Spring Break in Austin 2021

The decision to make SXSW virtualized for 2021 was made a long time ago, so there will not be a normal spring break festival season in Austin this year. Many of the other popular spring events have also been cancelled or gone virtual, but one event that will be back is the Kite Festival in Zilker park. Most of our staff’s kids are a little old for this now, but I still love it and am contemplating going despite the risk of attending an event with a large crowd. Zilker Park is big enough that there is some sort of social distancing that can occur and I’m going to be double masking with a KN-95 and cool looking cloth over-mask. I might even triple mask it with my 2 masks and the shield thing. The Dell Golf Tournament is fan-less, so we can’t go to that. Congo Drum fest seems to be a no-go, they still have 2020 info on their website. There is a race at Circuit of Americans with tickets available.

Austin is just one of many great places in the Texas Hill County region that provides locals and tourists an opportunity for a great time. It’s also the only real liberal, Donald trump hating, red speck of the blue map that in Texas. For those that either have their shot or just don’t care: drinking, festivals, live music, and fun of all kinds have been in full swing in the small tourism town west of Austin. We have made a handful of trips to the Hill Country over the past year. While it’s fun, it also makes me a little nervous. “Masking” is somewhere between a joke and something that is frowned upon. But it’s America, land of the free. You can check out all the Texas Hill County Spring Break event’s on another one of our Surf Websites: TexasHillCountrySurf.com

For better and worse, the Governor of the State of Texas seems to be willing to be one of the first to open the fun house back up. He has announced that all Corona Virus restrictions including mask mandates and restaurant and bar capacity limitations will be lifted starting March 10.   Local officials will still have the option to impose their own restrictions, but with limitations. He did say that if hospitalization rates increase back to un-acceptable levels the restrictions will go back into place. With vaccine supply increasing, April and May might be the time festivals, events, and something that resembles a normal life starts to return. If and when it does, the world is going to party like its 1999.

Some of the more popular March events that have been canceled this year

Rodeo Austin
Blanton Block Party
St Patty’s Day 

April Event in Austin

Spring time is here, most of the fun bloggin staf has had at least one shot, and things are starting to open back up in Austin and all over Texas. Time to party like its 2019!

Regaa Fest Canceled

Capital 10k Race “Virtual”

Eeyores birthday seems to be canceled as they still have the 2020 info on their website

MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas The very cool motorcycle race has been postponed until the end of the year.

Bike night at Circuit of the Americas is back. You must register online.

The Moontower comedy series is having limited capacity socially distance events at the Paramount. Tickets can be a little expensive and tough to get. Much like the live shows and events that have taken place at Stubbs.

Fishing in Austin

In the Texas Hill Country the options for fishing include bass, catfish, stripper, crappie, perch, and believe it or not, rainbow trout. For those of you without a boat, there are many great options to enjoy the water and catch a few nice fish. Here are a few of my favorite spots in and around the Austin Area.

Mansfield Dam Bridge

Below Mansfield dam sits a free state park and my favorite spot to fish from my car in the Texas Hill Country. The park features a sizable bridge that spans the Colorado River at head of Lake Austin. Officially, one is forbidden to fish or jump off the bridge, but these rules are rarely enforced. The park does close at dark and this rule is enforced.

The top of Lake Austin’s water is very cold as it’s being let out of Mansfield dam from the bottom of Lake Travis. While refreshing, I can only swim in it for a few minutes at a time. The park features numerous park benches, grills, and has a very small boat ramp for kayaks and canoes.

As far as places you can fish without a boat, this spot is tough to beat. This section of Lake Austin holds a healthy population of modest size large mouth bass. If the water is flowing from the dam, the bite can be really good. We rarely fail to catch at least one keeper during these times. When the water isn’t flowing it can be a slow during the day. Unfortunately , the LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority), will not publish these release times. But the water flows most days starting around early afternoon and typically last for a few hours. This can vary depending on rain and other factors. This is one of Austin’s diamond in the rough and one of my favorite summer Texas Hill County destinations. If you have a boat, the rest of Lake Austin is a quality fishing lake for bass during the week. During the weekend the small lake gets over crowded with boat and jet skies and the chop can get absurd.

Mansfield Dam Park

Located on Lake Travis, the Boat Ramp on the Top side of the Dam is a state park with a swimming hole, and not many good places to fish. In years past you could fish off the doc at the boat ramp and catch some nice bass. They posted a no fishing sign and enforce the rule these days. There is a fee if you drive into the park, but there is a free place to park just before the entry gate, and you can walk into the park for free.

Lake Austin

Mansfield Dam is just one of many places to fish lake Austin. In year of past, this was a great bass lake. But the carp have invaded and decimated much of the grasslands the bass loved so much. Boo Hoo. It has had a major effect on the quality of bass fishing in Lake Austin.

Fritz Hughes Park

First stop on the Colorado and Lake Austin is a small “park” that is really more of a boat ramp. It’s located at the bottom of Steiner Ranch and right next to a fancy spa. This was the first place I ever took a kayak to fish, and I ended up dumping the kayay most of the day, so never found out if the fishing is any good. Not a very good place to relax and fish from the shore, but a good place to get away from the crowd in a kayak or boat.  It located very close to the Dam bridge park via boat, not too close via car.

Commons Ford Ranch

Next stop of the river is a modest size Grass field where the water can still be a little cold, but refreshing for swimming a little longer that at the bridge.  It’s located just outside of Westlake on the South side of the Lake Austin and is free of charge. The boat ramp is not accessible  by car, so it can only be used for kayaks and canoes. There is typical a crown drinking beer and causing a mild amount of shenanigans at this place.

Emma Long

A large state park with camping, motorcycle trails, playgrounds, a boat ramp, and all the other stuff you find in large lake parks. There is a fee to access the park and it is located on the North side of Lake Austin.

Pennybacker Bridge

Also know as the 360 Bridge, this state park in right in the middle Lake Austin and is the major boat ramp for the lake. It can be a zoo to launch your boat here, and not the best of places for the kayak or bank fishing, but some you can do both.

