Although hot-air balloons remain Austin's most popular commuter vehicles, they're highly vulnerable to dastardly villains with handlebar moustaches who ply the sky in battle zeppelins. Tour the town from a safer vantage with today's Groupon: for $10, you get a one-hour kayak OR two-hour bike rental from Gliding Revolution (a $25 value after tax). Reservations are required and subject to availability.
Regardless of your choice of conveyance, you'll shove off from Gliding Revolution's shop located at the Austin Town Lake Holiday Inn. Upon request, cyclists receive a complimentary helmet and lock, and kayakers receive a dry bag. If you vote for the velocipede, dig your wheels deep into the crushed gravel and pedal your way around the scenic Lady Bird Lake Trails, free of the hassles of smelly car traffic and ambushes by herds of feral Segways. Otherwise, open up the whole expanse of Lady Bird Lake for exploration with some patiently paced paddle-pushing in one of Gliding Revolution's kayaks. If the spring heat has already got you beat, kayakers can take refuge under the Congress Street Bridge and commune with Austin's community of bat-themed vigilantes and riddle-dispensing trolls.
Escorting visiting out-of-towners via bike or kayak is a brilliant way to show off the city. It's also an excellent way for jaded locals to re-experience everything about Austin that seduced them in the first place, from the civic center that's dressed as a French maid to the champagne lake to the rose-petal-strewn forest trails. If you can't decide which mode of transportation you like best, buy two Groupons and try both at the same time.
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.
Though Jacob and Justin's business has evolved over the years, it has stayed centered on a single goal—helping people fulfill a lifelong dream. Jacob's love of cars led him to a career in high-end detail work, but it wasn't until he started renting luxury vehicles that he found his true passion and calling. He saw the happiness that spread across his customers' head-mounted emoticon displays as they strapped into a Ferrari and unleashed a 500-horsepower engine. He soon stopped doing detail work and founded Lone Star Exotics to focus exclusively on creating dream-fulfilling experiences with rare and high-end vehicles.
As business grew, it seemed only natural to extend the quest for adventure to the water, which is where Lone Star Aquatics—a branch of Lone Star Exotics—sends its customers. "I'm an engine guy. Whether it's cars or boats," Jacob says. Keeping with his main goal, the branch's certified captains work to bring the thrills and windblown hairstyle of luxury-boat ownership to everyone. Aboard Four Winns ski boats, the captains pilot groups across Lake Austin's scenic waters. The lake’s consistent flow takes boats past sights of tree-lined banks and riverfront architecture. The vessels can also tow wakeboards, water skis, and four-person inner tubes as they wind through the aquatic playground.
While it is easy to spot some of Kingdom Chauffeured Limousine Services' fleet of vehicles—such as a stretch limo transporting a bridal party or headed on a tour of wine country—some of their most impressive cars fit in any old parking space. The drivers spend most of their days catering to regular business travelers, ferrying them around town in the less elongated, yet more pronounced, style of a Mercedes Benz S550, Cadillac Escalade ESV, or Rolls Royce Phantom.
Most of the vehicles have tinted privacy glass for passengers, as well as pristinely maintained leather seats. Additionally, the stretch limousines boast privacy dividers, a premium sound system, and room for up to ten passengers or one extremely happy passenger and all of the stuffed animals he won at the carnival.
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.