Photo courtesy of Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks Walk is the world’s largest fundraising event to enhance the lives of people with autism today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. The Autism Speaks Walk brings together people with autism and the parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, relatives and providers who support them. Funds raised help fuel innovative research and make connections to critical lifelong supports and services.

Photo courtesy of Visit Bastrop

What life on the river is like in beautiful Bastrop, just outside Austin

Let Nature Nurture You

Outdoor offerings are a major draw for Bastrop, a small community with big personality that's located on the outskirts of Austin. Specifically, all the fun things you can do based around the Colorado River, which runs through the city.

Here's a closer look at what life on the river is like here:

Best of both worlds
When in Bastrop, you don’t have to go far to catch a break in a beautiful outdoor setting. As you’re exploring the adorable shops and galleries of downtown, make a quick jaunt over to Fisherman’s Park to stroll along the river, rent a canoe or kayak, or take the family to the kiddie splash pad and playground. When you’re done, you can quickly pop back to town without missing a beat.

Seek out adventure
Explore the rolling box canyons, wildflower meadows, lazy river bends, and diverse wildlife at McKinney Roughs.

Check out its 1,100 acres by foot, horseback, or take a guided raft or kayak trip. The park also hosts interpretive hikes guided by naturalists, native animal presentations, and other community programs.

For a more daring adventure, let Rising Phoenix Adventure Tours and Events or Bastrop River Company set you up with a complete and memorable water-sports or biking experience. If you prefer to explore the outdoors from above, try zip lining at Zip Lost Pines.

Time for R&R
You can relax on the El Camino Real Paddling Trail and fish for Guadalupe bass and flathead catfish. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife sightings such as great blue herons, red-shouldered hawks, or kingfishers.

Bastrop is home to the famous loblolly pine trees, or “Lost Pines.” These trees are unique to the Texas Lost Pines Forest and are thought to have originated during the Ice Age. Explore this piece of natural history at the 600-acre Bastrop State Park.

The park covers nearly 6,000 total acres, so you can make a whole camping trip come to life. Go canoeing, swimming, golfing, wildlife viewing, or hiking, and camp at one of the park’s various campsites or historic cabins (built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s).

Or go for a luxe option in the woods at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa. It embraces the outdoors with exterior “living rooms” along with private balconies and patios, and coordinates a long list of activities for its guests.

Make it your home
Neighborhoods in Bastrop highlight the local environment, including The Colony. It features an extensive system of hike and bike trails, beautiful parks, and a greenbelt dog park so you and your furry best friend can hang out outdoors together.

This new-home community features resort-style amenities — of course there are several pools — and first-class builders, including David Weekley Homes, Lennar Homes, Perry Homes, Terrata Homes, Gehan Homes, M/I Homes, Scott Felder Homes, Sitterle Homes, and Westin Homes.

There are homes in a range of price points, and all only a 30-minute drive to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport via Highway 71.

Find even more to love about The Colony and life on the river in Bastrop here.

Man looking at the Colorado River in Bastrop

Photo courtesy of Visit Bastrop

The Colorado River runs through Bastrop.

Photo courtesy of Hill Country Conservancy

Hill Country Conservancy presents 5th Annual National Trails Day

The Hill Country Conservancy will host the fifth annual National Trails Day Fun Run on the Violet Crown Trail.

National Trails Day is a nationwide event held to encourage people to discover their local trails and celebrate spending time outdoors. This year the fun run starts and ends at the newly-opened Whirlpool Patio at the Dick Nichols Trailhead in southwest Austin.

Participants can enjoy the route as they please. The annual Fun Run promotes health and well-being throughout the community while highlighting the interconnectivity of the Trail between neighborhoods, peaceful wooded areas, convenient urban amenities, and neighborhood parks.

After the run, there will be a finish line party. Participants can get their finisher's medal, grab a taco, sip some coffee or juice, and celebrate. They can also check out the Whirlpool Patio and learn all about the Edwards Aquifer and nearby Whirlpool Cave.

Participants will receive a quality Dri-fit Fun Run shirt, a link to the route on Strava, a fun run bib, and some fun goodies.

Photo courtesy of Cowboys Fit

Score a special deal to train like the Dallas Cowboys at this Austin-area fitness center

Pro Workouts

If you're looking to get fit this summer, what better inspiration than the Dallas Cowboys? America's Team is the model for the health and fitness center Cowboys Fit, which opened its first Central Texas outpost in 2020 and now has a special summer deal just for CultureMap insiders.

