Outdoors & Recreation
1996 Readers Poll
1996 Critics Picks
Best Basketball Court/Game

Enfield took a huge lead over other choices which account for almost every court in town.

West Enfield Neighborhood Park
2008 Enfield
www.cityofaustin.org/parks

Best Bicycle Repair

Four years as your favorite repair shop, two as your favorite all-around store, it's Bicycle Sport Shop in the lead. Ozone and Freewheeling were runners-up in both categories.

Bicycle Sport Shop
517 S. Lamar, 512/477-3472
10947 Research, 512/345-7460
9900 W. Parmer, 512/637-6890
www.bicyclesportshop.com

Best Bicycle Shop

Four years as your favorite repair shop, two as your favorite all-around store, it's Bicycle Sport Shop in the lead. Ozone and Freewheeling were runners-up in both categories.

Bicycle Sport Shop
517 S. Lamar, 512/477-3472
10947 Research, 512/345-7460
9900 W. Parmer, 512/637-6890
www.bicyclesportshop.com

Best Bike Ride (challenging)

Breaking the Bike Ride category in two didn't do much to diversify the balloting, now did it? You picked Town Lake as your second-most scenic and second-best hiking trail and City Park and Loop 360 as your next most challenging bike ride.

Barton Creek Greenbelt
Zilker Park to Lost Creek, 512/974-6700
Twin Falls, and off MoPac, south of Loop 360, north of U.S. 290, 512/974-6700
www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/greenbelts.htm

Best Bike Ride (scenic)

Breaking the Bike Ride category in two didn't do much to diversify the balloting, now did it? You picked Town Lake as your second-most scenic and second-best hiking trail and City Park and Loop 360 as your next most challenging bike ride.

Barton Creek Greenbelt
Zilker Park to Lost Creek, 512/974-6700
Twin Falls, and off MoPac, south of Loop 360, north of U.S. 290, 512/974-6700
www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/greenbelts.htm

Best Camping & Outdoor Gear
REI

This little co-op that could smacks in the face of the big boys with its member-owned, dividend-sharing system finding new, expansive digs on Austin's north end. What better way to accomodate all those happy customers? Academy, Wilderness, and Whole Earth Provisions received exactly the same number of votes and tied.

REI
9901 Capital of TX Hwy. N., 512/343-5550
601 N. Lamar, 512/482-3357
201 University Oaks, Round Rock, 512/255-1938
www.rei.com

Best Community Garden

Our intentions backfired on this one. We intended to recognize your favorite public place to plant things. Zilker won almost the entire ballot, but Austin Community Garden made a good show in spite of the misunderstanding.

Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Rd.
512/477-8672
www.zilkergarden.org

Best Day Hike

Breaking the Bike Ride category in two didn't do much to diversify the balloting, now did it? You picked Town Lake as your second-most scenic and second-best hiking trail and City Park and Loop 360 as your next most challenging bike ride.

Barton Creek Greenbelt
Zilker Park to Lost Creek, 512/974-6700
Twin Falls, and off MoPac, south of Loop 360, north of U.S. 290, 512/974-6700
www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/greenbelts.htm

Best Day Trip

Your favorite places to go when you need to get outta town? Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg, Pedernales Falls, San Antonio, and Wimberley, in that order.

Enchanted Rock
16710 RR 965
Fredericksburg
830/685-3636
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/enchanted-rock

Best Golf Course

Four years it's the same thing: Barton Creek, Barton Creek, Barton Creek, Barton Creek. Hancock and Lions come in closer than you'd think to tie second, and bonus points for all you who voted for Peter Pan!

Barton Creek Country Club
8212 Barton Club Dr.
800/336-6158

Best Native Plant Nursery

Three years, Gardenville. Barton Springs Nursery takes second.

Garden-Ville
4001 Ranch Rd. 620 S, Bee Cave, 512/219-5311
10624 North FM 620, 512/219-5311
250 WL Walden Rd., Georgetown, 512/930-1715
2212 Ranch Rd. 12, San Marcos, 512/754-0060
www.gardenville.com/

Best Neighborhood Park

This vote confirms that Austin sees itself as one big, happy neighborhood. Just about every chunk of land in the PARD system was represented in this ballot.

Best Overall Nursery

Three-year winner Wolfe's ties with Gardenville, and second place Cornerstone.

Wolfe's Gardenland
8711 Research, 4434 Frontier Dr
512/832-9551

Garden-Ville
4001 Ranch Rd. 620 S
Bee Cave
512/219-5311
www.gardenville.com/

Best Participatory Sport

Volleyball is still the favorite after four years. You also feel strongly about Disc Golf, Softball, Baseball, and Soccer.

Best Place To Get Married

If you must, Zilker's as good a place as any. No, don't you let our institutional cynicism influence you; go ahead, take the deep plunge! Other popular hitching posts include: Barr Mansion, Green Pastures, Umlauf Sculpture Gardens, and Laguna Gloria.

Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Rd.
512/477-8672
www.zilkergarden.org

Best Place To Skate

Seems rollerblading just edged out ice capades this year as the Veloway displaced past winner Northcross Mall Ice Rink.

Veloway
4900 La Crosse
512/974-6700
www.cityofaustin.org/bicycle

Best Rock Climbing

Charmed to report that Enchanted Rock is still high and hands-down for climbing. If you don't wanna drag your carabiners out so far, try PsuedoRock, Reimer's Ranch, or the Greenbelt, according to our readers.

Enchanted Rock
16710 RR 965
Fredericksburg
830/685-3636
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/enchanted-rock

Best Scenic Drive (in-town)

This has been your favorite drive around town for four years. Mount Bonnell and 2222 tie for second.

Loop 360
www.txdot.gov

Best Scenic Drive (out-of-town)

It was close between TX71 and US290 W.

Best Softball Field

We can't get that Monkees song out of our heads either. Pleasant Valley took first and the UT intramural fields and Kreig Complex split the rest.

Best Sporting Goods Store

Although Oshman's wins this year after year, the results require an ump's call. Academy came really close.

Oshman's Super Sport
Northcross Mall; 2525 W. Anderson
512/459-6541

Best Swimming Hole

A Hole lot more than swimming, with your pick of sun or shade, and plenty of interesting folks to look at.

Barton Springs Pool
2201 Barton Springs Rd.
512/867-3080
www.austintexas.gov/department/barton-springs-pool

David Brendan Hall

photograph by Minh Carrico   Minh Carrico

Best Tennis Courts

This was a close one, love, with a number of courts near the top: South Austin, Austin High, Intramural Fields, and Northwest.

South Austin Tennis Center
1000 Cumberland
512/442-1466
www.rippnertennis.com

Best Volleyball Court

In an upset, Barton Springs took the mighty Aussie's, winner for the previous three years. Aussie's, Carlos & Charlies, and Pease Park all made solid volleys.

Barton Springs Pool
2201 Barton Springs Rd.
512/867-3080
www.austintexas.gov/department/barton-springs-pool

David Brendan Hall

 
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