18 California Dream Houses To Book Right Now

You’ve been busy. What with spring cleaning, Mad Men ending, and keeping up with the candidates (let alone the Kardashians), who could expect you to find the time to make epic Memorial Day plans? Most likely, the holiday weekend sneaked up on you like it did the rest of us, and now you’re stuck wondering just how to spend your three days of freedom. Sure, a staycation is always nice. But, consider first the beauty of a weekend away. After all, there are numerous vacation destinations that are just a stone’s throw from L.A. proper.

If you’re looking for a rustic mountain weekend, consider a drive up to Big Bear. Or, perhaps the beach is more your scene? Orange County or San Diego may be for you. No matter how you’re looking to spend your holiday, you’ll find a great place to rest your head after you’ve gone through this list. And, don’t fret about counting those pennies, because these accommodations are all affordable (especially once you get a few friends signed on).

So, stop feeling glum about your lack of plans and scroll through to find the perfect place for your #memorialday2015. It’s gonna be a good one.

[Editor's note: These spots were all available as of publication, but they're going fast! Book while you can!]

Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Laguna Beach
Sleeps: 4
Price: $300/night

With sweeping views of the ocean and downtown Laguna Beach, this charming cottage is an ideal refuge. Dine alfresco on one of its many decks, take naps in its delightful, light-filled rooms, or go on a 10-minute stroll down to the beach. Whatever you do here, it’ll surely be lovely with this house as your backdrop.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
This cozy home is perfect for lounging around — if you ever venture in from the outdoors!
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Joshua Tree
Sleeps: 4
Price: $248/night

Looking for some peace and tranquility this Memorial Day weekend? Make your way down the winding dirt road to this Joshua Tree haven. Situated on top of a hill overlooking the desert, it'll make you feel like a bona fide homesteader — but with a few more amenities. Lose track of time by burning a fire in the wood-burning stove, streaming your favorite Netflix show, or stargazing all weekend.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
All you really need to relax are the bare essentials: a comfy bed and some peace and quiet.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: San Diego
Sleeps: 2
Price: $206/night

If deserts and dunes aren’t your scene, you’ll love this metropolitan loft for its open-concept layout, 14-foot ceilings, and stunning sunset views. Located in one of San Diego’s most charming (and walkable) neighborhoods, this pad will give you access to more than enough options for dining and drinking.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
The sun streaming in through these windows will let you work on your tan without ever leaving the sofa.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Big Bear
Sleeps: 3
Price: $262

When a house has its own name, you know it’s going to be charming. Especially if that name is “The Bird’s Nest.” It's located just minutes from everything Big Bear has to offer: the lake, two ski resorts (great for a picturesque lift ride or mountain biking), a golf course, and all the desirable places to dine and shop. However, the cozy decor and hotel-like amenities may make it hard to ever get out the front door.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
This kitchen is just begging for an epic brunch.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: San Diego
Sleeps: 4
Price: $250/night

Imagine if your parents had a dope guest house that you could crash in whenever you pleased. Well, these folks may not be your parents, but they do have the guest house. A private entrance lets you come and go as you want. And, there are lots of places to go, as this “Casita” is located in Mission Hills, within walking distance to Old Town San Diego and many historical parks. Though, note, those parks won’t have this pool and hot tub situation going on.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
No need to set an alarm in this bedroom; the sun pouring in will do just fine.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Joshua Tree
Sleeps: 6
Price: $200/night

Step back in time by driving through the Mojave until you reach this two-bedroom getaway. Decorated (or preserved, if you prefer) in retro style, it’s just the right place to live out your Dukes of Hazzard fantasies. Sitting on five acres of raw desert, this house will ensure you’ll have no one to deal with but the coyotes (kidding...kind of).
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Craft a batch of cactus margaritas and watch the sunset from the front porch. Just a suggestion.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Carpinteria
Sleeps: 3
Price: $200/night

Just south of Santa Barbara is the quaint little beach town of Carpinteria. There, you’ll find a guest house nestled in an avocado orchard, prime location for the holiday weekend. After a day spent at the beach, you can clean up and unwind in this modern home. With great restaurants nearby, you can go out on the town, or just spend the evening in the garden with a nice glass of wine.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
That bathtub is what dreams are made of.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Joshua Tree
Sleeps: 4
Price: $300/night

