4. Texas Rangers (MLB) Location: Arlington, Texas Stadium: Ameriquest Field in Arlington
Resting in suburban Arlington, the bandbox of the Major Leagues (just 400 feet to straightaway center) is otherwise humungous, with a footprint of 1.4 million square feet. Featuring asymmetrical outfield dimensions and a brick exterior, clear throwbacks to early 20th century parks, Ameriquest Field also claims a baseball museum with 135 items from Cooperstown -- the largest collection ever loaned -- and, for now, an offensively-minded team which sits atop the American League West.
5. Fort Worth Cats (Independent, American Association) Location: Fort Worth, Texas Stadium: LaGrave Field
Wedged between downtown Forth Worth and the stockyards, LaGrave Field has existed in two baseball epochs: 1926 to 1964, and 2002 to the present. In the latter stage, it was made famous thanks to Luke Hochevar -- the No. 1 pick in the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft -- who struck out 34 in 22 2/3 innings for the Cats this year. LaGrave was also named the one of the Top 10 Independent Ballparks by Baseball America, in part for its history in Texas and in part for its gorgeous view of the city.
6. Corpus Christi Hooks (Double A -- Houston Astros, Texas League) Location: Corpus Christi, Texas Stadium: Whataburger Field
Clemens' strikeout of Ismael Castro on June 11 indicated that the rehabbing Rocket was in top form, sure. But at Whataburger Field -- where fans win tacos if a Hooks pitcher reaches double-digit Ks -- it also meant a free food bonanza. That's just one of the benefits of Whataburger, which was constructed to feel like a 1920s-era stadium but currently sports an interactive playground, a kid-sized baseball field, a pool and spa, a basketball court, and a rock wall.
1. When you're passing through Round Rock, make sure to head south to Austin, the state capital. The home of the national champion Longhorns also features Sixth Street, friend to tourist and Real World: Austin cast member alike. Seven blocks long, the trendy entertainment district hosts countless clubs and bars which sit among historic buildings that date as far back as the 1800's. Take in live music -- from country, to jazz, to blues, to hip-hop -- while delighting in restaurants which serve everything from seafood to ribs.
2. After taking in the Missions in San Antonio, be sure to, well, remember the Alamo. Maybe the most famous site in Texas, the one-time Spanish mission hosted one of the bloodiest battles in Texan and North American history. Today, you can visit and then relax afterwards at the less historic but probably more pleasurable River Walk. The city's famous pedestrian-only street winds and weaves under bridges, bordered by multitudes of tourist-friendly shops and eateries.
3. Don't forget to take the short walk to LaGrave Field to Fort Worth's stockyards, which happens to house another great Texas tradition: the rodeo. Nearby Stockyards Championship Rodeo runs on Fridays and Saturdays, providing everything from bull riding, to calf roping, to barrel racing. Each night brings live country and western singing, as well. And when you're done with that, check out Fort Worth's National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame -- the only such museum in the world.