Travel

Cool Airbnbs Near SF to Book This Winter

Take a break from it all.

We often think that though San Francisco has so much to offer—diverse culture, outstanding food, views at every turn, and ample outdoor space—what we perhaps love the most about the city is everything that’s right outside of it. In case you’ve forgotten about the wonder that is within half an hour of the 7x7, take this list as a little nudge to start planning your next weekend escape. Live somewhere outside of SF and want to plan a fun weekend here? We’ve got a few for you as well. 

Serene Tiburon Waterfront
Serene Tiburon Waterfront | Courtesy of Airbnb

Serene Waterfront Home with Panoramic Views

Tiburon, California  
4 guests/$300 per night
Distance from SF: Approx. 30 minutes by car
You can’t get closer to the water unless you’re in it. This (2 bedroom, 2 bath) private waterfront home is all about the huge private deck with views of Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, and Berkeley Hills, but even when you’re inside, you can still take them in thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. 
What guests say: “This was by far the best Airbnb experience I’ve ever had, outstanding hospitality from host! Game changer. I couldn’t have asked for more! Not only is the property itself impeccable and exceeded my expectations but Karen’s attention to detail, thoughtful touches and quick responses made me feel 100% taken care of and comfortable.”

Incredible House with Stunning Views of the Palace of Fine Arts

Marina District, San Francisco, California
6 guests/$1,295 per night
Distance from SF: In SF
This 3,000 square foot luxury (3 bedroom, 3.5 bath) home has more than one could (or should) expect in a San Francisco house, including a fully stocked chef’s kitchen, high-end everything, a private well-manicured backyard with a covered patio that houses a grill, outdoor fireplace, and dining table, a spacious deck off of the kitchen, and spectacular views of the Palace of Fine Arts, a stunning structure built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition that lights up at night. Though you likely won’t want to leave, it’s also within walking distance of the Presidio, as well as lots of shopping, bars, and restaurants.
What guests say: “Location was perfect to enjoy the SF life - food, shopping, entertainment - all within walking minutes from the house. And at night we could decompress and enjoy a beautiful fire (and glass of wine :). We could not be more thankful for this experience and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.”

Modern A-Frame Oasis in the Trees

Sausalito, California
3 guests/$400 per night
Distance from SF: Approximately 10 minutes by car
This unique A-frame (2 bedroom, 2 bath) cabin has treehouse vibes with two decks (one with a hammock), a living room with glass walls, a large wood-burning fireplace, thoughtful decor, a sauna, and views of Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the Bay Bridge. You’ll feel like you’re secluded in nature, but downtown Sausalito is within walking distance and SF is just a short ride (over the Golden Gate Bridge) away.
What guests say: “Joao's house is an incredible spot. Trees swaying in the wind through windows on every wall and beautiful interiors - it feels like a perfect European pied-a-terre and should be featured in a home magazine. Highly recommend for anyone looking to live in their dream home for a while.”

Modern Home on the Slopes of Mount Tamalpais

Mill Valley, California
8 guests/$1,300 per night
Distance from SF: Approximately 30 minutes by car
This three-story (4 bedroom, 4 bath) home atop Middle Ridge on Mount Tam would be all about the views if it weren’t also steps from some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails in the Bay Area and a quick drive to downtown Mill Valley. There are also modern appliances, a fireplace, chef’s kitchen, and everything you need to practice yoga. Still, it’s the view from the open-air living space and most of the bedrooms that will capture your heart. You can even enjoy them while watching the sunset from the outdoor hot tub.
What guests say: “Perched high on the hillside with a broad sweeping wrap around deck, on one side you have gorgeous views of San Francisco, and on the other side the majestic tree lined slopes of Mt. Tamalpais. Relaxing on the deck feels like you are floating on tree tops.”

Mid-Century California Case Study House with Non-Stop Views

San Rafael, California
5 guests/$804 per night 
Distance from SF: Approximately 40 minutes by car
Case Study homes were commissioned by “Arts & Architecture” magazine between 1945 and 1966 in an attempt to get some of the country’s greatest architectes to create model homes that were both inexpensive and replicable. This (4 bedroom, 2 bath) home was designed by Beverly Thorne (who liked the challenge of building into steep hillsides) and built in 1962 and uses a steel structure to create an indoor/outdoor living experience. It’s also the only Case Study home in Northern California. Even better: You can spend the night in it and fully enjoy the history, era-appropriate furnishings, top-of-the-line appliances, and, of course, the views.
What guests say: “It was really special to stay in an actual modern case study home and the hosts have furnished it true to its era but with wonderful modern conveniences.”

