Well, Atlas Obscura’s having a good week.
The erstwhile “travel project” founded by writer Josh Foer and documentarian Dylan Thuras back in 2009 just reeled in $20 million in its Series B funding, from a combination of Airbnb, A+E Networks and New Atlantic Ventures. The key name there is Airbnb, which, buoyed by Atlas Obscura’s reported seven million monthly uniques and more than one million books sold, led the way in funding.
The result is a reward for both a company that’s remained stubbornly offbeat — it’s profiled the world’s “hidden wonders” for a decade, with the help of thousands of local contributors — and for all of us, who can now access Atlas Obscura’s experiences and adventures directly through Airbnb. Atlas Obscura runs a series of guided excursions: some of them are fairly low-commitment, like an afternoon in a Washington, D.C., cemetery, while others are quite elaborate, like a six-day trip to Dartmoor National Park in England.
The prices for these trips vary almost absurdly, from $20 to $5,000, but all the tours follow a similar format: expert local guides shepherd small groups through an experience that your friends have probably never heard of, much less attended. Access to these tours on Airbnb isn’t exactly essential, as they were already bookable on Atlas Obscura, but it does make for an easier user experience, as you can log into your account and share your travels with others in your party. Plus, the adjacency is helpful: book your stay, or an extension to a trip, in one fell swoop.
Below, we’ve cobbled together a few of our favorite experiences and adventures at a range of different price-points. Check out the full list here.
Stargaze through an Apollo 11 telescope
Visit rooftop honey bee hives
Kingdoms of Andalucía
Bhutan’s Festivals & Cliffside Temples
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