26 Best Airbnbs in Southern California: Villas, Cabins + Vacation Rentals

by Jon Miksis
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In Southern California, you won’t have to go far to see it all: endless beaches and sunshine, cosmopolitan cities, vast deserts, state and national parks, and more. It’s no surprise, then, that you’ll have plenty of cool and unique Airbnbs and VRBOs to choose from that will give you a taste of life in Southern California (So Cal). Stay in one of these Southern California vacation rentals, and you’ll never want to leave!

From the glitzy streets of Hollywood to the laid-back vibes of San Diego, SoCal is just waiting to be unraveled. But here’s the secret sauce to making your Californian dream even more magical: ditching the conventional hotel stay for a more intimate, authentic experience. Enter the world of Southern California Airbnbs, where every stay tells a story, every nook has a narrative.

Imagine waking up to the sound of waves in a beachfront bungalow, sipping coffee on a balcony overlooking the vineyards of Temecula, or even spending a night in a Spanish-style villa. As a travel blogger, I’ve visited SoCal countless times, and I’m here to share with you a curated list of Airbnbs that will blow your mind.

This article covers the top lodging in Southern California, which includes Airbnbs, VRBOs, and other vacation rentals and homes in Southern California. Whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat or group getaway, you’ll be amazed by the sheer number of beachfront villas, unique treehouses, rustic cabins, and eco-friendly accommodations that this region has to offer. Here are the 26 best Airbnbs in Southern California that you need to see to believe!

Best Airbnbs in Southern California right now
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The Coolest Airbnbs in Southern California: Top Vacation Rentals in 2023

Here are the best Airbnbs in Southern California by category, taking into account different amenities, trip types, and budgets. The subsequent sections will cover each listing in more detail.

Top Airbnb in Southern California: The Colony Enclave

Best Luxury Rental Southern California: Oceanfront Villa in La Jolla

Top Romantic Airbnb in Southern California: Santa Barbara Cottage

Best Southern California Airbnb for Large Groups: Mythea Castle

Best Cheap Airbnb Southern California: Beautiful Bungalow Rental

Coolest Treehouse Airbnb in Southern California: Nordic Escape

Best Cabin Rental Southern California: Cozy Cabin in the Mountains

Top Airbnb Southern California with Pool: Spanish Style Villa

Coolest Rental Southern California with Hot Tub: Casa Perla

Most Unique Airbnb in Southern California: Joshua Tree Dome Home

26 Best Airbnbs in Southern California

If cabins, treehouses, romantic cottages, and luxury rentals all sound good to you, get excited! Below are some of the most unique stays in Southern California:

1. Airbnb Dome in the Desert of Joshua Tree

Location: Joshua Tree, California

Rates from: $238 per night

Accommodates: 4 guests

Unique dome rental in the desert of Southern California
Unique dome rental in the desert of Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
Modern and creative interior living space
Modern and creative interior living space. | Credit: Airbnb

Experience So Cal in style from this bohemian dome Airbnb in Joshua Tree. This modern home is decked out with all the amenities you’ll need for a cozy stay, including natural wood and stone elements, mountain views, wood burning stove, space heaters, AC, and more.

Spend your days exploring this vast desert, and by night, go stargazing. You’ll quickly see why it’s among the most secluded and unique Airbnbs in Southern California.

Unique features: Unique dome Airbnb; desert and mountain views; modern fixtures and appliances; excellent location; wood-burning stove; space heaters; air conditioner

Cool sights nearby: Joshua Tree National Park | Barker Dam | Coachella Valley Preserve | Skull Rock | Keys View | Cholla Cactus Garden | Hidden Valley Nature Trail | Ryan Mountain | Keys Ranch

2. The Glass House – Top Southern California Vacation Rental for Nature Lovers

Location: Ramona, California

Rates from: $271 per night

Accommodates: 6 guests

A top Southern California vacation rental for those looking to reconnect with nature
A top Southern California vacation rental for those looking to reconnect with nature. | Credit: Airbnb
Hot tub overlooking the mountains of So Cal.
Hot tub overlooking the mountains of So Cal. | Credit: Airbnb

This glass house is one of the coolest Southern California vacation rentals imaginable. It offers 180 degree views from inside the home, as well as access to lots of great hiking and local wineries.

This home is located on 5 acres of hills, meadows, and oak trees, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind. Reconnect with nature as you take in the breathtaking mountain views from the huge deck and hot tub. It won’t be long until you realize why it’s among the most unique stays in Southern California.

