Rō Fitness: Best Cardio Alternative to Running

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Rowing machines out on the deck of Rō Fitness (photo credit Rō Fitness)

Even if you love running, rowing – or better yet the rowing machine – is the best low impact cardio alternative out there. And Rō Fitness is Austin’s only indoor rowing studio.

You’ve probably tried the rowing machines at the gym before with no results. But that’s likely because you were doing it wrong. After taking just one class at Rō Fitness (your first class is free), your workout routine will be changed. [Read more...]

Treat a Friend with Austin Passbook’s BOGO Deals

Austin Passbook

Austin Passbook offers BOGO deals for food trucks and activities

Today marks the launch of a small book that will make your friends want to hang out with you all the time. Austin Passbook is full of buy one, get one free coupons for local businesses in Austin. For this first edition, the focus is on food trucks and activities.

Simple, but fabulous! With Austin Passbook in hand, you can treat a family member or friend to a hip and delicious meal or fun activity in our area.

You can even use Austin Passbook to create a fun and hyperlocal date night. 50% off a meal and activity = date that won’t make your wallet spontaneously combust. [Read more...]

15 Over 15: Which Austin Eateries Have Survived the Years?

Guest article by Edwin Ochoa

It’s no secret that running a restaurant or bar is difficult, especially in Austin. With so many opening every month, only the truly exceptional have what it takes to compete long term. So how admirable is it when an establishment can keep the doors open for 15, 20 or even 50 years?

The purpose of this article is to celebrate 15 restaurants and bars in Austin that have served hungry and thirsty Austinites for 15 years or more. My list comes from Austinites who have lived here long enough to remember when quarter beer night was a thing.

This isn’t a ranking by any means. My goal is to focus on what led to the success of each establishment. To do so, I sat down with someone at each business to get the real story. I’ve included their explanations for the lasting success of their local businesses (spoiler: customers come first). Without further adieu, here are Austin’s 15 over 15.

Ross’ Old Austin Cafe

Ross' Old Austin Cafe

Don’t miss the live music on Tuesdays and Fridays

[Read more...]

Haunted ATX: Austin Streets in Spooky Ride with Freaky Facts

Haunted ATX Hearse

Chris English and the Haunted ATX hearse

Guest article by Kendra Wright

There are multiple ways to experience the weird side of Austin. You can cruise the streets via a Segway, you can catch a ride in a real life Mystery Machine, and now the Austinot has discovered yet another unforgettable approach to exploring our city…and it’s unlike any way you’ve ever seen it before.

What if I told you your next great adventure involves riding in a hearse driven by a blood drawing Phlebotomist and planting your butt checks on the same seat Carl from The Walking Dead once used?

Interested? Read on. [Read more...]

Become a Maker at LeafDistrict Artisan Workshops

LeafDistrict glassblowing workshop

LeafDistrict glassblowing workshop (Credit: Kelli Niewohner)

If you’re tired of routine social activities and want a new way to spend time with friends or reconnect with yourself, the intimate creative workshops shared through LeafDistrict may offer you the perfect solution.

LeafDistrict is a virtual platform that artisans or “makers” use to connect with the community. Created as the brainchild and labor of love by Kelli Niewohner and Nicole Lutz, the website hosts workshops that bring crafts as common as knitting and as wild as glassblowing to those in Austin ready to indulge their creative side or try something new.

These workshops are a fulfilling way to spend your time because there is always something tangible you take [Read more...]

House of Torment Is the Best Haunted House in Austin

House of Torment Monster

Commander Nemesis
(Credit: House of Torment)

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Every year, one of the things I look forward to in Austin is our coolest haunted house, House of Torment.

I never used to think of Halloween haunted houses as having large or small budgets. They all blended together. However, in the last ten years House of Torment has dominated the market in Austin, becoming the go-to place for Halloween scares.

Starting in 2003 at North Cross Mall, House of Torment eventually moved to the former Laser Quest building in Highland Mall’s parking lot. Back when I was in high school, Laser Quest was a rad laser tag attraction that had multiple stories (and before that it was the movie theater for Highland Mall). Eventually it was shut down and in 2005 the building was renovated into a haunted house attraction. This former laser tag building was perfect for a haunted house because it had multiple stories, paths to walk through and the walls were already painted black.

Film Quality Production

Over the years, House of Torment had raised the production quality to the point where it feels like walking into a big budget movie. [Read more...]

Austin Street Hockey Lets You Get Your Gretzky On

Austin Freetails Street Hockey

Austin Freetails Street Hockey in Cedar Park

When you think of Austin sports, what comes to mind? Jogging around Lady Bird? Co-ed kickball with Austin Sports and Social? Maybe you’re a fan of disc golf.

No matter what you’re into, there’s a organization to scratch the itch. But what if you’re a hockey fan? Austin’s 100 degree summers are unkind to ice. And unless you grew up around the stuff, strapping on skates can be daunting. Enter the Austin Freetails, an up and coming social street hockey group that gives local puck-heads the chance to get their Gretzky on. [Read more...]

3 Affordable Downtown Group Fitness Classes

Castle Hill Fitness

Guest article by Adrienne Purdue

Maybe you’ve noticed: Austin is a good looking town. The locals take care of themselves, which might have something to do with combatting the BBQ and Tex-Mex that’s always on the menu. Also, our weather doesn’t require us to put on that “extra layer of fat” in the winter months. It’s fantastic.

Maybe You Also Noticed…

Austinites are obsessed with supporting local businesses. We keep it close to home. Personally, I keep it literally as close to home as possible because I don’t own a car. So when I started looking for a downtown gym, I thought I’d be out of luck [Read more...]

5 Best Local Grocery Stores in Austin

As I’ve visited local markets and grocery stores in Austin that many neighborhood residents frequent, it has quickly became apparent what Austinites value: organic food, local products and craft beer.

Though the atmosphere of these local businesses varies, they all make shopping local convenient and offer easy access to unique foods that are difficult to find anywhere else. Here’s a list of what I consider the 5 best local grocery stores in Austin.

What’s on Tap at Royal Blue Grocery?

Royal Blue Grocery in Austin

Royal Blue Grocery on Brazos

There are five Royal Blue Grocery stores in Austn, all in the central downtown area and each carefully adapted to its immediate neighborhood.

Both the Brazos and Congress locations boast outdoor seating where you can drink the beer, wine or coffee you just bought. The high ceiling and white wood paneled walls of the Brazos location enclose extra grocery options, due to the apartment-centric location, while Congress caters to grab-and-go customers with many prepared food items made in-house. The Rainey St. location also blends into the surrounding neighborhood with beer on tap. [Read more...]

Celebrate Autumn at Sweet Berry Farm with Fun Activities

Sweet Berry Farm Pumpkins Near Austin

Take one of these guys home to spruce up your porch (Credit: Sweet Berry Farm)

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1842

I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Hawthorne, and I’m convinced he was specifically talking about autumn in the Hill Country. Fall here is its own unique kind of wonderful.

Maybe it’s the way the hills light up as the sun sets and gives way to cooler nights, or maybe it’s the fact that we feel like we’ve waited an eternity for some sort of relief from the sweltering heat, anything that would allow us to wear boots and scarves and flannel shirts. (You know dressing up is your favorite thing about fall, too.) [Read more...]