One of my favorite Austin afternoons came when I decided to go ziplining for the first time at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. I had always thought ziplining was only available in places such as Costa Rica, so I was intrigued by the idea of doing it in my very own hometown.
Strapped in and flying high above the Texas Hill Country, I realized just how breathtaking, yet serene, a zipline experience is. That coolest thing is that there are loads of incredible experiences such as ziplining available to Austin residents.
From canoeing in Lady Bird Lake to taking in the flowers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center, there's something for everyone. Check out this round up I wrote for more ideas.
One of the things I really love about Austin is the multitude of free activities for people of all ages. Whether you love Zilker Park or Lady Bird Lake, there's something to fit everyone's needs.
Culture lovers are bound to appreciate Austin's museum and art scene, which has been expanding in recent years. What's even better than world-class museums in our own city? Free world-class museums. Here's a round up I wrote about the best free museums to consider in the city. Take a look at the options and plan your own visit. You'll probably learn all about an artist, a culture or a destination you never even considered. Enjoy!
I don't know about you, but I can't think of a better way to spend a leisurely Saturday afternoon than popping in and out of some of my favorite stores. From local boutiques to major chains, Austin has it all. If you're looking for truly unique finds, considering checking out the city's many thrift stores, where you're likely to find clothes, shoes and home items galore.
Keep in mind that because these places are thrift stores, you're probably going to have to do a little digging. But that's the fun of it, right? After all, it's even more satisfying when you can get a workout (of sorts) while you're doing your shopping.
Any lover of outdoor activities is going to eventually get the urge to try rock climbing. The good news is that, as a resident of Austin, you have plenty of options at your disposal. From the Barton Creek Greenbelt, located just minutes from downtown, to places in the outskirts that will require the better part of a day, there's something to fit your needs. There are even indoor rock gyms you can try out if you're not ready to face the great outdoors.
I wrote this round up of places to go rock climbing in the Austin area. If you've been considering giving it a try, I highly encourage you to get out there. With views at places such as Enchanted Rock, you're going to love it.
There are so many wonderful things to do in Austin. From outdoor activities to cultural events to fabulous restaurants, you'll never get bored. But sometimes, the best thing you can do is give back to your community. For nearly a decade, I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I found it to be a wonderful organizations, and the times I spent with my "little sister" Michelle remain very happy memories.
If you've been thinking of volunteering in Austin, I've put together this round up of places that are seeking volunteers. Most require a simple orientation and sometimes a background check. So what do you think? Are you ready to give back?
If you're one of those people who can't start the day without a delcious cup of freshly brewed coffee, raise your hand? You're not alone. Coffee has never been a more important part of the average American's diet. As an Austinite, you're in luck, because there's a multitude of wonderful places to get your fix.
I wrote this primer on Austin's coffee house scene. If you're tired of your regular routine or looking for a fun new place to meet up with your friends, hopefully this will offer some inspiration. I've been to each of the places on the list and love them all.
Oh, and don't forget to grab a delicious, fresh baked good when you go. Most of them are straight from the oven and are sure to make your mouth water. Yes, please!
I'll admit, I don't have too much experience playing golf. Most of my times on the greens have been spent driving a golf cart and enjoying a soda as the other members of my party got their workouts. It's not that I didn't like golf. It's just that I didn't have much exposure.
Now, that's changing. Thanks to the multitude of great, affordable golf courses in the Austin area, there's a place for every person and every experience level? Want something casual? Formal? There's a place for you. To help you navigate the golf scene, I wrote this round-up of the best courses in the city. I hope you'll find somewhere that sounds fun to try. I know I have a long list now of places I'm hoping to check out.
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Lost Pines.
There's nothing like a great meal at a wonderful restaurant. But even better than that is a great, cheap meal at a wonderful restaurant. Thanks to its distinction as a college town and its burgeoning food scene, Austin is a wonderful place to seek out affordable eats. From taco trucks to happy hour deals, there's a little something for everyone.
This round-up I put together highlights some of my favorite spots to grab cheap eats in Austin. For some, you have to go on a certain day or time. For others, you can go any time of day and find great deals. Regardless, you'll love checking them out. Their atmospheres are enjoyable, and the food is always quality. Now's the perfect time to take a bite out of the Austin food scene. Bon appetit!
One of my favorite afternoons ever was spent on someone else's bike. I simply walked into Bicycle Sport Shop, took a look at the various bikes available for rent and picked one. Before I knew it, I was cruising along the Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail like a professional.
It can be overwhelming to get an initiation into cycling in Austin if you don't have the proper equipment. Fortunately, plenty of bike shops offer rentals that are both affordable and easy to ride. Here's a round-up I wrote about the best place to rent a bike in town. Most places require an ID and a payment of around $30 or $40. The easiest thing to do is to go to a rental shop that's near the trail you want to ride -- that way, you don't need to deal with attaching the bike to your car.
Go out and give it a spin. Happy riding!
Growing up in Austin, I didn't think much about the city's love of all things outdoors. On a weekend, it was perfectly normal for my friends and me to take our mountain bikes out to one of the nearby trails and spend the afternoon tooling around. It was just what we did.
It wasn't until I moved away for a while that I realized not all cities pay this kind of attention to the biking and cycling communities. In fact, some cities make it nearly impossible for people to hit the trails.
That's one of the reasons I consider myself lucky to be an Austinite. We have such a wealth of places to go. If you're looking for somewhere new to go for a spin, here's a round-up of the best biking areas in the city. I bet you'll find at least one you'll really enjoy.