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The world’s last Blockbuster is available to rent on Airbnb

By Andrea Smith
January 12, 2022
Blockbuster Airbnb 2
This unique rental is in Bend, Oregon.

If you fancy a night away somewhere unique and live local to Bend, Oregon, you could always try applying to stay at the world's last Blockbuster movie rental store. It will be listed on Airbnb for three individual, one-night reservations that will take place in September.

The living room at the Blockbuster Airbnb in Bend, OregonYou can enjoy a movie night during your stay © Airbnb


The stay will give guests the opportunity to experience a 90s-themed sleepover and relive the bygone Friday night tradition of movie night. The experience can be booked for $4 (€3.39) plus taxes and fees, which is great value when you consider that movie rentals cost $3.99 (€3.38). Store manager Sandi Harding is listing the store in appreciation of all the Bend community has done recently to support the last-of-its-kind store during these difficult times, and she will stock the shelves with all the movies guests desire before handing over the keys.

The bedroom at the Blockbuster Airbnb in Bend, OregonGuests can stay overnight at the Blockbuster store in Bend © Airbnb


While at the store, guests who book should adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines around wearing masks and social distancing in a public space. Interested guests should also note host rules that are in adherence with local guidelines, which include that those who request to book must be Bend residents and come from the same household to minimize risk. The store will be cleaned in advance of their arrival and prepared in accordance with CDC guidelines, consistent with the Airbnb enhanced cleaning protocol.

The video recorder machine at the Blockbuster Airbnb in Bend, OregonYou can watch movies for the evening © Airbnb


Those who don't manage to score a one-night stay can check out the living room space during store hours for a limited time after the final guests check out. If you want to request to book a stay on 18, 19 and 20 September, you can do from 17 August at 1pm PST on this link.


This story originally ran on our sister-site, Lonely Planet.

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Inspiration

Distancing with the stars: how to see the stars from home

In the age of social distancing, we are no strangers to the feeling of isolation. For many, working from home and avoiding social activities that give a sense of purpose and excitement to daily life can feel draining. There is nothing that quite puts the world and the struggles we are all facing into perspective like the night sky. Standing underneath a sea of bright stars can feel captivating, humbling and even intimidating. It is also an activity that lends itself easily to social distancing, which is why stargazing may be exactly what we need right now. In our modern world, it is oftentimes difficult to see the stars due to light pollution from cities. However, there are still ways to view the night sky even from the city or just outside of it. Photo by Andy Pearce If you live in an urban area, follow these five tips for stargazing close to home: 1. Avoid a full moon While looking at the moon is captivating, a full moon can make it difficult to see the stars. In places with heavy light pollution in particular, the added light from the moon can make stargazing trickier. Wait until the moon is smaller or not visible at all to stargaze from the city. 2. Look at the weather Before heading out to look at the night sky, make sure cloud cover and moisture in the air are minimal. A clear sky will make the stars that much more spectacular! 3. Figure out what you’re looking for Knowing which constellations and planets will be in the sky and getting an idea for what they look like before leaving home will make them easier to pick out when you get outside. Save a constellation map to your phone or even download an app that helps you navigate the night sky! 4. Find the right location Blocking the lights of the city will help your night vision as you view the stars. If you can get to a place, like a local park or the hills just beyond the city, that naturally blocks the light, do it! If not, try to find a place where things like your house with the lights off and a shed in your backyard can block the neighborhood lights. 5. Bring some equipment! Most people don’t have a telescope at their immediate disposal. However, if you have a pair of binoculars or even a small telescope, you’ll have an even better view of the night sky. Most lower-end DSLR cameras can take beautiful photos of the night sky with a longer shutter speed, high ISO and open aperture. Comet NEOWISE and a fire burning near Grand Canyon National Park, shot on Canon t6i by Andy Pearce Upcoming meteor showers that you could plan viewing for are: Delta Aquarids (July 30-31) Perseids (August 11-13) Draconid (Oct 9)Orionid (Oct 21-22) Taurid (Nov 9)Leonid (Nov 17-18) Andromedid (Nov 25-27)Geminid (Dec 13-14) Ursid (Dec 22) Different constellations are visible during different times of year. In the northern hemisphere summertime, you’ll see constellations like Cygnus, which resembles a swan and lies on the plane of the Milky Way, and Scorpius, which symbolizes a scorpion. Winter will bring constellations that include Orion, named after a hunter from Greek mythology, and Taurus, one of the oldest constellations in the sky. If you’re feeling the need to escape reality right now, head outdoors this evening and look up. What better way to social distance than to head outside at night and find a quiet, dark place to be alone with the universe? Kyla Pearce is a Budget Travel intern for Summer 2020. She is a student at Arizona State University.