Oyster Landing

At the very end of the Colorado River and Lake Austin there is a nice boat ramp hiding in the middle of the bar and condos. In the big boat, I normally just launch at the Penny Backer as to avoid traffic, but during the week it can be a great place to launch the kayak and hit some nice bass fishing while surrounded by phat riverfront mansions.

Lady Bird Lake

The lake that runs through downtown Austin is a pretty good fishing lake, but I would never eat any fish that I caught here. You can only access this lake via non-powered boat, like a canoe. Some fisherman put their big bass boat in and only use the trolling motor. You can rent self-power boat in Zilker park, and a few other locations near MOPAC. We have caught a few 1/2 lb bass. There is also a carp tournament at the east side of the lake and I’v seen people pull out HUGE fish. The carp fisherman were using big ocean like rigs, and lots of stink bait, fishing from the shore, but throwing their bait way out there. You can launch a kayak under Mopac on South End, next to Mopac on the North end next to the sports fields, or on the North East end under 1-35 just off of Rainy st.

McKinney Falls State Park

A nice state park inside of Austin City limits with tent camping, a waterfall, and a nice place to fish from the bank. The waterfalls are impressive and it has nice feel like you are truly in the wilderness while only being a few miles from downtown Austin. The fishing here is for small black bass and the occasional cat fish. You need light small fishing gear for this place. We like to hike a fair amount withing fishing McKinney Falls.

Fishing Ponds

There are many ponds, most on private land, in the North Part of the City, If you look on Craigslist you can also find private stocked ponds right outside the city limits. These can be pretty fun if you enjoy the proverbial shooting in a barrel. There are few public parks that have fishing. In the North East part of the city there are two ponds, Bull Frog Pond and Kingfisher “Lake” that stock catfish and rainbow trout. So far all I’v landed is perch. There are playgrounds for the kids to play.

Fishing spots near Austin

Lake Travis

Lake Travis is a big lake that run for 50 miles or so from Marble Falls to the outskirts of Austin and Lakeway. We spend alto of time fishing and boating on this lake,you can read more about it on our Texas Hill Country Site

Lake Buchanan

Considered to be one of the premier fishing lake in the area, Lake Buchanan is known to be one of the best Stripper destinations in Texas.

Fly Fishing the Guadalupe River

The Guadalupe River is about 50 miles South of Austin and a great rainbow trout destination during the stocking season. It’s also one of the better places to fish for bass and just and overall amazing place. You can rent canoes, float trips, wader river access, or pony up for a guided trip. There is more information about fishing this river on our Texas Hill Country Website.

Pedernales falls state park

This state park is located about 30 miles from the SW edge of Austin. It a breathtaking view, hiking, and camp ground. The rock water fall formation can be fished and hiked if the water isn’t moving. I’ve pulled out a lot of small bass in the pools. There is a big pond at the bottom of the falls, and I’ve seen some BIG gars or carp, but never landed one. As a state park, you can fish without a license for the park fee. One of my favorite spots in the hill county, and it’s short drive from Austin. The only reason Mansfield dam beats in on this list, the bass are nice 2+ lbs at the dam. The bass at the falls are typically under keeper size.

Marble Falls Lake

I just landed one of the biggest white bass I have ever caught at the top of Marble Falls Lake, you need a very small boat or kayak to drag over the last set of rocks. Find some deep holes and jig off the bottom. The fishing is great in the Spring time.

Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico

For those of us living in the Texas Hill Country that need a little taste of big game fishing, the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay are located 200 miles away. While it’s a long day trip, it can be done. Galveston is historic and vibrant beach resort town that is now almost a suburb of Houston. There are charter fishing boats, jetties, beach fishing, and a large fishing peer. Galveston has several decent resorts and hotels and a downtown bar district, that throws a pretty good Mardi Gras. It a great place to take the family while enjoying big time fishing while your there.

Do I need a Fishing Licence? – You can buy them for the year, the day, and in state parks if you are fishing from the bank you do not need one, For more information: Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website
Thank you for reading Fishing in Austin.

100 Fun things to do in Austin

Ausitn Texas, the self proclaimed music capital of the world, has a long list of fun things to do inside the city limits. If you are willing to road trip about an hour out of town the to-do lists grows quickly. Our list of the 100 best fun things to-do in ATX includes music venues, outdoor action activates, sports, great food, drinking, and other random fun activates and events. Get out there and enjoy everything Austin and the surrounding Texas Hill Country have to offer.

