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With the arrival of March, we could all use a vacation. Although Spring Break season is around the corner, the pandemic at hand has made traveling and vacations challenging.
If you're looking for a mini staycation this month, look no further than at some of Austin's most beautifully decorated and acclaimed Airbnb Plus locations that will have you wondering if you're still in town.
Airbnb announced the hotel-like service of "Airbnb Plus" in 2018, offering guests with a one-of-a kind experience in extraordinary locations. According to the service, you can still feel safe at these locations knowing they are 100% well-maintained and hosts are taking extra precautions at cleaning and providing a COVID-19 safe space. Airbnb Plus hosts are known for great reviews, attention to detail and thoughtfully designed homes.
House in Travis Heights
Listed at a rental rate of $153 per night, this one-bedroom, one-bathroom house is a perfect getaway for a relaxing weekend and ravishing aesthetics. With a beautiful heated saltwater pool and a carefully decorated bedroom, you can have your own private resort outside of the city. This property does not have a kitchen, so plan to order takeout from some local places around town for a true staycation experience.
Cottage in East Austin
Listed at a rental rate of $151 per night, this signature East Austin cottage should be your next staycation location for a cozy weekend. Originally built in 1930 by the Calcasieu Lumber Company, the cottage has custom woodwork, hardwood floors, vaulted pine ceilings and carefully detailed decor. Alleviate all your stress by visiting this two-bedroom, one-bathroom beautifully designed cottage.
Tiny house in East Austin
Listed at $119 per night, The Tiny Shiny is a tiny house with a lot of personality and a perfect secluded location for relaxation. If you've ever been curious about tiny house living, visiting The Tiny Shiny is a must to understand the coziness of the small, studio-like establishment. Although near Central East Austin, this unique tiny house will give you the privacy you need and a perfectly cozy experience while walking distance from Austin life.
Guest suite in Barton Hills
This private getaway will trick you into thinking you actually left the city. Listed at a rental rate of $108 per night, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom modern guest suite has great features such as a walk-in rain shower, a queen-size Murphy bed, a gas stove and a perfect location walking distance to South Lamar.
Remodeled trailer in Ford Oaks
Listed in Architectural Digests as one of the best Airbnb's in Austin, this remodeled vintage Spartan trailer is the perfect Austin getaway as sunny and warm weather returns to town. One hundred percent custom build and with new amenities, you will forget you're even in Austin by staying in this secluded, cozy trailer. The property is listed at a rental rate of $131 per night and is the coziest location you'll find for your staycation.
Guesthouse in Bee Cave
Although we wish we could vacation in Spain this year, this beautiful Spanish-style guesthouse is as close as we can get with COVID-19 safe precautions. The four-bedroom, one-bathroom house is a perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing weekend with friends. With a private pool and spa, high ceilings and astonishing decor, you will feel like you're spending the weekend in Spain without having to leave Austin. Listed at a rental rate of $282 per night, the guesthouse can accommodate five people.
Bungalow near Dripping Springs
Looking to get out of the city—but not too far—for your staycation? The Airbnb Plus listing is only a few miles out of the city and right in the Hill Country. Listed at a rental rate of $157 per night, this two-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalow is the perfect country tranquility getaway. Located on a ranch minutes from Dripping Springs and the Austin area, the bungalow features a shaded porch and natural beauty you can only find in this part of Texas. Did we mention the bungalow is in a perfect location if you're looking to visit some wineries and breweries around the Dripping Springs area while cozying it up country style?
Guesthouse in Mueller
Enjoy a relaxing staycation without having to pay a fortune with this Airbnb Plus listing. Listed at a rental rate of $88 per night, this cozy modern guesthouse has all the amenities you need to decompress for a staycation. With one-of-a-kind detail, a private nook to spend your time and a location close to all things Austin, this relaxing guesthouse has everything you need to relax.
Guesthouse in Brentwood
Listed at a rental rate of $130 per night, the two-bedroom, one-bathroom upscale guesthouse can accommodate four guests and is listed as an enhanced clean location, proving to be a COVID-19 safe environment. With a private balcony, beautifully decorated interior and great location in Central Austin, this guesthouse is a must-visit if you're looking for a relaxing and fun time.
Townhouse at Zilker
Nothing says Keep Austin Weird better than this quirky Zilker townhouse. With so many colorful touches and carefully decorated rooms, this one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom townhouse is packed with vibrant colors, patterns and thoughtful decor for a true Austin experience. Only a short walking distance from Zilker Park, this listing has a rental rate of $138 per night and can accommodate four guests.
Guesthouse in East Austin
Listed at a rental rate of $125 per night, this one-bedroom, one-bathroom guesthouse is a true charm in East Austin. With a perfect location for anything you might need, this small "Casita" will provide you with tranquility and relaxation for an ideal staycation without being far from home. The property is secluded and surrounded by trees to ensure you have a quiet, peaceful time, and the wonderfully bright and carefully decorated interior will have you wishing you booked to stay more nights.
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With more research done on the COVID-19 Delta variant, Austin Public Health is upping its goal of 70% vaccinated to at least 80% due to the extreme virality of the strain.
