Looking for a summer travel adventure that’s out of this world but still close to home? Consider us your travel agent with this amazing list of nearby vacation rentals! These Airbnb rentals really wow with features including a treehouse nestled in the pines, the beach footsteps from your door, an infinity pool with a view, even a stay at a secluded hobbit house! Check out these show-stopping kid-friendly vacation rentals for an unforgettable excursion — right in your own backyard!
Secluded Hobbit House
There's no need to travel to middle-earth to have some out of this world mom & me or dad & me time with one of your kids in this off-the-beaten-path hobbit house built for two! Be sure to take your copy of Lord of the Rings and travel just outside the city to Ramona to find this gem. Designed after J.R.R. Tolkien's, "The Hobbit," there's no refrigeration or electricity, but there's a YETI cooler to keep perishables cold (you bring the ice), and a Coleman propane camping stove which enables you to cook indoors or outdoors. There's also an outdoor shower and a flush toilet. It's a bit like camping with some plush amenities––the best of both worlds.
FOR THE KIDS: Living out a fairytale experience of sleeping in a hobbit house!
Cardiff Sea Cottage
This beautiful beach cottage screams San Diego summer. Located just a five minute walk to the park & San Elijo Lagoon, and less than one mile to iconic Cardiff and Encinitas beaches, the location can't be beat. Catch the sunset on the expansive covered patio deck and enjoy the sea breeze while toasting the day with your favorite drink. You can also walk from the cottage to a handful of restaurants and the world famous Seaside Market. Additionally, enjoy a local hike through Cardiff located just five minutes from this house and soak up the beauty of San Elijo Lagoon. The hosts even provide beach chairs, beach towels, umbrella and boogie board.
FOR THE KIDS: Children's books and toys and a Delta Children portable mini crib with a thick mattress.
The Joshua Tree House
Dreaming of starry desert skies and solace among the wild cacti? If you want to immerse yourselves in the majestic surroundings of Joshua trees, The Joshua Tree House is a gorgeously decorated home where your family can enjoy a slow paced vacation in this serene spot. You'll love the exquisitely decorated interior of this 2 bed/2 bath hacienda built in 1949. It's perfectly appointed 10 minutes from the west entrance of Joshua Tree National Park and just about a 10 minute walk from downtown Joshua Tree, where you'll find several shops and restaurants.
FOR THE KIDS: The swinging chairs in the living room will certainly be your kids' favorite place to perch.
Gorgeous Pool Home in Solana Beach
A private swimming pool and the beach? Dive in to the best of both worlds at this gorgeous pool home in Solana Beach located just a mile from the beach. The backyard has all the makings of a summer day to remember. A pool with diving board, bbq grill, sun loungers, gazebo with fire pit and a hot tub. The interior is cozy and perfect for families, featuring a roomy, plush sectional couch and a wide screen TV. The bedrooms and bathrooms are charming and clean. You'll love spending time in this paradise.
FOR THE KIDS: Private pool, fire pit (s'mores anyone?), beach essentials, crib, travel crib
Mt. Helix Haven
This private East County villa boasts over 5,000 sq. ft. of living space, which means it's a perfect location for celebrating a big birthday or anniversary with loved ones. This property boasts every amenity so you may never want to leave! Manicured lawns with fruit trees and rose gardens, outdoor BBQ and dining area, gourmet kitchen and master suite with balcony, to name just a few.
FOR THE KIDS: The outdoor pool includes a waterfall and slide. There's ping pong, badminton and croquet. A media room with 65" TV and plush seating means movie night gets kicked up a notch.
The Charming Castle
If your little princes and princesses have always dreamed of staying in a castle, this South Park rental will make those wishes come true. The curb appeal will enchant your whole family: a turreted roof, lopsided windows and manicured trees set the stage for fairytales. Inside you'll find all the usual amenities, including a pack 'n' play for your littlest guests.
FOR THE KIDS: As if the castle itself weren't enough, this home is located steps away from parks and trails. South Park provides plenty of walkability with shops and restaurants nearby. The San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park are a quick drive away.
The Tremendous Treehouse
If you're looking for something rustic, this property in Julian is not your average cabin in the woods. Spend your days wandering trails on your own private acre of forest land or gazing up at the starry sky at night. Historic Julian and Cuyamaca Lake are both close by, where your family can enjoy picnics, fishing, and of course, pie.
FOR THE KIDS: Oh, did we mention the treehouse? This cottage cabin connects to a floating bridge that brings you to a treehouse high in the pine trees, ensuring giggles and gasps of wonder from kids and adults alike. There's also a spa and home theater.
Mission Bay Marvel
If your aesthetic is more modern and stylish, check out this "Sleek Retreat" located right off the Mission Bay boardwalk. Access to the beach literally means walking out your back door. There's also an outdoor patio and BBQ and a rooftop deck with Jacuzzi. Inside you'll find a gourmet kitchen, the latest electronics and 24K gold fixtures throughout (cue the Bruno Mars).
FOR THE KIDS: Not only do they have direct beach access, but they're also in walking distance to Belmont Park, surfboard rentals, and Mission Beach Aquatic Center.
If you're looking for something low key, but still unforgettable, this La Mesa home is for you. Originally built in 1967, this is one of the only domes in San Diego. Open and airy with truly amazing domed walls, the home evokes a modern feel, despite its age. Amenities include a fully equipped kitchen, Netflix and Hulu and bath products.
FOR THE KIDS: The domed walls will fascinate your more architecturally minded offspring and the whole place gives off a treehouse vibe. There's also a deck and dogs are welcome.
You will not believe the stunning views from this North County home. In fact you may want to spent your entire stay in the infinity pool simply staring out at Lake Hodges. If you manage to tear yourself away, you'll enjoy a spacious, modern kitchen, perfect for big dinners or game night. You can also make use of the large deck, BBQ and fire pit.
FOR THE KIDS: Besides the pool, there is also a pool table and badminton, as well as tennis and basketball courts on the premises. A giant flat screen TV connected to Netflix and Hulu makes movie night a breeze.
Harbor Island Hideaway
If your family is the adventurous sort, perhaps you don't want to rent a home at all. How about staying aboard a boat in picturesque Harbor Island instead? This 34-ft-long vessel comes equipped with all the basic amenities — stocked kitchen, microwave, bathroom facilities — while also adding in fun extras like WiFi, Netflix, kayaks and bicycles. Renters also have access to all marina facilities.
FOR THE KIDS: In addition to the kayaks and bicycles, the marina has a pool and hot tub. Harbor Island also provides plenty of space to stroll, play and eat.
—Michelle Franklin & Beth Shea