As oil and gas housing specialists, Blu Corporate Housing wants everyone who uses our furnished rentals to enjoy their time in Bismarck North Dakota. As the oil and gas boom continues, workers and their families are flocking to the city to find work or take up positions here.

If you’re one of them, you probably want to know what’s going on here and what to do when you’re not working. Here are just a few attractions in and around Bismarck that fit the bill.

North Dakota Heritage Centerdakota-zoo

The North Dakota Heritage Center is where we celebrate our past and where everything we have collected over the past hundred or so years can be seen by everyone. It’s free to get in and has a lot of history on display. The building is modern, spacious and has enough room for the exhibits and visitors. It’s a good day out for all the family.

State Capitol Building

You can’t miss the State Capitol Building when you drive through Bismarck. It’s an art deco tower in the center of town and is open to the public. It’s an ideal stop after checking out the North Dakota Heritage Center and if it’s a clear day you can see for miles from the roof. Art deco is a fantastic artistic style and there’s plenty on display here.

Dakota Zoo

Dakota Zoo is over 50 years old and can be found at Arbor Avenue south of Bismarck. Spread over 90 acres, this zoo has over 600 animals spread over 125 species and is growing steadily. It’s an excellent example of a zoo that takes animal welfare seriously and offers a lot of educational as well as entertaining exhibits and displays. Well worth a visit!

McDowell Dam Nature Park

McDowell Dam Nature Park is a great place to while away a sunny afternoon with the family, have a picnic or walk gently round while enjoying the weather. It’s a wide open space with a lake but, despite the name, no dam. However, there’s a hiking trail that loops the lake that works well for a gentle stroll.

Gateway to Science

Gateway to Science is a relatively new attraction that is growing steadily. It’s a hands-on science and educational center where staff are always ready to help out, demonstrate science in action and provide a little wonder for the kids. It’s built around children and is a great place to take them for an afternoon.

Those are just five of the many things to do in Bismarck North Dakota. It’s a great place to live. If you need somewhere to stay while you’re working here, contact Blu Corporate Housing today!

San Diego, California has enviable weather, that West Coast feeling, good employment and a great location. However, it also has earthquakes and affordability problems. Living and working in San Diego is great if you’re already here, or can afford a home, but not so much if you’re young or don’t have the cash to spend on high rent or property. If you need in the meantime, we can definitely help.

San Diego is an amazing place, it has relatively low crime for a large city, a great location by the ocean with miles of beaches and decent employment prospects. While it has not been left unaffected by the economic crisis, it has weathered the storm quite well.

Living in San Diego

Living in San Diego is an expensive undertaking. The median property price currently sits at around $480,000. That’s considerably higher than many other cities. Especially as salaries aren’t rising to keep up.

Many residents find themselves moving out of the city and commuting in. Some are even beginning to move across the border into Mexico and commute daily to San Diego. People are finding ever more ways to live within their means, while also enjoying everything the city has to offer.

San Diego is a great place to live, with a rich cultural economy and plenty to do, but you pay for it, like any sub-tropical city.

Working in San Diego

The employment prospects in San Diego face the same kinds of challenges that the rest of the country has to contend with. Too few jobs with too many looking for work. However, with the US Navy being the largest employer in the region, redundancies have been kept to a minimum, although they have happened.

After the US Navy comes the University of California, the San Diego School District, San Diego County, Sharp Healthcare and Qualcomm. With only two private sector employers in the top 5, there is a certain amount of stability for those who have work.

Finding work elsewhere in San Diego is as challenging as it is anywhere.

City Life

San Diego is the ninth most educated city in the US, with over 40% of residents having at least a bachelor’s degree. The educational system in the city is regarded as good, with our schools, colleges and universities ranking well.

The city is active, with a very enthusiastic sports scene, a very good food and restaurant scene and has very lively music and nightlife. It has everything you would expect of a modern, mixed community.

Living and working in San Diego has many of the benefits and downsides of any metropolitan area. It can get crowded, we have traffic problems, crime (although lower than many other cities), high property prices and unemployment.

However, we also have the Pacific coast on our doorstep and are surrounded by some of the best countryside California has to offer.

San Diego is a large, cosmopolitan city on the West Coast. It is the eighth largest city in the US and the second largest in California. The proximity to the border of Mexico means there is a steady Latino influence in almost every aspect of the city.

