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.
For more than 18 years, Thao Tran has treated clients to nail services, skincare, and massages that address issues from stress and chronic pain to weak nails and congested skin. Seven days a week, Tran and the staff at Nail and Skin Day Spa knead away tension, remove unwanted hair, and make lashes stand out with tinting, perm, and extension services. Using products from OPI and CND, nail technicians keep nails strong, shiny, and meticulously groomed. Dermalogica products cleanse skin of all types without artificial colors or fragrance. Permanent-makeup services enhance features without constant makeup reapplication through long days, water activities, and sudden liquid-eyeliner storms.
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.
With horrifying haunts designed to elicit new shrieks each year, House of Torment Haunted House keeps bones chilled well below room temperature. HauntWorld.com ranked House of Torment in its Top 13 Haunts in 2011, praising it as a "dynamic and ultra-creative attraction" that is "widely considered to be one of the most innovated haunted houses in the country." Other rave reviewers include the Travel Channel and the Wall Street Journal, who call the haunted house "20,000 square feet of terror." Though House of Torment's attractions change annually, its wall of shame exists as an immortal photo catalog of all those who have squealed in fright or received bunny ears on its premises.
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.
SegCity has ridden the wave of Segway popularity to become one of Texas' largest distributors of the upright vehicle and a leader in Segway-authorized tours. With themes ranging from cultural campus tours to bat-cave excursions, six narrated guided tours escort visitors and locals alike around Austin's famed sites, such as 6th Street, the Texas Walk of Fame, and the Capitol. As an authorized Segway dealer, the business can also outfit riders with their own Segways and a take-home bassinet for their new vehicle to sleep in at night.
Antique Limousines of Austin commands a formidable fleet of lovingly restored rides. Its classic Cadillac chariots seat up to six and feature butterfly doors, wood trim, and air conditioning. Retrophiles ride like jazz kings in the sleek black 1937 Cadillac Series 75 limousine, whose divider window ensures plans to surprise the driver with a dozen sliders remain on the down low.