Del Rio Travel Guide

Browse 8 travel reviews, 2 travel blogs and 44 travel photos from real travelers to Del Rio.

Del Rio Locals

dany Dustin Mary Veron… Jose Hector

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Del Rio Overview

Del Rio is a town of about 36,000 (up 7% since 2000) located at the intersection of U. S. Highway 90 and U. S. Highway 277, in Val Verde County in Southwest Texas. The Spanish settled south of the Rio Grande and a small group came to what is now the United States side in the late 1700s. Paula L. Taylor built the first hacienda in the area in 1862. U. S. development started after the Civil War. Developers got property by San Felipe Springs and the creek formed by the creek in return for building a canal system for irrigation. The investors formed the San Felipe Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Irrigation Company in 1868. Upon completion of the canal system in 1871, residents named the town San Felipe Del Rio because of a story that early Spanish explorers held a mass here on St, Philip's Day in 1635. When a post office was granted in 1883, the name was shortened to "Del Rio" to avoid confusion with San Felipe de Austin. When Val Verde County was formed in 1885, Del Rio became the county seat. Del Rio was incorporated on 15 November 1911. Del Rio served as a United States address for 500,000 watt Mexican radio stations XERA and XERF which can be heard as far north as Canada. XERF was made famous in the U. S. by deejay Wolfman Jack. In 1942, the Army Air Corps established Laughlin Field 9 miles east of Del Rio. The base was closed in 1945 but increased tensions during the "cold war" along with border control issues caused renovation of the base and it was reopened as Laughlin Air Force Base. Its remote location made the base the perfect location for secret operations and the air force opened its strategic reconnaissance program there. In 1962, U-2 aircraft from Laughlin took pictures of medium range missiles in Cuba which precipatated the Cuban Missile Crisis. The next year the U-2s were moved to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, and Laughlin's mission transitioned to the Undergraduate Pilot Training mission. Del Rio has an excellent historical museum called the Whitehead Memorial Museum. Actress Jessica Alba and wrestler Shawn Michaels lived in Del Rio briefly while they were kids. Over 50 movies and TV shows were filmed in whole or in part in the Del Rio area. There are two districts and 2 individual locations in Del Rio listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the sites is archaeological and access is restricted.