Lake Austin Spa Resort
12611 Riverbend Rd., Lake Austin
Forty minutes from downtown on a particularly spectacular bend in the river, Lake Austin is as amazing a day spa as it is an overnight retreat. Either way, you can use all the spa facilities, the restaurant (many ingredients come from an on-site organic garden) and participate in daily fitness activities from water yoga in the stunning, barn-enclosed warm pool, paddle boarding, and hikes to river-based workouts). There are more than 100 services on the extensive mind- and body-nourishing spa menu—everything from standard Swedish to Chinese-medical cupping treatments—with specific options for mothers-to-be, couples, and groups. The facials are particularly incredible: herbal enzyme peels, fractionated laser treatments, and luminizing vitamin C therapies, plus specific options for mothers-to-be, couples, and groups. Post-treatment, you can lounge by the series of swimming pools in the large hillside garden.
1600 Scenic Dr., Lake Austin
This is a nice getaway from the city; the Pennybacker Bridge is an iconic landmark, which locals will tell you is best viewed by boat. A day out on the water (boats can be rented from multiple outfits) is a quintessential Austin experience, and you’ll find plenty of company ranging from families waterskiing and tubing to twenty-somethings overflowing anchored party barges. It’s worth seeking out the high, very fun rope swing on the south side of the river. Photo credit: 1nativeTexan, MisterDavidC.