What makes it different
The elevated gym approach was built in partnership with Mark Mastrov, one of the most recognized and leading innovators in the world of health and fitness.

Imagine using same cutting-edge cardio and strength equipment that's in the Cowboys’ own training facility, plus the same “train like one of us” mentality and recovery options.

The 57,000-square-foot Pflugerville facility is also the first of the five Texas locations to include such amenities as an indoor basketball court, indoor fitness-style pool, and outdoor training area.

Pro perks
Expect goal tracking technology as well as a strategically selected personal training staff to provide comprehensive, customized plans to deliver individualized results.

A recovery lounge offers HydroMassage, NormaTec compression therapy, cryotherapy, HyperIce percussion therapy, and more to help muscles recover.

Members can also access a variety of classes including yoga, barre, circuit training, cardio, and more inside professionally equipped fitness and cycle studios, plus water-based classes.

Take care of the whole team
Affordable family membership options mean that children 12 and older may work out at Cowboys Fit with parental supervision.

Got even younger cheerleaders? The Rowdy Room provides a safe place for children ages 3 months to 11 years to play and grow while parents take time to focus on their fitness goals.

A super deal
CultureMap readers pay $0 for enrollment and only $10 for the first month with promo code CULTUREMAP. That's a savings of $148, and it's good through May 15, 2023.

Not ready to commit? You can claim a guest pass for 30 days free to experience what it’s like to train like the Dallas Cowboys.Valid for all local, first-time guests 23 year or older. Additional terms and conditions may apply.

Cowboys Fit Pflugerville is located at 1401 Town Center Dr. Memberships can be purchased onsite, online at www.CowboysFit.com/Pflugerville, or by calling 737-787-3777.

Photo courtesy of Vino Vinyasa

Vino Vinyasa at Hotel Viata

Vino Vinyasa at Fall Creek Vineyards at Driftwood

Vino Vinyasa classes bring together vinyasa-based yoga and fun wine facts through creative yoga poses. The hour long educational yoga class will end with a comparative wine tasting of two wines.

Attendees will all receive a complimentary pool pass to stay for the day, and can also stay after class for brunch at the hotel's restaurant, Laurel. This is a BYOM (bring your own mat) event

Photo courtesy of Vino Vinyasa

Vino Vinyasa at Colton House Hotel

Vino Vinyasa at Fall Creek Vineyards at Driftwood

Vino Vinyasa classes bring together vinyasa-based yoga and fun wine facts through creative yoga poses. The hour long educational yoga class will end with a comparative wine tasting of two wines from Vinefy, a newly launching service serving the Austin area to curate and deliver under-the-radar European wine simply and elegantly.

Attendees will get 50 percent off their first glass of wine in Simona's following the event. Parking in the garage will be validated for up to 4 hours with any purchase at Simona's. This is a BYOM (bring your own mat) event.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Dip your toes into these 7 Austin pools with passes, snacks, and summer events; plus more top stories

hot headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From hotel pools, to museums, to a show-stopping Hill Country rental, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Dip your toes into these 7 Austin pools with passes, snacks, and summer events. The city is getting unreasonably hot again; It's time to start planning poolside hangs, which are even better with a cocktail.

2. Breathtaking Hill Country hideaway is one of Vrbo's top 10 vacation homes in the country. The retractable floor-to-ceiling glass windows are a nice touch in this $400-a-night house.

3. 6 Austin museums are offering free admission for military families all summer long. These organizations want to help military families spend more time together without breaking the bank.

4. Space-inspired screenings invade Austin Film Society ahead of Wes Anderson's upcoming release. Austinites looking forward to the June 16 release of Asteroid City can soak up the inspirations and watch a sneak peek screening.

5. Texas ranks No. 2 best state to start a small business in new report. The state's tax framework makes the finance side of running a business relatively easy.

4 Austin-inspired cocktail recipes to whisk you away from the Texas heat this summer


Now that summer weather has arrived in Austin, we can tell you’re thirsting for some new drinks to try. And with World Gin Day coming up on June 10, we’re sharing a few recipes from local Austin restaurants (and Austin’s favorite Topo Chico!) we hope you’ll enjoy.

The following recipes feature some of our favorite ingredients or mixers we’re loving at the moment. Whether your drink of choice is a cocktail or mocktail, we’ve gathered four bright and bubbly beverages to help whisk you away from the Texas heat. And if you prefer to drink them rather than make them, three of these lovely libations can be found on the seasonal summer menus at their respective restaurant.

