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When developer Eric Van Maren began designing a series of vacation homes four years ago, he figured most of the potential buyers would be looking for a temporary getaway.
More buyers want to live in vacation rental markets now that virtual work from home jobs are becoming more prevalent.
The younger demographic, like people in their 30s and 40s are wealthy enough to afford property purely for recreational use, but virtual work anywhere jobs allow them to live full time in paradise.
On the Texas coast, Galveston and Corpus Christi are the most popular and ideally suited destinations for virtual workers.
They have the beach-life inspiration, along with all the big city amenities; most importantly, fast access to a major airport and high-speed internet.
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Dallas Morning News Free fun in Galveston Dallas Morning News GALVESTON — Galveston has always been one of my favorite Texas destinations because of the way it manages to maintain a low-key, beach-town vibe while also offering big-name attractions...
Galveston has always been one of my favorite Texas destinations because of the way it manages to maintain a low-key, beach-town vibe while also offering big-name attractions for family fun.Traveling on a budget and looking for some ideas that won’t cost you a cent? Galveston has you covered. Tree sculpture tourWhen life gives you a hurricane, make art. At least that’s the philosophy of a group of Galveston homeowners who decided to turn trees ravaged by 2008’s Hurricane Ike into ornate sculptures.As you travel the island, expect to find everything from the historical (a replica of the figurehead from the island’s famous Tall Ship Elissa) to the whimsical (a pod of dolphins with a mermaid). Kids will appreciate trees turned into a guitar, a squirrel and even Bolivar ferry rideWarm ocean breezes. Rolling waves. A dolphin’s dorsal fin gliding out of the water. There’s nothing like seeing Galveston by boat. But if you’re short on funds or traveling with small children or others who may not be willing to sit still for an extended dolphin tour, simply hop on the Galveston Island Ferry to Bolivar.Regularly scheduled ferry service between Galveston and Port Bolivar started in 1929 and has been operated by the state since 1934. It takes about 20 minutes to make the 2.7-mile one-way trip, which is plenty of time to get out of your car and take in the views. Once you arrive in Bolivar, you can go sightseeing there or turn back around and board the ferry for the return trip. The service is offered 24 hours a day; find more information at www.txdot.gov Sea turtle tourIf you love sea turtles — and really, who doesn’t love sea turtles? — schedule a visit to the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Galveston Sea Turtle Facility, which offers free tours by appointment on Thursdays. Visitors will watch a video about research being done there, participate in a question-and-answer session, and then walk through the facility to check out captive-reared loggerhead sea turtles.Tour space is limited through the summer. Visit www.galvestonlab.sefsc.noaa.gov
Want more? Moody Gardens offers a variety of animal experiences, including a public penguin encounter ($50 per person), a private penguin encounter ($350 for four people) and a penguin and seal experience ($250 per person). Visit www.moodygardens.com Taffy demonstrationLa King’s Confectionery dates back to 1927, when Jimmy King learned how to make candy in Houston.In 1976, his son, Jack, moved to Galveston and re-created an old-fashioned confectionery in the historic Strand District. These days, it’s a must-visit destination thanks to its working 1920s soda fountain, delicious handcrafted shakes, homemade candy and saltwater taffy, which you can watch being made in store Wednesday through Sundays.After a free hourlong taffy-making demonstration, made using antique equipment, guests receive samples. Call 409-762-6100 or visit lakingsconfectionery.com for more information. Movie night on the StrandNo visit to Galveston is complete without spending some time in the historic Strand District, which is filled with shops, museums and restaurants.Start the day at the Railroad Museum, which is not free but fairly cheap ($8 for adults, $5 for children, free for children 3 and younger) and offers everything a train enthusiast could want, from detailed model train layouts to dining ware displays. On Saturdays, the museum also offers train rides every 20 minutes between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. $4, www.galvestonrrmuseum.comAfter a fun-filled day, head to Saengerfest Park, which hosts Movie Night on the Strand on the first Saturday of the month.
It’s a great excuse to grab a blanket or some lawn chairs and take in a free family-friendly flick. Upcoming movies include Rocky and Despicable Me.
President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a plan that would cut carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants--many of which are coal-fired-- by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
The proposed rule could mean big changes for Texas, the leading carbon emitter in the country.
Critics of the EPA plan claim it has waged a war on the coal industry, and that it will force jobs overseas, drive up energy costs, and ultimately cost Texas jobs.
Even if you think you're being diligent about sun protection, you're likely forgetting to apply sunscreen to these body parts
Don’t become a statistic. Here are nine places on the body that you need to remember when applying sunscreen.
1. The scalp2. The lips3. The backs of the knee
4. The sides of your face
5. The ears
6. The feet
9. The hands
For the record: an SPF 15 absorbs 93 percent of UVB rays; SPF 30 absorbs 97 percent; SPF 50 absorbs 98 percent; and SPF 100 absorbs 99 percent (no sunscreen absorbs 100 percent).
Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill that would legalize the use of low-THC marijuana to treat epilepsy and cancer patients.
Will Texas get THC fever?
Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Corpus Christi is now accepting applications online in anticipation of it’s opening on the island.
Schlitterbahn is looking for upbeat and engaging people who have that outgoing personality and a drive to learn. We provide training and a great play to work and have fun!
Angela Flournoy is the Manager of Corporate Communications and Events at Schlitterbahn Waterparks. Her favorite ride is the Torrent Wave River, continuous wave river!
Her office is in New Braunfels, home of the Original Schlitterbahn Waterpark. firstname.lastname@example.org, 830-608-8549
How much value do your guests place on the opinions of others online?
Have they lost trust in review sites or do they still form a crucial component of the booking process?
A new study looked at the way travel consumers interact with online reviews before making a purchase decision.
The findings suggest travel consumers are wising up to the prevalence of fake reviews online and getting better at how to spot them.
Read more New Research Into Travel Reviews: Spotting Fakes and Making Decisions Online
As commuters switch from four wheels to two, they're looking for housing amenities that accommodate them.
As more and more Americans opt to commute via bicycle, demand is growing for housing that can accommodate the needs of these residents.
Gulf carts and bicycles are already big on the Texas coast, new communities with bicycle trails would make a big splash.
Coast Guard officials reported numerous oil-related calls on beaches in Port Aransas, Mustang Island and Padre Island, hundreds of miles south of the accident by Houston-Galveston.
An estimated 168,000 gallons of crude oil spilled on March 22 into the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston Bay at the entry to the mighty Houston Ship Channel after a collision between an oil tanker and a barge.
The world's busiest harbor entry was closed for three days. The spill’s effects, tar balls and oil coated wildlife, are a manageable issue, said Jim Suydam, of the Texas General Land Office.
Gov. Rick Perry has directed all necessary state resources to assist with the cleanup of oil that has spilled into the Houston Ship Channel after a collision between vessels. Showing the state's concern for the Texas coast.
The U.S. Coast Guard is the lead agency for maritime incidents such as this, while the Texas General Land Office is the lead state agency for cleanup efforts. The responsible parties are also assisting in the response to this incident. Additional state agencies and emergency response units are working to ensure public health and safety, and to protect the surrounding environment and wildlife. The Texas General Land Office has deployed multiple personnel to the incident site to manage the cleanup effort, and resources from the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are also assisting in this effort.
This is just one example of how the state of Texas responds to the coast's needs.
Among the factors analyzed for the list, say the editors, were data on improvement in retail and office vacancy rates, the number of people moving to the area, income growth, unemployment, and the ratio of people who live and work in the downtown.
A downtown should have a cultural and retail focal point, like a main street, but it has to expand beyond that, providing a solid core for the entire community.
The City of Galveston encourages all job seekers and employers to get ready for the 9th Annual Oceans of Opportunities Job Fair!
Employer participation is free but advanced registration is required. Exhibitors should contact James Patterson III, Workforce Solutions at (409) 359-0086 or visit http://www.wrksolutions.com/oceans2014 to register online. All employers will receive an 8’x10’ booth space and Wi-Fi is available.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Galveston Island Convention Center
5600 Seawall Blvd.
Earthships are 100% sustainable homes that are both cheap to build and awesome to live in. They offer amenities like no other sustainable building style you have come across.
The most brilliant piece of engineering in the Earthship is their ability to sustain comfortable temperatures year round. Even in freezing cold or blistering hot climates, Earthships constantly hover around 70° Fahrenheight (22° Celsius).
This phenomenon results from the solar heat being absorbed and stored by ‘thermal mass’ — or tires filled with dirt, which make up the structure of the Earthship. The thermal mass acts as a heat sink, releasing or absorbing heat it when the interior cools and heats up, respectively.
The large greenhouse windows at the front of the house always face south to allow the sun to heat up the thermal mass throughout the daytime.
Skimboarders hit the beach to test their skills at the 2014 Skim Jam on South Padre Island.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort in New Braunfels, Texas was award a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. The award recognizes the consistent outstanding traveler reviews Schlitterbahn New Braunfels has received from Trip Advisor travelers.
Corpus Christi's Upper Padre Island (formerly North Padre Island) has a Schlitterbahn opening in a few weeks.
When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings. Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recent posting of reviews. Additional criteria include a business’ tenure and popularity ranking on the site.
President Barack Obama will propose cutting greenhouse-gas emissions from the nation’s power plants by an average of 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030
Obama dismissed complaints that the rule will hurt the economy by driving up electricity prices, and told the Democrats listening: “Please go on offense” to promote the plan’s benefits.
The Good News for Texas - we lead in natural gas and wind power.The EPA is counting on coal plants being operated more efficiently and states shifting to natural gas from coal to get modest cuts in the next four or five years.
Waiting until the last minute to pack for a trip isn’t a problem, unless you don’t know what to take.
Don’t forget waterproof sandals for the beach.
See this video on how to pack a suitcase http://youtu.be/4A0jC07gke0
Demographic data shows that Texas’ major metros have been receiving a flood of disaffected Californians is excellent news for the Texas coast – with Apple, Exxon and eBay collectively investing more than $1 billion and bringing thousands of jobs and the cities kicking in an equal amount of infrastructure investment going on.
