In 2006, Craig Pinkley traveled to Napa Valley. It started as a business trip, but after a VIP tour of an established winery and a symphony of glass clinks, Pinkley's adventure ended with a career wakeup call. Grapes were his passion, so he set out to make them his coworkers.
Pinkley studied every aspect of wine—"from land, to vine, to vinification"—before deciding on Pilot Knob Vineyard's locale, where rainfall drains ideally and soil presents a balanced mix of nutrients. Spanning 112 acres and perched on a ridge overlooking Texas hill country, Pilot Knob takes its name from an extinct volcano nearby and serves as a romantic location for weddings and events. At Pilot Knob's tasting room, guests can sample the vineyard's wines amid stone fireplaces, high ceilings, and ample windows or step outside to the wraparound porch for far-reaching vistas of the surrounding countryside.
Shore Club Restaurant & Bar serves up both gourmet food from the land and sea and a picturesque view of Volente Beach at Lake Travis. While staring out at the rippling water, diners devour Texas rib-eye steaks of marbled Angus beef and black-and-blue bacon burgers. From the sea comes barbecue bacon-wrapped shrimp?stuffed with jalape?os and glazed with Myers Rum barbecue sauce?as well as lobster mac 'n' cheese with lobster claw meat saut?ed in spiced coconut oil.
Shore Club Restaurant & Bar encourages folks to come in for a full meal in the restaurant or a quick bite at the bar in between jaunts to Shore Club Volente Beach's sprawling water park. After a day out on the water, many diners head to the bar's outdoor patio to sip cocktails and toast to not running into any krakens.
Blue Sky Media leverages a bevy of strategic marketing partnerships with premier Texas courses to grant golfers access to some of the state's finest fairways. The group's annual Blue Sky Golf Passes dole out fistfuls of discounts to courses throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, freeing up some coins for golfers to use as ball-markers or throw into water hazards to wish for more coins. Between putts and drives, discounts on pro shop gear and fare refuel hard-swinging golfers and caddies exhausted from polishing the dimples of each ball.
At Lake Country Lanes, stricken pins burst from the colorful background of a mural that spans the alley. Friends convene for play at traditional or bumper lanes lined with well-polished wood, and an automatic scoring system prevents opponents from clandestinely changing scores of 3 to 8 or 8 to infinity. Nearby, pool tables and video games foster competition off the lanes, and a bar with high-definition TVs and a dance floor spikes family fun with some adult recreation.
As the name suggests, Anytime Fitness is open all day and all night, seven days a week, 487 days a year. But just because it's open at all hours doesn't mean it surrenders its locker rooms to the dark forces of the night: security is active there around the clock. Besides creating a safe gym atmosphere that fits your life's schedule rather than vice versa, Anytime's hours cuts down on crowds and long lines to use each club's array of cardio equipment, circuit equipment, and free weights.
In April of 2009, Brian Hill was at an impasse. Always the guy to throw parties and plan vacations with his friends, Brian had promised his friends a 4th of July bash on his own party boat. The only problem was that he didn't have a party boat. Instead of canceling the party and disappointing his friends, Brian put his engineering degree from the University of Texas to good use and created the Catalyst—a 20'x50' single-deck party barge. After the success of his initial voyage, Brian got the documentation to start his own business and has since thrown hundreds of parties on the waters of Lake Travis.
Brian customized his vessel with a gas grill and a sizeable dance floor to accommodate up to 100 revelers. The boat even has a tiki bar for more lax cruises, as well as festive lighting for nighttime rides and a future time where the sun has flown away.