kitchen.
That all led to the invention of the tasty nachos we have today and its celebration in this annual event.
Join in the cultural activities, see the interesting art displays, and catch live music shows at the festival.
You'll also get to watch the World's Biggest Nacho contest.
Find Best Buys at Mall de las Aguilas
You can shop until you drop and enjoy at Mall de las Aguilas in Eagle Pass.
The mall offers a wide selection of shopping choices, the latest trends, and excellent services for the whole family.
Find best buys from popular brands like Bath & Body Works and JC Penney, have a relaxing treatment at Go Spa, or check out the newest tech at Boost Mobile.
Get great deals at The Children's Place and pick out trendy apparel and quality outfits for your little ones.
You can enjoy a taste of Tex-Mex meals and drinks at Yopo's Grill or satisfy your sweet cravings for frozen desserts at Mini Melts.
Have a Leisure Walk at San Juan Plaza
The San Juan Plaza is a quiet space where you can take a break and go for a stroll.
It is located on Madison Street and is the city’s most popular walking trail in a 3.2-acre parkland.
You’ll enjoy this peaceful, scenic area with beautiful shaded areas offered by rows of large park trees.
Sit and have some downtime on the benches dotted all around the park.
There’s also a gazebo and kiosk you can hang out, enjoy the view, or even take a picture.
You can also drop by nearby restaurants and stores near San Juan Plaza.
Other Things to Do Nearby
View Historic Displays at the Museo De La Frontera Norte
The Museo De La Frontera Norte in Piedras Negras features temporary and permanent collections about the history of the border and how the military settlements were started.
You'll see the exhibits about the founders of the Eagle Pass territory, their explorations and missions, and likewise significant events in history during the rise of the separatist movement and city wars.
Learn facts about the historic Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty that led to the formation of the new border.
View the displays that tell the stories of the Mexican Railroad, the Revolution preamble, and the 1910 Armed Movement.
You can also see artifacts and exhibits that present the region's industries, heydays of the mining business, and tourism.
Eagle Pass gives you a Mexican experience in Texas state.
The city is also a witness to many significant events in national history, with its location near the Mexico border.
Your family can enjoy the city's many local attractions, public parks, trails, celebrations, and Mexican shops.
Experience the diverse culture in Eagle Pass, Texas, and enjoy the things you can do in the city.