San Francisco | March 19, 2014 9:00 am

Summer Rental Guide

By The Editors

In New York, the patricians have The Hamptons, which they deserve, because they also have the 30-degree weather.

But here in our stretch of Arcadian coastline, beachside hamlets are seldom more than a bridge away, and the weekend escape is king.

In tribute to that king, we offer six destination rentals spanning Big Sur to wine country for your booking pleasure. Because fortune favors the forward thinker — and the confirmed reservation.

Carmel Highlands

High above Point Lobos with panoramic views of the Carmel Bay, this secluded estate is all patios and fresh air — spitting distance from some of the most serene crags, coves and trails the state has to offer. It’ll sleep more than ten, but nobody said you need more than two to enjoy palatial digs.

Big Sur

Get off-the-grid with panache in this Wright-inspired retrofit of an octogenarian ridgetop mining cabin. Sitting on thirty acres of the Los Padres National Forest and outfitted with an ocean-overlooking hot tub, it’s entirely possible you’ll never bother with the WiFi. It sleeps four, but they’re limiting rental to parties of two thanks to the drought.

Santa Cruz

A short walk from some of the best surfing Santa Cruz has to offer, this airy work of modern architectural art sleeps eight and offers plenty of backyard space for lounging and gathering. The heated outdoor shower is a plus for sloughing off the ocean before planting your feet on the radiantly warmed floors.

Stinson Beach

This is a prime spot for surfing, kayaking or even hiking Mt. Tam, but with its hot tub, clean looks and heavy tech amenities it’s entirely possible you’ll never leave the house. Worth noting: it was featured in California Home + Design Magazine. Also worth noting: it’s available by the week and the month if you feel like sticking around.


Built on stilts and sheathed in glass, you’ll take a cable tram from the parking area up to the patio — seriously — whereupon you’ll be stunned by your weekend perch. Nestled between Point Reyes and Tomales Bay, this place is all views. No kids allowed, though, due to the whole built-on-stilts thing.

St. Helena

When in Napa, go with the Tuscan villa. In this case, the Tuscan villa atop the Mayacamas Mountains with a heated infinity edge pool, hot tub, bocce court, fire-pit, commercial kitchen (with pizza oven) and separate guest house for anyone in your party who likes to turn in early. Minimum five-night stay on this one, so why not make a week of it.