Del Rio, Texas: Home of the first international radio stations.
The city of Del Rio, Texas, has a history that spans far earlier than its official incorporation in 1911. In fact, more than a century earlier, Spanish pioneers settled the area around the Rio Grande that would eventually become Del Rio. However, it wasn't until after the Civil War that American settlers would begin buying and developing the area for irrigation purposes. In fact, by the 1870s, the city (which back then was known as San Felipe del Rio) was home to one of the largest agricultural irrigation industries in the United States. Today, Del Rio is a vibrant yet uncrowded city that consists of just more than 20 square miles of land and is home to about 35,600 residents according to the 2010 United States Census.
Moving to Del Rio
There are a number of things to take into consideration before deciding to look at property rentals in Del Rio. First off, the weather can be difficult for those who are used to the Northeast or West Coast climates. Humidity is considerable for a significant portion of the year, and the weather does get fairly hot from May until October, with average daily temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s for the majority of that period. Don't forget to avoid these hotter months when finally making your move to Del Rio.
If you are content with the weather, you are fortunate to have a number of options for rental properties, including houses to rent, and even apartments with paid utilities. The median home price has remained fairly stable over the past few years, and an increasing number of landlords are providing incentives to potential renters to reduce vacancies in certain parts of town. If you are serious about moving to Del Rio, it is worth your while to visit the city and determine which specific neighborhoods have landlords offering the best deals; doing so could literally save you thousands of dollars per year.
Neighborhoods in Del Rio
Despite its relatively small population (when compared to some of the larger metropolitan areas of Texas and the United States), Del Rio offers a number of distinct neighborhoods that suit a variety of personal tastes and preferences. The following are a few of the most popular and noteworthy:
Comalia: Comalia is located in one of the southernmost parts of the city. It is right on the United States and Mexico border, and is in fact the primary route that travelers between the two countries take crossing the border. Comalia has a number of 1-bedroom apartments available; however, there are detached single-unit homes as well.
San Felipe: San Felipe is named after the original name of the town (San Felipe del Rio), and the neighborhood is actually the part of town that was first settled by Spanish pioneers more than 200 years ago. That rich history is clearly evident in this part of town, and it remains the cultural center of Del Rio.
Eastside: Eastside is one of the commercial centers in Del Rio, however there are plenty of residential options here as well. One of the big benefits of Eastside is its proximity to the Val Verde Regional Medical Center as well as several well-maintained public parks.
Cienegas Terraces: If you are looking for a more rustic and rural experience, Cienegas Terraces is a neighborhood worth checking out. Located on the outskirts of the city, Cienegas Terraces is primarily occupied by ranches. However, there are a few options for those interested in renting a home here as well. If you want to be close to town but also want the quiet that comes with the rural lifestyle, this might be the neighborhood for you.
Box Canyon Estates: Similar to Cienegas Terraces, Box Canyon Estates is a rural area just outside the main part of town. Although the real estate prices are somewhat higher here than in Cienegas, it is still surprisingly affordable if you take the time to look at the available rental options. If you check out Cienegas Terraces and can't find what you want, be sure to check out the options available in Box Canyon Estates.
Things to Do in Del Rio
While the modern-day name of the city is Del Rio, it wasn't known by that name until 1883. It was in that year that residents of what was then known as San Felipe del Rio requested that the United States Postal Service open a post office in their town. To simplify the administrative logistics of addressing mail, the city shortened their name from "San Felipe del Rio" to simply "Del Rio."
Due to its geographic location, Del Rio has been home to numerous national milestones. During the 1960s, Del Rio was home to two of the most well-known Mexican radio stations of all time. The XERF and XERA radio stations both had an American presence in Del Rio, and their massively powerful transmission towers could be heard as far as Canada, making them the first mainstream radio stations to reach more than three different countries.
Del Rio is also home to the iconic Laughlin Air Force Base, which played a pivotal role throughout the Cold War. The Air Force base was originally closed after World War II but was reopened in the early 1960s due to increasing pressure from the Soviet Union. What made Laughlin Air Force Base so unique and important was the fact that, due to its remote location (relative to major bodies of water that the Soviet Union could access), it was ideal for testing top secret experimental programs for the United States Air Force and Armed Forces. Even to this day, the military apparatus that has developed around Laughlin Air Force Base is the single largest employer in Del Rio.
With such a rich history, there is no shortage of culturally enriching activities in Del Rio. One of the most interesting is the Val Verde Winery, which is located in the original center of town (today known as "San Felipe"). The Val Verde Winery has been in continuous operation for many decades, and today holds the distinction of being the oldest privately owned winery currently operating in the United States.
If you prefer enjoying the sun and the water, Lake Amistad is a great place to spend the day. Thanks to the warm climate in Del Rio, the lake is open year-round, and there are numerous structured activities to partake in, including scuba diving, water-skiing, and various boat rentals. In addition, Lake Amistad is perfect for enjoying a hike in nature, and there are even designated areas for camping and hunting.
Del Rio also has several transportation options for getting into and out of the city. Amtrak offers a regular rail service that connects Del Rio to El Paso and Los Angeles on the westbound route and to San Antonio and New Orleans on the eastbound route. In addition, there are three major highways that make their way through Del Rio, which includes the U.S. Route 377 (connects Del Rio to relatively undeveloped parts of west Texas as well as Fort Worth), U.S. Route 90 (connects Del Rio with San Antonio and El Paso) and U.S. Route 277 (connects Del Rio with San Angelo and Carrizo Springs).
Del Rio is a border town that has a great deal of history and character. If you are looking for a city that is friendly and affordable, Del Rio is worth taking a closer look at.