Sports Capital of Texas
December 1, 2009
Filed under Destinations
Welcome to Round Rock, voted one of the safest and best cities to live in by various national polls, and an outstanding center in which to watch, enjoy and play sports of almost every ilk. Of course, parades and festivals go hand-in-hand with the numerous competitions held here, and spectators will appreciate the color and festivities from Christmas to Easter to the 4th of July and beyond. This is a town that puts its all into celebrations and opens its doors to passers-by.
Visitors should consider a self-guided walking tour begun at the Chamber of Commerce on E. Main Street to familiarize themselves with the history of Round Rock, a town made famous by the Chisholm Trail and infamous by the gunfights of Sam Bass and the con jobs of Soapy Smith. The trail did a great deal to put the area on the map as cattle drivers pushed thousands of heads of cattle from the Rio Grande to Kansas, where the beef was sold to eastern markets. Beautifully sculptured bronze statues depict life along the trail from 1867 to 1884. The gunfights, on the other hand, created headlines for the town when the Texas Rangers captured the American train robber, Sam Bass, who is buried in the city cemetery.
While at the Chamber of Commerce it is wise to check out the crowded calendar of sporting events in the town, and try to plan accordingly. More than half a dozen golf courses, a family aquatic center, numerous tennis courts, skating rinks and bowling allies, tracks, stadiums and fields abound, but two locations share center stage here. First, Dell Diamond is the home of the Round Rock Express, a Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. The stadium seats more than 10,000 guests, and has recently added special suites. Concessions are conveniently placed, and the Diamond features theme nights and special giveaways. Second, Old Settlers Park at Palm Valley can keep RVers busy for a few days with its miles of walking trails, 20 baseball fields, five softball fields, two football fields, two soccer fields, two sand volleyball courts, 12 tennis courts, a 21-hole disc golf course, three playgrounds and concession stands. And if that’s not sufficient to hold back boredom, an aquatic center may do the trick.
Of course in a town known for its sports and sports centers, it’s not surprising to
also discover northeast Metropolitan Park, Williamson County Park, Clay Madsen Recreation
Center and Lake Creek Park, all offering an assortment of activities and amenities. All
these activities are certain to create appetites and Round Rock does not disappoint when it
comes to down-home local fare. Consider Johnny T’s Barbeque, Pok-E-Jo’s, Rudy’s Country
Store and BBQ, and Smokey Mo’s BBQ for some of the Lone Star State’s best barbeque. If you
have a hankerin’ for Tex-Mex, then Garcia Café, La Margarita, Que Pasa or Morelia Grill
will fill the bill.
For the shopaholics in the group, the Round Rock Premium Outlets on N.
IH-35 feature 120 designer shops and a 14-screen theater, and bookworms will delight to the
Round Rock Library on East Main Street.
The town is very proud of the many conference
centers and meeting rooms, including the Forest Creek Country Club and Reunion Ranch, where
RVers interested in family gatherings can spread out and enjoy the comfortable
The actual round rock that marked the low-water crossing does exist and can
be viewed near Chisholm Trail Street in the middle of Brushy Creek in the area known as Old
Town. Many of the original buildings from the time of Jesse Chisholm still exist and are
worth a visit.
For campgrounds and RV parks in the area, consult your 2010 Trailer Life RV Parks,
Campgrounds & Services Directory. For more information on the town, go to www.sportscapitaloftexas.com.