After restoring a cluster of vintage theater speakers that he bought on eBay, Josh Frank used them to launch Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In in the middle of Texas' capital city. At the retro cinematic establishment, Frank and his staff beckon moviegoers to cool their car or jetpack engines while immersing themselves in feel-good flicks, many of which are time-tested pop-culture favorites such as E.T. and The Karate Kid. Two car hostesses stay on-hand to add to the nostalgic ambience, whisking concessions such as hot dogs, nachos, and pretzels to trays perched in open car windows or inside the mouths of especially hungry visitors.
In the early 1960s in the Navy, Don Dibble embarked upon what would become a decades-long career in scuba diving. After 10 years in the service, he founded the Texas State University scuba program, to which he still devotes many hours. In 1972, Don opened The Dive Shop to spread his passion and scuba know-how to the uninitiated and those scared by all the sand in the movie Jaws.
At the shop, two experienced instructors head up classes in an outdoor pool. The sessions cover everything from snorkeling to securing an NAUI certification with structured dips in the pool and local lakes. The shelves in the pro shop brim with gear for training and recreational dives from brands such as ScubaPro, Bare, and Trident.:m]]
Three-time Masters Champion Jimmy Demaret states, “I simply followed the natural features of the land” to explain the genesis of his brainchild, the Onion Creek Club. Here 18 holes of championship golf—designed by course architects Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore—sprawl alongside tennis courts and a clubhouse with a fitness center and junior-Olympic-size swimming pool. The par-70 course’s claim to fame is having hosted the inaugural Senior PGA event in 1978, four years after the greens’ bermuda grass first whimpered under cleated feet. Its signature third hole invites golfers to play aggressively with their drivers in order to vault orbs onto a landing strip guarded by trees and a creek, or to grip their irons and aim for a narrow green that has notoriously uncommunicative air-traffic controllers.
In addition to the course and its accompanying driving range with 30 hitting stations, Onion Creek Club invites racket-wielders to take advantage of lighted hard and clay tennis courts. The clubhouse’s fitness center challenges muscles with Cybex strength machines, and its junior-Olympic-size pool allows 9 irons to slip into their bikinis and go for a splash.
Texas hills unfurl before Wimberley Valley Winery, gently guiding guests to the winery’s stock of wines. Since 1983, the winery’s resident winemaker has created a range of classic varietal wines in addition to offering wines from around the world. While the winemakers weave their magic in the cellar, the remainder of the winery’s staff entertains customers in the elegant tasting room. Here, an expansive stone fireplace steals the attention from sunny yellow walls, and granite counters hide bottle after bottle of wines waiting to be sampled. While tasters sink into cushy leather couches, the staff explains the flavor profiles of wine types and divulge tips for pairing wine with the right food or crazy straws.
Steve Busti wasn't like the other children in his classroom. While his peers were playing tag and collecting baseball cards, Steve was poring over books on Bermuda Triangle theories and UFOs. He frequented dime museums and sideshow carnivals, fascinated by the strange creatures and characters therein. As Steve grew older, he began to build a collection of oddities—trinkets he picked up from sideshows, props from movie sets, and curiosities he stumbled upon. So when he realized there was plenty of extra room in the back of the novelty shop he owned with his wife, Steve was inspired to open a museum—a shrine to all things odd, unnatural, and eerie.
Today, the Museum of the Weird is a treasure trove of peculiar exhibits, lauded by reporters from The Austin Chronicle as "a remarkable collision of genre film ephemera." Steve's giant pet lizards scuttle about the space, surprising guests who are busy examining bigfoot exhibits or trying to shake an uncomfortable feeling that they recognize one of the shrunken heads. The entire scene is watched over by lifelike wax figures of Dracula and The Wolf Man, as well as a glowering bust of King Kong. After visits, guests pop into Steve and his wife Veronica's shop—Lucky Lizards Curios & Gifts—to peruse an equally unusual collection of action figures, vintage items, and locally made wares.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.