Whatever the reason for your visit to San Diego, there is always something going on. Whether it’s a music festival, art exhibition or sports event, we have something here for just about every taste.

Culture

San Diego has a big appetite for arts and culture, which is great for those who love that kind of thing. The city is home to a huge number of venues, including; San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, the Museum of Photographic Arts and The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, among others.

Music

Music plays a large part in any city’s culture and it’s no different here. The diverse mix of people and cultures means we have great examples of just about every kind of music. We also have plenty of music venues, including; The San Diego Symphony at Symphony Towers, The San Diego Opera at Civic Center Plaza and the Old Globe Theatre at Balboa Park to name a mere few.

Nightlife

Being a city by the sea, when the sun goes down, the lights come on. There are an abundance of restaurants selling fresh seafood from the docks and fresh, local produce. There are hundreds of bars, clubs and other nightspots to keep even the most ardent night owl entertained. Whether you like trance, comedy or jazz, we have the club for you. Check out what there is to do at night!

Shopping

The West Coast fashion scene is huge, so there is undoubtedly the retail centers to cater for such appetites. The lovely weather means a good number of these are in the open air, as well as in malls. They include; Fashion Valley in Mission Valley, Westfield UTC in La Jolla, Westfield Horton Plaza Downtown, Grossmont Center in La Mesa and Carlsbad Premium Outlets in Carlsbad.

Sport

No city would be complete without active sports and competitive leagues. San Diego is no different, with a range of professional and enthusiast sports teams and venues. They include; the San Diego Chargers football team, San Diego Padres baseball team, San Diego State Aztecs basketball team. There are plenty of opportunities to get active yourself, with beautiful countryside surrounding the city, miles of beach and a huge ocean, there is always something to do while you’re here.

San Diego takes the best of West Coast lifestyle and wraps it up in an affordable, approachable bundle. Whether you’re here to work, rest or play, there is always something going on somewhere! If you need furnished housing for your stay in the San Diego area, please consider Blu temporary Housing!

Seattle is a huge city with much going on. If you’re living, working here or visiting the city it’s always nice to have a heads-up on where the best places to visit are and what to expect. In a city with a lot to do, you have to get the most out of your time here. If you need furnished housing during your stay in Seattle, please consider us!

So, without further ado, here are what we think are the best entertainment options in Seattle.

Pike Place Marketseattle things to see (2)

Pike Place Market is a food lovers heaven. It’s full of farm stalls, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and local arts and crafts. It’s a riot of color, sound and sights and well worth a few hours of your time. Watch the fishmongers throw fish to each other then go underground to “Down Under” to the “original” Starbucks.

Olympic Sculpture Park

The Olympic Sculpture Park is 9 acres of parkland with a sculpture garden, waterfront path and entrance to Myrtle Edwards Park. It’s green, pleasant and great for escaping the buzz of the city for a while.

Space Needle

The one thing that defines our Seattle skyline is the Space Needle. Built in 1962, it’s still a very popular tourist destination. It is 605 feet tall and has an elevator to take visitors to the top. The Needle is also home to the Seattle Center, which is also worth visiting while you’re there.

Washington State Ferries

Washington State Ferries don’t sound the most dynamic of venues, but is well worth your time. Take a ferry to one of the smaller islands such as Bainbridge Island and take in the culture there. The San Juan Island ferry takes you to the islands, which are also worth a visit. The ferry service is important to us here, so they are well worth the time.

Chihuly Garden and Glassseattle things to see (1)

Chihuly Garden and Glass is a center dedicated to artist Dale Chihuly and is worth visiting even if you don’t like art. The center has eight galleries, an outdoor garden and the Glasshouse, as well as a cafeteria. It has some amazing sights and will interest even the most jaded art hater.

Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight is for aircraft lovers everywhere. The museum includes an early prototype from the Wright Brothers, the SR-71 Blackbird to the superfast Concorde. Located in Boeing Field, an old Boeing facility, it’s perfectly appropriate to show some of our greatest aircraft.

Chinatown

The Chinatown International District is one of the oldest parts of the city, with some buildings dating back to the 19th century. It has always been home to the Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Filipino immigrants and has their cultural stamp all over it. It’s full of places to eat, drink, explore and shop.

