Nicknamed "La Puerta de Mexico," the doors of Eagle Pass open to a diverse city with roots in both America and Mexico.
Rugged Eagle Pass has a history that spans two countries and multiple civilizations. With strong ties to the wild west of Americana lore, the glory of Mexican tradition and the majesty of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, Eagle Pass is a city rich in cultural diversity. In more recent years, Eagle Pass has rushed to modernize, building up its strip malls and mini marts while its sister city Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico committed itself to open air markets and more traditional Spanish architecture. But Eagle Pass still has plenty of idiosyncrasies. You just have to know where to look!
Tips for Moving
Get Ready for the Heat
Eagle Pass has a hot semi-arid climate, which means that it gets scorching in the summers. So while you don't need to expect the record-breaking 115-degree temperature the town saw in August of '44, you may want to pick a non-summer month to move. With little or no snow during the winter months, the only bad time to move to Eagle Pass is during the heat waves of July and August.
Get a Car (Or Get Used to Walking)
If you want to get to the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino, busing is not a workable option in Eagle Pass. To get around town, it's best to have a car. Splurge for a working air conditioner. While heated seats might not be necessary, AC definitely will be crucial as you drive around the great state of Texas.
Look for the Pool
As you search online and tour apartment complexes, stay on the lookout for pools. A cool dip or suntan poolside will feel amazing after a long day at work. And with warm temperatures starting in April and continuing through September or October, you'll get plenty of use out of your apartment pool.
Take a Pre-Trip
As you peruse listings for 1 and 2 bedroom apartments for rent online, remember that you won't get a sense of location or the surrounding community unless you visit. Take advantage of this face time and get a sense of where you want to be located. Do you want to be near the malls of downtown Eagle Pass? Or are you looking to embrace the quiet beauty of the desert landscape? Take your time and explore a few prospective neighborhoods.
Downtown Eagle Pass: The Mall de las Aguilas is billed as Eagle Pass' "premier shopping experience," and once you go inside it will feel like, well, every other shopping mall you've ever been to. Located at the heart of Eagle Pass, it has come to exemplify the downtown scene: fast food, chain stores and generic Tex-Mex trinkets marketed as "culture." But if you head just a few minutes west, you'll find the Maverick County Lake, a lovely respite from Mall de las Aguilas' concrete jungle.
Northern Eagle Pass: If you're looking for places to live in Eagle Pass, the northern neighborhood is the perfect place to start. This heavily residential area of Eagle Pass offers both apartments for rent and rental homes. Keep an eye out for amenities like AC units and pools. You'll be grateful for both come July.
Western Eagle Pass: In western Eagle Pass, you'll find the best country fried chicken this side of the Rio Grande at Rodee's Country Fried Chicken. While the fried chicken and okra is good, the fried gizzards are the standout menu item. Western Eagle Pass boasts the second-largest residential section of the community. Make sure you tour this region during your rental apartment hunt.
Southern Eagle Pass: Just beyond the border of southern Eagle Pass, you'll find the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino. Word around the Rio Grande riverbanks is that the new restaurant isn't all it was marketed to be. But with 250 seats, why not be your own judge? At the very least, you can enjoy the splendid views of the desert and river.
Life in Eagle Pass
Explore Your Sister City
Cross the river via International Bridge I or Camino Real International Bridge II and you'll find yourself just outside the U.S. among the rich beauty of Piedras Negras, Coahuila. Explore the lovely open-air market, Mercado Zaragoza. Known by locals as just "El Mercado," you'll find hand-made leather goods, ceramic vases, artisanal clay goods and many other arts and crafts items. Make sure you try some of the traditional Mexican candy. Both spicy and sweet, you may have a hard time choosing amongst these brightly colored candies. Make sure you get your border-pass before you visit your new sister city -- you can't cross the border without it.
Live on the Edge
The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas is headquartered in Eagle Pass. Just outside the city limits, the tribe runs the only casino in Texas. The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel is a draw for both tourists and locals. Boasting thousands of electronic gaming machines and a 250-seat restaurant, you have to be careful not to get lost in the Lucky Eagle. Even if gambling isn't your idea of recreational activity, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino might be worth a visit simply for the breathtaking views of the Rio Grande river.
Tex-Mex at its Finest
Eagle Pass offers a variety of cultural delights. Whether you're looking for fast food or authentic cuisine, expect to be impressed. But come ready for the spice -- Midwestern bland, this is not. The town of Eagle Pass celebrates its heritage and cultural diversity with fresh ingredients cooked the Tex-Mex way. Local favorites include the Charcoal Grill, serving the best burgers for over five decades and Los Tocayos Tacos. Don't be fooled by Los Tocayos Tacos' appearance; the small beef tacos served from the cramped trailer are the best in the city. If you're looking to sit and eat, try La Parrilla. Again, don't judge the food by the building; this red-and-pink shack just off of Highway 277 has a limited menu, but the food is fresh, authentic and incredible. Come with empty stomachs and leave fuller than you've ever been. The wait staff tends to only speak Spanish, so if you aren't quite comfortable in your Spanish language skills yet and you don't want to attempt Spanglish, bring a Spanish-speaking friend.
History Buffs Rejoice!
The town of Eagle Pass saw its share of cattle rustlers and bandits during the pioneer days of the Old West. Part of the mythic "Texas Badlands," Eagle Pass celebrates this history at renovated Fort Duncan. Once a protector of trade and commerce, Fort Duncan is now a public park. Explore the historic grounds and visit the Fort Duncan museum. Converted from the Commander's Headquarters building, the museum now houses exhibitions of local and fort history as well as artifacts. Just south of the park, you can scout the Camino Real, the primary road from Mexico to Texas for over 200 years. Santa Anna used this same road on his way to The Alamo.
Embrace the Cactus
Well, not literally. Rather, embrace the experience of living in one of the most beautiful desert locations Texas has to offer. Whether it's kayaking down the Rio Grande (only the brave need apply) or golfing at the 9-hole course, take advantage of the natural majesty of Eagle Pass.