The Walker family has worked in the transportation business since 1963, when it opened a six-car rental operation in San Antonio. In 2006, the family sold the rental company—which had since grown into an international enterprise—to focus exclusively on its Texas-based limousine and shuttle services. Abbey Walker Executive Cars & Limousines's current fleet includes classic and stretch Lincoln Town Cars in black, white, and phosphorescent glitter-green. Groups can also cover ground in vans or buses equipped with luggage racks and wheelchair lifts. Uniformed drivers chauffeur groups on pre-planned tours of Texas wine country, complete with restaurant reservations and hypoallergenic wine-stomping stilts.
Valet Couture Airport Valet Park takes the hassle out of parking at San Antonio International Airport. Valets accompany clients to their departure terminals and then park their vehicles in a lot located next to the Airport Cell Phone Lot, which is much easier than trying to bring a vehicle on the plane as oversized luggage. When clients return, valets are waiting at the appropriate baggage claim with their cars.
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.
Members of car2go enjoy the freedom of transportation that comes with owning a car without the worries of keeping up its maintenance or discovering that it’s a robot in disguise. Participants can reserve a car ahead of time through the company’s website or snag an unreserved vehicle by swiping their membership card past the windshield to unlock it and punching in a PIN to start it up. All fuel, insurance, parking, and maintenance costs are included with each rental, allowing patrons hassle-free travel as they explore downtown or give their pet goldfish a tour of the suburbs. After zipping around town, members park in an open car2go spot and walk away, letting a team of cleaners and technicians take care of the rest.
Bavarian Luxury Rentals, the country’s first all-BMW rental company, ensconces travelers and auto enthusiasts alike behind the well-engineered wheel of brand-new German luxury cars. Co-founded by BMW auto mechanic Brian McKinney and Corey Evers—the customer-service-savvy founder of Central Texas Valet—the local enterprise fills roads with its standing fleet of BMWs that includes a 5-series, a 3-series, and a 1-series. On breaks from the open road, renters’ BMWs entitle them to sumptuous amenities at businesses throughout the city, and 24-hour roadside assistance guards drivers against difficulties such as flat tires and toll booths manned by bridge trolls.
From 1927 until 2009, the Piper Aircraft company produced 144,000 airplanes. Of those, 90,000 are still flying. One is a 1978 single-engine Saratoga that can often be seen soaring over the hills and lakes of the Texas landscape.
Inside that Saratoga, the Air Tours Texas pilots lead up to five passengers on scenic tours and adventures, sharing scenic aerial views of Lake Travis, Canyon Lake, Austin, San Antonio, and Enchanted Rock with their awestruck human cargo. The group of pilots also offers sunset flights, stunningly romantic marriage-proposal flights, and copilot experiences that introduce aspiring pilots to flight basics.
Sixth Street Rides eliminates the need for designated drivers by transporting groups of up to 28 people to Austin hot spots during daytime and evening hours. Professional chauffeurs behind the wheels of Ford E-350 shuttle buses scoop up guests from any north, south, or central Austin location, then safely deliver them to the bars on Sixth Street for bachelor-party fun, the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels for a day of kayaking, or the nearest grocery store to stock up on a true busload of pudding cups.