Concan, not Cancun!

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Concan, not Cancun!

Photo: Flickr / Knowsphotos

Unlike Cancun, where a passport is needed, Concan is an unincorporated resort community just north of Uvalde, nestled along the Frio River in the southern Texas hill country.  It doesn’t have white, sandy beaches, palm trees, or Margaritaville, but what it does have is a clear, rock bottomed river , lined with hundred year old Cypress trees that you can either float down on a tube, paddle in a kayak or canoe or better yet, unfold your favorite lawn chair, plop it down in the cool water, reach into the Yeti and crack open an ice-cold beverage ~  passport needed!

Concan, not Cancun!

Photo: Daniel Gillaspia/UponArriving.com

Concan was settled somewhere in the early 1840’s and according to local lore, was named after a Mexican card game, “coon can.”  The peaceful settlement was inhabited by fur traders, the postmaster and sheep and cattle ranchers; growing to an estimated 150 residents by 1884, but by the turn of the century, the community had dwindled down to about twenty folks.  Two of those folks were rancher, Tom Neal and his wife, Vida.  In 1926, Tom and Vida founded Neal’s Lodges and Dining Room, paving the way for the former ranching community to become one of the most beloved and visited tourist spots in the state.   Today the population is close to 200 residents but when the summer peak season begins, the community is busting at the seams with close to 4000 people, who just like the early settlers, are still enjoying the cool waters of the Frio and mild weather.

Concan, not Cancun!

Photo: Neal’s Lodges

Concan is still home to Neal’s Lodges, but now has literally hundreds of homes, condos, duplexes, and various other camping facilities that are filled to capacity from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Tourist flock to this area to tube the river, dance the night away at Joe Jimmys or the House Pasture, take in a chicken-fried steak and rolls at Neal’s Dining Room, shop at Andy’s on River Road and the Dry Fifty, or pick up last minute items at the Neal’s store, Frio Country store or Concan General Store.   Concan is also nine miles south of Garner State Park; another Texas iconic destination.

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