  1. Live Music
  2. BBQ Restaurants
  3. Barton Springs
  4. Rooftop Bars
  5. Brunch
  6. SXSW
  7. Social Bike Ride
  8. Comedy Clubs
  9. Rainey St.
  10. The Domain
  11. Booze Cruises
  12. South Congress
  13. Top Golf
  14. Main Event
  15. K1 Racing
  16. Fishing and Hunting
  17. Circus Camp
  18. Panic Rooms
  19. Ride a Mechanical Bull
  20. Oyster Landing
  21. Golf Resorts
  22. Lake Resorts
  23. Sunset at Lake Travis
  24. Bob Bullock Museum
  25. The Opera
  26. The Ballet
  27. Pedi Cabs
  28. Horseback Riding
  29. Kayaks, canoes, SUP
  30. Swimming Holes
  31. The Broken Spoke
  32. Formula 1 Racing
  33. Professional Soccer
  34. UT Football
  35. Elyroe’s Birthday
  36. AAA Baseball
  37. Schlitterbaug Water Park
  38. Texas Hill Country Vineyards
  39. Texas Hill Country Dance Halls
  40. Soccer Golf
  41. Ax Throwing
  42. Luckenbach
  43. Gruen Hall
  44. Tubing River Trips
  45. 6th Street Bars
  46. Fancy Steak Restaurants
  47. Tex Mex Restaurants
  48. Indoor Skydiving
  49. Outdoor Skydiving
  50. Helicopter\Airplane Rides
  51. The State Capital
  52. Gun Ranges
  53. Dove Hunting
  54. Watching the Bats
  55. ACL Austin City Limits
  56. Zilker Park
  57. Moontowers
  58. Skate Parks
  59. Volente Beach
  60. Hippy Hollow
  61. Lost Caverns Cave
  62. Chicken Shit Bingo
  63. Tent Camping in a Park
  64. Segway Downtown Tour
  65. Scooters and Rent a Bikes
  66. Zip Lines
  67. Roller derby
  68. Vintage Grand Prix
  69. Pecan St Festival
  70. Moontower Comedy Festival
  71. Paramount Theater
  72. Round Rock Minor league baseball
  73. Slalt Lick BBQ, the original ranch near Dripping Springs
  74. Blues on the Green
  75. Free Week on Red River
  76. Hotel Pool Bars and Happy hour
  77. Continental Club
  78. The Elephant Room
  79. Stub’s Amphitheater
  80. One World Theater
  81. Deep Eddie’s Pool
  82. Deep Eddie’s Dive Bar
  83. Butler Pitch and Putt
  84. Carp Fishing tournament
  85. Oyster Fest
  86. October Fest
  87. Camping in one of 2 nice urban parks
  88. Barton Springs Restaurants and Bars
  89. Minor League Hockey Games
  90. Listing to KUTX
  91. One World Theater
  92. Trail of Lights
  93. Franklins BBQ
  94. Food Trailer Parks
  95. Hope Outdoor Gallery
  96. LBJ Library
  97. Blanton Museum of Art
  98. Thinkery Kids Museum
  99. The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria
  100. Drinking at the Driskill Bar
ATX 100 Fun Things To-Do

ATX Music Venues

COOL MUSIC VENUES IN Austin Texas. This is an ordered list of our favorite and most frequented spots for music in Austin and the Surrounding areas. Most of the Bars on 6th street have been left of this list, and many of them have decent live music most days of the week.

Stubbs – Located just off of 6th Street on Red River, is has a large amphitheater, a small indoor stage, and a pretty good BBQ restaurant. They have a great line up of shows and well know acts from Snoop Dogg to Ele King.

stubbsaustin.com

ACL Live at The Moody Theater – Located on the west side of downtown right next to the W. It’s a super fancy theater in the fancies part of town. It’s the home of the longest running music series in American television history, ACL Live.

acl-live.com

360 Amphitheater – Located at the race track near the Airport, it’s the biggest music venue in Austin. I hesitate to put it this high on my list, but it’s the only pace the mega acts will play and it’s brought more big time shows to Austin. Willy Nelson has moved his birthday bash here, and Tiberlake has played here. My biggest complaint about the joint is the didn’t make it big enough even thought they had the room.

austin360amphitheater.com

Paramount Theater – An old school theater in Downtown Austin. Located on Congress Street just a few block from the capital and a few blocks from the heart of 6th Street. There are two theaters on the property. They have live music, movies, and other random shows. The building is amazing, and worth a visit even if the show isn’t the best.

austintheatre.org

The Long Center – A classical theater located on the south side of Lady Bird Lake. Ballet Austin, the symphony, theater, comedy and other music acts all perform here through out the year. It’s a nice theater and just a short pedi cab ride away from the 6th street action.

thelongcenter.org

Emo’s – A long time staple of alternative and heavy metal music on 6th street, Emo’s moved to Riverside about 10 miles away a few years ago. The new place is nice, I got to see my first Woo Tang concert here when it first opened.

emosaustin.com

Cactus Café – On UT Campus the cafe turns into a music venue for all sorts of shows during the year. A cool place, but the crown can be a little young for this aging hippy.

Cactuscafe.org

Nutty Brown – Outdoor venue just outside of SW Austin. Restaurant is no longer operational. Country Acts such as Rober Earl King and random other shows.

The Broken Spoke –  One of the few hole in the wall bars left on Lamar that helped to make Austin “Weird” back in the day. They have 2 step lessons and great country music. Go while you can, some body from Dallas is going to tear it down and put up condos or anther shake shack.

brokenspokeaustintx.net

Threadgills – The downtown location is no more, #sad. The original North location features high quality music, and you can grab a quality southern comfort food meal while you take in the show.

threadgills.com

The Elephant Room – A jazz bar\club in the basement of an office building on Congress. Happy Hour shows from 6:00 til 8:00 sometimes. Weekeday normally no cover with a small cover on the weekends. It’s a super cool place.

elephantroom.com

The Continental Club –  A S. Congress classic. It’s small place with quality acts.

Antones – A blues landmark has a new home on 5th street.

antonesnightclub.com

White Water Amphitheater  Really cool venue on the river about 40 miles S of Austin.

whitewaterrocks.com

One World Theater – Small fancy theater in Westlake about 15 miles from Downtown Austin.

oneworldtheatre.org

Frank Erwin – UT Baskeball stadium downtown, they also get big acts. Not a big fan of this place, but they are probably going to tear it down soon.

http://frankerwin.center-austin.com/

Sponsors

440Music.com – The Granddaddy of online Radio for Unknown, Unsigned and Indie Music

Go Karts in Austin

Circuit of the American

I was kinda bummed when I found out there is a Go-Kart only track next to the main track, so you can’t run a Go-Kart around the famous Formula one Stop. It’s still a very nice Go Cart Track. There wasn’t much of scene there in the middle of the week.

K1

The indoor chain is a great place for the adults to get in some serious lap racing. We make a few trips a year.  

Austin Parks and Pizza

The place for the little ones to go kart it up. They also have Laser Tag, Putt Putt, and few other things including an adult bar.

Golf Courses

Public Munis

Lions aka “Old Muni” Located in West Austin, it’s a short but very nice course. Green Fees are reasonable. The course gets crowded on the weekends.

Roy Kizer and Jimmy Clay Located in SE Austin, Two courses, large practice facility, one course is a links course. Muni Pricing and I really like this place.

