When you first look at a map of Texas you will notice that Fort Hood is nearly slap dab in the middle of the state. And since Texas is so big you may be a little concerned about being in the middle of the state and having tumbleweeds rolling around the barren land. But this is not the case of this area at all.
The city directly outside the gates of Fort Hood is Killeen. With Killeen’s population hovering around 130,000 people there is no need to fret over being caught in a Texas ghost town. Killeen offers many shopping and entertainment opportunities for everyone. And if you ask me, any city that has a Red Lobster is a city I can live in/near. Killeen’s official website can be found here. Be sure to check out that link to find everything from school information to who will be your trash collector if living offpost.
Fort Hood is also a city within a city more or less. With nearly 42,000 troops assigned to Fort Hood it is our largest military installation. And with that many troops and families you could imagine that there is a whole lot being offered to our families on a regular basis to make our lives a little more enjoyably. For those of you who find some “rasslin” to be fun, the World Wrestling Entertainment(WWE) hosts a Tribute to the Troops each year and you may remember back in 2010 the great job they did for the families and troops of Fort Hood. That is just one of the many entertainment organizations that make their way to Fort Hood.
You may also already know that one of the key components to making our lives a little more pleasurable is the MWR. With Fort Hood being so large they have a VERY active and busy MWR schedule. I would highly encourage the Fort Hood MWR website to be one of the very first websites you familiarize yourself with as it looks as if the opportunities they offer are nearly endless.
Besides hosting annual events, as well as always bringing in new acts and entertainers to put some smiles on the faces of our families, the Fort Hood MWR is also responsible for a year round outdoor recreation area known as BLORA(Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area). At BLORA your family can enjoy paddle boats, canoe trips, water slides into the lake as well as camping and RV opportunities. There are several playgrounds and pavilions at your disposal so consider this a place to have your child’s birthday party. You of course will become familiar with the property because many units use it for their social gatherings.
If you are looking for the big city cultural events you will have to travel a little bit, but without a doubt I think that traveling and exploring whatever region we are in is one of the greatest perks we receive.
For a long 4 day weekend (or a block leave vacation) you can take a 4-5 hour drive down to Corpus Christi and enjoy the beach and some salt water fishing.(mmmmm…. seafood-can you tell I am a Florida boy in Kansas?) Be sure to check out AFVC (Armed Forces Vacation Club) for some SUPER deals wherever you are going anytime you travel. Depending on availability you could easily get a 2 bedroom timeshare for a full week for less than it would cost you for 2-3 nights at a hotel. And who doesn’t want a vacation overlooking the ocean like you would find on AFVC at Corpus Christi.
If you are looking for a day trip you are in luck since you are stationed at Fort Hood as well. Fort Hood is right around 2.5 hours away from Dallas/Ft Worth and 2.5 hours away from San Antonio.
In the Dallas/Ft Worth area you have an endless amount of entertainment at your disposal. Everything from theatre to a team representing each of the 4 professional sports leagues(MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA). In Ft Worth they have the Stockyards. At the Stockyards you can step back in time and get that cowboy feel we all associate with Texas. Just be careful, you may be walking down the street and all of a sudden there will be a real live cattle drive going on.
Down in San Antonio you can enjoy some of the greatest TexMex dining you will ever find. Some may say that San Antonio is the birthplace of TexMex. While that is debatable, there is no debating the significance the San Antonio area played in shaping not only Texas and the region, but our nation. On the “must do list” while stationed at Fort Hood you just have to head to San Antonio to see the Alamo. Nestled right in the middle of San Antonio’s business/historic district and in the shadows of many large buildings is the spot that Davie Crockett and Jim Bowie gave their lives defending. And for many of us checking out places like The Alamo are what makes a PCS something to look forward to.
Just a short 90 minute drive from Fort Hood is Austin. Austin is the capitol of Texas and as you would expect there is a plethora of shopping and dining experiences to take in. According to Army wife Anne Coglianese, “In Austin, the possibilities are endless, but for a ‘let’s blow our budget and have a really romantic dinner’; I would go for the Driskill Bar and Grill or III Forks, both in Austin.” Austin is also home to a zoo, a children’s museum, a dino park and of course the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Library and Museum.
***For more information regarding Fort Hood, be sure to check out our official Post With The Most segment found on Army Wife Network’s website. You can click herefor the link.***