When you hear “two stories with a spiral staircase,” an English manor might be the first thing to come to mind. But Austin’s Boat Tours has a different idea—the double-decker party barge, a spacious boat whose spiral staircase leads to the top of a water slide. During its party cruises, passengers can ride the slide into the sparkling waters of Lake Travis or stay onboard to cook steaks at the grill and have a drink (the barge is BYOB).
The boating company offers alternative ways for exploring the lake, too, including lake tours aboard their Baja speedboats. These tours showcase Devil’s Cove, the Oasis, and the luxurious houses that dot the lakeside cliffs. Watch the sun fall on one of the company’s sunset cruises, or explore the lake’s depths on scuba adventures. And for the truly adventurous, consider the company’s new FlyBoard jet pack, which allows a person to hover above the water like a superhero or a David Blaine impersonator.
Leave the landlubbing life behind and take in Texas’s natural beauty on a tranquil evening cruise from Freedom Boat Club. Up to six couples can board the 45-foot Freedom to Dance—which features two bedrooms, a wine bar, a flat-screen TV, and a troupe of background dancers—as it slowly cruises to a scenic vantage point amid the serene waters of Lake Travis. As the sun recedes behind the horizon, passengers clink glasses of champagne, nibble on appetizers, and hang from the boat's nose to imagine life as a living figurehead. The cruise, which can run up to 3.5 hours, includes a one-hour idle period for guests to take a dip into the lake, converse with the other couples, and enjoy uninterrupted sessions of eye contact with defiant seagulls. After sunset, the boat will smoothly float back and release guests onto land.
Down the rocky bluff and to the many slips that line the harbor, The Grill at Rough Hollow overlooks the marina where water gently laps at the skiffs that float there. On the breezy patio, lunch and dinner is served, consisting of classic American staples from cobb salads and pecan-crusted catfish to bistro steak under swipes of zesty chimichurri sauce. Inside, take a seat at the curving marble bar to sip on house-made margaritas, glasses of wine, and unlimited water cocktails while enjoying live music.
Training at Rough Hollow Fitness Center is an aesthetically inspiring experience, as the facility is nestled in the limestone cliffs overlooking the waterfront of Lake Travis. The fitness center itself contains two gyms, one for strength training and one for cardio. The strength gym features a state-of-the-art range-limiting strength line, dumbbells, an upper-lip stiffener, a functional training area supplied with core and stabilization training equipment, and much more. The cardio gym contains a windmill-factory's worth of high-tech equipment, including treadmills, a VersaClimber, a Fluid Rower, and a stationary bike that uses virtual-reality and regular reality to immerse users in the fitness experience. Take the training outdoors for a water-training session and focus on kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.
Harry Shaw didn't found a combat-focused gym because he likes to beat people up?though he is a 2nd Dan Black Belt. Rather, he hoped to run a venue where his community could learn to feel both healthy and safe. He and his staff of certified instructors lead self-defense and exercise programs in a judgment-free zone, training students ranging from 7-year-old kids to law-enforcement personnel.
Their krav-maga classes teach the reality-based strikes and escapes of the Israeli Defense Forces' official combat system. In sessions for children and adults, coaches demonstrate how to swiftly and instinctively guard against attacks from offenders both with and without weapons. Combat Fitness courses draw from UFC Heavyweight Champion Bas Rutten's MMA system, which mixes fighting drills with cardio workouts more effectively than biking through a boxing match.