Located along the west side of South First, it can be easy to confuse Salon Sovay for someone’s home. In fact, the salon has been converted from a house, and one of the white exterior walls is covered by a mural portraying Farrah Fawcett surrounded by several birds. In the entrance waiting room, the sun shines through the large windows, keeping the leather couches warm. Independent stylists work on hair, eyelashes, nails and waxing in the salon’s various rooms, while a metal and glass case and wooden furniture holds jewelry and products. Watercolor and themed artwork hang from the walls, and a second Farrah Fawcett portrait makes an appearance near the back of the salon.
The Austin Park and Recreation department oversees the operation and upkeep of a diverse array of facilities serving the local community, including parks, swimming pools, golf courses, playgrounds, and tennis courts. Visitors can engage in outdoor activities to nurture an appreciation for natural surroundings and add to a burgeoning stick collection, or join artistic programs such as community theater and arts education. The department attained national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, one of just 89 nationwide to receive the honor.
The history of the five full-length municipal golf courses that make up Austin Public Links spans a good portion of the history of the city itself. The story begins with the Hancock Golf Course, a short nine-holer founded in 1899 and named for former Austin mayor Lewis Hancock, Jr. The links-style Roy Kizer Golf Course, meanwhile, was named in honor of the longtime superintendent of the Lions Municipal Golf Course, which played host to the likes of Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. In addition, the Morris Williams Golf Course has been newly reopened after heavy renovations, and the Jimmy Clay Golf Course is also available to golfers.
Taken together, the courses cover a wide range of styles—from the hilly 9 holes of Hancock to the 7,023-yard endurance test at Morris Williams. The Jimmy Clay features traditional tree-lined fairways, whereas the Kizer has a links-style layout with 22 acres of wetlands and 37 acres of lakes.
The stunning Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa deserves the many accolades it regularly receives. Set in the natural Texas Hill Country landscape, this golf resort and luxury spa property covers 4,000 secluded acres west of Austin that includes four championship golf courses, the full-service Three Springs Spa and the 309-room luxury hotel. Guest rooms are stylishly appointed with casual elegance, and all offer great views of the spectacular grounds. Four top-notch dining options onsite and meeting/event facilities are available to guests, but the real draw here is the golf. Fairways abut cliffs and waterfalls, and wildlife is abundant in the natural surroundings. The spa offers many specialty treatments using locally-sourced ingredients, and the gourmet dining here is a real pleasure.