Do you know any California vacation rental spots in modest locations?
August 24, 2013 10:39 PM   Subscribe

My large family (it's going to be between 10 and 14 people - not sure yet) wants to gather for a few days at Christmastime. Money is an issue for some of us and so we can't do more than three nights. Understandably, most of the available rentals that would accommodate a group our size are in high demand areas, and they want a longer holiday stay than we can afford (and in many cases more money per night.) The thing is, we can be totally flexible with location. Anywhere in California between, say, Santa Rosa and San Luis Obispo would be fine, as long as it isn't snowy in December (ruling out the Tahoe area.)

I'd be happy to find a place in a low-demand area. (It would actually be much better for us to have easy access to shopping and highways -- we won't be needing beaches and scenery and such.) And it doesn't even need to be a giant house -- a couple of modest condos adjacent to each other would be just fine too. But when I've tried searching in places like Sacramento or Davis I get nowhere.

Do you know of any places where one might find a vacation rental in an area that isn't pricey-luxe, and might be happy to have a large but quiet and clean family staying there - not party people? We could pay up to say ~500/night.

I've been using VRBO instead of airbnb because airbnb's listings seem much pricier. Are there other sites I should be using?

Thanks hive!
posted by fingersandtoes to Travel & Transportation around California (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You could post a "Wanted" ad on the vacation rental section of craigslist.

I had good luck with, too.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:08 PM on August 24, 2013

You could check off-the beaten path places like, say, Fresno, or Bakersfield.
posted by zagyzebra at 11:15 PM on August 24, 2013

To clarify: you are talking about $500/night to include everyone (all 10 - 14)? This is going to be a tough bill to fill.
posted by trip and a half at 11:34 PM on August 24, 2013

If this works, here are rates for four at Motel 6 in Watsonville. It's near Monterey.
posted by trip and a half at 11:56 PM on August 24, 2013

Try this link instead.
posted by trip and a half at 12:10 AM on August 25, 2013

If you're willing to extend your range a bit further north, Sea Ranch is nice. Here are some rates. We've done large multi-family gatherings there, and it's always worked well for us.
posted by tan_coul at 2:29 AM on August 25, 2013

Flipkey and Homeaway are a couple of sites worth checking as well.
posted by drlith at 4:17 AM on August 25, 2013

Some of the smaller or less beachy towns on the Monterey Peninsula could fit the bill...Watsonville, as trip and a half said, or Seaside, Carmel...Aptos is near Santa Cruz but a little less tourist-focused so you may find lower rates.

As for accommodations, have you looked into using airbnb? It is private homeowners renting out their spaces, and the prices are often really great, plus you get something with a little personality that is more fun to hang out in than a motel. I have always been really pleased with the results. Here is a search for the Watsonville area with some big houses in your price range.
posted by assenav at 7:46 AM on August 25, 2013

How about this lodge/manse in Crescent City? North Coast, a bit inland, on a river. $350-400/night (plus some fees probably), sleeps 14 (or so it says.)

HomeAway is another good site to check, generally. Although I suppose you might see some of the same properties as VRBO.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:11 AM on August 25, 2013

Crescent City is WAAAAYYY the fuck up there. Add another 5 hours from Santa Rosa and you're getting there.

It's a crazy city- main employers seem to be the Pelican Bay Super Max prison or meth. However, it's one of my favorite places ever for the nature. All sorts of water: beach, slough, rivers, redwoods (well, they're QUITE damp). And, yes, pelicans.

Edit: California is very long.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:16 PM on August 25, 2013

Edit: with regard to condos -- I should have also asked what places you know have multiple vacation units that are managed by a central office, like the ones at Sea Ranch or Pajaro Dunes.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:58 PM on August 25, 2013

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