8 Best Airbnbs in San Diego for a Beach Getaway

Of course, on its surface San Diego seems like a great seaside getaway, but zoom in further and this SoCal city is more accurately a collection of distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe, architecture, and food scene. There are cool children’s shops and artisan houses in North Parklively restaurants in lively neighborhoods Little Italyand Chicano art galleries lined up alongside traditional taquerias in Neighborhood Logan– and that’s on top of the Pacific-facing beaches and aquatic adventures that await you in coastal enclaves like La Jolla and Carlsbad.

From walkable beaches to funky architecture (we found one Gaudi-esque estate), or unique amenities (like wine on tap or loaner surfboards) are faster, here are eight of the best Airbnbs in San Diego to base your stay on.

1. Room A at the Dutra Inn

  • Neighborhood: Little Italy
  • sleeping: Up to 2 people
  • Book now: From $185 per night, airbnb.com

Overlooking the bustling, restaurant-filled neighborhood of San Diego’s Little Italy, this top-floor one-bedroom escape (pictured above) boasts a “AirbnbMore” designation, meaning it adheres to higher standards of quality and comfort. Hardly surprising, given its industrial-chic accents and typical West Coast flair, like potted succulents and earthy sage to burn.

Huge windows bathe the unit in the San Diego sun, which you can also soak up from the private patio with views of the bay. The hosts are veterans of the local culinary scene, so expect gourmet touches like vintage glassware, roasted San Diego coffee, and wine on tap; Plus, the couple can help secure hard-to-get reservations at some restaurants and bars. Please note: this is a five-storey building without an elevator.

The outdoor space of this Airbnb includes a fireplace and a hot tub.

2. Unusual architectural getaway

  • Neighborhood: Carmel Valley
  • sleeping: Up to 8 guests
  • Book now: From $280 per night, airbnb.com

If Dr Seuss, Gaudí and the designers of Mexicois listed on Airbnb Seashell House collaborated, they may well turn out this sculptural abode near Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Accommodating large groups — pets are also welcome — this spot includes a full kitchen lined with mosaic tiles; a comfortable domed-ceiling living room; and enough beds for eight people. The one-acre outdoor space is perhaps even more appealing, with multiple seating areas surrounded by eucalyptus trees, a fireplace, outdoor shower, and hot tub. It’s a more secluded stay, in the quiet residential neighborhood of Carmel Valley, but a 20-minute drive from La Jolla’s beaches, restaurants, and upscale shopping.


3. Studio One Bunk Barrio

  • Neighborhood: Logan District
  • sleeping: Up to 2 people
  • Book now: From $95 per night, airbnb.com

The 500 square foot One Bunk Barrio studio in the heart of Barrio Logan (a hub for San Diego’s Mexican and Chicano community) combines mid-century modern furniture with salvaged accents and a king-size Casper mattress tucked under a handmade headboard. Perks include a free beer in the fridge (from the Tijuana Insurgent brewery) and use of bicycles, plus yoga mats and a game of bocce on the lovely patio.
It’s only 2.4 km from the city center, but be sure to explore your home base, known for its traditional and trendy taquerias, art galleries and Chicano Parkwhere more than 80 murals adorn the girders of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.


This one-bedroom Airbnb Plus is just four houses from the beach.

4. Family beach dig

  • Neighborhood: Mission Bay
  • sleeping: Up to 4 people
  • Book now: From $181 per night, airbnb.com

Travelers with small children need look no further than the Rockaway House, an Airbnb Plus property equipped with a full kitchen, travel crib, high chair, beach amenities, and games for all ages, without sacrificing style. The one-bedroom unit boasts a clean, minimalist design and a photogenic subway mosaic bathroom. It’s located one block from the beach and a short walk to Mission Bay, known for its bayside walking path and water activities like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. There’s even free on-site parking, a rarity in the neighborhood.


This 1920s bungalow retains most of its original exteriors.

5. Elegant Spanish Renaissance

  • Neighborhood: Hillcrest
  • sleeping: Up to 4 people
  • Book now: From $199 per night, airbnb.com

Steps from the center of San Diego’s LGBTQ scene and University Avenue (a bustling strip lined with restaurants, bars, and consignment stores), this one-bedroom bungalow in the Crete The quarter was built in the 1920s and retains much of its original exterior design, including round arches, tiles and wrought iron fittings. The interior, meanwhile, is pleasantly refreshed with a renovated kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Be sure to take the time to sit on the terrace, shaded by tall cacti, olive trees and palm trees.


Design geeks will love staying at One Bunk Beach.

6. A layered range

  • Neighborhood: Ocean Beach
  • sleeping: Up to 4 people
  • Book now: From $406 per night, vrbo.com

The team behind the A superimposed district the unit followed with One Bunk Beach, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom stunner. Despite an address in the bohemian surfer community of Ocean Beach, the house is an homage to modernism; design geeks will spot furniture and decor by Ray Eames, George Nelson and Isamu Noguchi.

The open floor plan lends itself to natural light and is centered around an indoor conversation pit with a gas fireplace. It’s only a few steps to the beach – the house comes with free beach towels and snorkeling masks – but one look at the pool and private backyard with its BBQ and we understand why you might want to sit down and stay awhile. Sorry about the rents: you’ll have to keep the (young) kids home for this one; children under 10 are not allowed.


Take in the sound of the ocean from the porch of this San Diego bungalow.

7. Retro Ocean Beach Bungalow

  • Neighborhood: Ocean Beach
  • sleeping: Up to 4 people
  • Book now: From $136 per night, airbnb.com

This 1930s beach cottage is steps from the sand in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood and features charming retro details like turquoise tile in the kitchen. It’s better for couples or small families as there is only one bedroom and a pull out couch in the living room for guests. With over 500 five-star reviews, you’ll need to book well in advance to secure a weekend getaway at this highly-requested property.


This downtown loft also includes a parking space.

8. Historic Loft

  • Neighborhood: Downtown Gaslamp Quarter
  • sleeping: Up to 2 people
  • Book now: From $144 per night, airbnb.com

This bright loft is located in the heart of the bustling Gaslamp Quarter in a converted 1920s department store. Inside, you’ll find modern details including 16-foot ceilings, open shelving, and polished concrete floors. Peloton fans will be delighted to have access to the host’s bike during their stay, and all guests can take advantage of San Diego’s near-perfect weather on the building’s communal rooftop terrace. This Airbnb also includes a parking space for guests.
This article was originally published in November 2018; it was updated on March 2, 2021, with current information.

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