With that much wealth so nearby, there will be a component of new residents in San Antonio, Austin and Houston who will want a second home. It is up to coastal communities to convince those residents to invest in the coast instead of its biggest rival – the Texas Hill Country.
While metro residents love to rent our beach homes, there just isn’t enough reason yet for second home shoppers or investors to buy here. That’s because of problems we have with infrastructure and the lack of comprehensive zoning and development plans for some areas. No one wants to invest in a $20 million high-rise that could be next door to a shabby fast food restaurant, or that has to ask residents to dodge cars to get to the beach. And cities have to insist on modernizing — widening roads, regulating signage, burying power lines and investing in better connectivity for high technology.
The city of Corpus Christi has taken a good first step with its plan for the Upper Padre-Schlitterbahn area, and I think other communities should take note. The Texas coast has an image problem every time a hurricane or oil spill strikes, and we need to project a unified front to show these new investors that we are a resort-quality area that is here to stay with our local government’s backing.
Read more States of Prosperity
A new National Association of Home Builders survey shows that more than 65 percent of home buyers want green houses, but only about 15 percent are willing to pay extra for such features. This is not particularly surprising – most people like the idea of doing something good for the environment, but only a small, fixed number of them are ever truly motivated. It has always been this way — and here’s why:
Although this environmentally conscious group tends to be relatively affluent, it’s not really their wealth but their level of disposable income that determines whether they actually go green. Home-buying consumers have to scale the lower rungs of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need before they can aspire to a self-actualizing concept like going green. That’s why, as long as it costs more to be environmentally conscious, green buyers will always be a small percentage of any consumer group.
Read more Buyers Want ‘Green’ More Than They Think
I consider travel an enlightening experience, but it never occurred to me that beams of light might change the way we travel. Recently, lighting scientists (yes, they exist) have dissected the specific wavelengths of electric light to better understand how they affect our bodies.
Fortunately the Texas coast has long known about the energizing effects all the sun and ocean waves has, and now others are seeing the light.
Seeing Travel in a New Light (we always have on the Texas coast)
“Hotels will offer guest rooms with lights that help us to get over jet lag in a few hours instead of days, spas will introduce treatments using lights to strengthen and heal our immune systems, and airport ‘Light Lounges’ will use spectrums that promote mental alertness, to get work done, or relax the body for rest,” says Fred Maxik, the founder of Lighting Science, a company that is behind some of the recent discoveries.
Officials at Padre Island National Seashore opened the drivable beach, which had been closed after the Houston-Galveston oil spill
Cleanup of oil from a ship-barge collision two weeks ago in the Houston Ship Channel continue, according to Jay Veselka, assistant regional director for oil spill prevention and response at the Texas General Land Office.
Cleanups are complete in the following South Texas Coast areas: Port Aransas, Mustang Island State Park and North Padre Island.
Texas may be famous for BBQ, football, and oil, but it's not exactly known for its surf environment. Thankfully, determined surfers in the Lone Star State discovered tanker surfing: riding the wave left behind by massive moving tanker ships.
While tanker waves are decent at best, they can go on for miles, giving wave-starved surfers exactly what they've been itching for.
According to ESPN, the best tanker surf spots are kept hush-hush, but the most known is at Galveston Bay, by the entry of the Houston Ship Channel.
For a price, Texas surf tour companies will find those perfect man-made waves for you.
South Padre Island on the road to recovery, much like after the causeway incident story from 2002.
Flashback to an article from 2002 in Texas Monthly
"Gone was the smug notion that South Padre Island was a place where everyone wanted to be. The island had been humbled. With the causeway out, it became all too clear just how isolated South Padre really is—how dependent on services and people from the mainland, how reliant on tourists and the money they spend. The locals seemed more helpful than usual, aggressively trying to make a sale or get that extra tip. They had a needy look in their eyes."
This time its getting back to normal from the long recession, but come back it will, it always does.
In the not-too-distant future, some smart company will realize that relocating to the coast makes a lot of sense as both an investment and a productivity strategy.
There are great opportunities to invest in rental property small and mid-size cities. Before you dismiss this option in favor of investing in a primary market, take a look at why these alternative markets are attractive. There’s demand, job growth, less competition, and lower barriers to entry.
For many Americans, this cozy inside feeling may not last very long due to indoor allergens and overall poor air quality. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reports 50 million Americans suffer.
The following ideas help keeping your home allergy-free!
Removing carpeting and using hardwood flooring can greatly reduce indoor allergens.
Maintaining An Even Temperature: Humidity is a home’s worst enemy and humid houses are breeding grounds for dust mites and mold.
Think alternative materials when building or renovating a home. While these materials can be pricey, better health and reduced respiratory allergy issues, especially in young children, far outweigh the one-time investment.
Steel Is The New Wood:
Keep relative humidity between 30 and 60% to prevent mold, dust mites. If it is too dry, you will further irritate your mucous membranes.
Yet, Too humid means risk of mold.