Butlers Pitch and Put – Par 3 Course just minuets from downtown. Right next to Zilker Park. No need for more than a wedge and a putter. Pretty fun for $7. I hit my first hole in one here in 2013. If you do you get your name on the wall.

Hancock Small 9 hole course right next to UT. It’s not that nice, but cheap and you can slum it if that’s your thing

Morris Williams Located on the east side of town, this course is a decent round of golf, and frequently less crowded that the other courses in town.

Lago Vista This is one of my favorite courses to play in the Austin\Hill Country area. It’s located about 30 miles from downtown Austin on the North side of lake Travis. The course has great terrain and views and the course is normally in decent shape. It’s also typically not very crowded compared to the courses in the city, and there are deer everywhere. Lagovistagc.com

Willy Nelson’s Course Located about 30 miles from downtown Austin in the hill country, I have only played this once and the fairways were in very rough shape. 9 holes with decent length and decent greens and layout. We have had a historic drought the past few years, so maybe this is just a 2013 thing. Cutnputt.com

The public “Club Courses”

Falcondhead Nice course in the lakeview community 20min west of austin. It’s one of my favorite courses in the area: Falconheadaustin.com

Black Rock

In far Soutwest Austin located in Circle C. Its nice and they frequently have great deals on the discount sites. Blackrockgolfcourse.com

The fancy resort clubs

Barton Creek Both a county club and a resort, they have numerous world class courses. The resort and main courses are located in Barton Creek about 20 min from downtown Austin, with one course 45 min away on Lake Travis. Bartoncreek.com

Horseshoe Bay A lake resort located 50 miles from Austin. They have a decent hotel and resport including several great golf courses. It’s located on Lake LBJ and the resort also have boat for rent. www.hsbresort.com/golf/

Dog Friendly ATX

Austin’s Hot Spots for your Dog

Austin is an extremely dog friendly city! Almost always you can take your fur baby along with you. Here are a few places that you will WANT to take your four legged friend with you.

Banger’s Sausage House:

They have great customer service for both human & your furry child! They have a fenced in dog park in the back which is amazing for the dogs! You’re dog will LOVE it. Plenty of cold water for the dogs on the hot days. They also have a specialty sausage made just for your dogs on the menu.

Doghouse Drinkery Dog Park:

The main park is ½ acre fenced in off leash area. They also have a separate area for small dogs (less than 30 pounds)/ They have multiple areas for dogs & their owners to hang out without using the off leash park areas. Dogs are always welcome in the bar area(s). The off leash dog park area is the only area that is membership only. Fees are $5.00 for a day entry per dog. Yearly membership is $75.00 a year. If you have more than one dog the cost of the yearly membership is an additional $5.00 per dog. They truly make you and your dogs feel at home here!

Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company:

Here they have a spacious backyard with plenty of lawn and chairs and shady spots! They have watering stations and individual bowls for your fur babies. You can enjoy a wide selection of brews they have & a bite to eat while your dog can enjoy some homemade dog treats.

Moontower Saloon:

Great South Austin spot for you and your four legged friend! Very chill & friendly hangout spot. Live music, volleyball & yummy food trailers to choose from. Good atmosphere and great people! Dogs must be on lease but still is a great spot to let your dog hang out with other dogs.

Austin Terrier:

They truly love your human babies as well as four legged “furry children” here! You can sit on the patio with your dog and enjoy a nice meal. They are of course called “Austin Terrier” with a bunch of Boston Terrier pictures inside. So amazing! Specially if you’re a crazy Boston Terrier mommy like me.

Draught House:

They offer brews & burgers in a dog friendly atmosphere! Has a great outdoor bar area to sit and hangout with a brew in your hand and your best four legged friend by your side.

Whip In:

Not the biggest porch area for you and your dog in the Austin area….but they opened a second outside bar, so you won’t have to leave your fur baby to refill your glass. Great food!

Buzz Mil:

A relaxing spot with enough bowls of water and picnic tables for you and your dog to have a nice relaxing evening.

Yard Bar: This place was built for bring your dog to the bar. Go check out thier website, and you will soon be planning a visit with your furry loved one.

YardBar.com

Dog Parks in Austin

West Austin Dog Park

I adore this place! It’s easily one of my favorite dog parks in Austin! It’s a chill spot to take your fur baby. It’s a fenced in off leash dog park perfect for your dog. Most dogs & owners are very friendly. Tons of water bowls and some even leave their tennis balls to share with the others. I highly recommend coming here!

Norwood Estate Dog Park AKA Riverside Dog Park

This is another great dog park if you’re looking for a good dog park in Austin. I love that they have a spot for the small(er) dogs and then a part for bigger dogs. It’s really big off leash area so it’s amazing to get to see your babies be free there. Only cons about this place is that there’s not much seating for you to sit at but I mean why would you need to? Go have fun with your fur babies!! There’s also not much parking but you can usually find a spot. But overall love it here for my dog.

Red Bud Isle Park

It’s a great little off leash area for your dogs to enjoy themselves either it be running around catching sticks or enjoying the water! It’s great scenery for us humans as well. Pretty friendly people and dogs! Only con about it is that the parking kind of just sucks. Try to get there earlier on the weekends if you can.

Bull Creek District Park

Great for your fur babies to run around and splash in the water! I honestly think that it’s not an “off leash” area but I think most the people here don’t follow that rule. (continue at your own risk) It’s def. a good fun and adventurous spot to take your dog on.

Round Rock Dog Depot-

Pretty good size place to have your dogs run around and enjoy themselves. Great people and good dogs. There’s also a basketball court and baseball field on the other for your kids/ family to go play.

Dog Boutiques in Austin
Bark ‘N Purr Center-

I love this place! They have an amazing selection of everything your dog wants – Treats, Toys & Food! The workers here truly know what they are talking about. Very knowledgeable. Every time you come here you will enjoy your experience and be excited to come back!

Lofty Dog:

I love going here because the staff is amazing and very friendly! They have a good variety of goodies for your fur baby. Not to mention great prices! I would def. recommend coming here for whatever your dog needs are.

