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Airbnbs in California: Top 20 Stays in 2021

Airbnbs are replacing hotels for me. They tend to be cheaper, more roomy, and offer the same amenities as my home (e.g. a kitchen). In 2021, they serve even bigger purposes. Whether that’s a change of scenery, a temporary space for remote work, or a spa retreat. And there is quite a selection to choose from! I’ve shortlisted 20 Airbnbs to stay at in California in 2021.

Each listing comes with basic details like location, nearby cities and attractions, how many people it fits, and the nightly rate. I picked Airbnbs that have an average rating of 4.8-4.9 stars. These are the creme de la creme of California Airbnbs! If you end up finding one you like, make sure you book months in advance. These get booked out fast.

1. Fall Asleep in a Private Cabana for 2

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

Bali was one of my favorite places to visit as a child. And while it’s hard to compare staying at an Airbnb in California with vacationing in Bali, you can come pretty close. This house near Los Angeles has a beautiful backyard pool and a cabana. I can imagine falling sleep in this indoor/outdoor bedroom after a swim and small glass of wine.

Location: Reseda, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Monica

No. of guests: 2

Avg Price (excluding fees): $175/night

Book on Airbnb.com

2. Rustic Guest House with Lake View

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

This serene Airbnb is located near California’s capitol Sacramento. It not only has a deck looking out onto Folsom Lake, it’s also got a private pool. What more can you ask for?

Location: El Dorado Hills, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Sacramento

No. of guests: 2

Avg Price (excluding fees): $126/night

Book on Airbnb.com

3. Be Royalty for a Weekend

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

This Oakland home is one of the most uniquely decorated Airbnbs in California I’ve come across! I love the details in everything from the mid-century sofa, the china, to the wallpaper and artistic window screens. Every detail in this home gives off hints of royalty.

Location: Oakland, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: San Francisco

No. of guests: 6

Avg Price (excluding fees): $136/night

Book on Airbnb.com

4. The Perfect Place to Work From Home

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

Coffee shops are one of my favorite places to work. They’re often filled with warm sunlight and lots of leafy greens. When I saw this Airbnb, it immediately reminded me of a coffee shop. If I were visiting the San Francisco Bay Area and working remotely, this would be a high contender on my list of places to stay.

Location: Oakland, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: San Francisco

No. of guests: 4

Avg Price (excluding fees):$123/night

Book on Airbnb.com

5. Brightly Lit Pool House for 6

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

All the sunlight in this Airbnb gives me such good vibes! I love a brightly-lit home, and this one seems to take all the light in from outside. It’s also beautifully decorated and gives you that instantly serene feeling.

Location: Palm Springs, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park

No. of guests: 6

Avg Price (excluding fees): $422/night

Book on Airbnb.com

6. Mission Style Home with Spacious Back Patio

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

Not only does this place have an exquisite, Spanish-inspired interior, it’s also got a private pool and lots of room to socialize in the backyard. It’s the perfect getaway for a family or a group of friends.

Location: Palm Springs, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park

No. of guests: 6

Avg Price (excluding fees): $499/night

Book on Airbnb.com

7. Cozy Space with Magical Garden

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

This stay is perfect inside and out. The studio is a good size for 2, has good separation between the kitchen and the bed, and the back patio is like a tropical forest. I don’t even know if I’d be using the indoor dining area much because the table on the patio seems ten times better!

Location: Pasadena, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach

No. of guests: 2

Avg Price (excluding fees): $85/night

Book on Airbnb.com

8. Artsy Studio with Back Patio

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

This studio comes with high ceilings and a kitchen island that doubles as a dining table. I love the simple yet artsy decor, and can see myself borrowing inspiration for my future home. It’s also got a back patio for when you need some time outdoors.

Location: La Crescenta-Montrose, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Los Angeles

No. of guest: 4

Avg Price (excluding fees): $139/night

Book on Airbnb.com

9. Cave-Like Guest House in Hollywood Hills

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

First of all, it’s difficult to get a private space at $128/night in Hollywood Hills! Second, how cool is it that the shower connects you to the outdoors? Another Airbnb in California that reminds me of Bali.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Los Angeles

No. of guest: 2

Avg Price (excluding fees): $128/night

Book on Airbnb.com

10. Romantic Forest Getaway w/ Outdoor Tub

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

Tree, lights, and an outdoor bath. These three things combine to create a romantic and magical atmosphere. This place is perfect for couples or girl friends. I probably wouldn’t bring the whole family here though ha.

