The Max Golf Course, Laredo

While going through my 200 morning emails, I almost deleted one I thought was going to tell me a deceased Arab general left me $1.5 million. Instead, it said, “We’d like to invite you to visit Laredo, stay in a nice hotel, and review the Max Golf Course.” Since it didn’t ask for my social security number, bank account, or other personal information, I said, “Absolutely, and when?”

A few weeks later, my wife and I tossed the golf clubs and some new golf balls in the Jeep and pumped up the bike tires. I knew they’d remain on the bike rack because I’m not a fan of bike rides in 100 degree heat. After inflating the tires, we added a cooler of beer for good measure and set off for Laredo.

Visit the Laredo Visitors Bureau for more information ranging from accommodations to museums and events to sports teams, and more.

Driving to Laredo

butterflies on the windshield

The trip to Laredo was uneventful. Well, except for the wife not liking her gas station Subway sandwich and the bug juice splattered all over the windshield and grill. Then there were the thousands of 18 wheelers clogging the highway prior to entering Laredo. It turns out we were driving through the annual migration of millions of butterflies flying over 2800 miles from Canada and the Northern U.S. on their way to Mexico. They were everywhere, and by the time we got to Laredo, we could barely see through the butterfly-streaked windshield. I felt a bit sorry for the hundreds of butterflies that ended their long journey on our windshield and grill when they were so close to their destination.

Laredo is the biggest inland port in the United States. Their economy is based on international trade with Mexico. As such, most major transportation companies have a facility in Laredo, which is the reason for all of the trucks in and around the town. The butterfly-splattered windshields meant that all of the truck washes and car washes had very long lines!

History of La Posada Hotel

La Posada Hotel

Our first stop was the La Posada Hotel in the heart of downtown Laredo and three blocks from the Rio Grande River. The border town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico is just a stone’s throw away.

From the hotel’s parking garage, we walked past a beautiful courtyard and pool and into a lobby with a sweeping curved staircase and Spanish wrought-iron balusters. Plus, it had Italian marble floors with an inlaid image of a coin. It was obvious that La Posada deserved its AAA’s Four Diamond award of excellence.

Wow! We didn’t expect such an outstanding and classy hotel, rich with history. That history includes:

  • Built in 1916, the main building served as a jail, then Laredo’s first high school. In 1937, it was converted to an elementary school and transformed into the La Posada Hotel in 1961;
  • What is now The Tack Room, a fine dining restaurant, was the first telephone exchange for Laredo and Nuevo Laredo just eight years after Alexander Graham Bell obtained the first telephone patent. Built in 1883, by 1924, it had serviced more than 2,000 customers;
  • The San Agustin Ballroom originally served as an old Spanish Convent;
  • The Republic of the Rio Grande Museum, a part of the hotel, served as the capital of the Republic of the Rio Grande in 1840. The republic declared itself an independent country for 283 days making Laredo and the surrounding area the only portion of Texas to have served under seven flags.

A Look Inside La Posada Hotel

La Posada Hotel, established in 1961, is currently one of Laredo’s most recognized landmarks and Laredo’s only Four Diamond Hotel. As the city’s largest hotel with 206 rooms, it’s still considered a boutique hotel with a fusion of Old World Charm and New World Luxury. After a complete renovation, La Posada was recognized by Expedia as the number one hotel in Texas due to the superior quality of service and extraordinary attention to detail.

Some of the La Posada amenities include:

  • Two beautiful pools, one with a swim-up bar
  • Fitness center
  • Two fine dining restaurants – Zaragoza Grill and The Tack Room – with award-winning cuisine
  • Republic of the Rio Grande Museum
  • A jacuzzi
  • A laundromat, business center, and concierge
  • WBCA Museum
  • San Agustin Ball Room
One of the pools at La Posada
Our room at La Posada
Fitness Center

Our Room At the La Posada Hotel in Laredo

We dropped our bags off in a well done and comfortable room overlooking the pool and walked around downtown. We passed a lot of shops in search of a bar and happy hour!

After a few drinks and several games of dominoes (I’m pleased to say that I finally beat my wife!), we walked back to have dinner at La Posada’s Zaragoza Grill. It’s been recognized by Texas Monthly as one of the Top 50 Mexican Restaurants in Texas. It fuses the subtle, the spicy, and the robust and savory in combinations that both surprised and delighted us. We enjoyed a delicious Poblano Bisque (Poblano cream soup, cilantro, tomato, and served with tortilla strips and a huge Texas Wedge Salad with apple-wood smoked bacon, candied pecans, tomato, and blue cheese dressing). We also had a very tasty Grilled Chicken Chapleted Pasta with mushrooms, zucchini, parmesan, and chipotle crema. The Queso Fresco Tenderloin with cilantro tortilla rice, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and chile guajillo butter was terrific with a couple of delicious margaritas.

