Things to Do in Round Rock, Texas
Visit the History
The year is 9,200 B.C.; inhabitants of the area navigate along rivers and streams across the open plains in search of food and shelter. Approximately 11,200 years later, that area is known as Round Rock Texas.
Dinosaurs have been long gone by now, though their footprints and bones remain in the area to this day; and evidence of early inhabitants has been located from the Northern tip of Texas to the Gulf area.
Just imagine the thousands of footsteps and wagon wheels that crossed this land, trekking months on end; to arrive in what was originally known as Brushy Creek to settle down. The small town formed along the creek in a brushy area so it was easy to see how they came about the name.
However, the town became known for a large anvil-shaped rock located in the center of the creek that was used to determine the water levels for safe crossing. It never occurred to anyone that this massive rock was already being used in the mapping of explorations so when a cattleman by the name of Jesse Chisholm came along and suggested the town's new name because of the big "round rock"; well, it only made sense.
The crossing was used so much that there are still wagon wheel tracks embedded in the rock there. (See Picture)
According to public census information; in 1890, the first recorded census, the town had a population of 1,438. In 2011, the estimated population for the area had grown to over 100,000.
The 'kicker' for this little Texas town once built around a large "round rock"? The population is projected to see growth reach the million person mark within the twenty years.
You can actually visit this piece of Round Rock history by stopping by the local park.
See the Famous Bats
And I'm not talking about the hockey team.
Round Rock has become famous for the daily bat show and people come from all over the see this unusual sight.
You may be thinking, you've seen one bat, you've seen them all. But have you seen 1.5 million bats all in the same place at the same time, seemingly working together to form a choreographed routine? Probably not.
Located under the IH 35 and McNeil underpass, hundreds come every year to watch the procession of bats as they exit their daytime getaway about 30 minutes before sundown; making their return just before dawn.
I've always wondered what they are doing all night.
When Michael Dell came to town, he wasn't playing around.
Introducing facilities to Round Rock in the 1990s, modeled after a college campus no less; ironic because he was a UT dropout; Dell Computers brought thousands of jobs to the area. Though he's received criticism for outsourcing jobs; the Dell Computers location is still an operative location.
Of course the Dell corporate location won't be the highlight of your visit but The Dell Diamond, home of the Round Rock Express, might be. The field is a prime destination for avid baseball fans and even those not so interested in baseball because there's nothing better than spending time with the family at the "old ball field". Located off Hwy 79 in Round Rock, just outside of Hutto, The Dell Diamond hosts college games as well such as UT, Baylor and Texas State.
Downtown Round Rock
Historical downtown Round Rock is a short walk because truthfully it's not that big (yet). Nothing compared to downtown Austin of course but still interesting none-the-less and you'll still find live music up and down the street in a couple of the local bars.
Also in downtown Round Rock you'll find the public library, some great mom and pop eateries, an awesome coffee shop and more local history as most of the buildings have been preserved.
Parks and Recreation
There are more parks than people it seems like in this area, but that's only because we love our outdoor activities. If you are looking to have a cookout or relax by the water or looking for a place the kids can run around, you'll be happy to know there are many locations to choose from. Just a few of those parks include:
Bowman Park, Chisholm Trail Crossing Park, Clay Madsen Park, Frontier Park, Kinningham Park, Lake Creek Park, McNeil Park, Old Settlers Park, Round Rock West Park, Somerset Park, Veteran’s Park just to name a few. Some of these parks have rental facilities that are perfect to host any event.
Walking Trails take up about 15 miles of hike and bike trails and expected to grow by leaps and bounds of the next few years.
Some of the current trails available to the general public include:
Brushy Creek East Trail (leads you through the area of the "round rock"), Greater Lake Creek Trail, Old Settlers Park (out by the Dell Diamond), Kensington Trail, and Meadow Lake Trail.
Baseball facilities open to the public can be found at Old Settlers Park while softball facilities can be found there as well McNeil Park and Memorial Park in Round Rock.
If you are looking for a place to shoot some hoops then you will enjoy the courts at the Clay Madsen Park off Gattis School Road, Frontier Park, High Country Park, Lake Creek Park, Settlement Park or Veteren's Park.
Score a touchdown at Old Settlers Park if you are looking for a place to have a family friendly game of football (or soccer).
If you are an avid golfer, then perhaps you'll want to check out the Forest Creek Golf Club.
Playgrounds can be found at each and every park in the Round Rock city. Every park listed throughout this article has a playground area.
Swimming is currently only available at Clay Madsen Recreation Center, Lake Creek Pool, Micki Krebsbach Pool and the city's newest facility (and perhaps the most fun) is the Rock 'n River Family Aquatic Center complete with mini-tubing and super slides.
Tennis courts can be found throughout the city as well at such parks as Clay Madsen, Frontier Park, McNeil Park, Round Rock West Park and Old Settler's Park (though you have to schedule court time there).
And finally, if you are looking for a good sand volleyball game, check out the facilities at Lake Creek Park, Micki Krebsbach Pool, Old Settlers Park and Round Rock West Park.
Round Rock loves the movies, that's part of the reason the city boasts three separate theatres.
Starting with the newest (and more expensive option); Flix Brewhouse is the only theatre of its kind hosting a microbrewery and and full menu of appetizers, salads, pizzas, sandwiches and entrees. Oh and let's not forget the desserts (Bourbon Pecan Pie, Carrot Cake, Tuxedo Cake, Chocolate Torte, Big Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich and Milkshakes ~ is your mouth watering yet?)
Next is the Cinemark 14 theater located in North Round Rock just off IH 35.
The least expensive option to catch a movie in the theater is the Cinemark 8 location, also known as Discount 8 Movies. Tickets usually stay under $3.
Best Places to Eat in Round Rock
- Places to Eat in Round Rock, Texas
If you are looking for places to eat in Round Rock, Texas, here are the top five from my personal favorites list.
Round Rock Zip Codes
78664, 78665, 78680, 78681, 78682, 78683
Just North of Austin
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Visit The Hippo Capital of Texas, Up the Road from Round Rock
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Hutto, Texas is the epitome of small town living. A close-knit community holds it all together while this little town experiences unprecedented growth. If you want to know more about Hutto, read on.
© 2013 Sydney Spence