Round Rock is just north of Austin, but it’s a lot more than just overflow for the Texas capital city.
Round Rock gets its name from the real round rock on Chisholm Trail, which goes from the west side to the east side of I-35.
Round Rock ranked ninth in the nation, and earned the top spot in Texas, on a recent list of American boomtowns of 2017. And businesses are getting in on the action. The iconic Nutty Brown Amphitheater that has long been in Dripping Springs is relocating to Round Rock. And there’s also a $200 million mixed-use development in the works, called the District. Also coming in the next few years is a Kalahari resort. It’s set to open across from Dell Diamond.
Dell Diamond is home to the town’s Triple A baseball team, the Round Rock Express. If you’re in town during the season, it’s a great place to catch a game.
Or for an evening of fun, adults love a pub crawl on the town’s Main Street. It features a few craft beer spots, several clubs and even a piano bar that rivals those in Vegas.
If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll enjoy a day outside at the Play for All Abilities Park. It’s an inclusive outdoor park featuring loads of fun activities. For some inside fun, head to Monster Mini Golf for a game of neon glow-in-the-dark putt putt.
Round Rock has delicious food options, including Jack Allen’s. The restaurant been around for several years, but was among the first to launch the farm to table concept. 80 percent of everything they serve is sourced from within a 300-mile radius, including beer and wine. The restaurant has built quite a following, with lines out the door at busy times.
Start your dinner with their signature pimento cheese, served with housemade herb crackers. Then I recommend the chorizo stuffed pork tenderloin medallions or al pastor tacos. And save room for the peanut butter pie.
Chef and owner Jack Gilmore also has another restaurant in Round Rock, Salt Traders Coastal Cooking. It’s an homage to Gilmore’s seafood-eating days, growing up in South Texas. Try their unique smoked salmon cream cheese dip served with housemade kettle chips. Or if you’re lucky, they’ll be offering mini crab tostadas as an appetizer – they’re little bites of heaven.
I found my new favorite Italian restaurant, Palermo’s Pasta House on Main Street. You get to choose from seven homemade pastas, and then pick from three pages of sauces. The bread is flown in from New Jersey and crisps up in the oven to perfection. Note that their full portions are big enough for sharing. And you have to try the flatbread with sausage. It’s what dreams are made of!
You can learn more about these and other Texas destinations in the travel issue of Texas Lifestyle magazine.