Lone Star Exotic Rentals's motor heads fulfill driving fantasies by arranging adrenaline-pumping cruises, drawing from a fleet of exotic automobiles that includes makes and models from Lamborghini, Mustang, and Ferrari. Individuals can rent roadsters for up to 24 hours at a stretch, allowing drivers ample time to shout curse words at slow-moving armadillos. Lone Star also offers one-hour excursions, allowing drivers to clutch the steering wheel and downshift through a 15-mile stretch of scenic blacktop.
Ecopocalypse hauls visitors into a future, post-apocalyptic Austin, where human society has crumbled and survivors teeter on the edge of madness as they fight for any remaining water, food, and retired beanie babies. The 15,000-square-foot attraction weaves down allies, through buildings, and underground, sending visitors scrambling around a labyrinth of missing people and through the aisles of an abandoned supermarket. But unlike traditional haunted houses that are filled with zombies and pushy car salesmen, here, the monsters are the hopeless human masses. As they move through scene upon scene of dystopian chaos, visitors may be moved to question their own ability to survive such devastation. Luckily, there's no shortage of delicious sustenance outside the haunt, and guests will find all sorts of treats to calm their nerves—including a full bar and a brightly lit patio—right next door at the event's Foodtopia oasis.
When surveyor Washington Hill wanted a home built on his 17.5 acres outside of Austin, only one master builder would suffice: Abner Cook. Responsible for notable Austin spaces like the Governor's Mansion and the First Presbyterian Church, Cook completed Hill's abode in 1856. By that time, however, the Hills could no longer afford the residence, which the State of Texas soon leased and turned into the Texas Asylum for the Blind. So begat a long line of new identities for the building, which went on to house lieutenant governors, colonels, judges, and, for more than two years during Reconstruction, injured Civil War troops.
Under the care of the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of Texas, Hill's dream home is now the Neill-Cochran House Museum. Emblematic of the structure's Greek Revival style, Doric columns greet visitors before they explore the historic interior on staff- or docent-led tours. These only skim the surface of the museum's activities—frequent happenings range from seminars by leading historians to events for youngsters like the Easter Egg Dye-o-rama. The museum can even be rented for special occasions, including art shows, teas, and weddings.
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.
Texas is known for many things, and Texas Winos wants to make sure that wine is one of them. To bolster their mission, the wine-loving staff of the business whisks visitors away on tours of area vineyards, where they sample an array of varietals while learning about the winemaking process from vintners. It's not all about wine though, as Texas Winos also offers beer tours that travel around the Austin area visiting local breweries. But it's not all drinking and learning. Many tours have themes, including Mardi Gras, Roaring '20s, and Superheroes and Villains, in which customers are encouraged to don apropos ensembles and pretend they can see through wine.
Everyone has a different vision of how their living space should look, which is why ART on 5th fills its three-level, 6,000-square-foot gallery with art to suit all tastes. Works by notable names such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Theodor Seuss Geisel—better known as Dr. Seuss—rub shoulders with rotating collections from some 60 lesser-known artists.
In addition to displaying fine paintings, ART on 5th offers custom-framing services, and backs each of its frames with a lifetime guarantee. The store’s artisans meticulously choose a flattering frame for each piece from more than 3,000 styles—helping artwork mesh stylistically with its destination, be it a living-room wall or an endless hall of mirrors. They eschew colored, paper mats in favor of neutral-toned, hand-wrapped linen mats, leaving some wiggle room between art and frame and imbuing each piece with richness and depth. Each frame is hung with kevlar, a bulletproof material that prevents damage caused by rusted hanging wires and showboating ’80s action-movie stars.