Healthy Pet:

The employees here at Healthy Pet are amazing! They greet you once your arrive. It’s a cute little unique place with a good variety of stuff for your dog. They have a good healthier section for your dogs as well.

Groovy Dog Bakery:

I completely love this spot! I get my fur babies goodies for his birthday here. They are amazing and very knowledgeable. The cakes and treats always turn out amazing! Plus they have a good variety of treats. Very affordable for gourmet treats for your fur baby!

Bentley’s Biscuits & Bones-

This is another one of my favorites! I get my fur babies cake for his Birthday done here. Last year was my first time and it turned out amazing and it was a big hit with all the doggies that attended his party. The employees here are very friendly as well. Makes it a nice place to want to come back too. They have an amazing selection of baked goods for your four legged friend.

Pet Friendly Events in Austin

Austin Pet Expo:

Family & pet friendly! It’s a great event to see all the different vendors and brands of dog related things. Tons of free samples for your furry little friend. As well as plenty of dogs to mingle with! Friendly and amazing vendors. In previous years Shorty from Pit Boss has made his appearance.

THE AUSTIN PET EXPO™ OFFERS TIPS FOR ATTENDEES AND THEIR PETS

-Check their website for more information-

www.austinpetexpo.com

Kayak in Austin

Lady Bird Lake

You can rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard at numerous locations. Zilker park below the pool on the south side, http://www.texasrowingcenter.com and http://www.rowingdock.com/ on the north side. There is a free ramp and decent parking under I-35 and right across the street from the sports fields next to Austin High. You can also launch under the Mopac with a small kayak.

Mansfield Dam Park

20 minutes form downtown Austin, this hidden gem features good bass fishing, easy launch, and great views. There is also a small bridge that your not supposed to jump off of. It’s the start of lake Austin.

Lake Travis

The downstream side of the Lake closest to Austin is too big with too many big boat for a kayak or paddle board. If you venture up upstream on either side of the lake the waters shallow, the big boats disrepair and paddling starts to get nice.

The Guadalupe River

For those looking for a adventure, the Guadalupe river is an action packed destination. In the summer the river is filled with tubers. The flow of the river can be swift with some whitewater sections. They stock the river with rainbow trout in the winter. There are numerous free entry and exit points during the winter now. During the summer, these are commercial properties, and normally filled with party goers. You will need two cars to shoot the river yourself. There are also numerous guide services for raft trips. This is a world class river with spectacular scenery. It’s my favorite spot in all of the Texas Hill Country.

The Texas Hill Country

https://www.texashillcountrysurf.com/fredericksburg/The Texas Hill Country is an area that includes Austin and extends West for several hundred miles. There are many quaint little towns, lakes, rivers, ranches, parks, and golf resorts among other things.  We have an entire Website dedicated to the Texas Hill Country.

Visit TexasHillCountrySurf.com

Town in The Texas Hill Country

New Braunfels

Fredericksburg

Horseshoe Bay\Marble Falls

Locakhart

Tips-for-Moving-to-Austin

The secrete has been out for some time now, Austin is the coolest place in America! It’s also one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country. So here at ATX Surf we decided to write up a cheat sheet for all the newbies to the area.

Traffic

The ATX locals love to complain about how bad the traffic these days. Compared to Dallas, Houston, or other big cities it’s not that bad. It is a lot worse than it used to be, and seems to get worse every year. There are two major Highways that run north\south. I-35 on the east side, and the MOPAC on the West side. Both of them can get bumper to bumper just about anytime for no good reason, and they are frequently slammed during rush hour. A trip from Round Rock to S Austin can take over an hour sometimes. I always check my phone\traffic to see if there is a wreck on either of these highways, and take the other one if needed. You can cut over east and west to each one relatively easy, even during rush hour.

UT Traffic, the traffic lets up considerable in the summer time when UT lets out of school. Keep this in mind.

ATX Locals are really bad at driving in the rain. The local schools will shut down with just a hint of rain or sleet and temperatures below 40. It doesn’t actual have to snow to get a snow day in Austin.

The roads can flood very quick and shut off areas of town. Pay attention to the flood gates. People die every year trying to cross them in their cars. Heavy rain can shut down car travel.

Housing
Houses, Condos, and just about anything in the center of the city is very expensive. There are some bad parts of town still, with crappy houses that are also expensive. The East side used to be reasonable, but it’s now filled with hipsters, condos, and no longer very affordable. Reasonable housing is out in the sub burbs.

The Lakes

There area handful of lakes created by the Colorado River. Lake Austin, Lady bird, and Travis are major destination for fun. You can also live out near the bottom part of Lake Travis and commute into Austin. If your stupid rich you can afford a house one or near Lake Austin.

NO UBER!
Uber has left the ATX. You have to try some of the other knock off services or use cabs. The buses and other public transit systems are not the best either.

Pedi Cabs
They are super fun and a big part of the downtown bar culture. But rides are expensive, and they can’t take you out of the bar district

Other Random Stuff
Many of the tech business are up North, not downtown.

It’s easier to find a job on the North side of the city, and more of the family fun stuff like Top Golf, Main Event, etc. are also located in the North Part of the City.

You can find a sweet house that has a lot closer\easier commute to downtown in the South Part of the City. That is why I live in SW Austin, but the restaurant are pretty lame there.

The major events of the year are SXSW, ACL, Formula 1 Races, and UT Football games

Property Taxes in Travis County are insanely high.

ATX is the only city with “Moontowers” still in operation.

There is Live Music every night downtown,… but many of the iconic venues have moved, shut down, are have been harassed by their new condo neighbors to the point the music scene has suffered.

The dive bars and other stuff that mad Austin famous for being “weird” are quickly disappearing.

The are Vinaryds and other really cool small town out in the hill county. Fredrickburg is the romantic wine tasting destination of choice.

There are several rivers with tubing and other fun stuff. The Guadalupe is the biggest\party destination. It’s also a really great river for fly fishing.

