Top 10 Unique Airbnbs in the United States

Airbnbs are a great way to make a trip even more fun, regardless of whether it’s a “stay-cation” or an adventure that takes you from coast to coast. Inspired by Trips to Discover’s post, 11 Most Unique Airbnbs in the United States, check out these ten Airbnbs in the United States that will be sure to add adventure to your vacation.

Secluded Treehouse (Atlanta, Georgia)

Do you love being in nature? This cute little “home in the sky” is just minutes from downtown Atlanta, but the intimate ambiance and soothing sounds of nature will make you feel like you’re miles away from anyone. The treehouse is made of three separate areas – mind, body, and spirit.

Brand New Studio Earthship (Taos, New Mexico)

For those looking to go off-the-grid, this home is just for you! It has the ability to catch its own rainwater and generate its electricity, and the interior stays at a constant 72 degrees throughout the day. Its amenities include wifi, Netflix, and a deep soaking tub. Love stargazing? Step outside and embark on your intergalactic adventure!

Love Nest (Morongo Valley, California)

Howdy, cowboy! About twenty minutes from Palm Springs, you can spend your days hanging with the various animals on the farm or exploring hiking trails. Prefer to stay in? Have fun with a game of pool, horseshoes, or ping pong and then head outside to see the stars!

Dog Bark Park Inn B&B (Cottonwood, Idaho)

What’s more of a unique Airbnb than a home shaped like a dog? Dog lovers unite in this beagle shaped home! This quaint bed and breakfast is surrounded by prairies and mountains – a dog’s dream home. Following the dog theme, you can check out their collection of puzzles, books, and games to keep you busy while enjoying the in-the-dog breakfast that’s included.  What’s more of a unique Airbnb than a home shaped like a dog?

Ocean View Malibu Hideaway (Malibu, California)

Surrounded by three acres of gardens, this cozy home is nestled into a canyon overlooking the sea. With a wall of windows, you never have to take your eyes off the calming ocean. Beach access and the Santa Monica Mountains are just minutes away, leaving adventure accessible at any moment.

Man Cave Apartment (Geneva, Florida)

Ready for a guys trip? This man cave is located in part of an active airplane hangar on a private airstrip (how cool is that?!) and is the perfect place to relax and unwind. With amenities like satellite TV, a wood-burning fireplace, and wi-fi, you’re guaranteed a weekend of fun.

Underground Hygge (Orondo, Idaho)

Have a Lord of the Rings adventure in this earth house that’s tucked into the Columbia River Gorge mountainside. Complete with an iconic round doorway, step inside for “hobbit-y” adventures and charming knick-knacks.

Fully restored 1920s Sheep Wagon (Shirley Basin, Wyoming)

Channel western history in this 1920s sheep wagon home for a night. Placed in the middle of a 30,000-acre ranch, you can fill your day with lake fishing, star-gazing, and hiking trails. Interested in the history of the ranch? Ask for a guided tour!

Grass-Roofed Earthen Hobbit Hut (Geyserville, California)

Calling all Tolkien superfans! This one-of-a-kind grass-roofed hut is paired with exotic neighbors, a hot tub, a sauna, pool, and an outside shower. Want to stay in? This dwelling is equipped with an adobo pizza oven. Ready for a night on the town? You’re just minutes from excellent restaurants and the Russian River.

The Houdini Estate (Las Angeles, California)

Built in the early 1900s, this home is perfect for large families. In true Houdini-style, you’ll find caves, hidden tunnels, and terraced gardens all over this estate, making it an extremely unique Airbnb. Equipped with a heated pool, and jacuzzi, you can even see the deep water tank where Harry Houdini practiced underwater escapes. Want to find more to explore? Venture out to the hiking trails and see gorgeous ocean views!

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Louisiana National Blue Ribbon Schools

According to Louisiana Believes, on September 26, 2019, the U.S Department of Education announced seven Louisiana schools that won National Blue Ribbon Schools awards.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program was established in 1982 and seeks to acknowledge and reward public and nonpublic schools nationally that work hard to close achievement gaps or are high-performing. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has a mission to “promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access” as stated on their website. Over 9,000 schools have been presented with this sought after award, gracing the schools with a symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.

