There’s even an Airbnb with its own observatory for stargazing
Traveling with kids can be a lot: long, cramped flights, rental cars in which you can barely fit your brood, airport delays you wish came with on-site babysitters, and on and on. SoCal fams, why not book a vacation that doesn’t require a plane ticket? Whether you want to make like a movie star in the Hollywood Hills or binge Netflix on the big screen inside this bonafide Batcave near Disneyland, these are the best Airbnbs in and around Los Angeles.
Castle with a Pool – Hollywood Hills
For your little knights and princesses, this meticulously restored 1920s castle is straight out of a storybook. Located near the top of Wonderland Avenue and Laurel Canyon Boulevard (an artsy enclave famous for being home to legendary rock stars from the 1960s and 1970s), the grounds are completely enclosed by stone walls, and offer a private courtyard off the master, a built-in fire pit and a spacious pool to play in. Original details like stone turrets, gothic arches, and exposed beams abound. It’s a splurge, but so worth it.
Ocean View Retreat – Malibu
This beautiful, open-concept loft overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by three acres of mature gardens. Bonus? The oranges and lemons are ready to pick upon your arrival. Besides the enviable outdoor dining with ocean views and access to the nearby “Billionaire’s Beach” (where celebrities like David Geffen, Dr. Dre, Rob Reiner, Larry Ellison, and the former Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt have reportedly had seaside homes), this colorful and light-filled home has a quirky fun feel that makes us think staying here is practically guaranteed fun.
Beach House with Arcade Games and a Rooftop Deck – Venice
This tri-level home is just four blocks from Venice’s trendy Abbot Kinney Street (shops and restaurants galore!) and a 10-minute walk to the Venice Boardwalk. With plenty of room to spread out, this home has three bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, with a spacious living room that’s got a stand-up arcade game and foosball table. But the real highlight of this spot (besides the killer urban location) is the rooftop, which has panoramic views of Venice, as well as a barbecue, fire pit, dining, and lounge area.
Note: Because of all the levels (and no gates on the stairs), we recommend this home for families with kids over 5.
Waterfront Bungalow in the Venice Canals – Venice
Located smack dab in the middle of the historic Venice Canals (the SoCal version; not the Italian one), this unassuming 1950s bungalow is tucked between large Chinese Maple and Eucalyptus trees and offers a quiet respite—despite being just a few blocks from the bustling Venice Beach. When you’re not enjoying the serene waterfront view, take a quick stroll to see myriad street performers, sidewalk artists, stores, coffee shops, and eateries around the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
The rental is the front unit of a duplex bungalow and offers 1 bedroom, 1 full bathroom, a full kitchen, a deck overlooking the canals, and 1 dedicated parking spot.
Note: Babies and kids are welcome at this Airbnb, but due to its proximity to the canal (the walkways don’t have fences to stop littles from falling in) and numerous stone steps, the host says it’s “not ideal” for smaller kids.
Picture-Perfect Lake House with Views Galore – Lake Arrowhead
This pristine hillside home looks like something out of a magazine. If you’re lucky enough to snag a reservation (Book your stay early!), the four-bedroom historic lake house won’t disappoint. Located within walking distance to the water, the home has 180-degree lake views from almost everywhere in the house—with three huge decks perfect for watching the boats go by as you soak in the hot tub or stay warm by the fire pit. It was built in 1935 but has been 100 percent remodeled with all the modern amenities and special touches—including leather couches, beaded chandeliers, and a “swing bar” on the first floor that features wooden playground swings instead of seats. There’s also a “kid loft” with three built-in twin beds and a toy shelf stocked with games, puzzles, and books.
The host, a mom of three, said that her goal was “to outfit the house with everything a parent would need so they don’t have to bring a single baby item.” That means you’ll have pack ‘n plays, noise machines in every room, high chairs, kids’ cutlery/dishes, and plenty of games to keep the kids busy.
Note: Don’t worry about those three levels and your little climbers! The host provides baby gates (located in the closets) to block off any areas or stairs that you want to be off-limits.
Airbnb with Its Own Dock – Big Bear
Vaulted wood ceilings? Check! Bunk beds? Check! Waterfront location with a dock to park your kayaks, canoes, or other water vehicles? Yes, yes, yes! This Big Bear cabin has everything you’d want in a summer getaway spot. Relax and take in the view through the floor-to-ceiling picture windows, or step onto the outside deck to enjoy unobstructed lake views while you barbecue beneath the stars (Hint: You’ve got a perfect view of the Fourth of July fireworks from here!). There’s also a grassy yard that leads to the waterfront, where there’s a dock free for guests’ use (boat/kayak rentals are available from shops throughout Big Bear, and these can be delivered to the home).
Note: The host offers 1 free (1-day) snowboard or ski rental in the winter months or 1 single kayak rental (for 2 hours) in the summer months.
