One of the best parts of living in Austin is the proximity to the gorgeous, warm waters of both Lake Austin and Lake Travis which you can bask in 6 or 7 months out of the year. Lake Austin is just 15 minutes from downtown with rows of fun homes to scope out as you cruise down the water and old school restaurants, Hula Hut (Mexican) and Cain & Abel’s on the Lake (don’t miss their Texas Tea mason jar cocktail). Float On Boat Rentals is the best company to hire for a group of 12 max for pontoon boats or 7 max for a ski boat. Plus they can host you on either lake, and they are very flexible about starting pick up location. The drivers are safe, engaging, good photographers, also cute, and they make sure your boat ride dreams come true! They’ll even offer to toss you a beer while your swimming which I found charming, if you will. Each boat is equipped with Bluetooth, Yeti Cooler (bring your own ice!), Life Jackets (don’t worry, mom!), and a giant lily pad that you can lay and drink on while chatting the day away!
The major thing to know about the Lake Austin rental are these two words: “Party Cove.” This phrase is synonymous with summer down here! Right before you hit the iconic Austin 360 Bridge and Austin Country Club, you’ll veer right off to the side where you’ll find a treasure trove of other likeminded individuals grasping White Claw’s, Lonestar’s, and chilling out in the water. Music is pumping on the weekend, so if you would like to avoid these rambunctious creatures, think about renting a boat in the evening when you can have the lake all to yourself. We did this on a weeknight and it was enchanting! There was only one other boat, we cooled off in the 100 degree August heat on a Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. watching the sunset and our hair blowing in the wind. It’s a great after work idea and way to get the weekend started. ***In addition, all Chekmark Eats readers will receive a weekday discount of $100 off any 4 hour ride Monday-Thursday and a free Yeti package which is a cooler with ice and water bottles with a $50 value. Just make sure when you email them (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book your reservation you include Chekmark Eats!
If you are coming in town for a Bachelor or Bachelorette party and want to check out the bigger lake, Lake Travis is your answer. It’s a further drive about 30-45 minutes, and the color of the water will get you! I grew up going here with friends every summer and it’s not something you’d think Texas would have if you aren’t from here. It sparkles blue and will be fun to see another side of the city if you have time. Float On also has their own private marina there.
Another sweet fact to know about Float On, is they donate thousands of dollars a year in free boat rentals to local organizations raising money and also throw an annual charity boat party where they take 100 people out on the lake and donate all proceeds to a charity of choice.