There is no excuse for sitting home bored in Austin. Opportunities for recreation abound. From cool, spring-fed swimming holes to Ben Crenshaw-designed golf courses, from area team sports to a walk in the beauty of Austin's natural settings — there is something to get you onto your feet to take off across your field of dreams. The home of five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is a great cycling town and a great running town. The Capital 10,000 and the Motorola Marathon attract thousands of runners each year.

Congress Avenue Bridge houses the largest urban bat colony in North America. More than 1.5 million of the nocturnal creatures fly out nightly at dusk, April-October. Congress Avenue Bridge Bats: Austin American-Statesman Bat Observation Area -- -- 327-9721

The eyes of Texas are upon you at the University of Texas Longhorn athletic events. Men’s varsity sports include football, basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming, diving, track and golf. Lady Longhorns compete in volleyball, basketball, softball, swimming, diving, soccer, tennis, golf and track. University of Texas Athletics: 2100 San Jacinto Blvd., Bellmont Hall, Austin, TX 78712 -- 471-3333

Score a fun outing for the entire family at an Austin Ice Bats hockey game. The season runs from October through March. Ice Bats Hockey: 7311 Decker Ln., Austin, TX 78724 -- 927-PUCK

Partake of America’s favorite sport with the Round Rock Express baseball team. The Double A affiliate of the Houston Astros plays in Round Rock at the Dell Diamond. Round Rock Express Baseball: 3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock TX 78664 -- 255-BALL

Trek along Austin’s 32 miles of self-guided hike and bike trails. Austin Bike Trails: 974-6700

Just Do It and enter one of Austin’s many annual 5K and 10K runs. RunTex: 472-3254

Grab a racket and take to the courts at one of several public tennis venues. Public Tennis Courts: 480-3020

Tour de France champion and Austinite Lance Armstrong has taken cycling to new heights around town. Favorite routes are along scenic Loop 360 and the Veloway at Circle C Ranch. Cycling: La Crosse Ave. & MoPac, Austin, TX -- 288-6086

Race in one of Lake Travis’ annual sailing regattas. Lake Travis: 266-1336

Pack in a full day on Lake Travis or any of the other six Highland Lakes to enjoy water sports, lakeside dining, or picnicking with friends by the shore. Highland Lakes: 719 Congress Ave., Austin TX 78701 -- 266-8333

Explore the recreational offerings–from the hike and bike trails to canoeing–around Town Lake, a piece of paradise in the middle of town. Town Lake: 974-6700

In the 351-acre Zilker Park, fly a kite, toss a frisbee, score on the soccer fields, dive into Barton Springs Pool, or enjoy doing nothing at all. Zilker Park: 2100 Barton Springs Rd., Austin TX 78746 -- 974-6700

Wander through the natural beauty of Zilker Botanical Gardens, a 22-acre hideaway featuring a variety of gardens, pioneer cabins, and dinosaur tracks. Zilker Botanical Gardens: 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin TX 78746 -- 477-8672

Take a walk on the wild side at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, a 230-acre habitat for native flora and fauna. Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve: 805 Capitol of Texas Hwy., Austin TX 78746 -- 327-7622

font size="5" face="Georgia,Arial" >Spend the day swimming, picnicking or mountain biking at Lake Austin’s Emma Long Metropolitan Park. Emma Long Metropolitan Park: 200 S Lamar Blvd, Austin TX 78704 -- 346-1831

At 635-acre McKinney Falls State Park, outdoors enthusiasts find miles of trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, and two spectacular waterfalls. McKinney Falls State Park: 5808 Mckinney Falls Pkwy., Austin TX 78744 -- 473-3333

Rowing thrives on Lake Austin, where collegiate crews from across the country train. Lake Austin: 472-0726

Explore caves, cliffs and creeks at the 60-acre Zilker Nature Preserve. Zilker Nature Preserve: 302 Nature Center Drive, Austin TX 78746 -- 974-6700

Endangered birds and other wildlife find homes at Balcones Canyonlands, a 30,000-acre sanctuary just west of Austin. Balcones Canyonlands: 339-9432