In 2009, Linda and Greg Racino were reaping the benefits of more than two fast-paced decades in the tech industry. Something was missing, though—creativity. So in February of that year the couple left behind the cold digital world for a brightly colored studio warmed by a blazing kiln. Lining their shelves with finished and unfinished clay and glass pieces, the Racinos today deal solely in creation. They guide customers through pottery painting and glass fusing—from picking out a blank bisque piece to arranging a unique design of glass pieces. Guests can also check out the calendar of events to learn about upcoming discounts and special projects, or to find out what day it is.
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.
Situated 30 minutes southwest of Austin, Twin Parks stuffs its spacious grounds with myriad active pursuits, wilderness-seizing opportunities, and comfortable country-clubish amenities. Two sprawling championship-level disk-golf courses dotted with ponds and meadows challenge casual and experienced disk-floaters alike and local forest fairies invisibly guide each disk to its target. Mountain-bike trails proffer dynamic routes for thick-tired enthusiasts and the remainder of the sprawling elk-studded grounds beckons campers and hikers to infuse their souls with natural beauty. Amenities abound within the clubhouse, from showers, a lounge, and a pro shop to indoor pursuits such as ping-pong and pool for players seeking to dodge excessive sun.
Just Yakin outfits aquatic adventurers with a plethora of single and tandem kayak rentals delivered to each customer's preferred paddling shore. Four hours of buoyant recreation await synchronized duos or solo seafarers, beckoning kayakers on expeditions to sandy shores or tranquil waterways more majestic than a bald eagle breathing fireworks. Opt for a kayak designed for fish wrangling, which includes a cooler and storage space to transport any finned finds back to land. Just Yakin's friendly staff stocks each pointed stream skimmer with essential kayaking equipment including life jackets, basic instruction, and a playlist of traditional kraken lullabies.
Powerful crafts careen over the water at breakneck speeds as Marble Falls Lakefest celebrates its 20th anniversary with an adrenaline-infused lineup of drag-boat races. More than 120 boats will showcase their hefty seahorsepower, with some skimming the lake at more than 270 miles per hour and covering a quarter mile in fewer than five seconds—rattling the chests of spectators and encouraging rampant UFO conspiracy theories among fish. A carnival atmosphere replete with food, souvenirs, impromptu contests, and a rowboat support group satisfies spectators between races, and Friday and Saturday evenings complement the drag-race ruckus with live music performances. Once the last vessel has churned up its last flaming wake-trail across the water, attendees can take in the surrounding hill country, which brims with parks, wineries, and historical sites.
Benefitting The Paladin Group, which supports the Hill County Children’s Advocacy Center, and attended to by Sullivan Street Caterers, A Spicewood Affair proffers elegant fare for patrons to nibble on in a dining area surrounded by rich woods and accented with sunlit golden curtains. Past feasts catered by Sullivan Street have included such morsels as tortilla-crusted catfish bites and tri-colored pepper salad. After lunch, diners can squeeze in holiday shopping while strolling around vendor tables that boast antler tableware, custom Christmas cards, and jewelry, among other offerings. Live acoustic and Christmas music pervades the air as attendees chat, mingle, and swap secret scout-troop handshakes. Guests are free to wander in and out at their whim, and can enjoy the amenities at any time during the event, which benefits the Hill County Children's Advocacy Center with their proceeds.