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Blu really came through for us when we needed them most. We had to find three furnished apartment rentals for contractors in Los Angeles, in Venice, in summer. The hotels were full, other rental agents failed, but Travelers Haven didn’t. They succeeded. Not only did they find us three corporate rentals, they were in the same block. That meant all our people were near each other, making the logistics of the exercise so much easier!

Mark Delray. Chicago.

We had Blu recommended to us by a supplier. When we needed an estate home for a visiting dignitary from Japan, they came through. The rental they found us was fully furnished, laundry and housekeeping was arranged and our executive had everything he needed to live and work with us for the six weeks he was here.

Fujiru Onigaro. Portland

Great rented apartment, great price, great location, great service. Great Blu Temp Housing. What more can I say?

Jensen Clovis. Victoria.

Trying somebody new is always a nervous experience, especially when you have years of history with another rentals agency. A series of unfortunate events saw us working with Blu and we have to say, we haven’t regretted a second of it. If only other rental agencies were as efficient.

We needed a furnished apartment and a small family rental in a hurry, in San Antonio, in a hurry. Blu came up with the goods and won themselves a repeat customer for life.

Imogen Havre. Grand Junction

Blu were very patient with me and I appreciate it. I had to arrange four corporate apartments for visiting police officers from Europe and it was a hard job. Each had to be near the police department building, each had to have enough room for the officers to work, but also be near enough to the night life of San Antonio.

The furnished apartments that Blu found were ideal. They were in the same complex, not too far from the city, and on a Metro route into town. Each officer was pleased with what we supplied and my job was made much easier by those helpful folks. A great service at a great price. Well recommended!

Lorna Buckley. Dallas.

Phoenix, Arizona is a huge, sprawling city with a lot going on. It would be impossible to cover everything it has to offer in a single page, or even in a couple of years living here, but we’re going to try. Here are just a few highlights we would recommend seeing or doing while you’re here.

The Heard Museum

The Heard Museum is a cultural center that should not be missed. Not only are there 32,000 permanent exhibits, there are also traveling shows, cultural events, regular exhibitions and activities running all year round. It is possible to visit here several times and not see the same things twice.

Arizona Science Centerwhat to do in phoenix (1)

The Arizona Science Center is a great day out for all the family. It contains an IMAX theater, planetarium, curios and exhibits and lots of interactive things to see and do. It’s a great way to explore science without being dry and boring.

Chase Field

Chase Field was the first field in the world to have a retractable roof and air conditioning. Given our climate it’s no surprise. If you’re into baseball, no visit to Phoenix would be complete without a tour of the field and a lunch at Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill.

Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden is a horticultural wonder full of desert plants and exhibits. Spread over 50 acres, it’s amazing to think that such an inhospitable place as the desert can support so much life. This includes hundreds of species of plant and flowers and is in the center of the city.

Carnival of Illusion

The Carnival of Illusion in the Historic Arizona Biltmore Resort is a unique, intimate magic show that allows the audience to get up close and personal with the acts. It’s small but perfectly formed and if you love a life of wonder, this is a must-see.

Phoenix Mountains Parkwhat to do in phoenix (2)

Phoenix Mountains Park is for those of you who don’t mind the heat and love the outdoors. The park is miles and miles of hikes, biking trails and amazing views of the city and the surrounding landscape. It’s also home to Piestewa Peak, which is worth the trip all on its own.

Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo is a private, non-profit zoo that invests heavily in the welfare of the animals within. It has hundreds of species of animals and a successful breeding program. Arrive early in the morning or in the evening because many animals hide in the shade during hot days.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is a modern art venue that has five galleries covering modern art, sculpture, architecture and design. It also has a sculpture garden offering a haven of peace in the city. The center also provides tours, workshops and classes.

Need short-term housing while in Phoenix? We have many rentals available, click here to view them.

Creating a to-do list for visitors to New York would take pages and pages of things to do, places to go, things to see and food to eat. We don’t have that luxury, so have to squeeze the top things to do in New York onto a single page.

Here is what we came up with.

Central Parknyc

The jewel in the city that is Central Park had to be at the top of our list. The 843 acres of green and pleasant land inside the concrete jungle can be explored on foot, by bicycle in partly in a carriage. It gets busy during lunchtimes, but there is plenty of space to go round.

