It comes as no surprise to us that California is the birthplace of Airbnb. First off it can be a costly place to stay which is very true in San Francisco where Airbnb was founded. However California does have excellent hotels with world class service. So it is not that we don’t recommend staying in many of the state’s lovely resorts and hotels, we just think Airbnb brings an entirely other dimension to the market which can open up opportunities for different kinds of stays.
1. Get as close as you can to California’s vineyards:
This is the primary reason Airbnb was on our menu during our California sojourn. Many vineyards, especially those in more remote areas don’t have any accommodations nearby, let alone vacation worthy resorts. In Paso Robles for instance we had the opportunity to actually stay at a vineyard thanks to Airbnb. The owners had several homes on the property and we relished the opportunity to run the vineyards at sunrise or stroll along them at sunset. It came with added perks of wine tasting with the producers and in depth tours.
2. Stay connected to California fresh, homemade food:
We prefer to cook when we are traveling, there’s nothing lovelier than taking excellent local ingredients and creating your own culinary art in our opinion and Airbnb allows us to do this whereas a hotel stay would not. We’ve always found Airbnb homes well stocked with spices and cookingware. Again its not about being cheap, we’ve hit many of the top 100 restaurants in the world to indulge in creative cooking, but the ability to encounter the local produce and make it our own, that’s another gem we get with Airbnb in Cali.
3. Flexible timing for departure and arrival
Distances can be more than expected especially when you are driving around California and if you hit traffic. We made our way from Lake Tahoe to Paso Robles all in one day and we arrived several hours later than expected. It was very helpful to be in constant texting contact with our hosts so as to plan our arrival and to get last minute directions. Sure a hotel will always be open, but there’s something special knowing your host is flexible with your changing plans.
4. Experience wonderful art and architecture
So many styles of homes exist in California. From quaint San Francisco townhouses, to alpine style chalets in Lake Tahoe to Hacienda style ranches in San Diego. Any of these and everything in between are often available. Of course who doesn’t enjoy seeing people’s eclectic tastes, collections or whatever else, weird or fascinating they are willing to show off to their guests.
5. The chance to be immersed in the local culture through the eyes of a local
Of course you can decide to see your Airbnb host as much or as little as you want to, but often they are the most resourceful guides for what to do in the area. Even many hotel concierges have left us wanting compared to the advice and insights we have received from our Airbnb hosts.