Destination: Round Rock, Texas

Destination: Round Rock, Texas, For Baseball Fever
ROUND ROCK, The Sports Capital of Texas features Nolan Ryan’s Express Triple-A Team at Dell Diamond ballpark

 

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Spring is here, and a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of baseball. A trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, is obvious, but too difficult to get to. So where does one go for the fun and the furor?

To Round Rock, Texas. Yes, Round Rock– just outside of Austin, in the Central Texas area. Very accessible to check it out.

“Game On!” is the mantra at the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Round Rock. They lure you to their beautiful little city by calling it The Sports Capital of Texas, “because we’re a little crazy about sports around here,” all the locals admit.

That’s true, especially if you get them talking about their home team, the Round Rock Express. It’s a triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. The team is owned and nurtured by the “Ryan Express” himself– baseball legend Nolan Ryan, the Hall of Fame pitcher. And Ryan and his family are often around to support the team.

The modern Dell Diamond ballpark features the Round Rock Express games. Fans and visitors enjoy amazing close-up views of the action. Rabid fans seated on the first row behind home plate are actually closer to home plate than the pitchers mound. Fans seated down either the first or third base line are less than 50 feet from the first and third-base line. There are more than 8,000 fixed seats and 3,000 lawn seats in the unique outfield turf area.

Year-round, the Dell Diamond is also the site for amateur sporting events, as well as music concerts, craft shows and other fun-loving events.

Baseball’s not your game? Well, if there’s a game to play, Round Rock has a place to play it. With tournament-class facilities, including over 500 acres of playing fields. Plus there are seven great golf courses, all designed by well-known course designers, and all open to the public. Bring your own clubs, or rent.

Forest Creek Golf Club, Teravista, White Wing, Legacy Hills, Blackhawk, Avery Ranch and The Golf Club at Star Ranch are all in the Austin/Round Rock area. And the weather at this time is just great for being outdoors, digging divots rather than your own garden.

When the weather heats up there’s the new Rock’n’River Family Aquatic Center. The finest in the state, located within Old Settlers Park. It’s enormous, complete with a lazy river, crazy slides and a water playground.

The town has amenities to satisfy every visitor, and offers more than 2,000 hotel rooms, which puts the city into the major leagues of hostelries.

Because of its proximity to Austin, the smaller town of Round Rock offers the same kind of amenities– at a less expensive rate, and with every type of attraction which would lure anyone and everyone, be it for vacation and play time, for conventions, for meetings, or just for a getaway adventure.

For families who like to travel and vacation together, Round Rock is as easy to find as the IH-35, since so many hotels and motels are on that highway. One of the newest is the Best Western Executive Inn with large family rooms and many amenities.

Round Rock was so-named in 1854 because there was a round rock near Brushy Creek along the Chisholm Trail. That trail became famous for the cattle drives that moved through Round Rock on the way to Abilene, Kansas. So a trip to the “Old Town” area of Round Rock is a stroll through history. The old Saint Charles Hotel is still standing, along with other historic buildings.

Some famous gunfights have been held around these parts, so you’ll hear tall tales about the gunslingers. Folk are more sociable and peaceable these days, but the legends live on as part of your sightseeing experiences.

What else can you do in the area. Heck, there’s a tennis complex; football stadiums and soccer fields; a great ice rink nearby; a hitting zone in town (for would-be sluggers), paintball and pools for the kids; a scary ghost tour (shivers); movie complexes and community theater.

Food? You name the type of grub you prefer (from Chuck-E-Cheese to gourmet cuisine), you can find it in Round Rock.

Shucks, Round Rock wants to “play ball” with you!


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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