3. The Red Barn at the Lakefront with a Private Dock

Location: Big Bear Lake, California

Rates from: $289 per night

Accommodates: 5 guests

A beautiful Barn Airbnb Rental in Southern California
A beautiful Barn Airbnb Rental in Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
Unique places to stay in Southern California can't rival this accommodation
Unique places to stay in Southern California can’t rival this accommodation. | Credit: Airbnb

Nestled on the serene shores of Big Bear Lake, The Red Barn at the Lakefront promises an idyllic escape from the urban hustle. This charming chalet, with its rustic aesthetics, offers a cozy living room that beckons travelers to unwind after a day of exploration. With three spacious bedrooms, it comfortably sleeps five, making it perfect for families or a group of friends.

A highlight of this property is undoubtedly its private dock, where one can indulge in tranquil moments, watching the sun dip behind the mountains. For those who prefer indoor relaxation, the hot tub awaits. The chalet is also equipped with a fully functional kitchen, air conditioning, and an outdoor space that boasts a breathtaking mountain view.

Venturing out, guests will find the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain just a 4-minute drive away, offering thrilling rides and picturesque views. For nature enthusiasts, the Aspen Glen Picnic Area is a mere 4-minute drive, while the Big Bear Marina is just 5 minutes away, perfect for boating enthusiasts.

Whether it’s the allure of the lake, the nearby attractions, or the sheer comfort of the chalet, The Red Barn at the Lakefront is a haven for those seeking a memorable Southern California getaway.

4. Bonsall Hills Eco Tent – Unique Southern California Vacation Rental

Location: Vista, California

Rates from: $176 per night

Accommodates: 2 guests

An eco tent like no other
An eco tent like no other. | Credit: VRBO
This eco tent is one of the most beautiful in the state of California
Unique vacation rentals in Southern California come in all shapes and sizes. | Credit: VRBO

“Bask in the nostalgic camping vibe of this off-grid, eco tent surrounded by South African protea flowers. Relieve your aches and pains in the solar powered shower after a long hike, then head to the deck to cook up some magic in the outdoor kitchen.” – Airbnb

Unique features: Eco tent rental tucked in nature; fire pit; BBQ grill; hammock; authentic African artifacts decorations

Cool sights nearby: Carlsbad | San Diego Zoo Safari Park | San Diego | Alta Vista Botanical Gardens | The Wave Waterpark | Rancho Guajome Adobe | Boomers Vista | Brengle Terrace Park

5. Casa Cardiff By The Sea – A Unique Beach House Rental in Southern California

Location: Encinitas, California

Rates from: $487 per night

Accommodates: 8 guests

A beautiful Airbnb in Southern California with ocean views.
A beautiful Airbnb in Southern California with ocean views. | Credit: Airbnb
One of the most breathtaking accommodations in So Cal
This is one of the most unique vacation rentals in Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
Beautiful beach house rental in Southern California along the coast
Beautiful beach house rental in Southern California along the coast. | Credit: Airbnb

“Make every night a movie night with the 168-inch (14 ft) drop down HD projector screen in this sleek contemporary home. Midcentury Modern decor and bamboo flooring contribute to an ambiance of artistic minimalism with plenty of amenities and unique spaces for small groups and families. The front patio space is the perfect spot to lounge in the sun, or to enjoy a glass of wine by the fire. While the back deck offers a more intimate experience with an outdoor dining table and lounge area.” – Airbnb

Is this one of the best Airbnbs in Southern California? Absolutely!

Unique features: Modern home just steps from the ocean; outdoor terrace; fit pit; beach items (umbrella, chairs, and boogie boards); large HD projector

Cool sights nearby: Moonlight State Beach | San Diego Botanic Garden | San Elijo State Beach | Cardiff State Beach | Annie’s Canyon Trail | Leucadia State Beach | Meditation Gardens | San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

6. Top Southern California Vacation Rental in Malibu

Location: Malibu, California

Rates from: $295 per night

Accommodates: 4 guests

One of the most beautiful houses to rent in Southern California
One of the most beautiful houses to rent in Southern California. | Credit: VRBO
A Southern California vacation rental like no other
A Southern California vacation rental like no other. | Credit: VRBO

Stay at this Southern California vacation rental in Malibu and you’ll be in for a treat. This mid-century modern home offers an amazing stay with sweeping ocean views.

Spend your days sunbathing at California’s most famous beaches, which are just a short ride away. Go hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, and afterwards, indulge at Malibu’s world-class restaurants. If you’re looking for a Southern California beach house for rent, this unique space is calling your name!

7. Renovated Zen Treehouse Retreat

Location: Los Angeles, California

Rates from: $384 per night

Accommodates: 5 guests

The perfect place to relax and enjoy the nature in Southern California
The perfect place to relax and enjoy the nature in Southern California. | Credit: VRBO
One of the most unique places to stay in Southern California for travelers
One of the most unique places to stay in Southern California for travelers. | Credit: VRBO

Tucked away in the heart of Woodland Hills, the Renovated Zen Treehouse Retreat beckons travelers seeking a serene escape amidst the bustling city of Los Angeles. This unique abode, perched amidst the trees, offers a harmonious blend of modern amenities and nature-inspired tranquility.

