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The Carrizo Springs Destination encompasses a portion of Texas’ southwestern region, bordered by Coahuila, Mexico, to the west. Carrizo Springs, the namesake, occupies 3.10 square miles of land in the southern region of the destination. Historical sites characterize the city of Carrizo Springs and its vicinity throughout Dimmit County, many of which are churches and schools that date back to when the first settlers began developing the community in the 19th and 20th centuries. Another city located in the destination is Del Rio, which can also be found in relatively close proximity to the Amistad National Recreation Area. With an estimated population of 34,673 residents, Del Rio features a number of sites, attractions, and events that contribute to the city’s culture, including the Whitehead Memorial Museum, Val Verde Winery, George Paul Memorial Bullriding, and the Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center, to name a few. As for the Amistad National Recreation Area, outdoor activities draw a fair amount of tourists to the park, especially those interested in birding, canoeing, fishing, waterskiing, camping, and hunting. Weather Spark’s tourism score suggests future visitors who plan on engaging in outdoor activities travel to Carrizo Springs between early May and late July as well as mid-August and late September for moderate climatic conditions.
Encompassing a mix of cities and rural areas, the Carrizo Springs Destination is situated adjacent to Texas’ border with Coahuila, Mexico. The namesake, Carrizo Springs, is a city in the southern division of the destination that serves as the county seat of Dimmit County, Texas. Carrizo Springs is notably deemed the largest city in the county by population. As of 2023, a total estimation of 4,700 residents have been recorded to be living in Carrizo Springs, with a present annual decline rate of -1.38%. The most recent census in 2020 accounted for a population of 4,901 people—a -4.1% decrease since this census.
Apart from Carrizo Springs, the destination also contains a city called Del Rio. This community may pique the interest of tourists, as the city houses the “oldest continuously running winery in Texas,” the Val Verde Winery. Oftentimes, the city is the setting for various events and festivities, with some of the most prominent being the Independence Day City-Wide Celebration, Cinco de Mayo, Fiesta de Amistad, 16 de Septiembre, and the Fiesta of Flight Air Show. Del Rio’s location near the border shared between Mexico and Texas results in a relatively diverse demographic, with a mix of ethnic and racial backgrounds, namely Mestizo, African-American Seminole, and Tejano. This diversity is evident in many of the attractions and sites that comprise the town. In terms of cuisine, the city’s restaurants generally offer Southwestern dishes at steakhouses and places that serve Tex-Mex food, Mexican cuisine, barbeque, and Mexican pastries known as “Pan Dulce.” For those who are drawn to the historic aspects of Del Rio, the Whitehead Memorial Museum details the culture and history of the city through the mementos of Judge Roy Bean. Pictographs are some of the earliest surviving cultural artifacts of Del Rio, dating back roughly 4,200 years. Several of these pictographs derive from the caverns of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands Archaeological District, which is supposedly designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The majority of the Carrizo Springs Destination is composed of grasslands and wooded areas, with a few cities and communities scattered throughout it. A particularly notable natural site is the Amistad National Recreation Area, located in the destination’s northwestern region. The park’s proximity to several bodies of water gives visitors the opportunity to undertake water recreation. A few popular activities that travelers have engaged in in the past include canoeing, fishing, birding, boating, camping, hunting, bow hunting, and water sports. Amistad National Recreation Area extends approximately 81 miles up the course of the Rio Grande River, 14 miles along the Pecos River, and about 25 miles along the Devils River. Additionally, the neighboring Amistad Reservoir occupies nearly 540 miles of shoreline. In addition to the outdoor activities that can be accessed at the park, the area features a considerable amount of rock art, specifically near the Lower Pecos River, which is “one of the densest concentrations of Archaic rock art in North America.” About seven miles from the Pecos River is the Panther Cave archaeological site, protected by both the Amistad National Recreation Area and the Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site. A fairly wide range of flora and fauna species inhabit the Amistad National Recreation Area, with a total of three plant communities in this region. Within the waters of the park, largemouth, white, and striped bass are relatively common catches, as well as alligator gar, crappie, yellow catfish, and channel catfish. Concerning the wildlife that roams the park’s land, the Amistad National Recreation Area typically receives javelina, white-tailed deer, black-tailed jackrabbits, rock squirrels, Texas banded geckos, nine-banded armadillo, and ringtails.
