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Renting a Romantic Beach House in California

Renting a Romantic Beach House in California

The "beach season" in California is pretty much year round. It might get chilly for a month or two, but compared to the rest of the country California is pretty darn nice.

So renting a beach house is a year round proposition in California.

There is one big caveat: buyer beware. Having lived in California over 40 years, I am pretty familiar with the housing market. I know that there are far more rentals on the market right now than one would expect. We can only attribute that to the precarious economy nationwide. But in renting a beach house -- or any house for that matter -- it does suggest that up front money should be placed in a reliable escrow account until the vacation is ended.

In California any licensed realtor can set up such an escrow account. If you are renting directly from the owner, do insist that an escrow company be involved, and contact one directly yourself. The few extra dollars you will pay will be well worth the peace of mind.

Take a look at just a few of my favorite romantic spots for beach rentals.

North of San Francisco Beach House Vacation Rentals

Stunningly beautiful. Rugged. Can be very cool with brisk ocean breezes, which is great for snuggling. There are a lot of beaches, many of them mostly deserted. The national parks provide wildlife in abundance, making this a great hiking and camping area. Most any cottage you would find along the coast would be quite charming.

Santa Cruz - Capitola - Soquel area

This is some of the most idyllic weather anywhere. It is nice and warm, but not usually burning hot. Prices here are typically mid range. There are some cheap hotels in downtown Santa Cruz that rent by the week in the winter, but for a romantic getaway, they are probably not what you are looking for. Look to condos that rent or cottages. This is an older town, so there are some magnificent old Victorians too. Try the village of Capitola or Depot Hill, an area that overlooks Capitola.

Carmel - Monterey Beach Houses

There are two sides to the Monterey Peninsula. The Pacific Grove side has glorious weather. The Carmel side is notoriously cool. Monterey itself is on the warm side. This is an old town, too, made famous by Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Lots of colorful cottages nudge up to the ocean, especially around Pacific Grove. Avoid Seaside and Marina -- they are very windy.

San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara

Beautiful weather. Lots of vacation opportunities here. Santa Barbara is truly one of the vacation meccas of the country with miles and miles of beautiful beaches. There are a lot of California beach house vacation rental options here, and the price is likely lower than what you will find further south along the coast.

Laguna Beach House Vacation Rentals

Laguna Beach is a good choice for many romantics. It is near civilization, but is rustic. And it is not as costly as some other areas. Charming cottages and a bevy of local artists make this a nice area.

San Diego Beach House Vacation Rentals

San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Francisco are the Big Three in California beach tourism. They all cater to tourists. There is always something to do. And there are always lots of places to stay. San Diego weather is pretty perfect. There are a number of neighborhoods in San Diego that you might consider, such as charming La Jolla and downtown San Diego and Mission Bay. All would be good choices.

Further south is Baja California which, while nice, is a whole different website.