Galveston is 3 hours away and the closest beach. The town is cool, the beach in town isn’t very nice. If you head south, the beached get better.

You can camp all by yourself on a secluded beach, if you have the gear to make it to North Padre Island, it’s about 5 hours away.

The Alamo is little over an hour away in San Antonio, there is also a six flags and a sea world there.

Sponsors:

Christmas in Austin 2020

There are normally  plenty of fun things to-do in Austin for during the Christmas holidays. But this year COVID-19 has canceled or watered down much of the holiday fun. But there are still options to stay safe and find a little holiday fun around Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

WINTER WONDERLAND AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS – They are still working on a game-plan or 2020.

From the looks of things on their website, COTA could out shine the long honored ATX tradition of Trail of Lights. Some of the attractions include:

1 million lights
Santa’s workshop
Petting zoo
Human snow globe
Holiday movies on the lawn
Hot air balloon float up to 100-feet high
Santa’s train ride for kids
Giant skating rink
Camel rides
Carnival rides for both children and adults
Shopping
Adult stuff in the Bud Light Tent!
WOW! I’m sold.

Some attractions cost extra

http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com/winter-wonderland

TRAIL OF LIGHTS AND THE MOONTOWER CHRISTMAS TREE IN ZILKER PARK – You can make a reservation to drive through the show in your car.

This year you must make reservations in advance and you and your party can drive through the modified trail of lights in and around Zilker Park. On the plus side, you don’t have to deal with parking this year.

THE NUTCRACKER – Virtual Access

Austin Ballet puts on a full production of the Christmas classic every year. There a many performance in the downtown theater, the Long Center. It’s a first class experience.

LOCAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING

Armadillo Bazaar  Canceled

CHERRYWOOD ART FAIR
Held 4 times a year, and a great event for Christmas time in Austin. They have 2019 info on their website,

Cherrywoodartfair.org/

Other Cool Fun Holiday to-do’s

TEDDY BEAR TEAS – Doesn’t look like you can reserve online. Boo Hoo Located at the 4 seasons, Santa reads twas the night before Christmas by the fire, there is afternoon caroling, and afternoon tea services. Children are asked to bring an unwrapped teddy bear as a donation. Saturday and Sundays, noon and 3. First few weeks in December.

GINGERBREAD WORKSHOPS AT THE THINKERY

A really cool kids\science museum located in the Mueller town center district; previously the old ATX airport. Hour long workshop for all ages. You must reserve a seat, recommended 1 gingerbread house kit for 2-3 people, $12\$20 per kit. 3-24 check website for dates and more information.

THE NORTH POLL FLYER

One of our family favorite kids attractions. A full size old school steam train that runs from North Austin to Burnett and back. There Christmas train ride is something special for the little kids.

37TH STREET LIGHTS  – Probably will be up.

These lights are decent, but only a small block. It a good excuse to make a trip to your favorite spot in this part of ATX

ICE SKATING –  Whole Food is a No thanks for 2020

During the Christmas season, there is an ice rink of the top of whole foods. There is also a decent Ice Skating Rink that is operated year around in Northcross mall in North Austin. The ice skates at the mall are not the best.

Hill Country Road Trips

GEORGETOWN CHRISTMAS STROLLA very quant downtown event about 20 miles north of ATX. The town square Christmas event is great

http://www.thegeorgetownsquare.com/Christmas-Stroll.html

MARBLE FALLS

An hour drive from Austin. A nice little town with a very cool Christmas lights show with a Santa and a quaint downtown area. I normally make the drive to check it out.

BUDA

There is a nice trail of lights without the big crowds. You can park at the Cabalas and they run buses to the event

Football 2020

I was so happy to watch the first Football Game of the year, I fired up my laptop and wrote a long article about my predictions for the season like I do most years. In a typical year there is pre-season in the NFL, and a known schedule in College. Not of that this year.

NFL

My first prediction for the year was a Super Bowl repeat of the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. A Super Bowl rematch is rare, it’s been over 20 years since the Cowboys and Bills played in back to back Super Bowls. It doesn’t look like it going to happen this year after San Francisco suffered too many injuries. It been fun winning money betting on the Chiefs so far. It hasn’t been any fun at all loading my fantasy team up with the Cowboys offense. After an incredible start, Dak Prescott is out for the season. The first game of the Andy Dalton led Cowboys was a ridiculous disaster. Not all is lost for the boys, at 2-4 they sit alone in first place in their sad excuse for a division. The biggest surprise so far has been the Steelers, who are undefeated and look like the team to beat. Their new rookie receiver Chase Claypool is quickly becoming a super star. In the NFC the Packers, Seahawks, and Bears have looked good. The Saints, Bucks, Rams, and Cardinals all might have a chance to make a playoff run.

Clemson vs the Field

Can anybody challenge Clemson in the ACC? Miami was supposed to be a challenger and they lost 41-23 and it wasn’t that close. They followed that up with a 73-7 hammering of an average Georgia Tech team. Notre Dame is officially an ACC team this year, and the only team that has a prayer against the mighty Tigers. The only team I think has a legit shot at keeping them from winning it all is Alabama. Even the Crimson Tide don’t look like they can play with Clemson so far this year. It’s still somewhat early in the season and a few injuries can change a team quickly. It’s also 2020 and something crazy stupid will probably happen. I put money on Clemson against the field at 2-1.

SEC

The biggest game of the year has already taken place with Alabama defeating Georgia in a shootout. It was just a matter of time before the pass happy new brand of football made it’s way into the SEC. 2020 seems like a fitting year to make this happen. LSU has fallen out of the top 25 and looked bad so far. They lost too many players and coaches to contend this year. It has been obvious that the lack of practice time has really hurt the teams that were in a rebuilding year. LSU and OU being the glaring examples. Texas A&M has looked decent, but has already lost to Alabama. Georgia most likely will get a second shot at the Crimson tide in the Conference title game if they can beat Florida. I’m rooting against the Gators after the jackass head coach tried to get his home stadium packed to full capacity after his loss at A&M. The SEC is Bama’s to lose this year.

