Lakeway, TX Outdoor Activities
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Water trickles through a stone roof in the shape of a butterfly, flowing through a Roman-styled aqueduct to a cistern placed for harvesting rainwater. Thorn-crested agaves and evergreen succulents flourish beneath the eaves. The architecture of this rainwater harvesting system—itself a recreation of a South Texas mission garden—embodies the dual purpose of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: to preserve native plant life and promote environmental and conservation research.
Although North American native plants thrive in this region when left to their own devices, urban development, agribusiness and the introduction of invasive species have slashed their numbers, reducing wildlife habitats and disrupting the fragile ecosystem. Lady Bird Johnson founded the Wildflower Center in 1982 to preserve these native plants and natural landscapes. Native Texas wildflowers and shrubs fill its 23 public gardens and trails, which form a natural habitat for cochineal insects and red-eared slider turtles. The center's Land Restoration Program restores damaged landscapes, and the Native Plant Information Network retains an online database of more than 7,200 native species.
4801 La Crosse Ave.
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.
4100 Westbank Drive
Touted as the first major professional sports franchise in Austin, the Austin Aztex FC (football club) is currently playing well in the USL Conference of the USSF D-2 Pro League. Led by forward Edward Johnson, who consistently tops the charts in goals scored and shots made, the Aztex boast one of the most potent offenses and virile strikers in the division. Besides serving up thrilling athletic action and dexterous footwork that entertains families and short-armed kangaroos alike, the Austin Aztex will also pique fans' appetites for the footballing feast of World Space Cup 2114. Fans can choose from two different games, leaving their schedule flexible in case of surprise visits from long-lost siblings needing a blood transfusion.
1301 Shoal Creek Blvd.
Designed by three-time Masters champion Jimmy Demaret, Point Venture Golf Club's nine-hole course cleaves through thickets of cedar trees along the north shore of Lake Travis. Although narrow fairways and small greens offer a challenge to advanced golfers, novice players can swing freely as the course is free of water hazards, bunkers, and wormholes disguised as divots. A relatively short course, Point Venture’s display of sharp doglegs frequently forces players to take shorter clubs to the tee box, effectively lengthening the course. Conversely, the winding fairways may tempt golfers to go for the high-risk, high-reward play of unsheathing their drivers at the tee, flying the corner, and setting up a short approach to the green.
Golfers can warm up their swings with a stint at the club's driving range or plan their attack by taking a digital course tour. Point Venture Golf Club also features a golf store and a floating restaurant for after-hole meals and experimenting with golf tees as toothpicks.
422 Venture Boulevard S
As the distant sound of chattering-duck calls grows nearer, visitors to downtown Austin know that the colorfully painted Duck Adventure Hydra Terra vehicles aren’t far behind. On board, knowledgeable guides regale sightseers with facts and stories about local sights and landmarks, pointing out the State Capitol, detailing the history of Sixth Street, and addressing all of the parking meters by their first name. At the end of the tour, the vehicles pack in their wheels and launch off the shores of Lake Austin for an aquatic tour of the lush, scenic lakeside.
209 E 6th St.
Emblazoned with patriotic red, white, and blue, Lone Star Riverboat's vessels churn through Lady Bird Lake, floating alongside towering cypress trees and the city's skyline. Meanwhile, the captain's booming voice narrates each tour and details the steamy romances of the area's local waterfowl.
However, the company's aquatic excursions aren't just restricted to sightseeing. Their largest ship, The Lone Star, boasts two decks and a 150-person capacity. Aboard the ship, DJs spin tunes and caterers serve barbecue for special events such as weddings.
Lone Star Riverboat's enthusiasm for the water extends to environmental preservation. According to its website, the company owns the largest all-electric paddle wheeler in the country. It also donates a portion of its gross sales to the Austin area's park system and provides afterschool activities for at-risk fish.
208 Barton Springs Rd.
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