Step inside, and you’re greeted by a meditation loft, a sanctuary where stillness and calm reign supreme. Natural light floods the dining area, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, making every meal an experience in itself. With three thoughtfully designed bedrooms, including a master suite and a meditation loft, this retreat comfortably accommodates five guests.

Among its standout amenities are a fully equipped kitchen, washer, dryer, free Wi-Fi, and air conditioning, ensuring a comfortable stay. But it’s the outdoor spaces that truly shine – a deck, porch, and garden, perfect for soaking in the Californian sun.

For those eager to explore, the San Fernando Valley is just a minute’s walk away, and the breathtaking Topanga State Park is an 8-minute stroll, offering hiking trails and mesmerizing views. Dive deep into the Zen vibes of this treehouse retreat and discover a side of Southern California that’s both tranquil and invigorating.

8. The Little Bungalow – a Budget-Friendly Airbnb in Southern California

Location: Long Beach, California

Rates from: $103 per night

Accommodates: 2 guests

A beautiful bungalow in southern California
A beautiful bungalow in southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
A photogenic interior design layout
Credit: Airbnb

“This space is a classic Spanish style house built in 1932, but has been completely renovated with all new everything. We are nestled in the heart of the historic Wrigley neighborhood in Long Beach.” – Airbnb

Located in one of the California’s best beach towns, it’ easy to see why this is a popular stay for all types of travelers. It’s one of the unique vacation rentals of Southern California that caters to just about everyone.

Unique features: Spanish-style bungalow; private courtyard; small slash pool; fire pit; 48-inch smart TV; mural

Cool sights nearby: El Dorado Nature Center| Belmont Shore| Rancho Los Alamitos| Pine Avenue | The Queen Mary | Knott’s Berry Farm | Aquarium of the Pacific | Bolsa Chica State Beach | Adventure City | Port of Long Beach

9. Mythea Castle Stunning Laguna Hills Getaway

Location: Laguna Hills, California

Rates from: $1,741 per night

Accommodates: 13 guests

A luxury Castle Rental in Southern California

A luxury Castle Rental in Southern California. | Credit: VRBO
Credit: VRBO

Imagine a regal escape in the heart of Southern California, where the grandeur of a castle meets the comfort of a luxury vacation home. Welcome to the Mythea Castle in Laguna Hills, a majestic haven that promises an experience like no other.

With seven opulent bedrooms, this castle can comfortably host up to 13 guests, making it an ideal retreat for large families or groups. Each room is meticulously designed, offering a blend of royal aesthetics and modern amenities. Whether you’re lounging in the king-sized bed of the master suite or soaking in the views from the balcony, every moment here feels like a fairy tale.

The castle boasts a plethora of amenities, including a sparkling pool, a rejuvenating hot tub, and state-of-the-art air conditioning. The expansive deck and patio areas are perfect for evening soirees or morning yoga sessions, while the garden beckons for leisurely strolls.

For those looking to explore, the Mission Hospital – Mission Viejo is a mere 5-minute drive away. Shopaholics can indulge at The Shops at Mission Viejo, just 6 minutes away, while Saddleback College offers a glimpse into local academia.

Dive into the enchanting world of Mythea Castle and let the magic of Southern California sweep you off your feet.

10. Oceanfront Airbnb in La Jolla

Location: La Jolla, California

Rates from: $695 per night

Accommodates: 8 guests

An incredible Airbnb in La Jolla, California.
An incredible Airbnb in La Jolla, California. | Credit: VRBO
Airbnb vacation rental in southern California
Credit: VRBO
Beautiful home for rent in Cali
Credit: VRBO

“This oceanfront home is situated in the popular La Jolla Shores beach community. With its incredible seaside location, staggering views of the surf, wide sandy beach, and breathtaking sunsets this La Jolla Shores beach house is a vacation home you’ll want to visit. Boasting nearly 3,000 square feet of living space with 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, chef’s kitchen with views, spacious great room with ocean views, fireplace, outdoor kitchen with built in BBQ, pool and 3 expansive outdoor decks.” – Airbnb

Unique features: Beach house Airbnb with ocean views; pool and waterfall; beach equipment (beach chairs, umbrellas, surf boards); bikes; fireplace; 3 expansive outdoor decks; BBQ grill

Cool sights nearby: Torrey Pines State Beach | La Jolla Cove | Camino de la Costa | Children’s Pool La Jolla | The Cave Store | Shell Beach | Kellogg Park | La Jolla Trail

11. Star House in Pine Mountain Club

Location: Pine Mountain Club, California

Rates from: $153 per night

Accommodates: 12 guests

Pine Mountain Club Vacation Rental Cabin in Southern California
Pine Mountain Club Vacation Rental Cabin in Southern California . | Credit: VRBO
Credit: VRBO

Perched amidst the serene landscapes of Pine Mountain Club, the Star House beckons travelers with its promise of a tranquil retreat. This spacious cabin, spanning 3,000 sq ft, seamlessly blends rustic charm with modern comforts, ensuring a memorable stay for its guests.