Location: Elk, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Mendocino, San Francisco

No. of guest: 2

Avg Price (excluding fees): $192/night

Book on Airbnb.com

11. Zen Retreat by the Ocean (Option 1)

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

I never thought about visiting Stinson Beach until I saw this Airbnb. This zen retreat for 2 not only has an outdoor soaking tub, it’s also got a view of the ocean. This place guarantees some high quality R&R.

Location: Stinson Beach, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: San Francisco

No. of guest: 2

Avg Price (excluding fees): $175/night

Book on Airbnb.com

12. Zen Retreat by the Ocean (Option 2)

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

Similar to the previous Airbnb but beautiful in a different way, this Airbnb also has an outdoor tub and a view of Stinson Beach.

Location: Stinson Beach, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: San Francisco

No. of guest: 2

Avg Price (excluding fees): $195/night

Book on Airbnb.com

13. An Activity-Filled Weekend at LA Guest House

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

This Airbnb has a ping pong table, two hammocks, a BBQ, and a heated saltwater pool. It would be worth visiting Venice Beach just to stay here.

Location: Venice Beach, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Los Angeles

No. of guest: 4

Avg Price (excluding fees): $323/night

Book on Airbnb.com

14. Panoramic Views in Modern Desert Home

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

I would be surprised if this home hasn’t been featured in any architecture magazines. The panoramic view is stunning!! If you’re visiting Southern California or Joshua Tree specifically, this is one solid Airbnb option.

Location: Joshua Tree, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park

No. of guest: 4

Avg Price (excluding fees): $475/night

Book on Airbnb.com

15. The Ultimate Spa Experience

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

One thing I miss from pre-pandemic days is the ability to get a massage or spend an afternoon at a spa. This Airbnb near Santa Rosa provides a solid alternative to those spa trips. Plus it’s private!

Location: Occidental, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Bodega Bay, Santa Rosa, San Francisco

No. of guest: 2

Avg Price (excluding fees): $307/night

Book on Airbnb.com

16. Boho Style Living w/ Pool-Side Tiki Bar

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

This has got to be the only Airbnb in California with a pool-side Tiki bar. I think that’s justification enough to book a night or two here. Aside from the bar, there’s also a bath tub and a part rustic/part boho/part modern interior.

Location: Graton, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Bodega Bay, Santa Rosa, San Francisco

No. of guest: 4

Avg Price (excluding fees): $324/night

Book on Airbnb.com

17. Bath Tub with a View of the Wild West

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

I love a bath tub with a good view! I immediately stopped scrolling when I came across this Airbnb near Joshua Tree. In addition to the view from the tub, there’s also a view from the bedroom. There’s no better way to take in Joshua Tree’s unique landscape than staying in this beautiful home.

Location: Yucca Valley, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs, Los Angeles

No. of guest: 6

Avg Price (excluding fees): $329/night

Book on Airbnb.com

18. The Outdoor Spa & Oasis

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

Another Airbnb in California made for a spa day! This home has three outdoor tubs and is near Mendocino Coast. You’ll have lots to do at this Airbnb alone and in the surrounding areas.

Location: Arcata, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Mendocino

No. of guest: 2

Avg Price (excluding fees): $208/night

Book on Airbnb.com

19. Splurge-Worthy Treehouse Stay

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

This place may seem pricey at first. But it won’t be as bad when you split the cost with five other people. The treehouse is a great option for anyone who appreciates architecture and interior design and wants to fully unplug for the weekend.

Location: Aptos, CA

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel-By-The-Sea

No. of guest: 6

Avg Price (excluding fees): $654 – 1,191/night

Book on Airbnb.com

20. Low Key Private Infinity Pool

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.com

This Airbnb is low key lux. It’s got A-frame windows, an outdoor dining and chill area, and a semi infinity pool with a gorgeous view.

Location: Chico, CA

No. of guest: 2

Major Cities/Attractions Nearby: Mendocino, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe

Avg Price (excluding fees): $339/night

Book on Airbnb.com

Use the map below to pick an Airbnb in California!

Since you can’t see an Airbnb’s exact location until you book, I’ve marked the cities they’re in. Use this as a visual guide when you’re deciding which one to book.

Airbnbs in California: the New Attraction

The pandemic has shut down restaurants and bars. It’s restricted access to spas, amusement parks and more. As a result, many have turned to outdoor activities such as visiting National Parks and skiing. As we get used to this new semi-permanent way of travel, Airbnbs might be the new attraction we travel for. Looking at some of these stays (especially the spas!), I’m okay with this becoming a permanent way of travel 😉

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