Inspiration

Coastal Mississippi provides adventure and variety for the budget traveler

There is an incredible amount to do, see and experience across Coastal Mississippi: from outdoor activities, such as kayaking, boating, fishing and hiking, to a wide variety of attractions, museums, festivals, world-class gaming, and championship golf courses. When it comes to food, this is the place to be! From quaint coastal seafood spots to fine dining, we’ve got it all. In short, Coastal Mississippi checks all the boxes: great food, great weather, great prices, great people, and a great way of life. With 55 percent of frequent travelers saying they primarily travel to discover new experiences, cultures, lifestyles, food, and places, regularly using terms such as “hidden gem,” “undiscovered,” and “unexpected,” Coastal Mississippi – The Secret Coast is perfectly poised to surprise and delight as a region that offers all the relaxation, adventure and variety that travelers want without the overexposure that they don’t! Ocean Springs Front beach. Credit: Alex North Photography Here is a brief overview of what The Secret Coast has to offer: Outdoor activities. We offer some phenomenal outdoor experiences, such as world-class golfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, birding, fishing, boating our many waterways, Schooner sails, and even a 70-minute shrimping trip, that is an absolutely wonderful excursion for the entire family, and shows you exactly how shrimp and other marine life live and end up on our plates! Have some fun in the sun and explore the barrier islands that sit just miles off Coastal Mississippi. With white-sand beaches and beautiful Gulf waters, the islands are an ideal day trip. While all of the barrier islands offer something unique that is worth exploring, Ship Island is the most accessible to travelers thanks to its ferry service out of Biloxi and Gulfport.Our culinary scene is booming: the Mississippi Coast has a huge variety of gastronomic offerings, from beach seafood shacks serving the freshest Gulf seafood, to fine dining (including two James Beard nominees!) and fusion cuisine. There is something to satisfy every taste bud, and there are plenty of hands-on opportunities to experience the very essence of Coastal Mississippi’s culinary scene.Culture fix at the world-renowned Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (designed by famous architect Frank Gehry!), and discover the beautifully eccentric world of the illustrious Anderson family at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art and Shearwater Pottery Workshop and Showroom. Ocean Springs and Bay St. Louis boast wonderfully artsy, walkable downtown areas amongst the ancient live oaks, where you can wander in and out of shops, galleries, bars and restaurants all day long. Festivals held across the Coast throughout the year, showcasing the region’s crafts, artisan-made items, local delicacies, seafood, talented musicians and much more. To get to the moon, you must go through Mississippi first! The INFINITY Science Center is NASA's official visitor center for the Stennis Space Center, and offers a blend of space, Earth science, engineering and technology content, spiced with innovative programming, that leverages expertise from the area's leading-edge research and test operations. This combination guarantees an experience you will not find anywhere else.Coastal Mississippi offers an array of lodging options to cater to any preference, from luxury casino resorts and international hotel brands, to boutique hotels and Coastal bed-and-breakfast inns.For those on a budget, this is the place for you: Forbes and similar outlets have released the states where $100 goes the farthest, and Mississippi topped the list. There are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of free things to do in the area, as well as reasonably priced offerings or ways to save as you explore are around every corner, including the Mississippi Gulf Coast Attraction Pass, priced at $45, valued at $80. Credit: Coastal MississippiRoad Trip Across The Secret Coast Highway 90 runs all the way from West Texas to East Florida, but the most beautiful part is right here in Coastal