12 Magical Tiny House Rentals in California

Posted by
Emily Pennington
May 06, 2022
Updated October 15, 2023

tiny house rentals california
Photo: Airbnb

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The Golden State might as well be its own country, with its wealth of diverse landscapes and equally enticing vacation rentals.

Travelers to this western enclave get to choose between towering redwood forests, breezy beaches, arid desert mountains, and rolling wooded hillsides without ever having to cross a border.

Contrary to popular belief, bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to adorable, Instagram-worthy cabins and treehouses. That’s why we’ve scoured the web to bring you our favorite tiny house gems from across America’s most populous state. Whether you’re looking to lounge near the Pacific Ocean or forest bathe with a view, this list has you covered.

As always, please remember to follow Leave No Trace Principles and adhere to any and all fire bans in place, as the state has had several record-breaking fire seasons in a row.

Please read the fine print on any rental before heading out, as some offer a more secluded, glamping-esque experience and require hauling a bit of water or packing out your trash. At the end of the day, though, we feel that the extra effort is worth it for the rest and relaxation you’ll find in the wild.

Related Read: 9 Amazing Scenic Drives Near Los Angeles, California

1. Bluebird Tiny House

Bluebird Tiny House california
Photo: Laurie R., Hipcamp

Why you should stay: well-designed tiny house tucked onto 85 acres of private land outside of San Diego.

  • Location: San Diego County
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $195/night

Soak in the hot tub, dine al fresco, curl up with a good book on the outdoor hammock, or hike along one of the property’s two private nature therapy trails at Bluebird Tiny House. Amenities abound at this quaint 320-square-foot tiny home tucked away in a rural area between Palomar Mountain and Anza Borrego State Parks.

The interior is just as plush as the exterior, with a cozy couch, dining nook, fully stocked kitchen, and even a bath tub for those crucial post-hike soaks. Elegant, nature-centric artwork finishes off the space with a retreat-like feel.

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Related Read: 20 Incredible Hikes in Southern California

2. The Nugget Tiny House

The Nugget Tiny House
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Super-fast wifi, a cozy queen bed, and easy beach access at this private little house hidden away inside a garden.

  • Location: Costa Mesa
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $153/night

Perfect for a romantic couple’s getaway or a working vacation, this quaint casita near the ocean in Southern California is well-appointed with the amenities guests crave. Sip your morning coffee on the private deck, enjoy quirky, animal-themed artworks, rustle up some breakfast, and enjoy the host’s ultra-fast wireless internet.

When you aren’t lounging inside, enjoy easy beach access in the sunny, family-friendly town of Costa Mesa, just a quick drive away.

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Related Read: 11 Breezy Oceanfront Camping Spots in California

3. Area 55 Futuro House

area 55 ufo house
Photo: Ronald J., Hipcamp

Why you should stay: For a truly out of this world experience, look no further than this retro-futuristic desert UFO stay.

  • Location: Joshua Tree
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $280/night

Joshua Tree has long been home to desert weirdo vibes. That’s why we love this utterly strange, bright red, UFO-style home that’s set right in the middle of town, just a short drive from the fabled national park.

Inside, visitors will find clean, modern décor, a small dining area, and an abundance of seating and sleeping arrangements (even if it means scooting an ottoman or two). An outdoor hot water shower will keep you clean when your hiking days are done, and a patio with a grill, seating space, and fire pit ensure that your group has plenty of fun even after the sun sets.

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Related Read: 10 Best Glamping Spots Near Joshua Tree National Park, California

4. The Lost Coast Tower

Lost Coast Tower tiny house
Photo: Daisy C., Hipcamp

Why you should stay: Verdant mountain views and dreamy bohemian vibes rule at this ultimate forest bathing retreat.

  • Location: Petrolia
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $175/night

Explore the woodland splendor of Humboldt Redwoods or Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Parks at this breezy, small “tower” cabin built between two water tanks. Access is only available via a steep 500-foot trail, so once you’ve arrived, you’ll truly feel a million miles away from everything, gazing out at spectacular forest vistas.

Hit snooze from the vintage double bed, sprawl in the sunshine from the redwood window seats, fix up a feast in the quirky boho kitchen, and, when the day is done, take in the sunset from the outdoor bathtub, nestled right into the surrounding trees.

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Related Read: 11 Sequoia National Park Cabin Rentals Fit for Forest Bathing

5. Tiny House in the Redwoods

Tiny House in the Redwoods
Photo: Hope S., Hipcamp

Why you should stay: Funky NorCal at its best: outdoor fire pit, vintage furnishings, and a comfy lofted bedroom.

  • Location: Crescent City
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $129/night

Escape to a forested wonderland, set 400 feet down a winding trail. This lovely tiny house was built from salvaged materials and is the perfect blend of creature comforts and living-off-the-land vibes (next door is home to a working permaculture farm).

Once settled in, guests can enjoy the private deck with fire pit, cook a meal in the small but functional outdoor kitchen, or relax to whimsical birdsong inside the cozy, heated interior living room. A 10-15 minute drives takes you to the famous, old-growth Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

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Related Read: 14 Unforgettable Hikes in Northern California

6. Micro Cabin near Yosemite

yosemite micro cabin
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Set at the doorstep of Yosemite National Park, these darling cottages are a peaceful post-park retreat.

  • Location: Ahwahnee
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $140/night

Tiny, tiny, tiny. This 120-square foot home is the definition of the genre, yet somehow still manages to pack in a queen-sized bed, luggage rack, mini fridge, and woodsy bedside tables for your sleepy time storage needs. The property also includes bath totes full of towels, wash cloths, slippers, a hair dryer, and, most importantly, a lantern for nighttime wandering.