Aba’s Rhubarb Rose Gin and Tonic
This cocktail was created by Senior Beverage Manager Thomas Mizuno-Moore.

½ oz lime juice
¼ oz honey syrup
½ oz Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur
¾ oz Brockmans Gin
¾ oz Hendrick’s Flora Adora
2 oz tonic water
Rosebud tea, for garnish


  • Combine lime juice, honey syrup, Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur, Brockmans Gin and Hendrick’s Flora Adora in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake until cold.
  • Add tonic water to the shaker, then strain over fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with rosebud tea and enjoy!

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo ChicoBecause everyone needs a good go-to mocktail recipe in their life.Photo courtesy of Topo Chico

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo Chico
This beverage might not be gin-themed, but it does make a great refreshing mocktail. If you don’t have Topo Chico Sabores on hand, you can substitute it with sparkling water.

1 Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon slices and additional blueberries, for garnish

Blueberry Syrup Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries are soft and the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the blueberry mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the blueberry mixture into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids and set the blueberry syrup aside.

Mocktail Directions:

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ounce of the blueberry syrup, and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until chilled, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a glass with ice and strain the mixture into the glass. Top off the glass with Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores (or sparkling water) and give it a gentle stir to mix.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and additional blueberries, if desired. Enjoy your refreshing Blueberry Sparkler!

Tillie's seasonal summer cocktailThis colorful cocktail is a lively take on a gin martini.Photo courtesy of Tillie's at Camp Lucy

Empress Gin Martini by Tillie’s at Camp Lucy
This martini recipe was developed by Paolo Lazarich, the mixologist for Abbey Row Restaurant at The Old Bell Hotel in the United Kingdom. Fun fact: Camp Lucy owners Kim and White Hanks also own The Old Bell Hotel, which is rumored to be England’s oldest hotel.

3 oz Empress 1908 Gin
1 oz dry vermouth
Splash of lemon juice
Lemon and rosemary for garnish


  • Add the Empress 1908 Gin, dry vermouth, and lemon juice to a glass and stir gently.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy.

\u200bSummertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse There's nothing like a summer spritz.Photo courtesy of Dean's Italian Steakhouse

Summertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse
This recipe is geared toward a mixologist who enjoys the little details that make a cocktail so unique, such as making their own oleo saccharum or curating the perfect flower as a garnish.

½ oz lemon juice
½ oz strawberry oleo saccharum
¼ oz Aperol
¼ oz Giffard Abricot
1.5 oz Zephyr Gin
2 oz Brut champagne
1 each cocktail flower


  • Combine all ingredients except Brut champagne into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a wine glass with ice and add the Brut. Fine strain the cocktail into the glass.
  • Garnish with the cocktail flower

Extravagant estate in West Austin hits the market for $4.25 million


An imperial estate in the Lost Creek neighborhood of West Austin has become the latest addition to the city's stabilizing real estate market. The property was listed at $4.25 million.

The magnificent three-story home was originally built in 2009, making great use of Austin's Hill Country views that can be seen from every single room. The home spans 8,215 square feet on just over two acres of land, surrounded by lush trees and enclosed with a private gated entrance.

Natural light floods the inside of the home, highlighting intricate details and complimenting the high ceilings. The home boasts five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and three half-baths. The primary suite is reminiscent of an upscale resort, containing its own spa-like bathroom, walk-in closets, and access to a private balcony.

In the kitchen, the 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream. The area has plenty of space and storage with its rich brown cabinets, a sub-zero refrigerator, a cabinet-mounted wine rack, two sinks, and more.

8105 Talbot Lane in AustinThe 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream.Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

A few other highlights of the home include a game room, media room, terraces, and a resort-style pool deck with an accompanying hot tub, kitchen, and fire pit. The two-car garage also includes a guest suite above it, with a single bedroom, kitchenette, and half bath.

Looking into the property's history, it was listed in June 2022 for $4.9 million, which was reduced to $3.9 million by September. The home was reported as sold in October of that year before being re-listed for its current $4.25 million price in 2023.

8105 Talbot Lane in Austin

Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane in West Austin.

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane, which is a brief 10 minutes from downtown Austin, and is zoned for the highly-esteemed Eanes Independent School District. The listing is held by agent Wade Giles of Douglas Elliman.