Sep 14, 2023 - Things to Do

5 cool Southern California Airbnb escapes that are not on the beach

The view from two lounge chairs in a resort-style pool features palm trees,  vineyards and desert mountains.

This Airbnb's resort-style pool looks out over vineyards in Temecula, California. Photo: Courtesy Airbnb

San Diego offers a plethora of properties with ocean views for beach trips or staycations.

Yes, but: One of the perks of living in a coastal city is the variety of unique places to explore, whether you're looking for a mountain getaway or desert oasis.

Here are five unique Airbnb escapes, all under four hours driving distance from San Diego, that aren't on the beach:

1. Desert minimalism at The Overlook

This luxury, off-grid tiny home offers unfiltered starry nights and sweeping views of the valley at the base of the hills that become the San Jacinto Mountains.

  • Location: Aguanga
  • Features: Outdoor dining table and grill, rain shower, Wi-Fi, hiking trails and wineries nearby
  • Space: 2 guests, 1 bed, 1 bathroom
  • Cost: $174 per night
A tiny home overlooks desert mountains at sunset.
This tiny home between San Diego and Palm Springs offers desert mountain views. Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb

2. Go big or go home: Kellogg Doolittle House

This organic architectural work of art offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Joshua Tree National Park and brings the environment inside. The estate is built quietly into the natural landscape of a million-year-old rock formation with floor-to-ceiling windows and overhead glass panels with unparalleled desert views.

  • Location: Joshua Tree
  • Features: Designed by architect Ken Kellogg and master craftsman John Vugrin, private park access, night sky views, fire pit
  • Space: 6 guests, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
  • Cost: $6,5000 per night
A futuristic stone-colored, multi-level home sits in rocky terrain.
The famous Kellogg Doolittle estate in Joshua Tree, California was crafted over 25 years and is now available through Airbnb Luxe. Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb

3. Cabin at Big Bear Lake

Nestled in the San Bernardino National Forest, the "Baby Bear Haus" offers outdoor adventurers cozy mountain living with a taste of luxury.

  • Location: Big Bear Lake
  • Features: Lake, ski resort and hiking trails nearby, hot tub, fireplace, outdoor grill and dining area
  • Space: 2 guests, 1 bedroom, 1 bath
  • Cost: $120 per night
Two wooden carved bears welcome guests to an A-frame cabin in the woods with bright yellow doors.
The small cabin near Big Bear Lake is perfect for a rustic romantic getaway. Photo: Courtesy Airbnb

4. Temecula vineyard views: The Casa at Airstream Ranch

Take in the mountain views and sunsets over vineyards and orchards from this farmhouse-style home in the heart of Temecula's wine country. Keep an eye out for hot-air balloons at sunrise or take a ride in one yourself.

  • Location: Temecula Valley
  • Features: Walking distance to seven wineries, private resort-style pool with waterfalls, hot tub, outdoor BBQ and fire pit
  • Space: 4 guests, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
  • Cost: $396 per night

Of note: Book one of the vintage Airstreams on the property for a low-key stay that also comes with a private hot tub and shared pool.

Two lounge chairs sit in a resort-style pool overlooking palm trees, vineyards and desert mountains.
Relax in this resort-style pool that overlooks vineyards in Temecula, California. Photo: Courtesy Airbnb

5. Glamping in Mexico: "The San Diegan" Airstream

Set between vineyards and fine-dining restaurants on chef Javier Plascencia's Altozano compound in Valle De Guadalupe, this private hideaway is perfect for couples.

  • Location: Valle de Guadalupe
  • Features: Mountain and vineyard views, covered deck for outdoor dining, fire pit, hot tub and farm dogs who will come say hi
  • Space: 2 guests, 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths
  • Cost: $157 per night
An airstream with a covered patio overlooks a vineyard.
Stay at this renovated airstream for unique access to some of the best restaurants and vineyards in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. Photo: Courtesy Airbnb

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios San Diego.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More San Diego stories

No stories could be found

San Diegopostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios San Diego.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more