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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Live Music Capital of the World. Mecca of all things "weird." City of hippies, slackers and honky tonks—Austin's reputation was once synonymous with all things "cool."
But after three years as the top city to live in the U.S., Austin fell to No. 13 in the U.S. News & World Report's ranking this year.
For over a hundred years, Austinites have lamented that their city's charm is gone, and some continue to worry that the city has swapped too many of its grittier live music venues for gleaming corporate towers.
Has Austin's coolness taken a fall from grace? Here's a look at what could be affecting Austin's reputation.
Migration and affordability—not so cool
3. The median priced home costs $635K, while the median Austin resident can only afford a $438K home.— Nik Shah 🏡 (@NikhaarShah) June 16, 2022
This affordability gap of $187K is 3x higher than at the national level! pic.twitter.com/CH036nj8Nn
There can always be too much of a good thing–including dating profiles bragging about packing up and moving to Austin.
Austin saw a higher growth rate than any other U.S. city from 2010-2020 as the metro attracted 171,465 newcomers in a decade.
With highly publicized move-ins including billionaire Elon Musk, podcaster Joe Rogan and tech HQs, came a gaggle of Californians eager to eke out a living in the burgeoning "boomtown" paradise.
An affordability crisis ensued.
Young people, who often serve as the drumbeat of a city's "coolness," are quickly being priced out amid skyrocketing rent. While a Rent.com study ranked Austin as one of the best cities for young professionals in 2022, the city's share of 20-24-year-old residents was 7.5% of the population in 2019—down from 8.6% in 2010.
And the so-called "slackers" that helped make Austin famous are now struggling to survive in a city where the median price for a home is now $550,000, especially as many in the city's creative class make well below a living wage.
Live music and things to do—still cool
The outside, Zilker, Towne Lake, Barton Springs, dozens of decent hiking within the area. This is the advantage, do the free outside stuff (Austin has wonderful patio restaurants, etc but then the 💵 goes) More time inside less advantage to living here.— Trust_w/o_Journey_Is_Compliance (@runningman902) June 7, 2022
Austin was famously dubbed the "Live Music Capital of the World" in 1991 when officials discovered that the city had more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. And with 46.4 venues per 100,000 residents in 2018, that mantra remained largely true for years.
After the worst of the COVID pandemic, which was estimated to shutter up to 70% of music venues in the Red River Cultural District alone, the city's live music scene has worked hard to bounce back. The city now has the fifth-highest number of small music venues per capita in the nation and comes in at No. 4 among the best live music cities in the U.S., per a 2022 Clever.com study.
And many of Austin's unique attractions remain timeless. While paddle boarding on Town Lake has become overcrowded and even caused swimmer's itch for some, outdoor attractions like Barton Springs Pool, the Barton Creek Greenbelt and other Hill Country swimming holes remain a popular pastime.
And while the coolness of Sixth Street has become riddled with violence and safety concerns, the city still boasts plenty of nightlife districts.
Instead of the Armadillo Den of Austin yore, the new Austin boasts bachelorette party entertainment on West Sixth Street, intimate concerts in East Austin and a refuge for tech professionals on booming Rainey Street.
Keeping Austin Weird—barely hanging on
If you know...you know pic.twitter.com/auDQyVurUy— Evil MoPac (@EvilMopacATX) September 3, 2021
Leslie Cochran, the high-heel-wearing homeless man who personified the "Keep Austin Weird" movement, is long gone. In his place are controversial attempts at keeping that mindset alive, including an Instagrammable sculpture of the mantra approved by the city's Historic Landmark Commission in February.
But pockets of that signature Austin feel still exist. It's not uncommon to see Sam Greyhorse riding on his horse on South Congress.
And while South Congress is losing longtime businesses and gaining luxury retailers in its new Music Lane development, other areas—like Barton Springs—still retain their carefree, old Austin feel.
New "weird" strongholds have cropped up as well, like Austin FC's Q2 Stadium, where 20,500 soccer fans gather to chant Austin's mantras, lift up inflatable chickens and celebrate their community.
"Cooler" alternatives emerge
Moving out of Austin is so good for your mental health.— 𝒟𝑜𝓁𝓁𝓎 𝒷𝒶𝒷𝓎 🥂 (@adeeoxox) July 30, 2021
Still, Austin's residents are facing the second-most overvalued housing market in the nation, and many are looking for greener—and cooler—pastures.
Instead of cross-continent moves, some new move-ins are now relocating to nearby cities, according to a Placer.ai study. The study found that Austin's "boomtown" status could already be overshadowed by new tech markets like Philadelphia, Phoenix and Raleigh, North Carolina.
And even within the state, Austin fell behind Dallas, Houston and San Antonio as Texas' most sought-after city.
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Elon Musk’s spacecraft and rocket company SpaceX could be moving into Central Texas with an industrial facility in Bastrop County.
Bastrop County property records show that an entity tied to the Boring Company purchased the land near what it already owned along FM 1209. Then in early June, a 46.5-acre tract was transferred from the Boring Company’s entity to SpaceX.
In a June 6 filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, SpaceX gave notice for "Project Echo," a nearly 30-acre warehouse at 816 FM 1209. The project, just a 20-minute drive from Tesla's Giga Texas factory, was authorized to start construction early this month and has an estimated completion at the end of March 2023.
Meanwhile, the SpaceX jobs are for a facilities engineer and a senior application software engineer. The facilities engineer would be tasked with enabling SpaceX to achieve its long-term mission while the software engineer position would create systems to enable rapid build and reuse of the Starship—a reusable rocket the company is developing to carry cargo and people to space—as well as designing manufacturing software that will be used for Starlink, the company’s network of satellites providing internet access.
SpaceX has a site in South Texas along with a rocket testing facility an hour and a half drive north of Austin, in McGregor. Last year, job postings indicated SpaceX's plans for an Austin factory.
This brings an expansion of Musk’s companies in the region, with Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County and the Boring Company based in Pflugerville.
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