Big XII

All the pundits were thinking this is the year for the Longhorns, I think the only prediction of mine that might come true from week 1 is picking the OSU Cowboys to win the Big XII. I’m shocked at how bad OU and Texas have been. OU is a young team in somewhat of a rebuilding year. They also have had to deal with key players opting out and suspensions. They might be able to turn it around when they their best defensive player and running back in the lineup next week. Two early conference losses will make it tough for them to claim a spot in the conference title game. Texas has no excuse. They had an experienced and talented team with a Sam Elinger starting his 4th year at quarterback. The only reasons Herman might keep his job is because of COVID. Can any team in the BIG XII make a serious run at the playoffs? It’s 2020 and anything can happen, but the entire league looks several out gunned by the likes of Clemson and Alabama. If the Cowboys run the table they will get their shot.

Big Ten and Pac 12

Ohio State has been the domain force in the playoff picture out of the traditional Rose Bowl conferences that past 10 years. Oregon, Michigan State, and Washington have each made one playoff appearance. USC has shown some life in rebuilding their program, but can’t seem to every make a serious run. Wisconsin typical is a very good team, but never a great team. The other two blue blood programs Michigan and Penn St. have been disappointing for a long time. I found it comical Nebraska got all huffy when they first canceled the season, considering they have not won a conference title in over 20 years. With more games getting canceled and both leagues getting such a late start, it’s hard to see either team playing enough games to guarantee a spot in the playoffs. The Big 12 being so bad certainly helps. A Pac 12 team probably needs to go undefeated to make the final 4.

Back to School?

I guess it is back to school time. UT and AISD are both planning on starting a little late with some kids in the classroom. Other early back to schools attempts around the country have gone poorly, so I’m not optimistic. The news out of UT is that they are hopeful fans will be in DKR for the 2020 College football season. I’m trying my hardest to not let this anger me, as I find this plan nothing less than crazy. Don’t’ get me wrong, I would love to see some college football. But, I don’t think college football is going to last very long if they allow fans at the games. Maybe this is God’s way of teaching us a much needed lesson: Football isn’t the most important thing in life.

What to do for Fun?

So what to-do for fun if all the bars are closed, music fests are canceled, and you can’t go get drunk and scream and holler with 100,000 of your closest friends? Well, you could read some books, get back into shape, go on hikes, and attend “virtual events”. That all got all super old a few months ago, so drinking alone is once again back on the table. Or, I’m going to build a full blow space suite with my own oxygen supply and join the freedom lovers in the stadiums.

Ice Ice Maybe

For those of you living in a cave, ignoring the comeback of the pride of Miami, Vanilla Ice almost rocked the house 2 years in a row in the year of the pandemic. The music ATX music of choice? One very cool over the top, frat house love’en, ball cap pea cocking, bikini sporting, Lake Travis bar called Emerald Point. But, he didn’t because Corona Virus canceled the fun once again. “Vanilla Ice Cream”, as my mother likes to call him, was all set to go just days before his July 3 concert date. But spikes in local positive test sparked nationwide outcry, so Ice man tweeted out the cancellation orders.

We probably aren’t going to be rolling in our 5.0 tomorrow, the rag top will be up, not down, so the wind isn’t going to blow. I have come to the sad realization the A 1 A beachfront avenue is a fictitious place. You can’t check out my hook, because I don’t’ have a DJ to revolve it. The party in not jumping, the base is not kickin, and the Vegas are not a pumping. The girls are still wearing thier bikinis, it’s not bumper to bumper on the avenue, it is not packed. The chumps have not seen an 8 ball in weeks, Yo! if there is a problems, Vanilla Ice promised to solve, it, his answer ?

Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

Other Links

https://www.facebook.com/emeraldpointbarandgrill/

Lake Travis July Fishing Report

Typically, fishing during the Texas summer heat isn’t top priority for the GTS fun blogging Krew. It’s normally a low grade top 10 activity this time of year. But, thanks to the Corona Virus, it is now just about the only thing left to-do on the captain’s fun list. We have been launching out of Pace Bend and filling the deep fryer with bass this July!  

Early Bird Gets the Worm

The real key to summer fishing on the Texas Hill Country lakes is your timing. The time to get out of bed and on the road from Austin is about 5:00. Trucks need to be on the road to the boat shed by 5:30 to get the boat in the water by first light at 6:30. The fishing is better and the morning is the only time of day it’s not stupid hot out. Fishing and decent weather are done at 11:00 AM not matter what time you start fishing.  Full discloser, we have never hit Lake Travis by 6:30, maybe July 15 will be the day.

Large mouth for lunch

We pulled in 5 keeper large-mouth on our first 2 trips, with one very nice perch, and few other throw back black bass. In the early morning you can see the fish hitting on top about 20 yards off the points, we pulled in 2 of these throwing small spoons. The bigger bass can be found deep, we pulled in 3 with gig heads and worms around 20-30 feet. We got 1 of these off a point, and the other two off a cliff wall with rock formations in front. There are bait schools, small ones, all over the middle of the lake right now.

Upper Lake

The Narrows: We typical hit the narrows in the winter months. It’s a remote section of the lake with little wake board traffic. One nice canyon wall next to the boat ramp holds all sort of fish. Water is shallow after the canyon bend.

July 15 trip to Lake Travis

We managed to hit the road by 5:45 and were on the water by 6:45, right around sunrise. The ideal time to be there would have been about 30 min earlier. After a short boat ride out to the flats, we quickly found a large pocked of bass jumping out of the water, after throwing just about all plastic and spoons we could come up with, no bites, about an hour into it, I wished I had hit the easy button a had live bait on me. I guess the summer heat finally have made the fish finicky with their diet. After a quick stop a a cliff face, a boat doc, and more more point, we headed back home with no fish. It had been about 10 trip or so since the last time I got skunked. That’s why they call is fishing and not catching.