Out front, travelers will enjoy their own private deck with two chairs, plus access to the Sierra Meadows pool, dog-friendly walking trails, and free bike rentals. Nearby Oakhurst has loads of bars, restaurants, and shops for when you’re done exploring Yosemite, roughly one hour away.

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Related Read: 11 Unique Places to Stay in Southern California

7. Skybox Suite Near Joshua Tree

shipping container home joshua tree
Photo: Steve J., Hipcamp

Why you should stay: This lofted container home is full of chic furnishings, a private hot tub, and panoramic desert views.

  • Location: Twentynine Palms
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $169/night

The architects here somehow managed to fit two petite bedrooms into this upcycled shipping container home that’s jam-packed with fun features like a bubbling hot tub, private bathroom, plush queen-sized mattresses, and an outdoor stargazing deck with patio furniture and epic sunset views.

Guests who stay at this picture-perfect Joshua Tree retreat will also have access to the El Ranchito common areas, including shady hammocks, fire pits, and a lap pool. Bonus points for being pet-friendly.

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Related Read: When is the Best Time to Visit Joshua Tree National Park?

8. Ocean View Tiny House

Ocean View Tiny House ca
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Revel in quaint, small town energy at this modern-chic tiny home that’s walking distance from the Pacific Ocean.

  • Location: Carpinteria
  • Minimum stay: 5 nights
  • Rates from: $199/night

It’s rare that we stumble upon a tiny house that we’d happily live in full-time, but this sweet, modern rental located a mere mile from the beach in lovely Carpinteria is full of clean lines and livable details. Plus, guests here can borrow beach essentials like towels and boogie boards.

Inside, boil water for a morning cup of tea with sweeping hillside views towards the ocean, then lounge outside and eat breakfast al fresco or pull up a barstool in the well-stocked kitchen (there’s even a washer and dryer available to use).

A small living room with flat screen beckons for Netflix and chill nights, while a snug upstairs loft provides ample sleeping space for two. Outside, take in the airy ocean breeze from a private deck with a propane grill and seating area.

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Related Read: 7 Beautiful Camping Spots in Mammoth Lakes, California

9. Quonset Hut

Quonset Hut tiny house
Photo: Blue Sky Center., Hipcamp

Why you should stay: This tiny hut on wheels is a design-lover’s dream and checks the box between glamping and cabin-cozy.

  • Location: Los Padres National Forest, near Bakersfield
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $134/night

Blue Sky Center is home to some seriously adorable architectural tiny homes, and the Quonset is the best of the bunch, in our opinion. Sunshine-filled floor-to-ceiling windows line the walls, while inside, two twin beds and a small work table (or dining nook) lend a few creature comforts for the city kids among us. Each hut has its own small patio/yoga deck with chair.

Guests here have access to loads of common amenities, too, making this a great stay for couples or solo travelers looking to make new outdoorsy friends. Blue Sky is home to a massive group fire pit, several wooden picnic tables, cozy hammocks, and the indoor Khalili Cantina kitchen and chill space.

Explore nearby Los Padres National Forest or Carrizo Plain National Monument in style.

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Related Read: 15 Best Glamping Spots in Northern & Southern California

10. Creekside Casita near the Ocean

creekside casita california
Photo: Vanessa L., Hipcamp

Why you should stay: Perfectly decorated cabin for two ranked best of Hipcamp in 2021 for a reason – it’s awesome.

  • Location: Atascadero
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $127/night

Bright red chairs, a copper-tinted grill, and a drool-worthy firepit greet you as you approach this incredible tiny house, tucked away in the rolling hills between Atascadero and Morro Bay. But inside is where this hygge home really shines, with a colorful, snug living room, tiny yet functional kitchen, and luxe lofted bed with reading lights.

Though the site is BYO-water, its ample amenities and great location between the mighty Pacific Ocean and the more than 300 wineries of Paso Robles more than make up for the slightly rustic experience.

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Related Read: The Most Scenic Los Angeles to Yosemite Road Trip Itinerary

11. Redwood Cathedral Treehouse

Redwood Cathedral Treehouse
Photo: Logan R., Hipcamp

Why you should stay: Tuck into bed high in the treetops at this one-of-a-kind dome with private deck.

  • Location: Crescent City
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $89/night

This dome rental is a truly special tiny treehouse for the forest-addicted nature seekers who can’t seem to get enough of Northern California’s ancient redwood energy.

A pulley system helps haul your luggage and necessary items up to the canopy cabin, where you’ll find separate seating and dining decks, as well as two sleeping cots for when you drift off to dreamland (it’s BYO-bedding and sleeping bags).

Nearby, visitors can check out the tallest trees on the planet at Redwood National and State Parks or visit the ocean and elk herds at Tolowa Dunes State Park. The hosts at Redwood Retreat also have a tent site and another tiny house available to rent.

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Related Read: 16 Spectacular Northern California Camping Spots

12. Casa Conejo

Casa Conejo california
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: This incredibly landscaped tiny house in the desert feels more like a Beverly Hills estate than a wilderness escape.

  • Location: Joshua Tree
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $223/night

Casa Conejo is an ultra-chic, mid-century, rabbit-themed tiny home in Joshua Tree, California. Those adjectives might not sound like they go together, but trust us, it’s an epic home-away-from-home for up to four guests.

Surrounded by arid desert splendor and landscaped succulents, this modern casita offers everything discerning travelers need–a pullout sofa, chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances, double bed, and full-sized bathroom.

But the real magic here lies in the hand-selected artwork and Spanish tiles that adorn every corner of the impeccably designed space. With Joshua Tree just a short drive away, who would ever want to leave?

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