The cabin boasts three beautifully designed bedrooms, each with its unique flair. The ‘Asian Room’ and the ‘Main Floor’ room each feature a cozy queen bed, while the loft offers a mix of twin and double beds, accommodating up to 12 guests with ease. With three well-appointed bathrooms, the ‘Star House’ ensures convenience at every turn.

Guests can indulge in the cabin’s array of amenities, from a fully equipped kitchen to a washer and dryer. The deck and patio areas are perfect spots to soak in the surrounding beauty, perhaps with a cup of coffee in hand.

Venturing out, the Los Padres National Forest is a mere 14-minute walk away, offering a rich tapestry of nature’s wonders. For those keen on hiking, the McGill Trailhead North is just an 8-minute drive. History enthusiasts can explore the Ridge Route Communities Historical Society and Museum, a 20-minute drive from the cabin.

Dive into the enchanting world of the Star House and let the magic of Pine Mountain Club envelop you in its embrace.

12. Hollywood Hills Home

Location: Los Angeles, California

Rates from: $225 per night

Accommodates: 2 guests

One of the coolest Airbnbs in Southern California.
One of the coolest Airbnbs in Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
An accommodation with lots of charm and personality
Credit: Airbnb

“Drink in panoramic city views from Hollywood to the ocean from the freestanding bathtub at a private guest unit nestled in the wooded hillside. Wake up in the cabin-like bedroom and step out onto the sun-drenched terrace for a cup of coffee or tea. The sunsets through the wall of windows looking over the city from either the bed or bathtub can’t be beat​.” – Airbnb

With beautiful views of Los Angeles and a cozy living space, this home is certainly among the most beautiful Airbnbs in Southern California. It’s also not far away from Beverly Hills, which also deserves a visit!

Unique features: Hollywood home with stunning views of LA; elegant interior décor; outdoor shower; patio

Cool sights nearby: Beachwood Canyon | Griffith Observatory | Universal Studios Hollywood | Sunset Ranch Hollywood | the Getty Center | TCL Chinese Theatres | Runyon Canyon Road | Hollywood Heritage Museum | Los Angeles

13. Casa Perla Airbnb in Southern California

Location: Yucca Valley, California

Rates from: $497 per night

Accommodates: 4 guests

A beautiful home for rent in Yucca Valley, California.
A beautiful home for rent in Yucca Valley, California. | Credit: Airbnb
Stargazing is one of the top things to do in Joshua Tree, California
Credit: Airbnb

“Casa Perla is situated on 5 acres with gorgeous views of the desert landscape. Watch the sunrise from the master bedroom. Enjoy an outdoor shower. Have a soothing massage in our top-of-the-line spa with six ergonomic seats. Relax in one of the many lounge chairs to stargaze or cozy up to a nice fire with our wood-burning fire pit. Conveniently located, we are close to restaurants and shops, and under 20 minutes to park entrance. While easily accessible, there is privacy and seclusion.” – Airbnb

Not only is this one of the best Airbnbs in Joshua Tree, it’s also among the most unique in Southern California.

Unique features: Hot tub and spa; BBQ grill; patio; smart TV Ultra HD; firepit

Cool sights nearby: Joshua Tree National Park | Palm Springs | Big Bear Mountain resort | Colorado River | Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum | Joshua Tree Retreat Center | High View Nature Loop Trail

14. Room D at The Dutra Inn – Little Italy

Location: San Diego, California

Rates from: $184 per night

Accommodates: 2 guests

One of the most unique Airbnbs in Southern California.
One of the most unique Airbnbs in Southern California. | Credit: VRBO
A beautifully designed loft in the city.
Credit: VRBO

“Our 20 foot, 100-year-old naval train station doors do seem like have a story to tell. Salvaged and repurposed here in our only street-level loft, they bring in the light and life of downtown San Diego.” – Airbnb

Unique features: Modern loft with floor-to-ceiling windows from a 100-year-old train station; outdoor patio; excellent location in downtown San Diego

Cool sights nearby: Little Italy | Downtown San Diego | San Diego Zoo | Seaport Village

