Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Laredo, TX

  • Published 2022/12/03

Laredo is a beautiful city in South Texas that many tourists frequent.

It’s the county seat of Webb County, located on the north bank of the Rio Grande, just across the border from Mexico.

Laredo has a long history, dating back to its founding as a Spanish colony in 1755.

It’s also a thriving community with a rich culture and proud heritage.

The city is home to numerous historical sites, including the Fort McIntosh National Historic Landmark and the Laredo Center for the Arts.

Laredo is also known for its vibrant nightlife and live music scene.

From country-western bars to dance clubs, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Here are the free things to do in Laredo, Texas!

Marvel at the San Agustin Catholic Cathedral

Exterior of San Agustin Catholic Cathedral

Danita Delimont /

This church’s striking structure will leave any onlooker in awe, with its towering columns and stately façade.

The San Agustín Catholic Cathedral, with its plastered sandstone exterior in the Gothic Revival style, was completed in 1872.

In 1922, they added a bell tower visible from Nuevo Laredo, which soon became Laredo’s version of London’s Big Ben.

Entering the cathedral, visitors are greeted by a beautiful interior, with intricate details and artwork adorning every surface.

The San Agustin Catholic Cathedral is truly a sight to behold, and its architecture is a testimony to the skill of its builders.

Visitors to Laredo will not want to miss the opportunity to marvel at this unique piece of history.

Explore Casa Ortiz

A visit to Laredo is not complete without wandering around Casa Ortiz, a beautiful heritage property in the city’s heart.

Casa Ortiz was established in 1830 by Jose Reyes Ortiz.

The house has been lovingly restored and is now a testament to Laredo’s rich history.

This two-story Spanish Colonial home, straight out of a fairytale, features vernacular urbanism, which is more commonly seen in European and Mexican architecture than in the United States.

Visitors can explore the U-shaped house and imagine what life was like for the Ortiz family over a century ago.

You can reach brick-terraced stairs leading to the riverside from here.

Casa Ortiz is an excellent place to unwind and learn history from one of Laredo’s prominent families.

Work up a Sweat at Slaughter Park

It’s always important to get your body moving, and Slaughter Park is the best place to do it in Laredo.

The park has plenty of space to run and walk or jog trails.

The park also has a basketball court and soccer field to get your body moving and sweating.

There’s also a playground here, so you don’t have to worry about your kids getting bored while you’re doing some exercises.

At Slaughter Park, you can do both: have a great time while also working up a sweat!

Enjoy the Calming Atmosphere of Robert Muller Park

You can set aside some time to enjoy the calming ambiance at Robert Muller Park.

This is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and appreciate the natural beauty of your surroundings.

The park features a lake with a walking path around it.

There are also plenty of benches where you can sit and relax while waiting for the sunset.

Several trees and shrubs provide shade and create a peaceful atmosphere.

It’s also home to various birds, making it an excellent spot for birdwatching.

Take some time to enjoy the tranquility of Robert Muller Park next time you need a break from your busy schedule.

Take a Peaceful Walk at the Veteran’s Memorial at Jarvis Plaza

From the first-time visitor to the lifelong local, everyone can appreciate the serenity of the veteran’s memorial at Jarvis Plaza.

Located in the heart of downtown Laredo, the memorial is a peaceful oasis amid the hustle and bustle of city life.

This park was donated by Zachary Taylor, who served his country as a veteran and continued to serve the public as a surveyor of streets and gardens in the city.

He also created the map of Laredo, which the City Council officially adopted in 1869.

The memorial also features several benches, making it an ideal spot to take a break from sightseeing or reflect on Laredo’s rich history.

Whatever your reason for visiting, the Veteran’s Memorial at Jarvis Plaza will surely provide peace and tranquility.

Visit the Fort McIntosh National Historic District

Are you looking for a unique and historic place to visit?

Then, add the Fort McIntosh National Historic District in Laredo to your list!

This site was once home to a major United States military fort that played an essential role in the country’s expansion into the Southwest.

Fort McIntosh was founded after the Mexican War near Laredo on the Rio Grande and shut down shortly after World War II.

Fort McIntosh was essential to the two fort chains that stretched across the Rio Grande and protected the western frontier.

The area around Fort McIntosh was harsh, with blistering summers and little rainfall, but having a military presence there provided some sense of security.

Visitors can explore the grounds, tour the barracks and other buildings, and learn about the fort’s history.

The Fort McIntosh National Historic District is perfect for anyone who loves exploring new places or delving into history.

Spend Quality Time with Family at Independence Hills Park

There is always something to do in Independence Hills Park so you can enjoy your family bonding to the fullest!

The park features a trail where you can enjoy walking with your kids.

You can also let them play on the playground and have fun activities like feeding the ducks.

There are also some tennis courts and a swimming pool in this park.

There is also a pavilion available for picnics and gatherings.

Independence Hills Park is a beautiful place to relax and spend time with loved ones.

The scenery is simply breathtaking, and the fresh air is invigorating.

Independence Hills Park in Laredo is perfect for some much-needed family bonding experiences.

Enter the World of Art at Laredo Center For the Arts

Exterior of Laredo Center For the Arts

Barna Tanko /

The Laredo Center for the Arts offers something creative that will amaze everyone.

From visual arts to performing arts, there is something to spark creativity in every visitor to the center.

The center hosts various events throughout the year, providing the perfect opportunity to explore the arts.

