You know, it’s very hard to believe that San Diego is the 8th largest city in the USA. That’s not the vibe you get at all –the people are really friendly and as you explore, you’ll feel like you’re getting to know a collection of villages. The city straddles the border with Mexico and also gets some of the best weather in the country. Sounds good right?

But how do you decide where to stay? Well, hostels and hotels are often a great shout but what if you want something more memorable and individual? Airbnbs in San Diego are a great shout for something that perfectly suits not only your trip but your personality too. From beach houses to cute homestays, there are some seriously cool rentals in San Diego.

If it seems like a task trawling through all those pages on the website, don’t panic. That’s where we come in. We’ve put together this list of the 15 best Airbnbs in San Diego. We’re sure you’ll find something that matches your budget, travel style, and personality on our extensive list. So, let’s jump right in!

Quick Answer: These are the Top 5 Airbnbs in San Diego

Pacific Beach Private Studio, San Diego

Pacific Beach Private Studio

  • > $$
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Bikes included
  • > Cosy private patio
Private room with mountain view, San Diego

Private room with mountain view

  • > $
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Queen sized bed
  • > Classic California beach views
Romantic Private Canyon Retreat, San Diego

Romantic Private Canyon Retreat

  • > $$
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Refrigerator and coffee maker
  • > Spanish Renaissance Architecture
The Rockaway House, San Diego

The Rockaway House

  • > $$$
  • > 4 Guests
  • > Fully equipped kitchen
  • > Children’s books and toys
Lanes Beach House, San Diego

Lanes Beach House

  • > $$$$$
  • > 14 Guests
  • > Free parking
  • > Rooftop terrace with hammock

Looking for other types of accommodation? Check out our guide to best Hostels in San Diego!

Why stay in an Airbnb?

  • Local Experience: While many San Diego Airbnbs are managed by companies, they’re still locally based. Get the best recommendations for your San Diego itinerary that you won’t find in the guidebooks to make your trip truly special!
  • Unique Properties: In a place chock full of unique vacation rentals, why on earth would you want to stay in a drab and dull hotel?!
  • Privacy: Cabins, chalets, and treehouses mean you and your companion(s) can get the break you need without anyone else interfering.
  • Affordability: You can spend less than $100 a night on an Airbnb and get all the facilities you’d expect in a five-star hotel and more. Airbnb makes it easier to spend your holiday money wisely!
  • Safety: It might seem a little weird staying in someone’s house; however, both hosts and guests are vetted by Airbnb reviews to ensure the safety of both. California is overall safe, and the Airbnb booking security just adds a little extra to it.
San Diego, California

The Top 15 Airbnbs in San Diego

Overall Best Value Airbnb in San Diego | Pacific Beach Private Studio

Pacific Beach Private Studio, San Diego
  • $$
  • Cosy private patio
  • 2 Guests
  • Bikes included

This is our top pick San Diego Airbnb simply because it ticks all the boxes. Great location? Check. Wi-Fi? Check. Kitchen, yep that too. However, there’s a whole lot more you get in this one such as a king bed, a cosy private patio, and an indoor fireplace. But what’s that, there’s even more?!  This host really goes above and beyond by supplying you with tea, coffee, and snacks,  complimentary toiletries too and even bikes which are great for using in Diego.

Don’t miss out on this little gem! It’s located in one of the best areas in San Diego as well – you can’t go wrong with this Airbnb!

Best Budget Airbnb in San Diego | Small Room near Gaslamp and Seaworld

Small Room near Gaslamp and Seaworld, San Diego
  • $
  • Backyard jacuzzi
  • 2 Guests
  • Awesome location

Looking for an awesome San Diego Airbnb on a budget? We’ve found the perfect spot for you. It’s somewhere between an entire place and a private room – as it’s in a separate building from your host and you have your own entrance. Yet it’s still on their property! The quiet neighbourhood is in a great location – it’s not hard to get to Mission Bay or The Gaslamp Quarter from here. The home is light, bright and airy, and it offers a backyard jacuzzi too – perfect for relaxing! Some guests may be happy to know that this property is 420 friendly too!