15. Architect’s Off-Grid Stargazing Cabin

Location: Twentynine Palms, California

Rates from: $499 per night

Accommodates: 6 guests

This Airbnb cabin in Southern California is perfect for stargazing.
This Airbnb cabin in Southern California is perfect for stargazing. | Credit: Airbnb
An elegant interior decor
Credit: Airbnb
One of the coolest places to rent in the state.
Credit: Airbnb

“Sleep in a comfy bed under the stars in an open-air room in a minimalist corten steel structure. Architect Malek Alqadi designed this innovative oasis as a unique off-grid getaway offering close proximity to nature as well as simple, stylish living. This tiny home is best suited for 2 guests, but can sleep up to 6. One indoor bed, pull out couch, and one outdoor bed (outdoor bed does not have a cover).” – Airbnb

This tiny house is truly a hidden gem, and thus deserves a spot among the most unique Airbnbs in Southern California.

Read next: Most Unique Tiny Houses Across the United States

Unique features: Tiny house; stargazing deck; BBQ grill; hammocks; fire pit; mountain views

Cool sights nearby: Joshua Tree National Park | Palm Springs | Barker Dam | Oasis of Mara | Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center | Indian Cove Boy Scout Trail | Desert Queen Mine

16. Pool House Vacation Rental in So Cal with LA Views

Location: Los Angeles, California

Rates from: $181 per night

Accommodates: 3 guests

This pool house is among the best Airbnbs in Southern California.
This pool house is among the best Airbnbs in Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
A cozy interior layout in this astoning rental property.
Credit: Airbnb

“Private location with breathtaking views and access to pool and spa with free gated parking! Centrally located in LA, close to Downtown LA, Hollywood and our neighboring cities of Glendale and Pasadena.” – Airbnb

Unique features: Pool; hot tub with views of the hills of LA; spa; BBQ grill; backyard patio

Cool sights nearby: Griffith Observatory | Downtown LA | Hollywood | Glendale | Pasadena

17. Budget-Friendly Beach House Rental in Southern California

Location: Oceanside, California

Rates from: $250 per night

Accommodates: 2 guests

This vacation home in Oceanside is easily among the best beach house rentals in Southern California
This vacation home in Oceanside is easily among the best beach house rentals in Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
Walk out from your master bedroom to see these waterfront views
Walk out from your master bedroom to see these waterfront views. | Credit: Airbnb

Looking for a beach house rental in Southern California at a reasonable price? This oceanfront vacation home has got you covered.

Located directly on the Pacific Ocean, this Southern California vacation rental offers breathtaking views, beach access, and a romantic retreat like no other. It’s decked out with a large deck and patio, outdoor barbecue, kitchenette, and more. You’ll be very close to top sights like SeaWorld, Legoland, San Diego Zoo, and Balboa Park. However, after stepping foot inside this beautiful Southern California beach house, it will be hard to leave!

Staying at this romantic Airbnb in Southern California feels like a California beach resort in its own right. This makes it a unique stay for just about anyone!

18. Santa Barbara Cottage: A Top Airbnb in Southern California

Location: Santa Barbara, California

Rates from: $335 per night

Accommodates: 4 guests

A romantic Santa Barbara cottage.
A romantic Santa Barbara cottage. | Credit: Airbnb
A breathtaking accommodation for couples and groups of 4
Unique vrbo rentals in Southern California will bring fun to the whole family. | Credit: Airbnb

“A true 5-star Santa Barbara experience. Charming 2/1 Spanish, 2 blocks from The Wharf, Beach, Funk Zone & State St, modern, light, boutique-like flair. Views of Riviera from living room. Meticulously clean, tasteful/understated decor, luxurious bedding, fully stocked & great amenities!” – Airbnb

With an amazing location and all the amenities, this is definitely one of the best Airbnbs in southern California.

Unique features: Close to beach; stylish décor; outdoor shower; designed by a world-renowned architect

Cool sights nearby: The Wharf | State Street | Funk Town | Old Mission Santa Barbara | Santa Barbara Zoo | Lotusland | Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

19. Beautiful Cabin Rental in Southern California

Location: Wrightwood, California

Rates from: $171 per night

Accommodates: 6 guests

This cabin rental in Southern California overlooks a canyon and bustling city
This cabin rental in Southern California overlooks a canyon and bustling city. | Credit: Airbnb
Wake up each morning with these stunning views from the SoCal vacation rental
Wake up each morning with these stunning views from the SoCal vacation rental. | Credit: Airbnb

If you’re craving a rustic mountain getaway, it doesn’t get any better than this cabin rental in Southern California. It’s perched high on a mountain ridge overlooking the city of Victorville and a canyon. This makes it one of the prettiest spots in SoCal imaginable!

Spend your days soaking in the hot tub with stunning views of the countryside. Curl up by the fireplace and enjoy the game room. Explore the local flora and fauna which are endemic to SoCal. Wake up every morning to a vibrant sunrise like no other. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder this is among the best cabins for rent in Southern California.