Sausalito Floating Home
Sausalito Floating Home | Courtesy of Airbnb

Floating Home with Views of San Francisco

Sausalito, California
6 guests/$825 per night
Distance from SF: Approximately 22 to 35 minutes by car
You’ll literally be sittin’ on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away at this tranquil 3,000 square foot (3 bedroom, 2 bath) floating home that’s far more luxurious (though still well-loved) than your typical houseboat. There’s a gourmet kitchen, living room with fireplace, large decks on each floor, a floating dock with a barbecue, and unobstructed views of San Francisco, the East Bay, and  Sausalito. There are also kayaks for you to use so you can paddle around and say hello to some curious seals, as well as the friendly houseboat community.
What guests say: “This home is an oasis of tranquility, in a wonderful community and close to city living. Pati's home is spacious and very well appointed with artfully selected furnishings, very comfortable, tons of cozy blankets and a sauna to chase away any chills. You will be living 'that dock life' in style! We particularly enjoyed the low floating dock, where we cooked many meals on the grill and ate almost all our dinners.”
 

Spacious Home Near Golden Gate Park and the Beach

Outer Sunset, San Francisco, California
10 guests/$996 per night
Distance from SF: In SF
This enormous (for SF, anyway) five bedroom, 3.5 bath house is within walking distance of Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach, and is also near public transportation, so you can easily get downtown if needed. There’s also a chef’s kitchen with 15 foot ceilings, ocean views from the master suite, and the pièce de résistance: a stylish backyard with a firepit and hot tub.
What guests say: “Shamir and Diana's home is spectacular. It’s stylish, impeccably clean and comfortable, open and airy… and includes a hot tub and chickens! Of particular note is the charming backyard, super comfy beds and beautiful master bath. There is tons of space and it has a great floor plan—we had 7 people staying in all and everyone had plenty of room to spread out and be comfortable.”

Modern Victorian Close to Restaurants and Shopping

Cow Hollow, San Francisco, California
8 guests/$1,383 per night
Distance from SF: In SF
This classic (4 bedroom, 5 bath) Victorian home has been updated with modern touches and luxury appliances, and comfortable, but stylish, furniture. It also has a backyard with a firepit and a rooftop deck with panoramic views, but the real selling points are 1) how many people it sleeps and 2) the fact that it’s in a residential neighborhood, but still just a few blocks away from some of SF’s best shopping, bars, and restaurants.
What guests say: “Ingrid was a terrific host. She was extremely friendly and communicative, and the home was even better than pictured. It is very thoughtfully decorated. Feels like home immediately.”

Sanctuary in the Redwoods with Swimming Pool and Hot Tub

Mill Valley, California
4 guests/$914 per night
Distance from SF: Approximately 30 minutes by car
Retreat into nature at this (2 bedroom, 2 bath) mid-century home made of old growth redwood and glass that is surrounded by redwood trees and hiking trails, but is also a short drive to the bars and restaurants in downtown Mill Valley. This house is built for relaxing, and whether you want to do that by the pool, in the hot tub, lounging on the deck, or by the fireplace is up to you. Every detail of the architecture, from the brick archway to redwood everything to the glass walls is a sight to behold.
What guests say: “This is one of the most beautiful and unique properties I've ever been lucky enough to discover. Hidden in the trees, it feels hours outside the bay. The sauna and pool are incredible and the house is super stylish and well-appointed. If you are looking for an amazing weekend away from the city, do yourself a favor and stay here.”

Stately Home Surrounded by Beautiful Gardens

Belvedere, California
14 guests/$2,995 per night
Distance from SF: Approximately 30 minutes by car
The owner of this (7 bedroom, 7.5 bath) estate probably doesn’t want people throwing wild parties there, but if ever a house called for just that, this is it. Where to even start? Perhaps the indoor pool flanked by columns, the sauna, the hot tub, the gym with Bay views, the countless patios, the fire pits, the tennis court, the trampoline, or the bocce court? Or maybe just the truly magical grounds with all sorts of hidden nooks and delightful surprises.
What guests say: “The house was just as advertised: a beautiful 'retreat' so comfortable that we would have been perfectly content not to venture out. The grounds provided one delightful surprise after another: the conservatory and badminton/tetherball court, the campsite and courtyard fountain, the sculptures and chess set, the hammocks and many seating areas for reading and just watching the world go by.”

Daisy Barringer is an SF-based writer who loves nothing more than an impromptu Northern California road trip. Follow her on Instagram @daisysf to see where she’s headed next.