As more Delta cases are identified—up to 29 cases are confirmed in Travis County—health officials are urging the unvaccinated to get their shots to contain the spread and relieve hospitals from reaching full capacity.
Austin-Travis County surpassed the Stage 5 threshold on Friday and has reached a seven-day average of 61 hospital admissions. However, Austin health leaders have yet to make an official shift as the Delta variant calls for new guidance, APH Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said at a joint Travis County Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday morning.
The new guidance has yet to be released, but Walkes said it will take into account the viral load of Delta on both unvaccinated and vaccinated people.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed the Delta variant was as contagious as chickenpox, which has a herd immunity threshold of at least 90% vaccinated.
Although 63.42% of those eligible in Travis County are fully vaccinated, breakthrough cases—where vaccinated people are contracting COVID-19—are being identified. APH has identified 1,496 breakthrough cases of the roughly 800,000 vaccinated. Most breakthrough cases are showing less severe symptoms or are asymptomatic, according to APH.
Health officials are still asking residents to wear masks, although the city cannot mandate any masking orders due to an executive order by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
"Our challenge is going to be whether we're going to stand as a community and everyone who can get vaccinated, get vaccinated, and everyone wear a mask—that's what it's going to take," Walkes said.
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Save Austin Now police petition will reach November ballot after county clerk certifies 25,000 signatures
Save Austin Now is now 2-0 over Austin City Council after its petition to add more staffed police officers to the Austin Police Department was certified, garnering over the 20,000 votes needed to make it on an election ballot.
The petition calls for more police staffing per city resident, quicker response times and more training for city police officers in the wake of increasing violent crime rates nationwide and a year of limited APD staffing. The City Council will now decide whether to implement the ordinance outright or add it to the November election ballot; it will likely do the latter.
Over 25,000 of the 27,778 signatures racked up by the public safety petition were certified as valid, well over the 20,000-vote threshold required to be certified with the City Clerk. City Clerk Jannette Goodall placed the city's seal of approval on the petition on Tuesday morning.
The petition, by the same political group that got the camping ban reinstated through a petition in May, seeks to:
- Require minimum staffing of two officers per 1,000 residents
- Require a minimum standard of 35% community response time
- Add 40 hours of training
- Require city council members, Mayor Steve Adler and other city staff to enroll in the Citizens Police Academy
- Facilitate minority officer hiring through foreign language proficiency metrics
Austin's 160 patrol vacancies have dropped its staffing rate to 1.2 officers per 1,000 residents, according to the department. APD's response time has increased by about one minute and 50 seconds in a year.
The petition comes nearly a year after APD's budgets were slashed by city council following the summer's Black Lives Matter protests, which saw several demonstrators severely injured as millions called for justice in the police-related deaths of George Floyd and locally Mike Ramos, an unarmed Black man killed by APD officer Christopher Taylor, in April 2020.
Austin and the U.S. have experienced a widespread uptick in violent crime rates in 2021. The city has reached 49 homicides in 2021, higher than the total number of murders in all of 2020 and the 38 homicides in the city in 2019. Austin police officers have seen response times rise as the department suffers increased vacancies and fewer newcomers while cadet classes are being readjusted.
Opponents argue the ordinance would ramp up a policing budget while taking away from other departments including Fire, EMS, violence prevention, and mental health care. City Council Member Greg Casar, the Travis County Democratic Party and the Austin Justice Coalition have spoken out against the organization's latest public safety move, calling out the campaign as a "right-wing petition" that misleads those who sign.
🔥 PANTS ON FIRE: Republican-front group Save Austin Now is lying about their petition!
They say their measure is about police reform, when it's really about devastating our city budget - all for the benefit of the police union. Watch the video here ⬇️ #ATX pic.twitter.com/Z6QQSfhHfH
— Gregorio Casar (@GregCasar) August 2, 2021
The latest battle between city council and Save Austin Now will be decided by Austin residents in the Nov. 2 election.
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Austin City Limits fest and iHeartRadio Fest are the latest festivals to announce the removal of rapper DaBaby, who has come under fire for homophobic comments made during a recent festival.
The 29-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, was dropped by Lollapalooza just hours before his set on Sunday, followed by the Governor's Ball in New York and Nevada's Day N Vegas after making unsolicited comments about men with HIV/AIDS at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami. Rolling Stone Magazine confirmed with iHeartRadio organizers that DaBaby will no longer perform.
DaBaby will no longer be performing at Austin City Limits Music Festival — lineup update coming soon. pic.twitter.com/jAYfdJFxJf
— ACL Festival (@aclfestival) August 3, 2021
There is no word on who he will be replaced with yet, though rumors on ACL's subreddit, r/aclfestival, are saying they expect Tyler, The Creator, who performed at Lollapalooza. Kirk will be replaced at Day N Vegas by rapper Roddy Ricch.
Kirk later backtracked his offensive statements on his Instagram story, but again faced criticism for not exactly apologizing.
After facing a second round of backlash for his Instagram statements, the rapper posted on Instagram, saying:
In addition to being dropped from the festivals, DaBaby has been denounced by fellow celebrities like Dua Lipa, Madonna and Elton John.
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