FORT WORTH — Have you ever been to a rodeo?

If not, it should definitely be added to your “bucket list of things to do” while stationed at Fort Hood.

The Fort Worth Stockyards, a national historic district, is the only location in the world where twice a day, cattle walk down cobblestone roads. The cattle drive is scheduled daily at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

As my cousin and I walked the stockyards, live music and the smell of Tex-Mex cuisine filled the air. Steak house restaurants, boot shops and whiskey bars, went on for miles. Originally born and raised in California, my cousin Angel and I headed straight for a Tex-Mex restaurant, H3 Ranch, we Googled before arriving to the stockyards. The food was great. Ironically, Mexican cuisine is my least favorite food to eat and Angel’s favorite. I always get stuck eating Mexican food with him when we hang out. After a late lunch, we explored the stockyards. We walked into the Beef Jerky Outlet and were immediately given free samples of jerky — we were hooked. I bought five small bags of jerky to send in a care package to my husband, who is currently out of country and Angel bought a bag for himself. Angel, who’s never visited the stockyards before, said he really enjoyed the western-style atmosphere. I’ve visited the stockyards on multiple occasions with my family, and they’ve always enjoyed the experience. The stockyards are the embodiment of western heritage.

At the height of World War I, the Fort Worth Stockyards held the largest livestock market in the world — but this didn’t happen overnight. Mike C. Hurley, president of the Union Stockyards Company, financially could not afford to purchase enough cattle to attract local ranchers. Hurley invited Greenlief W. Simpson, a wealthy capitalist from Boston, to Fort Worth, hoping for him to make an investment in the company. Simpson bought the company on April 27, 1893, and changed the name from Union Stockyards Company to Fort Worth Stockyards Company.

The stockyards are a great place to visit with friends or family. The Fort Worth Stockyards are located two and a half hours north of Fort Hood. For a list of upcoming events at the Fort Worth Stockyards or more information, visit www.fortworthstockyards.org.