Mississippi. Scenic Highway 90 takes you right by the Gulf of Mexico and a 26-mile-long beach (view video HERE), all the way from Waveland, MS to Moss Point, MS, across two stunning bay bridges and right past many historic sights worth seeing. On your Highway 90 journey between the Louisiana and Alabama borders, you will pass through several beautiful and unique towns, all offering their own charming personality: Waveland The only city on the Gulf Coast to prohibit commercial buildings on its beachfront, Waveland offers miles of unobstructed beach views of the Gulf of Mexico. Buccaneer State Park offers relaxing, small-town beach camping, a beachfront waterpark, and a host of nature-based activities, such as birding, crabbing, and kayaking. Bay St. Louis Considered “a place apart”, this quaint seaside town was named one of the ‘Coolest Small Towns in America’ by Budget Travel and was also recognized as a top 10 small beach town by Coastal Living Magazine (2010). From friendly folks to historic buildings, this unique city embraces the heritage of our region. Pass Christian View unforgettable historic homes and magnificent oaks during your visit to “The Pass”. The area’s unique way of life is defined as relaxed and resolute, casual and carefree. If you’re aiming to find a friendly and laid-back atmosphere, Pass Christian offers it in large doses. Pick up a one-of-a-kind antique or gift from a range of local retailers or grab a locally-brewed coffee at Cat Island Coffeehouse, with an incredible view of the Mississippi Sound. Long Beach If you’re searching for beautiful scenery and a calm southern getaway, Long Beach is the perfect place for you. Ride through this bicycle-friendly town and rent kites for the little ones while at the public beach. Stop into any of the local eateries to experience an eclectic array of culinary delights – many served up with an incredible view of the Mississippi Sound. Gulfport Offering a plethora of parks and water recreation areas throughout the city, up-close-and-personal adventures with marine life, zip-lining tours through the coastal canopies, and an array of dining and entertainment options, Gulfport has something for everyone. Take a boat excursion out to Ship Island, a fishing charter to some of the best spots, or simply stroll around Gulfport’s beautiful harbor and eclectic downtown area, featuring an ever-evolving public art scene in an old fishmonger’s alley. Coming soon to Gulfport: Mississippi Aquarium! Biloxi Once known as the “Seafood Capital of the World”, Biloxi offers both revival and relaxation in equal measures. Jet-ski in the Gulf of Mexico, take a Shrimping Trip or a sunset sail on a Biloxi Schooner, or relax with your toes in the white sand and enjoy the beautiful views of the Mississippi Sound. 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With over 200 independent shops, galleries, restaurants and nightlife, this community captures southern, small-town charm with its walkability, white sand beaches, and year-round activity. Pascagoula Mississippi’s Flagship City boasts incredible antebellum architecture and a rich 300-year history. Pirate Jean Lafitte, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Zachary Taylor, and Jimmy Buffett all spent time in Pascagoula and considered it home, a hideaway or a respite throughout the years. Visit La Pointe-Krebs House, circa 1718, in all its rugged splendor with a panoramic view of Krebs Lake. Spend the afternoon at Scranton Nature Center at I.G. Levy Park, featuring a variety of exhibits. Or simply relax with a picnic at Beach Park for the day, overlooking the Mississippi Sound. Moss Point Home to some of the most beautiful and unique natural habitats, Moss Point is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Visit the Pascagoula River Audubon Center, located along the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48, and discover the amazing world of Coastal Mississippi’s abundant native flora and fauna by kayak or on a River, Marsh & Bayou boat tour. Anna Roy is the Public/Media Relations Manager for Coastal Mississippi. This piece was produced for Budget Travel's Rediscover America series.

Inspiration

Do you know this surfing goddess?