Indoor-outdoor living is the name of the game in this Joshua Tree architectural gem. Giant glass walls, lush landscaping, and a waterfall make this home an oasis in the desert. Pick your favorite friends to join you, because with a house this great (did we mention there’s a hot tub?), you’re going to want to put yourself on house arrest.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
A truly one-of-a-kind place for Joshua Tree.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Laguna Beach
Sleeps: 2
Price: $238/night

If the ocean view and central Laguna Beach location don't do it for you, perhaps the shabby-chic decor will. This lovely little apartment is just the place to spend a weekend full of sun, sand, and maybe a Suzanne Somers book.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
As cozy as any ol' B&B.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: White Water
Sleeps: 2
Price: $175/night

Were Lincoln Logs your jam growing up? Then, this rustic cabin will awaken the child within. Handcrafted right on the Whitewater River, this cabin is just 10 miles northwest of Palm Springs. You’ll feel like a pioneer in this place: adventurous and one with nature.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
My, ain’t she purdy.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Ojai
Sleeps: 4
Price: $150/night

Located in Ojai’s desirable East End, this unique home is ace for a tranquil weekend. Full of skylights, windows, and mirrors, it'll feel like you’re sleeping in a treehouse. And, with all Ojai has to offer, your waking hours will be pretty great, too.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
The large, private yard is all yours, and just down the road is an organic pizza parlor!
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Big Bear
Sleeps: 8
Price: $225/night

Can you drum up seven friends who’d want to spend the holiday weekend in Big Bear? We have a feeling it will be easy. But, if they need any persuasion, tell them you’ll be staying in a spacious, three-bedroom home with all the necessities.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
The expansive main room is prime for hanging out with your crew. Just make sure you bring someone who can cook; all the kitchen is lacking is a chef.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Montecito
Sleeps: 2
Price: $250/night

If we had to pick one reason to visit Montecito, it wouldn’t be its close proximity to Santa Barbara (7-minute drive), beautiful beaches, green mountains, or gourmet restaurants; it would be because Oprah lives there. If it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for us.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Get some rest and some decorating tips from the boutique-hotel-like bedroom.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Ojai
Sleeps: 2
Price: $129/night

Pack your dreamcatcher and make your way up the 101 to this Ojai retreat, where you can get in touch with your roots. A dip in the saltwater pool and a pottery lesson will have you feeling one with the earth and completely relaxed. But, if you’re in need of a good cocktail, you can always head into town, too.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
You won’t find a room like this at any hotel, we can tell ya that much.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Ventura
Sleeps: 6
Price: $249/night

Forget driving to the beach this Memorial Day weekend. This two-bedroom bungalow is just 15 steps away from the sand. Listen to the waves crash as you lie in bed at night, or try to spy some dolphins as you sip your morning coffee. By the end of the weekend, you’ll officially be a beach bum.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Craving a classic Memorial Day BBQ? Luckily for you, there's a grill out back!
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Palm Springs
Sleeps: 4
Price: $225/night

Why do you think all the stars used to flock to Palm Springs during the golden age of Hollywood? We’re talkin’ Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant; the list goes on and on. Because the dry heat, mountain vistas, and swanky nightlife made it the perfect escape from L.A. All those reasons still exist, and should be just the reasons you book this rental A.S.A.P.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Part of a larger complex, this apartment features all the luxuries of a resort, including lush gardens, private cabanas, and a sparkling swimming pool.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: Laguna Beach
Sleeps: 6
Price: $250/night

Perhaps beachin’ it is your main objective this Memorial Day. In which case, this bungalow is the place for you (and five friends). Seconds away from the surf, it will make you go back to work after the three-day weekend feeling a little saltier.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Though a little sand between toes never hurt anyone, you can freshen up in this bright bathroom.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Location: San Juan Capistrano
Sleeps: 4
Price: $215/night

Perhaps touring all of California’s missions is on your bucket list, or perhaps San Juan Capistrano just sounds like a nice place to escape to. Whatever the reason, this airy studio is a charming place to spend the weekend. You’ll be just a block away from the mission, and within walking distance to all the fine dining and shopping the town has to offer.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
With a separate entrance and the sound of a trickling fountain, the studio feels very private.