Pioneers on the Oregon Trail would have been much better off if their wagons could traverse both land and water and if the wheel spokes were made of beef jerky. Take a ride on the amphibious vehicle the pioneers wish they had with today's Groupon: for $13, you get a ticket for an Austin Duck Adventures tour (up to a $25.95 value).
For the past 10 years, Austin Duck Adventures has provided 75-minute tours of downtown and Lake Austin by land and water. While rolling or cruising along in the bright yellow or white U.S. Coast Guard–inspected Hydra Terra vehicle, you'll see historic Sixth Street, the state Capitol building, Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, and the Governor's Mansion. While in the water, you'll be offered a rare glimpse of the gill-faced merpeople that have colonized the bottom of Lake Austin. Tour-goers take in the view from the comfort of padded vinyl seats in the spacious, fully carpeted cabin. Soundproofing all but silences engine noise and the lonesome wails of the retired organ grinder who operates the engine by crank.
Tours are offered seven days a week, but tour times are subject to change. Aspiring amphibians can park at St. David's Episcopal Church's parking garage (304 E. 7th Street) before heading to the nearby Austin Visitor's Center (209 E. 6th Street), where tours depart. A whimsical duck-bill mask is handed out as a souvenir and can double as a snorkel on covert underwater spy missions. Call or email to make a reservation.
Not valid for the following 2010 dates: September 4–September 6 and November 24–November 28.
Austin Duck Adventures was profiled in the Austin City Guide and received an average of five stars from six Yahoo! Travel reviewers and 10 users total. Seven Yelpers and seven TripAdvisors give it a 3.5 average rating:
- The idea of literally driving into the lake was interesting and we enjoyed the quick trip on the water. – TexasScopist, TripAdvisor
- A lot of my husband's out of town family are older and get tired easily, so this was a great way to show them Austin without the day being too taxing. – A Yahoo! Contributor, Yahoo! Travel
Austin Duck Adventures
As the distant sound of chattering-duck calls grows nearer, visitors to downtown Austin know that the colorfully painted Duck Adventure amphibious vehicles aren’t far behind. On board, knowledgeable guides regale sightseers with facts and stories about local sights and landmarks, pointing out the State Capitol, detailing the history of Sixth Street, and addressing all of the parking meters by their first name. After their land trek, the vehicles pack in their wheels and launch off the shores of Lake Austin for an aquatic tour of the lush, scenic lakeside.
209 E 6th St.
Austin, Texas 78701Get Directions