20. The Coyote House – A Top Southern California Vacation Rental with Hot Tub

Location: Yucca Valley, California

Rates from: $207 per night

Accommodates: 4 guests

It doesn't get any better than this Airbnb in Yucca Valley, California.
It doesn’t get any better than this Airbnb in Yucca Valley, California. | Credit: Airbnb
A comfortable accommodation near a national park
Airbnb with hot tub in SoCal. | Credit: Airbnb

“The Coyote House is a cozy two-bedroom one-bathroom getaway at the crossroads of Pioneer Town and Joshua Tree. Whether you’re in town for a show at Pappy & Harriet’s, a hike through the national park, or just to hang out with friends in the desert, this spot will be your home away from home.” – Airbnb

With so much charm and personality, this cozy accommodation is definitely one of the best vacation rentals in Southern California.

Unique features: Hot tub; BBQ grill; patio; spacious backyard; elegant interior décor

Cool sights nearby: Joshua Tree National Park | Palm Springs | Big Bear Mountain resort | Colorado River

21. Spanish Pool Oasis – One of the Coolest Airbnbs in California

Location: Montecito, California

Rates from: $1,064 per night

Accommodates: 10 guests

This beautiful home in Montecito is among the best Airbnbs in Southern California.
This beautiful home in Montecito is among the best Airbnbs in Southern California. | Credit: VRBO
Rich and beautiful accommodation that's perfect for large groups of family or friends.
Elegant interior living space. | Credit: VRBO
One of the best Airbnbs in California for large groups
Outdoor seating area and garden. | Credit: VRBO

“Get away from it all and enjoy the beach, mountains and open spaces of beautiful Santa Barbara. This amazing Spanish style home is walking distance to the beach, restaurant patio dining, grocery store, and the boutique shopping experience of Montecito. Enjoy walks to the beach, swimming in your private oasis, and roasting marshmallows at the outdoor fire pit. Relax with family and friends in this secluded sanctuary. Close to everything but a world away!” – Airbnb

If you’re looking for a memorable group trip experience, look no further than Spanish Pool Oasis, one of the best Airbnbs in Southern California.

Unique features: Beautiful Spanish-style home; grand fireplace; fountain; outdoor pool and spa; fire pit; jacuzzi tub

Cool sights nearby: Old Town Santa Barbara | Funk Zone | Santa Ynez Valley | Butterfly Beach | Lotusland | Casa del Herrero | East Beach | Hot Springs Canyon Trailhead

22. Angel City Loft is among the Best Airbnbs in Southern California

Location: Los Angeles, California

Rates from: $117 per night

Accommodates: 4 guests

One of the top vacation rentals in Los Angeles.
One of the top vacation rentals in Los Angeles. | Credit: Airbnb
This romantic rental is perfect for couples and small groups of 4 or less.
VRBO rentals in Southern California can’t touch this one. | Credit: Airbnb

“Surrounded by the noisy urban jungle of downtown, this loft is a peaceful and quiet oasis. Enjoy the beautiful views while relaxing in this 10th floor 1920s Beaux-Arts loft located in the Historic Core. The industrial past of this renovated space is still apparent in its high ceilings and polished concrete floors. Unique unit with 7 large windows and personal balcony.” – Airbnb

Fly to California and LA is one of the first places you’ll want to see. If you’re looking for a top Airbnb in Southern California that’s on the economical side, this is a great choice!

Unique features: Private balcony with skyline views; shared pool and hot tub; excellent location in the Historic Core of LA

Cool sights nearby: Historic Core | Downtown LA | Financial District | Disneyland Park | Universal Studios Hollywood

23. Nordik Eskape – Treetop Cabin VRBO in Southern California

Location: Big Bear, California

Rates from: $242 per night

Accommodates: 4 guests

This treetop cabin in Big Bear is one of the best Airbnbs and VRBOs in Southern California.
This treetop cabin in Big Bear is one of the best Airbnbs in Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
One of the nicest vacation rentals in the state of California
A top VRBO in Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb

“Enjoy the mountains by ski, board, foot, boat or bike. You’ll want to come home to this Scandinavian Hideaway by day’s end. While relaxing in the hammock, dining on the deck, or nestling by the fire you can retreat and rejuvenate. Unwind as the light of the sun setting paints the two story window wall. The 22 foot ceilings beside the painted wood walls. Nordik Eskape has both adventure and intimacy. Experience the cozy light of a fire while nestled high amongst the treetops.” – Airbnb

Read next: Coolest California Tree Houses

Unique features: Hammock; mountain bikes; sleds; indoor fireplace; mountain views; outdoor terrace

