6 of the Best Airbnbs Near Monterey, California

by K.C. Dermody
Updated March 28, 2022

best airbnb rentals monterey california
Photo: Airbnb

On the Central California coast midway between Santa Cruz and Big Sur, Monterey is a bucket-list-worthy vacation destination — and a convenient base for a long list of day trips in the Golden State.

The town of Monterey is one of the most amazing places to visit in California. In fact, you could make the argument that Monterey County — which includes towns like Carmel and Pacific Grove — is the best region of California. After all, it has a vibrant food scene, an amazing wine country, stunning cliffside beaches, waterfall-laden hiking trails, and fantastic water and land sports.

Many people come to the area to stroll along famous Cannery Row, but others may prefer to stroll along one of the fabulous hiking trails in the southern part of the county near Big Sur. And for some, walking through the vineyards in the Santa Lucia foothills will be the best part of the trip.

There’s not much to dislike about the county, except for the fact that it can get pretty busy. Fortunately, if you book one of these amazing Airbnbs in the Monterey area, you won’t have to worry about having the perfect place to lay your head. Whether you want to be near the beach, near golfing, or somewhere in walking distance of shops and restaurants, you’ll find it below.

Related Read: 12 Best Airbnb Rentals in Lake Arrowhead, California

1. The Mermaid Bungalow

Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A sunny bungalow with a vintage seaside vibe close to the beach.

  • Location: Seaside
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $171/night

The charming Mermaid Bungalow has a homey feel with fabulous seaside decor to compliment its location, and Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea are just a short drive away. While it officially accommodates two, small families with little ones are welcome, too, with amenities for babies and toddlers like a baby bath tub and toys, plus a nearby community playground.

Your very hospitable hosts will provide you with plenty of insider tips to make the most out of your stay, and you might be greeted with a welcome gift like a bottle of local wine or beer from a local brewery.

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2. Pebble Beach Guest House

pebble beach guest house
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Fabulous Victorian farmhouse feel and two free passes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

  • Location: Del Monte Forest
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $251/night

In a gated community in tranquil Del Monte Forest, part of the renowned Pebble Beach area, the Pebble Beach Guest House makes an ideal base for a beach or golf vacation. It’s just minutes from some of the best golfing on the planet and only seven minutes on foot to the Pacific.

There’s plenty to love about the space itself, with adorable Victorian farmhouse decor and lots of luxuries, including a large deck with a hot tub and a fire pit, perfect for gathering around after dark. Depending on the season, you may be able to pick your own fresh lemon or mint on the property, and if the chickens cooperate, fresh eggs, too.

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Related Read: Surf’s Up! 10 Great Airbnbs in Santa Cruz, California

3. Carmel Oceanview Charmer

Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Remote feel with lots of privacy, yet close to all the sights of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

  • Location: Carmel Highlands
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $430/night

Tucked into the hills with sweeping views of Monterey Bay and lush forest surroundings, this recently designed retreat is stylishly appointed and very private, ideal for relaxation and renewal. It offers easy access to the areas around Carmel as well as Big Sur and the entire peninsula. After exploring the area during the day, you can come back and enjoy the outdoor fire pit while stargazing – you may even hear sea lions barking in the distance.

It includes a beautifully appointed with ocean views from floor-to-ceiling windows, but you’ll also have an outdoor grill and no shortage of fantastic restaurants within a short drive.

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4. Coral Treasure

Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay:

  • Location: Pebble Beach
  • Sleeps: 8
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $674/night

Coral Treasure is on the 17th hole of The Dunes (a private golf course) and just a five-minute walk to the beach.  One guest referred to it as a “wow property,” which is probably right – the home has stunning views of the golf greens and the ocean, but you’re also likely to get views of the deer that often wander through the yard. And, of course, you can hear the waves from anywhere outside.

The home includes a beautifully furnished patio, perfect for sipping wine and enjoying chats against the aroma of the salty sea air. And if you want to relax indoors, the living room has a cozy fireplace along with a 60-inch TV. All four bedrooms have California king beds and their own TVs, and if you snag the main suite, you’ll get a relaxing Jacuzzi tub for evening soaks.

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Related Read: 10 Stunning Beachfront Airbnbs in California

5. Carmel-by-the-Sea Breadbox Cottage

breadbox cottage airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Postcard-perfect dog-friendly cottage with ocean views just steps from the beach.

  • Location: Carmel-by-the-Sea
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 30 nights
  • Rates from: $285/night

Carmel-by-the-Sea’s storybook cottages have a long history, and there are dozens throughout the town. But the Breadbox offers a rate chance to sleep in one. The whole town is super walkable, and you’ll be just five blocks from the charming downtown area and only a short walk to the sand. In fact, the waves are so close, you’ll be able to hear them at night (the perfect soundtrack for sleep.) All the nearby stores, beaches, and restaurants in town are dog-friendly, so feel free to bring Fido along.

From both the front deck and the living room, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views of Pacific sunsets. Keep in mind that downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea has rules against short-term rentals, so this is one of the beast airbnbs in Monterey County for guests planning on an extended stay.

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6. Fairytale Cottage

Carmel-by-the-Sea cottage airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A tranquil sanctuary that perfectly exemplifies the Carmel lifestyle.

  • Location: Carmel-by-the-Sea
  • Sleeps: 5
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $683/night

You might think you’ve somehow been transported to the English countryside when you stay in this magical cottage that provides a taste of what it’s like to be a wealthy Carmel local. The magic begins the moment you walk through the gate, with beautifully manicured gardens that include lots of flowers, bird feeders, and a bubbling fountain in a stone courtyard. The sounds and colors are sure to melt your stress away.

While the home is the perfect place to laze the days away, if you can pull yourself away, you’ll be within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and the beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea beaches.

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Related Read: 9 Stunning Yurt Rentals in California

Plan Your Monterey Trip

  • Wander the streets of Carmel-by-the-Sea, a one-square-mile village known as one of the prettiest in the country. It’s jam-packed with tasting rooms, boutiques, chocolate stores, and fantastic mom-and-pop restaurants.
  • Walk the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, an 18-mile paved path that hugs the coastline from Pacific Grove to Castroville.
  • Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the most highly acclaimed aquariums in the entire country, located at the site of a former sardine canning factory on Cannery Row.
  • Search through the tide pools at a hidden stretch of sand behind Cannery Row called McAbee Beach that few tourists find. It’s also a great spot for watching sea lions and otters.
  • Go whale watching with tours departing from Fisherman’s Wharf for the chance to see humpback and gray whales, porpoise, dolphins, sea otters, sea lions, and more.
  • Take a scenic drive on Highway 1 traveling south along the coast to Big Sur for epic ocean and mountain views. Top sights along the way include Point Lobos to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Par,k which has a purple sand beach.

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