State Superintendent, John White, expresses his pride over his school system: “We applaud these schools for their ability to either steadily improve student achievement over subsequent years or consistently remain one of the top-performing schools in the state. What an honor it is to have them represent Louisiana.”

The following two schools were recognized as “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools ”, which means they are among the state’s highest-performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over a five-year span:

Bayou Black Elementary School, Terrebonne Parish

St. Charles Elementary School,Lafourche Parish

The following four schools were recognized as “Exemplary High Performing Schools”, which means they are among the state’s highest-performing schools overall. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are at their highest points as well:

Haynes Academy School for Advanced Studies, Jefferson Parish

Early College Academy, Lafayette Parish

Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy, Jefferson Parish

Thomas Jefferson High School for Advanced Studies, Jefferson Parish

One nonpublic school, Parkview Baptist School in Baton Rouge, received the national honor.

An awards ceremony for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program will be held in Washington, D.C., on November 14 & 15 to honor the winning schools.

Schools can only be nominated once in a five year-span and are nominated by their Chief State School Officer. The U.S. Department of Education determines the number of nominations per state based on the number of students and schools in each state.  One-third of the public schools nominated by each state must include student populations with at least 40% of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The school’s nominations occurred back in January of 2019, leaving school administrators honored and over the moon.

Karla H. Russo, Principal of Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies in Jefferson Parish: “We are honored to be nominated as a potential National Blue Ribbon School. Our faculty, staff, students, parents, and community work together to create an environment that fosters student achievement and success, and I am proud to see their dedication and commitment to learning recognized.”

Andrew Vincent, Principal of Thomas Jefferson High School for Advanced Studies in Jefferson Parish stated “The Thomas Jefferson High School community is thrilled to be nominated for this prestigious distinction. We are proud of our students, staff, teachers, families, and community members that have continually ensured our success as a school. Thomas Jefferson High School would be honored to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.”

To read more about the nominations, click here.

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A Cajun Twist on Buttermilk Biscuits

What do you get when you cross biscuits and gravy with a Louisiana twist? The answer is Buttermilk biscuits and andouille cream gravy.

This recipe takes the classic biscuits and gravy recipe and adds spice and flavor – a trademark of any Lousiana dish. This is a perfect Saturday morning breakfast, or even a Sunday evening recipe that will leave everyone who tries it asking what your secret ingredient is. (Hint: it’s the andouille sausage!)

Check out Louisiana Travel for more delicious Lousiana recipes.


For biscuits:

  • 10-inch cast-iron griddle or skillet
  • Sifter
  • Box grater

For gravy:

  • Large skillet
  • Whisk

Ingredients for Buttermilk Biscuits:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (add more as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cold butter
  • 1 1/3 cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • sliced green onions (optional – for garnish)

Method of Preparation:

First, preheat over to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the ten-inch cast-iron griddle or skillet, and place inside the oven to heat.

(Sidenote: preheating and greasing the griddle will produce biscuits with crispy bottoms. If you want softer biscuits, skip this step.)

 Next, sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together. Using the box grater, quickly grate the cold butter over the flour mixture. Stir with a fork to combine. Add cold buttermilk and stir until combined. The dough will be sticky. Transfer the dough a floured work surface, sprinkle with flour, and knead three to four times. Shape into a long roll.

Now, remove griddle or skillet from over and add remaining butter. Swirl melted butter to coat the griddle or skillet.

Using about ½ cup of dough at a time, pinch off pieces of the dough and roll gently between your hands to shape. After that, arrange dough on the hot and greased skillet with sides barely touching. Transfer to oven and bake for about ten to twelve minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about eight biscuits.

Andouille Cream Gravy Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 ounces andouille sausage (chopped coarsely)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped finely)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of half & half
  • salt and pepper

Method of Preparation:

Take your large skillet and place it over medium heat. Add butter, and once butter is melted add sausage and onion. Saute until onion is softened, around eight to ten minutes.