West Village

West Village is New York as it once was. No planned blocks, just an evolution of geography as it happened in the 19th century. There are gorgeous brownstones, the Jefferson Market Courthouse and probably the prettiest shopping area in the entire city along Bleecker Street and Commerce Street.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building is once more our city’s tallest building and is still the best. It gets busy, is full of tourists, but is well worth the effort. On a clear day you can see for miles in all directions. Get a bird’s eye view of the city from the very top, it’s well worth the elevator journey and the queuing.

Grand Central Terminalnyc (2)

Yeah sure, it’s just a train station, but what a train station. It’s huge, beautiful and should be on every visitor’s to-do list. Visit the Oyster Bar, the whispering gallery, The Campbell Apartment and the culinary market for the full experience. It’s busy but it’s well worth the effort.

The Bowery Ballroom

If you love music, the Bowery Ballroom is hands down the best music venue in the city. It regularly features up and coming acts, new bands and world famous ones. The venue has two levels, with a downstairs bar and is the perfect place to listen to something new and let your hair down for a while.

Staten Island

Taking the ferry to Staten Island and then looking back at the New York skyline is a view you won’t forget in a hurry. That skyline is the most famous in the world and for good reason. It’s huge, there’s always something to see and makes for great pictures.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the world with over 2 million pieces on display. Entry is free, but a donation is well worth it to keep this amazing space open. It would weeks to see everything and appreciate it all, but you can get an idea of the place with a few hours.

And of course, if you need temporary housing for your stay in New York, we’ve got you covered!.

Having run a successful real estate business for over twenty years, you hopefully learn a thing or two. Last week, I had a client who wanted to lease his home out as a corporate let for conference season in 2012.

 

This isn’t unusual, downtown Denver has a lively business scene, and properties come up all the time. However, this guy was different. The task ahead of me was so difficult that it prompted me to write this article in the hope that nobody else makes this mistake, or comes to me with DowntownDenverthe same attitude.

 

Let’s call him Alan for the sake of blushes. Alan, owned an apartment in downtown Denver. The block was a nice one, in one of the tallest buildings in the city. The view was excellent, the property ideal. It was around 1,500 square feet, had wooden floors, fully-fitted kitchen, high quality appliances and was in great condition throughout.

 

Now at this point, you would think I would be trying to bite his hand off. A great property, in a great position and ready for a corporate rental. You would be right, except Alan didn’t have the faintest idea what he was doing. The conversation went something like this.

“So what do you think?” Alan asked.

“I think it’s great, and we could have this rented out for most of the year. I would estimate the average rental to be somewhere around the $2,000 per week mark, how does that sound?”

“Is that all? I saw on the internet properties were renting for $25,000 per week. That’s more the figure I was looking for.” Alan replied.

“Erm, you wouldn’t get anywhere near that amount unless they were holding the Superbowl here or something. Where on earth did you see that?”

“No deal then, I may as well stay here. I wanted $25,000 per week, even $20,000 at a push. Craigslist has them on there for $30k, I’m not renting it out for 10 percent of its value.” Alan replied, shocked.

“The reason they are being advertised is because they’re empty. Because nobody in their right mind will pay that kind of money for a week. Alan, I would be happy to rent this out for you. I have a corporate client right now who could have someone in here within a fortnight, but two thousand is about as much as you’re going to get.”

“F**k that then, you can go now, I’ll do it myself if you can’t handle it.”

 

The tone had completely changed and Alan got quite angry. He genuinely thought a corporate rental could net him 30 grand a week as wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I left right then and didn’t look back.

 

I checked the internet listing the next week, and sure enough his was there. He had compromised a bit by asking $20,000 per week. Corporate rents just don’t go that high for normal situations. The ad was there the next week, and the one after, and for a couple of months later, then stopped.

 

I was passing his building one morning and decided to stop by the site office to see what’s what. It’s often a good way of getting the jump on a newly vacated property. Guess what? A brand new foreclosure in the building, Alan’s apartment.

 

Corporate rentals are a great way to make money, but be realistic in your expectations. The market will only pay market rate. Go higher and go out of business.

Austin, Texas is the state capital and home to over 700,000 people. We’re also the 13th largest city in the country and Texans through and through. We love our city and it loves us. We work hard and play hard so there is plenty of play here.

