Terrain changes fast in Hill Country. The landscapes on Texas Paintball?s 40 acres, for example, transform from flat, open fields to foothills to wooded valleys. This dynamic terrain naturally lends itself to a variety of playing scenarios, which the owners capitalize on with nine fields such as requisite air-ball and hyperball fields and custom-designed wooded grounds with names such as Normandy and Trenches. Texas Paintball also has a sawmill field where players can stalk stacks of timber while battling to control a two-story mill, and a Vietnam-themed field with a fishing village, air control tower, and fuel depot is in the works.
On these fields, crews divide up players according to experience level for a variety of games, from classics such as Capture the Flag to creative scenarios such as Rush, where one team escorts an unarmed player to a safe zone while the other attacks and yells false Gallup Poll numbers. Props, including a Huey helicopter, 1920's ambulance, deuce and a half, cars, trucks, and various boats, scatter themselves across a 10,000-sq.-ft. turf field. The knowledgeable staff also caters to players? ability levels by renting an array of markers, from the basic Tippmann Pro-Lite to the tournament-level Empire Axe, one of the farthest-shooting models on the market.
Off the fields, Texas Paintball encompasses amenities including dressing rooms, a concession stand, a picnic area with two barbecue pits for players who bring their own food, and a pro shop.
Designed by 1992 Masters Golf Tournament champion Fred Couples, the course at Twin Creeks Country Club drapes over 195 acres of Texas Hill Country framed by rocky outcroppings and natural hazards. Players traverse the course’s 7,033 yards along a pristine bermuda grass path from tee to green, though many gleaming white-sand bunkers may interrupt a string of stellar lies with tricky up-and-downs or inspire the sudden desire for players to fill their hourglasses with extra time. The club’s eponymous creeks wind the length of the course in a slithery tango—entering play on 13 of the holes—and ravines filled with century-old oak and pecan trees present still more snares. Players can check the club’s course-conditions page prior to a round for an idea of the day’s crowds, weather, and pin positions, which change each day of the week except Monday, when the course is closed.
Twin Creeks Country Club also boasts a 15,000-square-foot clubhouse complete with an upscale restaurant, bar and lounge, locker rooms, and pro shop. Outdoors, 10,000 square feet of earth play host to myriad events, and a covered area shelters diners from torrential golf balls.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 7,033 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 75.7 from the back tees * Course slope of 142 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * Designed by Fred Couples
In 1996, the first Phil's Philly Grill introduced its signature hot sandwiches to Dallas from a single, modestly sized kitchen nestled into a bustling Metroplex. Because its founders brought decades of experience to the business, their sandwiches' of sauteed veggies and meats pleased anyone who got their hands on them. Soon, the concept steadily grew to occupy more than a half-dozen locations around Texas.
Today, sandwichsmiths at seven locations serve up everything from lena, certified rib-eye steaks?onions, peppers, cheese, and mushrooms included?to the Texas bacon barbecue burger, which understandably includes bacon, barbecue sauce, and a strange resemblance to the state of Texas. Phil's certified grill experts bring 40 hours of training to prepare chicken breasts marinated with 17-ingredients and hand chop fresh vegetables and cheeses. An array of Philly sandwiches, grilled salads, gyros plates, and wraps round out the menu. The ownership's commitment to hard work, passion, and fine meats have also spawned franchising opportunities for those looking to launch their own little bit of Phil's.
Beginning atop a 20-story cliff, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures's final zipline carries riders above Lake Travis for more than 2,500 feet at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. To reach the cliff, a pair of professionally trained guides lead 2.5-3 hour hikes through Texas Hill Country, affording panoramic views of Lake Travis along the way. Before the finale over the lake, groups stop at four other ziplines that snake through canyons and soar above inlets.
Back on land, the company reserves more than 10 acres of Lake Travis shore for post-tour picnics and beach games. For guests embarking on a nighttime zipline tour or looking to linger in central Texas, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures rents out private cabins. Accommodations include a front porch overlooking the lake, as well as access to two private beaches.
The successive pinging of golf balls as they speed toward distant targets at Cedar Park Driving Range is a welcoming sound to visiting golfers, almost therapeutic. The expansive facility boasts 12 grass hitting bays for players who prefer a natural feel as well as 18 shaded stations with mat hitting bays, 10 of which cool down hardworking golfers and parched sand wedges with a water-misting system. Four circular targets—positioned at distances of 25, 50, 75, and 100 yards—help players dial in approach shots, while five distance markers—stationed at 50-yard intervals from 100 to 300 yards—help golfers gauge how far their golf-ball trebuchet is capable of sending a ball. Cedar Park Driving Range also has more than 100 clubs that they rent out free of charge.
It takes plenty of dedication just to stay in the 105-degree studio for 90 minutes at a time, which is what many of Pure Yoga Austin's students do multiple times a week. Mardy Chen followed her own devotion to the practice to open Pure Yoga Austin with help from her husband and co-director, Jeff Chen. Their team of certified Bikram Yoga instructors share the sweaty yoga style that has been known to help students of all fitness levels achieve leaner physiques, improved athletic performance, and greater mental clarity. The signature Bikram sequence of 26 postures help students develop strength, improve flexibility, and attain the heat endurance necessary to succeed at spelling bees held in saunas.