The trip back to the boat shed wasn’t the best either. About a mile down the road one of the wheels started to shake, and quickly flew off the trailer down the road, so it’s time to replace a spindle and wheel before we head out again on the big boat. spindle repair Youtube video below. It seem a little to hot out for spindle repair this week, so plan B is to hit Pace Bend State Park with the kayaks, live bait, and bring the family along for a picnic. We probably are not leaving at 5:30 in the morning for this trip.

Plan B

We have put a lot of work into our 72 Newman restore boat. My old man warned me to keep checking the trailer wheels ever few trips. One of those lessons I had to learn the hard way. Boat repair will have to wait, we have more Lake Travis bass fishing to do in July.  It was about time to break out the kayaks and canoe anyway. I thought it would be nice to get the kids and non fishermen out to Lake Travis at one of the many outstanding parks that provide walk in swimming, picnic tables, playgrounds, and in some places cliff jumping. But they all thought this idea sucked. So time to plan a trip to the best kayak fishing spots on Lake Travis in mind.

Pace Bend

This is the easiest drive for me, a super nice park, and the fishing area that I know best. I’m almost positive you can launch and swim in the flats at the end of the park. If we had to we can launch at the downriver boat ramp, and paddle across the Colorado to one of my favorite spots. The bass were hitting the top water all morning, and wouldn’t take any of the fake stuff. Minnows, Worms, maybe a little liver for the cats, jug lines, fishing form the shore. It’s a whole new ball game from using the power boat. Step 1 throw the kayaks in the pool, and make a quick trip to Ladybird to warm up and test the gear. Target date for trip, ASAP, no later than July 22.

Arkansas Bend –  Near Devil’s Cove, this is on our maybe list to hit in July. It’s on the North side of Lake Travis.

Hippy Hollow – for those of you not familiar with Austin, this is the nude swimming park. Probably not going to drag the fishing gear out here.

The Narrows in a great place to kayak, I normally don’t fishing this far up river in the summer, but might have to give it a try.

North Lake Austin Being a “southie”, I do not make it to the North side of Travis too often. It has some nice resorts, a world class zip line, and this fancy beach water park area. In the spirit of checking out new places we have a few trips in the works for August.

Mansfield Dam

Word on the internet is Windy point top water in the morning is working. Devil’s cove, canyon walls and deep coves hit with jigs deep produce bigger bass. After we make our first day trip to this locations, we might try to hit some catfish holes at night with jugs and jigs, before the morning bass bite. The Newman needs some new lights before we make a serious night run.

Texas wildlife and other blog sites have the fishing as good to excellent now. I’m not that great of a fisherman, so if I’m catching fish all the time, can’t be too bad.

Lake Travis Fishing Videos

How to fix the trailer spindle

Summer of Fun?

It’s been one crappy Spring just about everywhere in the world, so the GTS fun blogging gang hasn’t been in much of a mood for fun, or blogging. But as summer approaches hope springs eternal and the great state of Texas is starting to re-open. We added a pair of Six Flags season passes with a fast pass add-on that are in desperate need of some use. We have already made a few trips to the beach and lake. Over the first few weeks of restaurants and bars opening, multiple times a pair of use where just about the only people in the joint.  With one more week of virtual school left we are starting to venture out, and make a few plans for some summer fun.

Fishing Trip to Port Aransas

Port A is our favorite fishing destination on the Texas Gulf coast.  The hotels are decent and cheap, the beaches in Port A are decent. We typical send a few days fishing in the bays in our boat and then take one of the big charter boats out into the Gulf for Snapper Fishing. Over the past 10 years the Feds and the State of Texas have put strict limits on the Red Snapper, and as a result the fishing is now the best I’ve seen in my lifetime. The boat now routinely bring back and handful of giant 20+ lb Red Snappers. Port A is also near the North Padre Inland beach. You can drive up and down the 40 mile stretch and go camping right on the ocean front. The wind can be a little stiff, but it’s camping on the beach.

Boating on the Hill Country Lakes

One of the finest water parks in the world is located about 50 miles south of Austin in New Braunfels. You can stay at the park at one of two locations. The town provides access to tubing on the Comol and Guadalupe River just a few miles away.  It is a must for our crew to make a few trips down to Schlitterbahn each summer.

For those looking for the Party Cove, Lake Travis’s Devils cove is the big one. You can also find party coves on LBJ and other areas of Lake Travis. The Resort at Horse Shoe bay is nice place to take the family and has great golf courses, tennis courts, and a nice pool area on lake LBJ. For the serious anglers, the fishing is best at Lake Buchanan where you can land some nice sized stripped bas. If you don’t have your own boat, Inks Lake is a cool place to go where you can rent kayaks and paddle boat. It’s also a small lake with a nice cliff jumping and swimming area. Inks Lake also has cabins and tent camping right on the lake.

Zip Lining on Lake Travis

Things are bigger in Texas, including the zip lines. The lines go from one hill top to another across good size coves on Lake Travis. This place is sweet and worth every penny of the not so modest price tag

Splash Mob

A new tradition in Austin is the downtown water balloon and water gun fight on 6th street. After you get soaked out in the sun, the party gets started during the middle of the day in the downtown bars. Yes it’s as fun as it sounds.

Float Fest

Music fest with inter tubes and camping. The lineup can be a little hip-hip-ish for some. Ice Cube is one of the headliners this year and the venue has now moved to Gonzales.

ROT Republic of Texas Biker Rally

The rally is officially in downtown Austin, with bikers making road trips out into the hill country all weekend. It’s one of the bigger biker events in the country and always a good time even if you don’t sport a hog. On second thought, since most of us on the GTS Surf staff have a motorcycle of some kind we don’t’ really know if it’s fun if you don’t have a 2 wheel ride.

Blues on the Green

The Free music series in Zilker Park is a great reason to go for a swim in Barton Spring and take in a show on a random Wednesday.

Willy Nelsons 4th of July Pick nick

Willy still jams it in ATX for USA’s Birthday. The event is now at Circuit of the Americas.