Next, stir in the paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne (cayenne is optional). Sprinkle the flour over mixture and stir to combine. Stirring constantly, cook until roux begins to brown and flour smells toasty. Gradually whisk in half and half, then cook and stir until gravy is thickened and bubbly.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes about four cups of gravy.

Once the biscuits and gravy are done, split the biscuits in half and serve hot with Andouille Cream Gravy and top with green onions.

Biscuits can be split and toasted to warm up for latecomers (or save them for leftovers for a filling breakfast the next morning!) and the Andouille Cream Gravy can be kept warm in a slow cooker.

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Famous Films Located in Louisiana

Louisiana is known for ghost tales, alligator-infested swamps, jazz, good food, and voodoo, but this eclectic mixture is also the perfect setting for storytelling. With over 500 major films produced in Louisiana, it’s no wonder why production companies are packing up and heading south. From the original Tarzan to a day in the life of a vampire, Louisiana has been home to timeless classics.  Thanks to Louisiana Travel, here are seven famous movies filmed in Louisiana:

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Originally a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, this movie is a play-turned-film, is about a southern belle, Blanche DuBois, who travels to New Orleans to live with her younger sister and brother in law. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve heard of the iconic “Stella” scene with Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter.

Want to try your hand at channeling your best Stanley? Head over to the Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest in March at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival in March.

Tarzan of the Apes (1918)

This original Tarzan film was produced in Morgan City because it was the closest Hollywood could get to an African setting. This film is silent but is the predecessor to over 40 film remakes, all with the iconic Tarzan yell.

Want to see what’s so great about the Atchafalaya Basin, where Tarzan was filmed? Take a boat tour and experience the “African” environment for yourself!

Steel Magnolias (1989)

With stars like Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, and Sally Field, this dram-com quickly became a classic. Filmed in Natchitoches, Louisiana, the storyline follows a young beautician who finds work at a small beauty salon. She’s quickly welcomed into the family and forms close bonds with her new friends.

Enjoy a weekend stay at the actual Steel Magnolia House. This six-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath is where most of the movie was filmed!

Interview With the Vampire (1994)

Starring Brad Pitt, this plot follows a vampire, Louis, as he navigates through a relatively unsatisfactory life, all while turning down temptation from another vampire Lestat (Tom Cruise). Louis and Lestat eventually take in a young girl vampire and raise her as their own. The film is initially presented as a present-day interview of Louis, who is barring all to a San Francisco reporter.

Easy Rider (1969)

Two hippies embark on a cross-country adventure on their motorbikes and come across some companions and adventures along the way.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

This film is about a boy who is born with a rare disorder, causing him to age backward. His mother dies during childbirth, and he is abandoned at the steps of a senior home. Queenie, a caregiver, takes Benjamin in and raises him as her own. Benjamin meets Daisy, the granddaughter of a resident, and they come of age together, although in decidedly different ways.

The Big Easy (1986)

Set in New Orleans, a police lieutenant investigates the murder of a mobster and develops a relationship with a young district attorney. Corruption and violence explode around them, both in work and in their environment, and they’re forced to navigate the rocky roads that follow.

For more Louisiana related articles, click here  and for more famous films located in Louisiana, visit here.

Nicholls Makes Strides In Coastal Restoration Efforts

Nicholls State University has once again made its place known as an official part of Louisiana’s efforts toward coastal restoration, preservation, and water management.

In a press conference held on the university’s campus in September, Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, and the President and CEO of the South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC) Vic Lafont announced the new Louisiana Coastal Technical Assistance Center (CTAC). The CTAC will be located on the Nicholls campus and will assist local companies and organizations that are competing to work as contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers on various coastal restoration projects in the state.

Other organizations represented at the press conference wereLouisiana Economic Development (LED), the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA),  and The Water Institute of the Gulf. The organizations came together to sign a memorandum of understanding for the creation of the CTAC.

