Healdsburg: Turn-of-Century Remodeled Stable
California's Coolest Places to Stay
In Sonoma County, just a few miles from downtown Healdsburg, this former horse-training stable built at the turn of the 20th century cover 21,000 square feet and once housed 31 horse stalls, which have not been converted into living space, surrounding a 10,000-square-foot courtyard and sitting on eleven acres.
If you rent it with the 2 BR,1 bath apartment on the property, up to 17 people can sleep here. Think family reunion, anniversary or birthday party or just a fun time with a lot of friends.
Sausalito: House Boat
We've always been fascinated by Sausalito's floating homes community, and a stay in one of them is a great way to find out what the area is really like.
More Floating Home Rentals
Some of the floating homes are available as vacation rentals and rates are more reasonable than you might think. Unfortunately, there's no single source to find all of them, but these are some good places to look:
- You may find owners offering their houseboats for rent at Craigslist. Try searching for "floating home" or "houseboat."
Private Hollywood Villa
Live the lifestyle of the rich and famous for a day or two in this Tuscan style hillside property. It has 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, a spa/Jacuzzi, waterfall pool and can sleep up to 10 people.
The royal life may not come cheap, but it's no more expensive per night than some of the city's high-end hotels.
West Hollywood: Harry Houdini’s Former Home
Legendary magician Harry Houdini once owned this four-acre estate in the Hollywood Hills, with a natural, mineral spring-fed waterfall and century-old palms.
It's so close to Hollywood that you'll be there in no time, but you may not want to leave, choosing to hang out on the patio, walk through the gardens, linger on one of seven gazebos or play a game of bocce ball.
Houdini's place has 3 bedrooms and sleeps 6 to 8, making it a great location for a get-together with family or friends.
Malibu: Raven’s Eye
Raven's Eye features some of the most striking architecture you'll find in a vacation rental anywhere, stylish even by Malibu standards and designed by architect Harry Gesner. By far its most arresting feature is the 3-story-tall arched windows, framing an ocean view.
The style is eclectic, with a medieval door, Gothic-influenced fireplace topped by a set of stag's antlers. There's a fully-equipped kitchen and a lovely outdoor swimming pool, too.
You'll need a big budget for this one, with rates starting in the multi-thousands of dollars per day, but it has 3 bedrooms and sleeps 8.
East of San Diego: Private Mountaintop Retreat
This gorgeous place is set on ten acres and has 360-degree views.
It's a bit far from the nearest city to use as a base for sightseeing, but with a hot tub, swimming pool, outdoor fireplace and hammock to choose from, you won't want to leave anyway. We think it's the perfect place to get away from it all, whether you're looking for a romantic weekend or just need a break.
Jamul is a 45-minute drive east of San Diego, has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and sleeps 4. Pets are welcome with advance approval.
Unusual bits of roadside architecture like this were common along old Route 66. This one is in San Bernardino, northeast of Los Angeles. Rates are more than affordable and many people enjoy staying in this reminder of yesteryear. The rooms are clean but small with windows so close to the ground that they let in little light. Lots of folks enjoy the novelty of it so much that they rate it very well, but if you like your modern luxuries, you may want to stop for a photo and sleep somewhere else.
While the Wigwam Motel may seem unique, there's a very similar one in Holbrook, Arizona.