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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NFTs, which are essentially unhackable codes used as one-of-a-kind "certificates of authenticity" paid for with cryptocurrency Ethereum, have been cropping up in the Austin art scene and worldwide—and they're quickly evolving into a sports fans' paradise as a new way to snag some bragging rights through digital trading cards, tickets and highlight reels.
Here are five Austin-based athletes and sports venues now involved in NFTs:
NiftyHorns—emerging Texas NFT producer
🚨🤘🏽Player Announcement!— Nifty Horns (@NiftyHorns) September 24, 2021
First up to the plate - a man who capped a scorching spring with postseason heroics in Omaha - from El Paso, TX…
Ivan Melendez! @ivanmelendez17_
NFT trading cards for the Hispanic Titanic will be available this fall as part of our first pack drop. pic.twitter.com/2xI3aMd6Tv
College sports' entrance to NFTs originally came from another Austin—a picture of Stephen F. Austin's women's basketball team as they made their first NCAA championship berth was the first to break into the market in March 2020.
Now with NCAA NIL rules in their favor, it's easier than ever for Texas athletes to cash in on their clout. The University of Texas' LEVERAGE Lineup looks to serve as a database to connect even walk-on Longhorn athletes—like Surly Horn's "Burnt Ends" tight ends deal—to lucrative sponsorship contracts.
But there hasn't yet been a database that gives each player their own Robinson-esque NFT trading card—until NiftyHorns stepped in with an NFT business model that they hope to one day have officially linked to the school.
They've already made headway with an NFT for Longhorns baseball player Ivan Melendez using the same blockchain utilized by TopShot.
"(We want to) not make it exclusive to star players or just the big three sports," NiftyHorns co-founder Josh Pitel said. "We feel very fortunate to be in a space where the fan base is large enough and passionate enough to actually support a wide variety of athletes."
Bijan Robinson—Candy.com trading card
With nearly 130,000 followers across Twitter and Instagram, Bijan Robinson is a star on and off the football field. He's used that clout to his advantage and partnered with Raising Cane's, Athletic Brewing and Centre Apparel.
And he's now following in the footsteps of NBA's TopShot with his very own NFT. Trading cards are a growing commodity in the NFT community, with TopShot raking in $700 million on cards, highlight reels and more last year.
Robinson's 100 Rare NFTs currently sit at $250 and feature a hero shot, his jersey number, position and an animated signature with a sleek, high-tech gold finish.
COTA NFTs—360 views and tickets too
Each of the two NFTs feature 360 views of different aspects of the COTA track. (Circuit of the Americas)
Back in October, Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein appeared to embody his promise to make the 2021 U.S. Grand Prix the "biggest event on the planet this year" as an estimated 400,000 attendees made it through the gates for the Formula One weekend event.
To commemorate the event, the circuit decided to leap into the trendy NFT scene with two 360-degree panoramas, set at minimum bids of $30,000 each. And like many who look to tack on physical elements to the mystical crypto world, the circuit includes two VIP passes for MotoGP or Formula 1 events this year or next.
"Circuit of The Americas hosts some of the world's most iconic sports and entertainment events," Epstein said in a press release. "Just as visitors realize how unique and special COTA is, we know collectors will appreciate the significance behind our designs as well as the premium hospitality associated with the winning bids."
Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection—a true UT NFT
Check out this dope project I did for the Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection!— Bryson Williams (@artofbryson) September 11, 2021
Titled "Longhorn Legacies" Made in collaboration with @VybHouse and @Rickthelaureate
For more info check out https://t.co/XFr5gDSFta pic.twitter.com/SRCyWsjVqM
As the school's two Heisman Trophy winners, UT football legends Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams made sports history at their times as running backs for the Longhorns football team—and they encouraged others to become part of sports history themselves with a rare collection of 100 NFTs in honor of the renaming of the school's historic football stadium.
In collaboration with UT, Campbell and Williams created the collection a year after the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was renamed in their honor. The "Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection" included:
- The Campbell-Williams Experience NFT, which gives its owner two VIP tickets to the 2022 Super Bowl and Williams' Super Bowl 2022 party in Los Angeles,, dinner with Earl Campbell and friends and a 'UT Legend' memorabilia package.
- The ArtofBryson NFT, which included two tickets to The Red River Showdown (UT vs. Oklahoma) on Oct. 9, a Zoom call with both Williams and Campbell, signed cleats from current running back Robinson, and other care package add-ons.
- The Moon Ticket: six NFTs that grants its owners to an out-of-this-world astrology chat with Williams
- And the 100 trading-card style NFTs featuring artwork and both players' digital signatures.
USMNT—and their NFTs—come to Austin
As the U.S. Men's National Team headed to Austin's brand-new Q2 Stadium to play Jamaica in October, so did its Only Forward Art Series. This edition of the months-long series featured a poster design from Austin artist Phoebe "Feebee" Joynt.
Joynt incorporated her specialties in graphic design, street art and logo work to create the gameday poster, which was featured around town, at Austin FC's downtown store and online as an NFT.
"I was thrilled to work with FootyCon and U.S. Soccer," FeeBee told the USMNT. "I've always had a passion for soccer after being introduced to the sport by my dad as a young child and I'm so excited to create a piece inspired by the game that also references and is in dialogue with the amazing city of Austin that I call home."
The rare free NFT became available to all fans attending the Oct. 7 World Cup Qualifier as well as via purchase on the NTWRK app the day before the game.
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In this season of gifts, giving, and gratitude, Tito's is making it easy to shop for your friends and loved ones while helping our community.
The beloved Austin company's Love, Tito's retail space, downtown at 215 Lavaca Street, is fully stocked with great gear. 100% of net proceeds of whatever you purchase—a new collar for your four-legged friend, a Tito's tee, some branded barware—go to the nonprofits they support. From the environment to animal rescue, you can choose your cause while choosing a new copper cocktail kit… or old school cap… or golf polo.
The store is stocked with stuff that the online experience just can't offer: never-before-seen swag, doggy photo booths (to say it's a dog-friendly space is an understatement), a record player to spin some tunes, and a bar finder listing local spots serving mean Tito's cocktails. Locals and out-of-town visitors alike can enjoy wonderful distractions while kicking back in an environment designed to cater to Tito's fans.
While you can't enjoy a cocktail there due to Texas liquor laws, the store offers unique experiences for any and all fans of the brand, and gives folks a chance to find what resonates with them while taking home a piece of the Tito's story.
*At our Love, Tito's store in Austin, net proceeds constitute an average margin of at least 25% of the retail price of a product, excluding the cost of tax on the purchase. We are not deducting cost of our people, the store rent or other operating costs.
According to a WalletHub survey of nearly 5,000 Black Friday deals from 21 of the biggest U.S. retailers, Macy's has the best overall savings with an average 58.5% discount.
Here's how other stores fared based on shopping category:
- For clothes & apparel discounts: JCPenney has the best deals with an average 58.8% discount.
- For jewelry deals: Belk offers an 80% discount, followed by Kohl's at 75%.
- For furniture deals: Office Depot and OfficeMax are your best bet with a 49% discount.
- For consumer electronics, toys, and computers and phones: Macy's takes the cake.