When Meagan Fritts started her own tour business, she knew the stereotype she had to overcome: Tour guides were supposed to hold a clipboard and drone in a monotonous voice about obscure city facts to a stuffy crowd of visitors.
Fritts knew that model would never fly here in Austin.
“I vowed when we got going, it was always going to be—if you were my friend and came to visit me in town, would I take you to this place?”
In 2015 Fritts launched Access ATX tours—a company that leads private trips exploring the city and surrounding Central Texas area.
In September, Fritts expanded her business and launched Twisted Texas Tour. On board a bus painted funky colors, a live band plays along the route. Riders can choose from two options.
The Brew Bus ($64) features flights and pints at three local stops and lasts about three hours. The Brunch Bus ($69) features three meals adding up to one big brunch– breakfast tacos, kolaches, and chicken and waffles, with a drink at each of the three locations, and lasts about 2.5 hours.
“It’s just a fun hangout. Even if you live here, who doesn’t love visiting breweries? Who doesn’t love having brunch? Those are things we do anyways,” Fritts said.
Fritts came to Austin in 2011. Like many in their early 20s, she said she was feeling a little lost in her career just after graduating from the University of Arkansas, so she Googled “best places for 20-somethings to live in,” found Austin, and moved to town sight unseen.
Fritts found her niche working for a tour company that flew her all over the world. She enjoyed the job, but she traveled nearly 200 days a year and found herself wanting to spend more time in her home city.
“Unfortunately, I moved to the coolest town ever, and then basically started leaving all the time,” Fritts said.
So in 2015, Fritts started her own business. The experience was initially daunting, Fritts said, but she found support around Austin.
“The community here is just phenomenal for starting a business. Everyone is so supportive and excited for your ideas,” she said.
Reservations for the Twisted Texas Tour are recommended, but not always necessary. Private tours are also available at www.accessatx.com.