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 $88, you get dinner for two and a two-hour electric boat rental from Capital Cruises on Lady Bird Lake (up to $176.98 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. Cruising diners will have their choice of several deluxe dishes: chicken and beef fajitas (serves with rice, beans, queso, and flour tortillas), grilled chicken pasta (with a choice of pesto cream, marinara, or alfredo), shrimp pasta (sautéed and tossed with penne and choice of sauce), or vegetarian pasta (fresh vegetables and penne in rich pesto cream), all catered fresh from the famous kitchens of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Sigh-worthy sights include the landscaped parks surrounding the lake and the many bridges pulling off perpetual splits over the water. 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.
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