California

9 of the Best Airbnbs Near Monterey, California

best airbnb rentals monterey california

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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.

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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3. Pacific Grove House

Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Only a few blocks from world-famous Lover’s Point with complimentary bikes.

  • Location: Pacific Grove
  • Sleeps: 5
  • Minimum stay: 14 nights
  • Rates from: $243/night

This home in Pacific Grove will put you at the starting point for the legendary 17-Mile Drive, which travels the Monterey Peninsula to Pebble Beach, following the coast the entire way. It’s just a few blocks from Lovers Point Park and beach, a marine protected area known for its reliable waves for surfing and launching spots for kayaks. As of January 2021 there’s a two-week minimum stay, but that will likely revert back to a two-night minimum once COVID-19-related restrictions are lifted.

“Highly recommend this house! It is charming, super convenient to all that Pacific Grove has to offer, super clean, and Lee’s recommendations and communication were quick and helpful.”

Sara, San Francisco
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4. 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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5. Dunes House

dunes house monterey
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: The ultimate in luxury with views galore of the best parts of 17-Mile Drive.

  • Location: Del Monte Forest
  • Sleeps: 14
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $1,450/night

The luxurious Dunes House offers breathtaking ocean, sunset, and golf course views. And it’s ideal for large, beach-loving groups as it’s just a short walk to the beach. There’s plenty of space for entertaining and five of the six bedrooms boast phenomenal views – you’ll have to draw straws to see who gets the “bad” room (which isn’t bad at all!) It’s one of the pricier airbnbs in Monterey County, but the perk is that you get to feel like you’re living in Architectural Digest Magazine.

“This is an absolutely amazing place. Serene, peaceful, expansive, relaxing. One feels both immediately ‘at home’ and yet far from home in an idyllic spot.”

David, Palo Alto, CA
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6. 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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7. Monterey Peninsula Home

Monterey Peninsula airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: An affordable home (for Monterey, anyway) near Cannery Row.

  • Location: Monterey
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $350/night

Enjoy a quiet, forested setting by booking this three-bedroom home where deer often roam and fog horns are occasionally heard in the distance. Set high up on a hill, guests note its treehouse feel, comfort, cleanliness, and ideal location. It’s in the town of Monterey, so you’re close to the Monterey Pier and Cannery Row, plus the hikes of Carmel and Big Sur, Pebble Beach, and the world-famous 17-Mile Drive. It’s not cheap, but considering it sleeps six, it’s one of the more reasonably priced airbnbs in Monterey County.

When you aren’t out and about exploring the area, enjoy relaxing with a tranquil view thanks to a full wall of windows or curling up next to the fireplace. You can also watch your favorite shows on the flat-screen TV with Chromecast, so you can stream all your fav online movie apps.

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8. 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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9. 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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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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