On this scenic, slow-travel trail through the Texas state capital, you’ll experience the city’s lakes and creeks and check into a nature-laced hotel.
Crisscrossed by biking and hiking trails, dotted with lakes and straddling the Colorado River, Austin is a natural haven for outdoorsy types. “One of the most popular aspects of Austin is the lake scene,” says Ben Mantor, founder of Austin Watersports, a private boat-charter company that also offers wakeboarding, wakesurfing and waterskiing lessons.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
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3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
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“These waterways combine scenic views of Austin hill country with social interaction and recreational activities. Whether you’re a seasoned watersports enthusiast, just looking to sip a craft beer and enjoy the rays or keen to party it up in one of the many still-water coves, the city’s lakes don’t disappoint. Plus, residents and visitors can quickly transition from the city’s beautiful waters to the booming nightlife of the downtown, South Austin and East Austin corridors.”
Ready to dive in? Whether you want to see Austin by bike, from a kayak or aboard a pontoon boat, we’ve found three pulse-quickening tours and one outwardly active hotel that together pave the way for urban adventures in Austin, all bookable right here on Culture Trip.
Where to Stay: the Hotel…
A lush resort, just a 15-minute drive west from downtown Austin, the Omni Barton Creek is famous for its four championship golf courses. However, if birdies, bogeys and bunker shots aren’t on the agenda, you certainly won’t be bored. The hotel boasts a 13,000sqft (1,208sqm) signature spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis courts and nature trails. When you’ve worked up an appetite – or a thirst for something stronger – there are seven different restaurants to suit your mood, including a traditional steakhouse, a sports bar and a poolside taco spot with tantalizing tequila-based cocktails.
What to Do: the Experiences…
On this easygoing two-hour bike tour – suitable for all ages and skill levels – you’ll loop Lady Bird Lake on the lush hike-and-bike trail that meanders along the water’s edge and affords scenic views of downtown Austin. You’ll pedal over the boardwalk, past the 350-acre (142ha) Zilker Park, the Colorado River and natural spring-fed Barton Springs Pool (Austinites’ favorite place to cool off in the summer) and see the popular outdoor music venue Auditorium Shores.
This BYOB cruise onboard a comfortable Bentley pontoon boat lets you take in the sights around Lake Austin. After pushing off from the Loop 360 Boat Ramp, below Pennybacker Bridge, you’ll cruise by the picturesque Austin Country Club golf course and see luxurious lakefront mansions. You’ll continue past Mount Bonnell (the highest point in Austin) and stop for photos at a lakeside grotto known as Little Venice.
Did you know that Austin is home to a colony of more than 1.5m Mexican free-tailed bats? Every evening in the summer months, they emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge (also known as the Bat Bridge) and put on a stunning show as they swoop over the lake. You can escape the crowds and witness this unforgettable natural spectacle from your kayak on this serene two-hour sunset tour. You’ll see why Austinites are fiercely proud of their nocturnal neighbors and learn about their crucial role in the urban ecosystem.
Well that all sounds very busy, so you’ll want your accommodation sorted before exploring. Do things right and book one of the best hotels in Austin with Culture Trip.
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meet our Local Insider
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WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.