Best California Airbnbs

11 Ultra-Cool Airbnbs in California—#3 Will Leave You Starry-Eyed

From Cozy Cabins in the Trees to Stylish Lofts in the Heart of the City

Traveling out-of-state and overseas may be at the top of your 2023 bucket list, but little compares to a sun-soaked Golden State staycation. The California coast is dotted with numerous ultra-cool Airbnb options, and it’s the perfect time to scope out these scenic spots. From the mountains to the valleys to the sandy coast, these are our top 11 places to stay when you need to get away.


Apple Hill Hideaway

Location: Apple Hill, CA

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Best California Airbnbs
Credit: Brandon Stanley – @bstanley_photo

Surrounded by vineyards, golf courses, hiking trails and apple orchards, the Blue Lead Lodge is a peaceful respite tucked away from the bustle of everyday life. This remodeled cabin sits in the heart of Apple Hill—a charming agricultural community in the Sierra foothills near Placerville, CA. Named after the famous Deep Blue Lead, a local gravel deposit vital in the gold rush era, this property offers a little slice of California Gold Rush history!

Guests of Blue Lead Lodge can not only enjoy some peace and quiet, but also amazing amenities like an outdoor movie theater deck, a fire pit, four kayaks, a foosball table and board games, access to beautiful natural trails (keep your eyes peeled for deer!) and a hot tub—perfect for sipping a glass of wine and soaking under the stars. The cabin has a total of 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms and can sleep up to 10 people, and it’s also located just a block away from the Smith Flat House, where diners can enjoy a meal in The Cellar—an historic cave that features the entrance to an 1800’s goldmine. Pro tip: walk over to Starfield Vineyards & Winery beforehand for a glass of vino!

Local Insight: Want to learn more about the Blue Lead Lodge? Follow @blueleadlodge and @_hyggehomerentals on Instagram!


Home Under The Dome

Location: Aptos, CA

This midcentury modern accommodation located in Santa Cruz County is the seaside sanctuary of your dreams. Serene and clean, this upscale rental is reminiscent of a childhood tree house with all the amenities to make new, amazing memories. Hang out on the outdoor hammock for a little afternoon snooze or take a quick cruise into Capitola to scope out the colorful and quaint shops that ooze sophisticated charm.


Little Italy Loft

Location: San Diego, CA

From the staircase to the exposed cinder block, this San Diego spot seriously raises the roof on regular rooms. The industrial-chic aesthetic of this vacation destination makes for a snap-worthy visit, and the floor-to-ceiling, 100-year-old train station doors add a dose of cool to the decor. This is truly the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. Grab an espresso from Portal Coffee to slow-sip while enjoying the morning light that this locale is famous for!


Indoor-Outdoor Architectural Oasis

Location: Twentynine Palms, CA

Best California Airbnbs

Are you a sucker for stargazing? Then this is the place for you. This remote but roomy Airbnb designed by architect Malek Alqadi is a literal oasis in the middle of the desert. The corten steel cabin is chic simplicity at its finest. The open-air bedroom situation takes sleeping under the stars to new heights (quite literally), so be sure to bring someone to be the Big Dipper to your Little Dipper. Make a pit stop at the Cabazon dinosaurs on your way to your stay and grab a date shake to go from Hadley’s to ease your way back into reality after your off-the-grid respite. 


High-Desert Hidden Haunt

Location: Pioneertown, CA

This is without a drought one of the coolest places to stay in Southern California (see what we did there?). A weekend getaway at Whisper Rock Ranch is a recipe for relaxation and wellness. Immerse yourself in the desert landscapes and unwind in the open-air concept of this palatial slice of paradise. Take your talents from the sauna to the outdoor soaking tub and enjoy this remote retreat. The 360-degree views of the sunrise and sunset, not to mention any friendly wildlife that might slink past, virtually guarantees a viral Instagram post. And never fear, they have Wi-Fi here—but if you want to go dark, we won’t tell!


Contemporary Cabin Fever

Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA

This outdoorsy destination is a prime place to get pampered. Don’t let the woodsy exterior fool you because this rental offers up all of the amenities from a sauna and an indoor pool to an on-site cinema. Boasting nine bedrooms and sleeping up to 16, this ski lodge is made to entertain. Pool tables, foosball and firepits—oh my! The activities are endless at this South Tahoe estate. Itching to hit the slopes? Saddle Estate is a five-minute stroll to Heavenly Mountain. 



Malibu’s Most Wanted

Location: Malibu, CA

Ever crave waking up to the waves and having your own little slice of sand to sunbathe in peace? Well, now you can. It’s time to indulge in opulence at this oceanfront oasis. Panoramic views of the Pacific will have you saying, “What pandemic?” as you holiday in this secluded heaven. This is a great spot for a gals getaway or a romantic trip with your special someone. On your way to your stay, be sure to do a drive-thru vino pickup from Rosenthal Wines—you’ll need a chilled white for your seaside spritzer!


The Sonoma Stunner

Location: Calistoga, CA

Fancy a foray to the world of rosé and red blends? Wine not! We heard it through the grapevine that Knights Valley Vista takes vino seriously with their on-site vineyards that guests can meander through during their stay. This is the perfect place for a reprieve from reality with over 200 private acres at your disposal to dine, dance and drink the night away. The grounds feature a swimming pool, hot tub, bocce ball court, barbecue and firepit. Inside, you’ll find larger-than-life living quarters that sleep up to eight so invite a friend or two, there’s enough wine to go around. 


The Bodega Bungalow

Location: Los Alamos, CA

This 1920s farmhouse is an Instagram post brought to life. Wind (or should we say wine?) down on the private patio or take a stroll over to the on-site Bodega boasting bocce ball, botanicals, beer and—you guessed it—plenty of wine. The farmhouse itself features a charming chef’s kitchen, two quaint and cozy bedrooms and plenty of opportunities to snap a shot for your social media story. Beware: there is no TV at the Bodega house. Yes, you may actually have to talk to each other. It’ll be fine, we promise!


The Happy Camper

Location: Culver City, CA

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Airstreams! Parked in a lush oasis of plant life and privacy, this Airbnb option gives you the feel of glamping…only smack-dab in the middle of Culver City. Within biking distance to the beach and with an on-site Jacuzzi, you won’t need anything else while staying in this fully stocked 19-foot suite. It’s quirky; it’s romantic; it’s fun. Grab a scoop or two from Ginger’s Ice Cream down the street and settle in for an unforgettable experience on wheels.


The Frisco Frontrunner

Location: San Francisco, CA

This spot looks like it is straight out of LOCALE Magazine with its rattan this and wood that. This place is a two-story stunner of a property offering al fresco dining, a private terrace for optimal tranquility and plenty to ogle over for those with an eye for interior design.

A hop, skip and a jump from the bay, guests can mosey on down to the marina for some seaside snacks or a little oceanfront happy hour. But you’ll want to scurry back to your slice of San Francisco heaven as soon as you’re done to soak up your time at this trendy urban retreat.

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Jane Adler is a marketing and branding consultant by trade, but a writer by preference. She shares a name with Meryl Streep's iconic character from It's Complicated and is presently trying to manifest that life (particularly that Santa Barbara house) for herself. Jane is an avid consumer of content and carbs and often used the latter to write on the former.




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