The tenderloin may have been the best steak I’ve ever had. It was cooked to perfection, perfectly seasoned, and very tender! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Delicious pasta at Zaragoza
Zaragoza dinning room
tenderloin at Zaragoza

Golfing At The Max

After a very good breakfast at Zaragoza Grill the next morning, we drove 10 miles or so to the northwest side of town to play golf at The Max A Mandel Municipal Golf Course, known as The Max.

Since opening in late 2012, The Max has won a number of awards and accolades, the most recent being named in the Top 15 Golf Courses in Texas by Based on our rating, we added the course to our list of the Best Public Courses in Texas.

The Max has almost a mile of riverfront along the Rio Grande (four holes play adjacent to and above the river). The layout winds through 270 acres of sandy terrain, native vegetation, deep arroyos, some farmland, and lots of mesquite trees. There are no homes, barking dogs, or sirens; it’s just you and nature, some cute bunnies, and lots of birds. In my case, however, no birdies!

With yardages ranging from 4,769 to 7,220 yards, and with five sets of tees, the course is playable by all skill levels and can be demanding from the back tees. Some of what makes The Max one of the best golf courses in Texas include:

  • A fun layout that leverages the unique terrain
  • Wide, forgiving fairways and huge greens
  • Some intriguing risk-reward opportunities
  • Very good conditions
  • Excellent and friendly service
  • Very affordable rates. 

The food at the grill is also excellent, and the clubhouse has an upper patio with a magnificent view of the river and Mexico. Read our review to learn more about The Max Golf Course.

The Max golf course in Laredo
A golf hole at the Max in Laredo
golf hole at the Max

Two Grills and a Swimming Pool

the pool at La Posada

After a good lunch at the Las Islites Grill in The Max Clubhouse, it took us a couple of minutes to change into our bathing suits and jump into the La Posada pool to cool off. In my case, I had to wash away all the sand from my being in so many bunkers at The Max. I’m pretty sure that I also took a short snooze on the comfortable pool lounge chairs and most likely snored, which is why no one was around me when I woke up.

A quick change of clothes and we were at the Zaragoza Grill for a good happy hour. Drinks were reasonably priced.

cathedral at San Agustin

As I sipped my first margarita, I thought the grill had turned on the radio to a rousing Mariachi band. It turns out that San Agustin Plaza, just outside the hotel’s front door and across the street, was getting ready for the Viva Mexico event. There was a dress rehearsal going on that evening. We got to listen to a couple of good singers and bands, and watched several dance groups. After that, we took a look at the Cathedral of San Agustin, built in 1872 and adjacent to the hotel. It’s a very impressive building, but the main tower is starting to lean, or it could have been due to Happy Hour. When my wife commented on the lean, I felt much better!

dancers at Viva Mexico
activities in the Laredo Plaza
Viva Mexico event in Laredo

The Tack Room

After all that, we walked back to the other corner to have dinner in La Posada’s The Tack Room restaurant, Laredo’s premier steakhouse.

The Tack Room is located within what was a historic lovely Victorian home that used to serve as the meeting point for the late former mayor and his friends. They would cross the river to visit the racetrack in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Additionally, this site was home to Laredo’s first telephone exchange.

The legendary eatery has a beautiful veranda overlooking the San Agustin Plaza, and a spectacular bar. We enjoyed a fantastic creamy Lobster Bisque with big chunks of lobster and a hint of brandy with two delicious salads from the salad bar.

Wednesday night was Prime Rib Night. I loved the perfectly cooked, tender, juicy, and huge slab of prime rib. The wife enjoyed a Gulf Coast Red Snapper with Spanish olives, capers, and a Veracruz sauce that was excellent.

After conversing with some friendly folks at the bar, we waddled back to our room for a good night’s sleep. We were maxed out on drinks, food, golf, and fun times.

The Tack Room in Laredo
Tack Room Bar
prime rib at the Tack Room

On a previous trip to Laredo, we enjoyed some good restaurants, live music at Rumors, golf at Casa Blanca Golf Course, and biking and camping at Lake Casa Blanca International State Park.

Casa Blanca Golf Course
Rumors nightclub
Lake Casa Blanca State Park

If you’re looking for something to do, we highly recommend Laredo.

Mike Sharp
Author: Mike Sharp

I have a passion for travel and outdoor activities, and now I'm enjoying retired life. I will continue my traveling, golfing, boating, and enjoying life all across the great state of Texas.

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