Photographer Robin Kerr says she was sitting on a beach in Cardiff, California in October 2018, watching the sunset after a brief rain shower, when she snapped this gorgeous photo of a surfer living her BEST LIFE. The photo features a gorgeous sunset with crashing waves, and a woman surfing a wave with her arms up to the sky and a look of pure joy. Kerr has begun searching for the subject of the photo in hopes of sharing the beautiful moment with her. She says "I am a member of Girls LOVE Travel on Facebook and remembered seeing posts where female photographers have taken epic photos of a stranger's engagement during their vacations and then search for them using the group on the off chance that they could locate the subject and give the photo to the engaged couple. During shelter in place, I was going through my photo archive and came across this shot I took in October of 2018. I put myself in her shoes. If a photographer took this photo of me surfing with that glorious sunset, I would want a copy! And so the search began!" If you think you know the subject in the image, reach out to Kerr at her Instagram @agirlwonder.

Inspiration

Explore the Great Outdoors of the Pikes Peak Region

UPDATE 8/4/2020: Colorado Springs says in a press release that they have launched a certification program for local businesses that will comply with COVID protections. You can read more about Colorado Spring's response here: https://www.visitcos.com/coronavirus-colorado-springs/peak-of-safety-pledge/ As our country is on the road to recovery, travel planning has resumed. While the typical summer travel season will look different in the “new norm,” there is still plenty to see and explore while remaining safe.In Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, many businesses and attractions have started to open their doors once again. Whether you’re ready to pack your suitcase or still in the early stages of planning your trip, our guide will ensure you have a fun-filled itinerary and are prepared with all of the info you need to be “Colo-Ready.” Know Before You Go Colorado is currently in a “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors” phase of recovery. It means people are still encouraged to social distance but can recreate and get outdoors responsibly. Each county of Colorado has its own requirements and regulations, so make sure you check with individual counties before you arrive. The Pikes Peak region comprises El Paso, Fremont and Teller counties, each of which may have their own regulations. In Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, we welcome visitors and encourage them all to practice social distancing and respect guidelines of individual businesses. For example, while most municipalities don’t require face masks be worn at all times, we do ask that visitors bring masks with them and wear them 1) If a business requires it 2) If they are indoors where others are congregating and 3) If they are in more crowded outdoor areas. The Pikes Peak region is well positioned for social distancing with plenty of activities to do outdoors, all allowing space from others. If you’re planning to spend time on the beautiful trails and open spaces, make sure to spend a few minutes learning how to Leave No Trace. The Adventure Is You In the Pikes Peak region, you can truly craft your own adventure. From going on a hike to whitewater rafting or sitting on a patio and enjoying a brew – there’s something for everyone. ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS Whether you’re planning a leisurely family weekend or a trip jam-packed with adrenaline-pumping adventure, you can find it in the Pikes Peak region. Check out the recommended attractions and activities below that are now open for business and explore more things to do at VisitCOS.com. Summit Pikes Peak – Nothing says social distancing like heading to the top of one of the state’s 14ers. Hike, bike or drive up Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. At 14,115 feet, the top of the mountain serves breathtaking views of the region. The current Summit House is now open for business, offering summiteers hot coffee, fudge and its world-famous fresh donuts. Explore Garden of the Gods Park – A National Natural Landmark, Garden of the Gods features towering sandstone rock formations framing majestic Pikes Peak. Rent an e-bike, go rock climbing or hike the many trails in the park. Hit the road on a scenic drive – Colorado Springs is a hop, skip and a jump away from plenty of scenic drives. Get your camera ready, check out jaw-dropping gorges and wind your way through mountain ghost towns. Visit the Royal Gorge region – Just an hour outside of Colorado Springs, the Royal Gorge region is full of activities. The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park offers gondolas, ziplines, the Skycoaster, Via Ferrata and suspension bridge. Afterward, you can book a ticket aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad to ride, dine and unwind. Take the family on a Jeep tour – Buckle up and get a taste of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region in the open air. Adventures Out West will take you on a tour through well-known landmarks like Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Canyon