“Faerie House” in the Woods – Idyllwild
Nestled amid the Alpine forest of Idyllwild-Pine Cove, about 2 hours from Los Angeles, this mystical abode is a dream come true for anyone who is into fairies and magic. Designed as a creative space—and, by the looks of its Instagram page, popular with yogis and artists—the bohemian three-story cabin has enough enchanting nooks and crannies to keep kids endlessly exploring. The home has a movie room, a library, a yoga studio (renting this costs extra), and five colorful bedrooms. Decorative tree branches lace their way around spiral staircases, and cozy treetop-level window nooks will make a birdwatcher out of anyone who stops to sit. Outside, a network of wooden bridges and platforms crisscross the exterior, leading the way through the trees to three fire pits, a sauna, a jacuzzi, and numerous outdoor sitting areas.
Note: This place may not be suitable for children under 5, since the home contains several staircases (including a spiral one) and fragile “magical” items.
Airbnb Near Disneyland with Its Own Batcave – Orange County
Perfect for all the superhero-loving kids (and kids-at-heart), this rental just 10 minutes from Disneyland has a full backyard playground, fantastically-themed superhero rooms (including a Superman bedroom with enough beds for six kids!), and a full arcade that gamers will love. But the real highlight of this place lurks behind a hidden door: Pull the right book on the bookshelf and you’ll find a Batcave so authentic you’ll wonder if the owner works in the movie biz (Hint: He doesn’t). The cave houses a life-size model of the caped crusader himself, a “control center” where heroes-in-training can pull up a chair and oversee Gotham; and a movie theater with luxury recliner seating for nine people and a large movie screen. It’s all so fun you won’t want to leave.
Desert Home with Its Own Observatory – Yucca Valley
If stargazing is your thing, this one-of-a-kind desert home checks all the boxes. Besides being far from the light pollution of nearby cities, the three-bedroom home 20 minutes from Joshua Tree has a standalone dome observatory so you can get a closer look at our celestial neighbors. And don’t worry if you’re not a professional astronomer, the observatory uses software that lets you select a constellation on the computer for the telescope to automatically rotate accordingly. Besides that stellar experience (which, let’s be honest, is reason enough to visit), the rental also has two game rooms (with a pool table, ski ball, and shuffleboard table), an outdoor hot tub, and a fire pit. Perched on a hill in the middle of the rocky landscape, it also has 360-degree views of the surrounding area.
Tipi Stay on a Working Farm – Vista
Enjoy a night on the farm inside your very own tipi at this Temecula-area farm stay where the animals are the real stars of the show. You’ll sleep on comfy floor mattresses inside an authentic teepee surrounded by farm animals, including a whole herd of goats (Pssst: Two new babies were just born in May!), chickens, miniature horses, pigs, and one lama. The tipi has a bathroom, hot shower, propane fire pit (the tent is ventilated enough so that it’s safe—we asked!), fridge, mini kitchen, Wifi, 2 twin beds, and a queen bed. When you’re not hanging in the tipi, your fam is free to roam the fruit orchards; pet, brush, or feed the animals; and play on the tree swing. You can even help milk the goats if that’s your thing.
Note: During the rainy season or in heavy rain, the host may need to cancel or change your accommodations.
Mansion with a Mini Golf Course in SoCal’s “Wine Country”- Murrieta
If you’ve got a large group looking to vacation like royalty, this luxurious 8-bedroom mansion just north of Temecula will have you feeling like the rich and famous. Sprawled across 5 acres, the vineyard estate (it’s an operating winery!) has a resort-style pool, hot tub, tennis court, basketball court, bocce ball a custom 9-hole mini golf course. Sure, you could explore the area—the nearby wineries, hot air balloon rides, or the local town—but why go anywhere? This place has enough to do that you’ll be hard-pressed to leave. Besides the bevy of outdoor offerings to keep your group busy, the interior of this lavish home offers a billiards room, arcade, home theater, three fireplaces, a bar that’ll have you feeling like you’re in a hotel, and plenty of space to spread out.
This Little Red Trolley – Castaic
All aboard! This little red trolley is the coziest sleepover spot around. Designed as a labor of love by a dedicated father-son team, the converted trolley car comes fully equipped with a queen-sized bed, 40″ TV, stovetop, fridge, microwave, air fryer, dishes, silverware, tile shower, games, heating & air conditioning. There’s also a large deck with recliner chairs and a barbecue if you want to cook under the stars before heading out to explore the area; the trolley is about 30 minutes from Vasquez Rocks, 10 minutes to Six Flags Magic Mountain, and 50 minutes to downtown Los Angeles.
Note: While children aren’t prohibited, the trolley only has one bed, and isn’t child-proofed. If you don’t mind ditching your partner for your a little, the host is fine with children, but this quirky spot may be best left to the grown-ups.
Additional reporting by Jenifer Scott
*All rates are accurate as of this publication, though prices may change based on demand, day, and season. If you buy something from the links in this article, we may earn affiliate commission or compensation. Prices and availability reflect the time of publication.