Governor John Bel Edwards stated that the Pelican State will be funding hundreds of millions of dollars into coastal restoration throughout the next fifty years. In addition to preserving the coast, coastal restoration also helps Louisiana businesses by creating a market for them to compete in for work along the coast. It is the state’s way of making sure Louisiana businesses are at the forefront of the coastal restoration process.

The center will be overseen by the South Louisiana Economic Council, which will also help companies gain the necessary qualifications needed for coastal recovery bidding processes. Similarly, Nicholls will provide vast technical support and research services as its role as the CTAC’s higher education partner. Nicholls will also provide a shared office and business space that will be specifically dedicated to coastal restoration.

This is not the first time Nicholls State University has taken a stand in the realm of coastal restoration and preservation. The university has previously partnered with the University of New Orleans, Water Institute of the Gulf, and the Coastal Preservation and Restoration Authority. Just this past spring, Nicholls and the CPRA announced a joint effort to build a Water Research Center for Coastal Restoration on the university’s campus.

LED and CPRA is providing a combined $750,000 initially to establish the new center. After that, each agency will give $125,000 every year for three years. The first year will be the 2020 fiscal year.

“CPRA’s investments will transform the coast,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline Jr. “By teaming up with LED, Nicholls, SLEC, and the Water Institute, we believe we have a real shot at transforming the economy of South Louisiana as well. CPRA is measuring success in restored land and reduced flood risk, but CTAC also gives us the opportunity to measure our impact in jobs and business development.”

The Water Institute of the Gulf will join the newly established Coastal Technical Assistance Center in boosting employment and business opportunities within the water management sector. The Institute, which is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a leading applied research center with a focus on coastal and deltaic solutions across the world.

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Museums With Intriguing Architecture

Museums are known for the treasures they hold within, but what about the outside? The saying is, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but what if the outside is what draws you in. However, designing an architectural pleasing building can be quite difficult, especially when it is a museum. There needs to be space to preserve artwork, space for the public, space for staff members, and of course places to store archives. National Geographic has put together a slideshow of Modern Marvels: Museums with Spectacular Architecture.

Guggenheim Museum, Spain

The Guggenheim Bilbao Museum located in Spain, and known for its intriguing architecture, consists of three different levels. All containing contemporary and modern art. Curtain walls that are made up of glass connects the inside space to the outside space. Designed by the architect Frank Gehry, the building is mostly made up of curves that define the way it is shaped.  The building was built using titanium and the way it is curved, it catches the light in a unique way. Making it not only a place that houses art, but art itself.

Heydar Aliyev Center, Azerbaijan

Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-British architect, designed the Heydar Aliyev Center. The building itself holds an auditorium, a museum, nine floors of exhibition halls, and is an exquisite example of beautiful architecture. This museum was created to help preserve the work and life of the nation’s former president Heydar Aliyev. It was also created to help preserve Azerbaijan’s history. The three floor, interactive museum gives visitors an amazing view into its’ heritage.

Museo De La Memoria De Andalucía, Spain

The museum offers its visitors the opportunity to understand the history of Spain, going as far as prehistoric times. This museum, designed by Alberto Campo Baeza, has a circular courtyard that the museum circles. Made up of three floors, a ramp connects all of them together. Beautiful and sleek, the perfect building to display Spain’s history.

Guggenheim Museum, U.S.

Solomon R, Guggenheim Museum located in New York was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was opened in 1959. Sadly, he died six months before the grand opening. This museum is actually the oldest one that was placed on the list. This building was one of the first museums to be built in an artistic style. Becoming the spearhead for all of the modern day museums to follow. Even though it has had to close a few times for repairs, this museums us still on of the best architectural museums out there.

Heart Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark

This Demark museum was actually designed by an American, Steven Holl. Using music and visual art, this museum strives to present contemporary art. The museum opened its’ doors in 2009 and houses: a restaurant, an auditorium, exhibition galleries, and even a media library. The roof actually looks like shirt sleeves if you are viewing it from above. What an interesting display of architecture for visitors to experience.

Click here to view all of the amazing museums that are just as breathtaking on the outside as they are on the inside.

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