For those who enjoy visual arts, the center showcases rotating exhibitions of local and regional artists.

Water fountain in front of Laredo Center For the Arts

Barna Tanko /

The exhibitions provide an excellent opportunity to see a variety of art styles and mediums.

For those who prefer performing arts, the center offers a variety of shows and concerts featuring both local and national performers.

The intimate setting of the center allows for a truly immersive experience with the arts.

The Laredo Center for the Arts is the perfect spot to explore your creativity, whether you are a lifelong fan of the arts or just looking to try something new.

See the Stunning Exteriors of Canseco House

The Canseco House in Laredo is a stunning example of Second Renaissance Revival architecture.

The home was built in 1924 and featured a beautiful stucco exterior with intricate detailing.

The grand home has beautiful inlaid wooden floors, luxurious papered walls, and tall ceilings.

Two quaint terraces are also on the second floor overlooking the property’s well-kept grounds.

The estate also includes a carriage house used by visitors.

Today, the Laredo Food Policy Council uses Canseco House as its place of operations.

Canseco House is a truly unique property that is well worth seeing.

Stop by this home and take pictures outside its captivating facade!

Explore the Wonderful North Central Park

If you want to escape Laredo city life, North Central Park is one of the best places.

The park features a wide variety of amenities that make it perfect for a day of relaxation or recreation.

Visitors can enjoy picnicking in the pavilion, playing pickleball, volleyball, or basketball on its courts, or simply taking a stroll along one of the many walking trails.

You can also let your lovely pet run in the dog park inside North Central Park.

You can even jog here with your family and enjoy its beautiful surroundings.

North Central Park is one of Laredo’s most beloved parks because it offers so much to visitors.

Drop by the park on your next visit to Laredo!

Take an Afternoon Stroll at San Agustin Plaza

San Agustin Plaza in Laredo is the perfect area to take a quiet and relaxing afternoon stroll.

The plaza is home to a beautiful pavilion, and the surrounding gardens are well-maintained and provide a tranquil setting.

The plaza also features several benches where visitors can sit and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

The birds flying around add to the relaxing vibe of the plaza.

As a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life, San Agustin Plaza is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a little bit of peace in nature.

Develop a Deeper Appreciation for Water at Laredo Water Museum

The Laredo Water Museum is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of water.

The museum offers various interactive exhibits showcasing water’s vital role in our lives.

The museum features a tranquil and immersive experience by infusing a water-themed aesthetic throughout the exhibitions, which contrasts with the dry heat of Laredo.

In doing so, you can feel more connected to the museum itself.

You can learn about the environment by providing an immersive experience with visual, auditory, and interactive devices.

The museum will also increase awareness for conservation efforts within Rio Grande Watershed and globally.

Visitors can learn about the water cycle, how to conserve water, and how we use water daily.

The museum also features a hands-on area where kids can experiment with different water activities.

Come to the Laredo Water Museum and walk away with a better appreciation of water!

Fish at the Waters near Chacon Bat Park

Chacon Bat Park is a great place to fish in Laredo.

The waters are home to various fish, including catfish, bass, and trout.

There are also many types of baitfish, making it an excellent spot for fishing.

Fishing is allowed from sunup to sundown, so you can take your time and wait for the fish to grab your bait.

Chacon Bat Park is also a beautiful spot to enjoy the outdoors.

The park has picnic areas and hiking trails and is located on the banks of the Rio Grande.

Chacon Bat Park is the perfect place to fish, whether you’re a pro or just a beginner.

See the Amazing Building of Webb County Courthouse

North entrance of Webb County Courthouse

Copernico Contreras, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Webb County Courthouse is one of the most remarkable buildings in Laredo.

In 1909, Alfred Giles built the beautiful building, following the Beaux-Arts-style, which fascinates anyone seeing the courthouse.

The courthouse is made of yellow bricks and has many architectural features that make it unique.

The courthouse’s interior is categorized by vibrant floors, resembling a Mediterranean villa.

Facade of Webb County Courthouse

AMAPO, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Alamo Iron Works produced a case trimmed with wrought iron, connecting the three courthouse floors.

There’s also an intricate oval stained glass window in different colors on the first-floor landing.

The Webb County Courthouse is a stunning building that garners attention from visitors coming to Laredo.

The next time you’re in the area, check out this gorgeous courthouse and see the fantastic building yourself!

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

There are many other new and exciting places near Laredo that you can visit.

Explore nearby and participate in activities you and your family will love!

Bring Your Kids to the Reyes Meza Museum

Cross the border from Laredo to reach the Reyes Meza Museum in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 14 minutes from Laredo.

The museum will give you and your kids an exciting experience.

It has offered a variety of interactive exhibits that are both educational and fun since its opening in 2008.

From learning about the area’s history to exploring local wildlife, your children will have an incredible time at the Reyes Meza Museum.

Your kids will marvel at the dinosaur skeleton on display!

You can also wander the art gallery on the museum’s first floor.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to introduce your kids to Tamaulipas’ rich culture and history.

The Reyes Meza Museum will surely provide your family with memories that will last a lifetime.

Final Thoughts

Laredo has plenty to discover and explore for visitors.

From the historic Canseco House to the interactive Laredo Water Museum, there are many ways to learn about this fascinating place.

If you want a fun activity for your family, check out Chacon Bat Park.

List these places on your vacation plan and try the free things to do in Laredo, Texas!

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