and Manitou Springs while you learn about Colorado history. Colorado Jeep Tours in Cañon City offers interpretive tours of the Royal Gorge, Red Canyon and historic mining district of Cripple Creek and Victor. Get your zen on with paddle yoga – Sign up for a paddleboard yoga class. Dragonfly Paddle Yoga offers dynamic, flowing yoga sequences on Monument Lake, Quail Lake and Prospect Lake while following safety precautions and social distancing. Ride the rapids or relax while rafting – Experience a one-of-a-kind rafting adventure with Echo Canyon River Expeditions. With safety guidelines in place, you can enjoy an adventure ranging from extreme white water rafting to calm family floats. Challenge yourself on a rock-climbing adventure – Sign up for a guided climb with Front Range Climbing Company at Garden of the Gods Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space or North Cheyenne Cañon. Learn basic rock-climbing skills or tackle a more expert route. Hike to your heart’s desire – There is no shortage of hiking in the region. Check out the Trails and Open Space Coalition for recommendations of less-crowded trails. From beginner trails to trails that take you all the way up Pikes Peak, there are plenty of options for all explorers. Find additional hiking trails here. LODGING Colorado Springs offers a variety of lodging options from luxury hotels to camping, glamping, cabins and more. Luxury hotel stays Cheyenne Mountain, A Dolce Resort – Experience a luxury, lakeside stay with mountain views, fine dining and spa services. Garden of the Gods Resort and Club – Relax and focus on your wellness at a world-class resort with views overlooking Garden of the Gods Park. Glen Eyrie Castle – Stay the night in a castle situated in the rolling foothills. It’s rich, spiritual history and modern comfort will provide you with a safe haven during your stay. Alternative stays Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort – If you’re planning a trip full of biking and activity, the Bicycle Resort is your base camp for adventure. Located on a designated bike route connecting Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, it’s in close proximity to countless miles of biking trails at the base of Pikes Peak and less than a mile from Garden of the Gods Park. SCP Hotel – Known for its holistic hospitality, SCP stands for “Soul, Community, Planet.” Its hand-crafted venues feature reclaimed wood, living green walls, exposed brick and hand-painted murals, which unite earth-friendly and socially responsible practices. It’s the perfect place to stay for those who value personal wellness, social good and the environment. Timber Lodge Cabins – If you’re looking for a truly Colorado environment, the Timber Lodge is a great option. The charming A-frame cabins are located on the far west side of Colorado Springs, on the border of historic Manitou Springs and only a mile from Old Colorado City. It’s walking distance from the hiking trails of Garden of the Gods Park and Red Rock Open Space. FOOD & DRINK The Pikes Peak region is known for its vast array of food and drink options. Dive into Instagrammable plates and local brews. Bars/breweries The Bench – Enjoy burgers, brews and sports at this charming downtown sports bar. Colorado Mountain Brewery – From starters like fried pickles and brewery pretzels to burgers, pizzas and wraps, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Wash it down with one of the brewery’s flagship beers. Phantom Canyon Brewery – Named after the majestic Phantom Canyon, the brewery offers flagship beers and guest beers along with a full dining menu. The rooftop showcases sweeping views of the city and Rocky Mountains. Home-style restaurants Coquette’s Bistro – Coquette’s is a 100% gluten-free restaurant serving up food, baked goods and cocktails. Located in a cozy corner of downtown Colorado Springs, the spot is convenient for enjoying the city’s atmosphere. Mason Jar – Dive into traditional American specialties like the legendary Chicken Fried Steak and comfort food that never goes out of style. Elevated dining Joseph’s Fine Dining – With 25 years working in many five-star hotels and restaurants, Joseph Freyre’s concept mixes the world of old table side flambé cooking with nouveau cuisine. Experience dishes from escargots to sea scallops and lamb leg steak. The Warehouse – Chef James Africano prepares dishes using only the freshest ingredients and local, in-season products. Try unique plates like pan-seared lamb liver and rabbit carbonara. Cultural cuisine Edelweiss – This authentic German restaurant serves up everything from weinerschnitzels and jagerschnitzels to bratwurst, strudels and sauerbraten. La Casa Fiesta – This family-owned Mexican restaurant is a Monument staple. Enjoy traditional Mexican food with a New Mexican flare. Whether you’re from Colorado or traveling from afar, Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region is an area ripe for exploration. With so many options for exploring outdoors, it’s the perfect trip to start planning now. Get “Colo-Ready” and pack your bags! Budget Travel is working with tourism boards around the USA to highlight destinations that are ready for tourists and can provide safe, socially distant activity.