Cool sights nearby: Big Bear Lake | Big Bear Ski Resort | Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain | Castle Rock Trail | Big Bear Discovery Center

24. Dome House Airbnb in Southern California

Location: Palm Springs, California

Rates from: $428 per night

Accommodates: 6 guests

This dome house is one of the most unique Airbnb vacation rentals in Southern California.
This dome house is of the most unique Airbnb vacation rentals in Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
Creatively designed interior decorations
Credit: Airbnb
a geo dome accommodation brimming with beauty and rustic charm
Credit: Airbnb

“Amazing Retreat on 5 acres with Geodesic Dome and 360 degrees views of Desert, Mountains, Joshua Tree Park and Coachella Valley. Perfect for Romantic Getaways.” – Airbnb

Stay at this Dome House near Joshua Tree, and you’ll see why it’s among the most unique Airbnbs in Southern California.

Unique features: 5 acre hill vista; 26-foot ceiling in Dome Living Room; hot tub; stunning views of the mountains and desert valley; hot tub; covered patio

Cool sights nearby: Palm Springs | Joshua Tree National Park | Coachella Valley | Pioneer Town | Palm Springs Aerial Tramway | Indian Canyons | Mount San Jacinto | Palm Springs Art Museum

25. Paso Robles Ultimate Glamping Spot!

Location: San Miguel, California

Rates from: $175 per night

Accommodates: 2 guests

Experience a unique blend of rustic charm in this Southern California cabin rentals
Experience a unique blend of rustic charm in this Southern California cabin rentals. | Credit: VRBO
Credit: VRBO

Nestled in the heart of San Miguel, the Paso Robles Ultimate Glamping Spot offers a unique blend of rustic charm and modern comforts. This glamping haven is perfect for couples or solo travelers looking to immerse themselves in nature without compromising on luxury.

The cabin boasts a cozy bedroom with a plush queen bed, ensuring a restful night’s sleep under the stars. The bathroom, equipped with essentials like soap, towels, and shampoo, ensures guests have everything they need for a comfortable stay. The outdoor space is truly the highlight, with a deck and patio that beckon guests to relax, unwind, and soak in the surrounding beauty. The outdoor play area and garden further enhance the experience, making it an ideal spot for both relaxation and recreation.

For those looking to explore the local area, the Villa San Juliette Winery is just an 8-minute drive away, offering a taste of the region’s finest wines. The Ranchita Canyon Vineyard and Tackitt Family Vineyards are also within close proximity, making this glamping spot a wine lover’s paradise.

Dive into the enchanting world of the Paso Robles Ultimate Glamping Spot and discover a side of Southern California that’s both tranquil and invigorating.

26. The Colony Enclave Airbnb Rental in So Cal

Location: Palm Springs, California

Rates from: $293 per night

Accommodates: 6 guests

This Airbnb rental is among the coolest in all of Southern California.
This Airbnb rental is among the coolest in all of Southern California. | Credit: Airbnb
This rental in So Cal is among the very best, especially for large groups of travelers.
Credit: Airbnb

“Located just on the outskirts of Downtown, it feels like you’re right on the edge of civilization and the stars shine just a little brighter. All that Downtown Palm Springs has to offer is just a few miles away . Enjoy the six beach cruisers that will take you wherever you want to go. The 15-foot hedge provides complete privacy without blocking the spectacular views.” – Airbnb

In addition to being a top beachfront vacation rental in Southern California, it’s also among the best on VRBO.

Unique features: 8-person spa; pool with cabana-style lounge area; fire pit; BBQ grill; 6 beach cruisers; indoor shuffleboard table; poker table; board games

Cool sights nearby: Palm Springs | Joshua Tree National Park | Palm Springs Art Museum | Coachella Valley | Mount San Jacinto | Pioneer Town | Palm Springs Aerial Tramway | Indian Canyons

Best Places to Stay in Southern California (So Cal)

Still contemplating where to stay in Southern California? Here are my favorite cities, towns, and nature areas where I recommend staying:

– Top Cities and Towns: Beverly Hills, Carlsbad, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Newport Beach, San Diego, Santa Catalina Island, Santa Monica

– Best Cabins and Campgrounds: Palm Springs

– Coolest State/National Parks: Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about unique stays in Southern California

Looking to dive deeper into how to find an Airbnb in Southern California? Here are some popular questions you should know about:

Is Airbnb in Southern California more expensive than hotel?

