After 22 years in the air force, Water 2 Wine–founder John McFadden established his first custom winery in San Antonio seven years ago. Already the business has spread as far as Milwaukee to the north and Denver to the west, bringing the country's vinophiles more than 100 wines, each of which are fermented on site and available for tastings every day. Those who want to get more involved in the crafting process may sign up to make their own wine and steep themselves in each step of the operation, from selecting the grape varieties, beginning the fermentation process, withstanding a wait of about 45 days, and finally christening their creation by smashing a tiny boat against the bottle. All custom-made wines are plastered with personalized labels made from one of Water 2 Wine’s templates or images that customers design from the ground up.
Stretching across more than 6 miles, Lady Bird Lake's tranquil waters reflect the Austin skyline, the cliffs at Red Bud Isle, and the Congress Avenue Bridge, home to the largest urban bat population in the world. Throughout the year, Rowing Dock’s instructors take visitors into this manmade lake and teach them to paddle in kayaks or row within stand-up paddleboards. For customers who feel comfortable with their paddling prowess, the staffers rent everything from one-, two- and three-person kayaks, paddleboats and paddleboards, and canoes. As these human-powered vessels float across the lake, passengers can view the area's many native birds or canoodle with their oars at sunset.
Working in teams of two, participants straddle either tandem or single-person bikes at the starting line. Together, teams decipher eight clues hidden in riddles and pictures that will lead them to their next destination. By cycling along bike trails in search of photo ops, the Austin Riddle Ride gives competitors a fun reason to explore their city and get outside beyond the reach of their television sets and codependent couches. Taking part in the Riddle Ride gives a spiritual boost beyond the physical benefit as well because profits from the event will go to Stand Up for Kids, a non-profit that organizes outreach programs to help stabilize homeless youths.
Barton Springs Bike Rental outfits fun seekers for bike rides across Austin's historic pathways and scenic landscapes. The shop dispenses single-speed beach cruisers to riders along with lights, baskets, locks, and access to roadside assistance in the event of a flat tire or never-ending parade of ducklings crossing the road. The crew's routes include the 90-minute Peace, Love & Zilker Tour—an easy jaunt past sights such as the Auditorium Shores, the old railroad bridge, and Barton Springs Pool—and the Congress Avenue Bat Tour, an evening trek to witness the world's largest colony of urban bats. Guides narrate the history and significance of local sights, giving guests plenty of opportunities to stop and snap pictures or refill their bicycle’s feedbag.
Texas River School uses our Rivers as classrooms to teach and reinforce traditional academic subjects to inner city youths; to introduce important personal growth initiatives like leadership, self discipline and civic responsibility and to foster a life long connection to and affection for Texas waterways.
Feel the thrill as last year's Southwest Division champs (and the only Austin-area women's football team) steamroll the opposition in true champion fashion, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that they do it in stilettos. Watch linebacker Sekethia "Gran' Ma Ma" Tejada, defensive lineman Jessica "Lieutenant Dan" Arispe, and quarterback Marisa "Cookie" Rivas take on all comers and some others who didn't even come but had it coming anyway. And don't expect any shortened fields, wussy tear-away flags, or altered rules just because the players have little use for a cup—this is straight-up football, right down to the earth-shaking QB sacks, high-flying Hail Marys, and tackles that pack their own crater.