Slightly south of Amistad National Recreation Area is Kickapoo Cavern State Park. Similar to Amistad NRA, Kickapoo Cavern State Park has a number of trails for hiking, several campsites for campers, and opportunities for geocaching. However, the state park is most commonly known for its bat caves, of which there are 20 that have been found. Stuart Bay Cave and Kickapoo Cavern are the larger two of the total, the latter extending 1,400 feet long as a result of four million years of geological transformation. The bats are typically seen in the caves from the middle of March to the end of October. Visitors to the park can reserve a guided cave tour if they please.
With regard to the climatic conditions of Carrizo Springs, the city experiences a hot semi-arid climate. The summer season is said to be “long, sweltering, and oppressive,” while the winter season is reportedly “short, cool, and dry.” As a general range, temperatures vary in Carrizo Springs between 44°F and 99°F over the course of the year. The average daily high increases to around 92°F during the warm season from May to September. Upon the approach of August—the hottest month of the year in Carrizo Springs—the average high reaches above 98°F. November to February is often considered the cool season, as temperatures drop below 72°F, though the coldest month in Carrizo Springs tends to be January, with average temperatures ranging from 45°F to 67°F. Visitors who plan on undertaking warm-weather activities during their travels to the Carrizo Springs Destination may find that early May to late June and mid-August to late September typically experience moderate temperatures that can provide the environment for such activities. Concerning the amount of precipitation that the city receives, April to October frequently has the highest number of wet days compared to other times of the year, averaging a greater than 17% chance of a given day being a wet day. Potentially critical thunderstorms have been known to form during the spring and occasionally the fall, presumably on account of the moisture that rises from the Gulf of Mexico, which is channeled along the Rio Grande River.
Akin to other springs in the area, Carrizo Springs was named after the cane grass that would grow around these local springs; “Carrizo” is said to be the Spanish term for this type of cane grass. In addition to being known as the largest city in Dimmit County, Carrizo Springs is also “the oldest community” in the county. When Levi English—a pioneer who temporarily resided with the Comanche Indians—and a group of settlers founded the settlement in 1865, Carrizo Springs’ economy primarily depended on ranching throughout the latter part of the 19th century. As local farmers started utilizing water from 30 artesian wells in the region to irrigate cropland, Carrizo Springs’ development began to improve circa 1904, especially with the establishment of a railroad spur for the San Antonio, Uvalde, and Gulf Railroads. As such, the town’s population increased to around 1,200 residents. While Carrizo Springs’ economy had experienced this significant development for a few years, its progress was eventually hindered by a drought. However, in the 1920s, the architecture of the 1884 Italianate Courthouse was updated to display a more popular fashion of its time, redesigned in the Classical Revival style as an effort to continue the town’s advancement. More recently, the exploitation of the Eagle Ford Shale formation manifested an “oil and gas boom” in Carrizo Springs.
A fair amount of historic landmarks are scattered throughout Carrizo Springs, starting with the El Camino Real—also known as the King’s Highway. This route is reportedly “the only highway in Texas to be created by an act of the Legislature.” Meandering across the southern portion of Dimmit County, El Camino Real spans from Mexico City to Washington, D.C. Furthermore, the city’s central division is home to the original First Baptist Church of Carrizo Springs, situated adjacent to a comparatively modern parish. While this church is presently inoperable, the site bears historical significance in the community. Other noteworthy landmarks in Carrizo Springs that visitors may take an interest in include Asher House in Asherton and Indian Battle.