The cost of Airbnb accommodations versus hotels in Southern California can vary widely based on several factors:

  1. Location: In prime tourist areas, beachfront properties, or upscale neighborhoods, Airbnb prices might be comparable to or even exceed hotel prices. In contrast, in residential areas or less touristy spots, Airbnb might offer better value.
  2. Type of Accommodation: A private room in an Airbnb might be cheaper than a hotel room, while renting an entire upscale home or apartment on Airbnb could be more expensive than a hotel suite.
  3. Amenities: Hotels often come with amenities like daily housekeeping, breakfast, a gym, or a pool. While some Airbnbs might offer similar amenities, many won’t, so you might be paying less for fewer services.
  4. Duration of Stay: For longer stays, Airbnb often provides discounts, making it more economical than staying in a hotel for an extended period.
  5. Season: During peak tourist seasons, hotel prices might surge, making Airbnb a more affordable option, and vice versa.
  6. Additional Fees: Airbnb listings might have cleaning fees, service fees, and extra charges for additional guests. These can add up, making a seemingly affordable listing more expensive than anticipated. Hotels might have their own set of additional charges, like resort fees, parking fees, or Wi-Fi charges.
  7. Booking in Advance: Hotel prices might be more stable, while Airbnb prices can vary more significantly based on demand. Booking well in advance might secure better rates in both cases.

How much does Airbnb cost per night in Southern California?

The cost of Airbnb accommodations in Southern California can vary widely based on several factors. This includes location, type of property, amenities, season, and demand. As of my last update in September 2021, here’s a general range:

  1. Private Rooms: Starting from $30 to $100+ per night.
  2. Entire Apartments/Homes:
    • Budget: $50 to $150 per night for smaller apartments or homes in less touristy areas.
    • Mid-Range: $150 to $400 per night for larger properties or those in popular areas.
    • Luxury: $400 to $1,000+ per night for high-end homes, villas, or unique properties.
  3. Specialty Accommodations: Unique stays like treehouses, beachfront properties, or luxury villas can range from $200 to several thousand dollars per night.

Location-Specific Averages:

  • Los Angeles: A wide range, with budget accommodations starting around $50 per night and luxury properties or homes in upscale neighborhoods like Beverly Hills or Malibu going for $500 to $2,000+ per night.
  • San Diego: Prices can start as low as $40 for private rooms, with entire properties averaging between $100 to $500, depending on proximity to the beach and other attractions.
  • Santa Barbara: Known for its upscale vibe, you might find fewer budget options. Entire properties can range from $150 to $700+.
  • Desert Areas (like Palm Springs or Joshua Tree): Depending on the season and type of property, prices can range from $80 for simpler homes to $500+ for luxury villas or unique desert retreats.

How much is the most expensive Airbnb in Southern California?

Southern California boasts some of the most luxurious and exclusive Airbnb listings in the world, especially in areas like Malibu, Beverly Hills, and other upscale neighborhoods. Some of these high-end properties can range from $5,000 to over $20,000 per night. These are often sprawling estates, beachfront villas, or mansions with numerous amenities like private pools, theaters, staff, and more.

However, it’s essential to note that the “most expensive” Airbnb can change based on new listings, special offerings, or even exclusive packages that some hosts might provide for events or unique experiences.

For the most current and accurate pricing, you’d need to check Airbnb’s platform directly or look for news articles or reports that highlight the most expensive listings in recent times.

How many days can you Airbnb in California?

There isn’t a strict limit on how many days you can Airbnb in California. However, there are regulations and rules that can vary by city and jurisdiction, so it’s important to be aware of local laws and guidelines that govern short-term rentals.

In some areas of California, local ordinances or regulations may place restrictions on short-term rentals, including Airbnb listings. These regulations might include limits on the number of days you can rent out your property, requirements for obtaining permits or licenses, and rules about occupancy, taxes, and safety standards.

To ensure compliance and avoid any legal issues, it’s recommended that you:

Check Local Regulations: Research the specific city or area in California where you plan to host an Airbnb rental. Check the official website of the local government or municipal authorities for information on short-term rental regulations.

Obtain Necessary Permits: If required by local regulations, make sure to obtain any necessary permits, licenses, or approvals to legally operate a short-term rental.

Understand Occupancy Limits: Some areas might have limits on the number of guests you can accommodate in your Airbnb rental.

Pay Taxes: Be aware of any local taxes, such as transient occupancy taxes, that you may need to collect and remit from guests.

Comply with Safety Standards: Ensure that your rental property meets safety and building code standards.

Communication with Guests: Clearly communicate your rental rules and expectations to guests to ensure a smooth and compliant stay.

It’s important to note that regulations can change and vary by jurisdiction, so it’s recommended that you research the most current information and consult with local authorities or legal experts if you have specific questions about hosting an Airbnb rental in California.

Most unique Airbnbs in Southern California for all types of travelers
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Best Airbnbs in Southern California: LA, San Diego, Joshua Tree + More

Have you ever stayed in a unique Airbnb or vacation rental in Southern California? Please let me know, as I’m always looking to add to this list of the best and most unique Airbnbs in Southern California!

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