6 favorite Austin stores for exploring the great outdoors
Folks in Austin love the outdoors, whether paddling on the water, hiking in the hills, or anything in between. This time of year, especially, we start looking forward to getting out and enjoying spring.
Austin also enjoys plenty of stores that cater to outdoor types. Rely on these longtime institutions to provide what you need to pursue your particular outside passion.
Austin Canoe and Kayak
This 20-year-old outdoor adventure retailer carries kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, as well as thousands of accessories, racks, and trailers, plus gear for fishing, rafting, running, camping, hiking, snorkeling, and diving. ACK also rents and repairs canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards and offers trips.
The Peddler Bicycle Shop
After more than 10 years on Duval Street, this bicycle shop recently opened a second location in Avery Ranch. The business sells Cannondale, Scott, Raleigh, Yeti, Kona, Surly, Linus, and Fairdale bike brands and provides service and repair. The Peddler also offers organized bike rides.
Recreational Equipment, Inc was started by 23 mountain climbing buddies and became the nation's largest consumer cooperative. It carries gear for camping, hiking, kayaking, climbing, cycling, running, snow sports, and yoga, along with clothing; shoes; and accessories for men, women, and children. The stores also hold workshops and talks ranging from bike maintenance to wilderness first aid and camp cooking and offer organized hiking, paddling, and other outings. Because it’s a cooperative, members get an annual dividend (which most of us probably spend at the store). Take advantage of two Austin locations.
Tom's Dive and Swim
A family-owned business since 1982, Tom's has an indoor heated pool for swim lessons and scuba diving classes and more than 20 dive instructors offering classes from beginning open water certification up to professional dive instructor. The shop also has a repair facility, tank fill station, and a complete selection of gear for sale or rent. Plus, Tom’s offers group and custom trips for divers to places all over the world and does local fun dives.
After 39 years at the intersection of Lamar Boulevard and 29th Street, this bicycle shop is closing February 28 — but first, it's having a big sale! Originally University Schwinn Cyclery, with two locations, the business was purchased by the Fox family in 1977. The Schwinn Bicycle Company sold in 2001, and the store dropped "Schwinn" from its name, continuing to sell Giant, Yeti, Jamis, and other bicycle brands and related accessories.
Whole Earth Provision Co.
Once a funky little place near the University of Texas, Whole Earth has grown into a Texas-wide chain with two locations in Austin. Jack and Linda Jones opened the first one in 1970 inspired by the Whole Earth Catalog. Current inventory runs the gamut from comfortable clothing and shoes to accessories, sunglasses, packs, camping equipment, hammocks, canoes and kayaks, water gear, books, toys, and nature-related gifts. A knowledgeable staff can help you figure out what you need and even show you how to use it.