Bodies of water are frequent metaphors in poetry, due to their unfathomable depths, unknowable sprawl, and unattainable porpoises. Cruise atop the enigma with today's Groupon: for $65, you get a two-hour electric boat (which seats up to 10 passengers) rental from Capital Cruises on Lady Bird Lake (a $130 value).
Established in 1991, Capital Cruises rents recreational watercrafts of all shapes and steering mechanisms to leisurely lake-goers and is the only all-electric boat fleet on the Highland Lakes. Each vivacious vessel offers leather seats, as well as a stereo, CD player, and iPod connection to accommodate all musical stylings and mediums. Boats are enclosable to keep out harsh weather and instantaneously petrified hummingbirds. A small, cabin-warming heater is also available. Guests are welcome to bring along food and drinks for portside picking or starboard sipping, including alcoholic beverages, though preferably not in a glass bottle or large boot. Sigh-worthy sights include the landscaped parks surrounding the lake and the many bridges pulling off perpetual splits over the water. One such arch of architectural wonder is the Congress Avenue Bridge, which is the spacious summer home of North America's largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats with old family money. Nighttime cruisers can catch a glimpse of these winged warriors as they fly the coop in their nightly pursuit of creepy-crawly cuisine.
For those who fear run-ins with a vindictive white whale, captain duties can be reassigned to one of Capital Cruises' seasoned professionals for an additional $30 per hour plus a 19% service fee. Additionally, Capital Cruises supports other charitable causes such as Keep Austin Beautiful "Clean Lady Bird Lake," to preserve the natural habitat of their water-based fleet. Though wildlife abounds outside the boat, no pets or clingy strays are allowed to hunker in the hull.
Excludes holidays. By reservation only.
- …their service goes above and beyond handing you a life jacket and an anchor. I've used Capital for both business and pleasure and not once have I had any reason to complain. – Sarah M., Yelp
- The staff is great, super cool guys, the boats are adequate, and the location is perfect for a run on Lady Bird Lake. – Uncle S., Yelp
Each night, about a half-hour before sunset, one of Capital Cruises' double-decker boats launches out onto Lady Bird Lake. Austin's skyline peeks its head over the tree-lined banks as the vessel floats toward the Congress Avenue Bridge. Once there, passengers watch the sun drop below the horizon and paint a streak of burnt orange across the sky in an action that seems to bring the bridge to life. Here, at one of the largest urban bat colonies on the continent, thousands of bats take flight and soar into the sky.
These bat tours are just one way Capital Cruises explores Lady Bird Lake. The crown jewel of its fleet, a 75-foot yacht, sets the stage for floating wedding parties and specialty cruises such as the Riverboat Gambler. During these trips, passengers play roulette and nibble fajitas, pasta, and barbecue catered by the Hyatt Regency hotel. Additionally, Capital Cruises' staff lets customers chart their own adventures with rentals of standup paddleboards, swan-shaped pedal boats, and 21-foot electric Duffy boats.
208 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, Texas 78704Get Directions