If you’re looking for entertainment, Austin has it in spades. Here is just a short list of what’s on offer while you’re here.


Town Lake Hike-and-Bike TrailIMG_0022

Believe it or not, the most popular thing to do in Austin is our Town Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail. It’s a lovely trail that runs through parks, past lakes and is shared by runners, hikers and mountain bikers alike. It’s a great way to take in the city and explore different places. Set aside a sunny day and wander to your heart’s content.

Zach Theatre

The Zach Theatre complex is a great place to take in a local or national show and offers excellent value for money for all the family. Set opposite Town Lake, it’s easy to get to and is accessible to all. The acoustics are great, the seats are comfortable and the entire experience is a great one, whatever your taste in performances.

Esther’s Follies

Esther’s Follies is something a little different. It’s a magic, comedy and music venue that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is one of our most popular venues and is well worth a visit. It’s over 18’s only, but only because of its edginess.

Texas Trail Rides

Anyone visiting Texas needs to try a horse for size. It’s how our country began and how we still like to live whenever we get the opportunity. There is plenty of guidance and instruction if you haven’t ridden before and some great trails through some amazing country once you’re in the saddle.

LBJ Presidential Librarylibrary-lbj

The LBJ Presidential Library in Austin offers something a little slower paced but no less satisfying. Whether you agreed with his politics or not, Lyndon Baines Johnson did a lot for our country and this library celebrates that. With several million papers, 2,000 recordings and 5,000 hours of video, this has to be the best LBJ collection anywhere in the world.

Barton Springs Pool

When the sun is beating down and you want to cool off, there’s nowhere better to do it than Barton Springs Pool. It’s a natural rock pool over 1,000 feet long, fed by natural spring water. It’s a popular spot at the weekend for sitting, swimming, fishing and all sorts of strangeness. It’s family-friendly though and offers a welcome break from life in the city.

Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum will teach you all you need to know about the history of Texas and the Old West. It’s next to the University of Texas campus and contains a wealth of information and exhibits from the formation of the state, the hopes on an independent republic, right up to the oil boom.

Looking for housing while you’re in Austin? Take a look at what we have to offer!

Click here to view our furnished Chicago rentals!

Cities don’t come much bigger or better than Chicago. We may be biased, but we think it’s one of the best places in the world to live. It’s fun, lively, full of things to do and opportunity. As you can imagine there are hundreds, if not thousands of things to see and do while you’re here and these are just a few.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago not only looks the part, it also contains some of the best art in the country. The architecture is impressive, the lions guarding the doors are too, but neither is as awe inspiring as what’s contained inside. Work from across the world and some of be best impressionist art to be found anywhere.

Million Dollar Quartet

The Million Dollar Quartet is a musical performed at Apollo Theater on Lincoln Avenue. The production is built around a legendary recording session featuring Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley and features songs from all four. It’s a great production, with great songs and makes for a great day out.

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate is a sculpture at the center of the new Millennium Park and looks a bit like a metal bean. The park is also a great place to sit and watch the city go by. It’s always busy and always interesting. Just remember to take your camera.

Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier

Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier is a Tony Award-winning venue with some excellent classic and modern takes on the playwright’s work. The theater regularly has new productions, traveling artists and other essential viewing. Some modern, some classic, all entertaining.

Lake Michigan

No visit to Chicago would be complete without a look at Lake Michigan. The edge of the lake has beaches and marinas to walk, wander and enjoy. Watch out for pollution warnings, but other than that it’s a great place to spend a sunny day in Chicago.

Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is an amazing place to visit. It features a real U-boat, a Boeing 727, an early American town and an Omnimax theater too. It also has one of the most fascinating model railways anywhere. 1,400 feet of track showing how the railroad defined our country. It’s a great place to visit.

Oriental Institute Museum

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field

The Oriental Institute Museum on East 58th Street is more Egypt and Persia than China and Japan. However, the museum is one of the best of its kind in the world, with thousands of exhibits, dioramas and exhibitions. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is one of the most famous baseball stadiums in the world and one of the smallest. When there isn’t a game on, the tours offer an insight into a national institution and is worth the trip alone. On game day, enjoy a Big Beer and the best hot dogs around.

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