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.
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.
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.
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.
Brothers Jason and Mike Baxter grew up with an intense love for muscle cars, leading them to accumulate a few over the years. But enjoying these cars wasn't enough. They wanted to share the romance of motoring down open highways inside V8-powered rolling Detroit iron with others. And most importantly, they wanted to make that experience affordable. From out of these simple guidelines, they started American Muscle Car Rentals.
Sporting a fleet of muscle cars that combine modern amenities with bygone-era flair, Jason and Mike outfit drivers with rides such as Dodge Challengers, Shelby Cobras, and Chevy Camaros. The cars contain up to 580 horsepower and enough clout to upgrade Pluto’s status back to planet. A convenient person-and-vehicle dropoff removes legwork and unites man and machine at predetermined locations.