So when it’s time to introduce people to our city or take a break ourselves, what better way to do it than via some of our favorite things: biking, paddling, and floating? Thankfully, we have a great guided option for all these activities in Austin tour company, Frontera Tours.
Thank you to Frontera Tours for hosting me during the Bike & BBQ Tour, for the purposes of this article. All opinions are my own.
How Frontera Tours Got Started
Ross McIntyre founded Frontera Tours in 2018. After earning a business degree at UT-San Antonio, he traveled and fell in love with adventure touring. This led him to leading tours in Central America and then Alaska, before he found his way back to Texas and started Frontera Tours.
Frontera Tours launched bike tours first, and soon expanded to paddle boarding and floating. These were all activities McIntyre was actively engaged in. With that and his experience leading tours, it was natural to begin offering tours in Austin.
As McIntyre described it, he wants people on his tours to feel they’re having an adventure. After experiencing one of his tours, I can testify he’s achieved that goal.
Bike & BBQ Tour of Austin
I joined Frontera Tours for the Bike & BBQ Tour on a Friday in late spring. The tour started from Bicycle Sport Shop on South Lamar. At 10:30 a.m. when I arrived, McIntyre assessed my height and immediately pulled out the appropriate size bike.
The four others on the tour were similarly provided with a bike (color requests were accommodated), helmet, and water for the tour. The bikes were comfort bikes, easy to handle on Austin’s bike lanes and trails.
From the shop, we headed along Barton Springs Road to visit the spring itself, and then various stops along the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail. At each stop, McIntyre shared interesting history and facts, and answered questions from the group. Aside from McIntyre and myself, everyone else in the group was visiting from out of town. I was proud they had such an appropriate introduction to our city.
Halfway through the tour, we made a stop at House Park Bar-B-Que for lunch. We were all treated to a friendly welcome and allowed to visit the smoker, witness the meat cutting, and chat with several locals picking up their orders.
Following lunch, we conquered a hill to visit the Texas Capitol Building and then rode down Congress Avenue. Our group was the perfect size to continue our conversations while McIntyre pointed out more sites of interest.
Once we made a few more stops along the shores of Lady Bird Lake, we returned to Bicycle Sport Shop to conclude our tour. Several people asked about the other Frontera tours and a few made reservations for an additional tour with McIntyre.
Other Adventures With Frontera Tours
Frontera Tours offers two more excursions in addition to the Bike & BBQ Tour. The Austin River Tubing tour leaves from the Austin Visitor Center in downtown Austin. Everything is provided during the five-hour excursion to the San Marcos River, including a shuttle to and from your float.
The Paddle Board & Bats tour is designed so participants can see the bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset. This tour leaves from the Holiday Inn boat dock on the east side of Austin, meaning you avoid the bat-viewing road traffic.
Plan Your (or Your Guest’s) Trip
Bike & BBQ is offered weekdays starting at 10:30 a.m. The Austin River Tubing float is offered on Saturdays, also starting at 10:30 a.m., and Paddle Board & Bats is offered each day, starting around 6:30 p.m. (departure will adjust with sunset time).
With this diversity of tour times, you have an option for most days of the week, energy level, and–most important for an Austin summer–temperature.
While the tour I experienced would be great for locals looking for an easy, well-planned excursion, I’m also excited to have a great place to send my frequent out-of-town guests. I know they’ll be well cared for, have fun, and get a true Austin experience.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which Frontera tour would you choose?