There are plenty of weird things about Austin, some more obvious than others. A new local tour is hoping to help showcase some of the lesser-known but ultimately weird and whimsical people and places that help shape Austin’s culture. It’s called the Weird Homes Tour, a self-paced, self-driving tour focused on unique homes and spaces. This is the first year it’s ever been done, and there will be eight homes on the tour that takes place this September.
“We really felt that the city needed a home tour that represented the city and its weirdness and its uniqueness,” said Chelle Morrison who founded the Weird Homes Tour. “Whereas other towns kind of frown upon everyone being different, it’s what makes us Austin and it is our culture.”
One of the weird homes featured on the tour is Casa Neverlandia, a towering, yet whimsical, mansion in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood. Built with love and care by James Talbot, the home is a colorful, undulating wonderland outfitted with solar panels, secret passages, an elevated footbridge, a hidden concert stage and other surprises that are fascinating to explore. Each room is a different theme, some dedicated to music, others to art.
In addition to Casa Neverlandia, other homes and spaces include Flamingo Ranch, The Tiny House, The Dumpster Project, The Artists Retreat, Eponymous Garden, The Earthbag House, and Rancho Burrito: The Shipping Container Home.
The Earthbag house is located behind Hillside Farmacy, a building that uses burlap and other bag material to hold dirt that very closely resembles adobe. This is notable due to the low cost in materials, resistance to fire and termites, and, of course, for its eco friendliness and sustainability.
The Austin Weird Homes Tour will take place on Saturday, September 13 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets for the self-paced, self-driving tour are on sale for $22. If you’d like to meet and chat with the home owners over food and drinks, purchase $37 tickets for the VIP party the night before, which also includes tickets to the tour.
Twenty percent of ticket sale profits will go to Caritas, a local organization that helps the homeless and refugees find affordable housing.