Budget Tip: Dorms in San Diego start from $10USD per bed. They’re the cheapest accommodation in the city. Search for hostels in the area!

Perfect Short Term Rental for Digital Nomads | Room and bath with private entrance

Room and bath with private entrance, San Diego
  • $
  • Private entrance and bath
  • 2 Guests
  • Free use of bikes

Ideally, when you’re on holiday, you want to spend as little time indoors as possible. However, for Digital Nomads things are a bit different and we need to spend some time stuck inside. So, the least we can ask for is lots of light and a pleasant space to lay down your laptop and that’s exactly what you’ll get at this private room in a pleasant neighbourhood near the beach.

It goes without saying that there’s a laptop-friendly workspace and decent Wi-Fi too! When you’ve finished working for the day, jump on one of the bikes that your host provides for you and explore San Diego’s beaches. The nearest is just a few blocks away!

Perfect Airbnb for Solo Travellers | Private Room in Cottage

Private Room in Cottage, San Diego
  • $
  • Meet other travellers!
  • 2 Guests
  • 5 minutes from the beach

One of the best parts of staying in a hostel is meeting other travellers – especially if you’re on your own. However, we know that hostels aren’t for everyone, especially if you enjoy privacy and comfort. This awesome property offers you the best of both worlds. You’ll have your own private room, a clean bathroom, and a queen mattress. This cute San Diego homestay has more than one room on offer though, so you’re likely to meet other travellers as well as your friendly host and her cats! You’re also just minutes away from great restaurants and bars, so it’ll be easy to make friends, however you decide to do it!

Best Airbnb in San Diego for Nightlife | Historic Loft with Roof deck

Historic Loft with Roof deck, San Diego
  • $
  • Incredible sunset views
  • 2 Guests
  • Awesome roof deck

Those heading to San Diego for nightlife will want to get right into the Gaslamp Quarter. Clubs, dive bars, speakeasies, and cocktail lounges attract the majority of revellers, while those looking for a more sophisticated evening can hit one of the theatres. Whatever your preferred nightlife option, this awesome loft is in the centre of it all.

It really is one of the coolest San Diego Airbnbs too – just look at that awesome interior design! Start off your night by soaking up the atmosphere of the Gaslamp quarter from your own shared roof terrace. There’s even a BBQ and dining area up there!

Best Short Term Rental for Couples | Romantic Private Canyon Retreat

Romantic Private Canyon Retreat, San Diego
  • $$
  • Spanish Renaissance Architecture
  • 2 Guests
  • Refrigerator and coffee maker

When travelling with your other half, you’ll want something above and beyond your normal place to stay. This is one of the most romantic Airbnbs in San Diego, without question. So, it’s perfect for a couple! It’s the only apartment we’ve included in the charming Mission Hills neighbourhood.

Mission Hills is not as central as other areas in this list but you do get awesome views across the valley and it’s one of the most coveted historic neighbourhoods in town. The Spanish Renaissance architecture is simply stunning. Alternate between the tranquil and relaxing patio deck and the comfy studio apartment.

Best Homestay in San Diego | Private room with mountain view

Private room with mountain view, San Diego
  • $
  • Classic California beach views
  • 2 Guests
  • Queen sized bed

What more could you want from your San Diego homestay than an experienced host who loves sharing tips on her town. The home is also in a quiet and safe neighbourhood, perfect for walking around at night. Alternatively, you can enjoy views of the surrounding area from the 15-foot balcony, where there’s a luxurious lounge chair. Finally, a bonus for cat lovers – you might be lucky enough to meet and pet the host’s cats if they take a liking to you (us cat lovers know that cats can be choosy)

Runner Up Homestay in San Diego | Seafarer’s Sanctuary

Seafarer s Sanctuary, San Diego
  • $
  • Shabby Chic Back Deck
  • 2 Guests
  • Fully equipped kitchen

There are so many awesome homestays in San Diego that we couldn’t just leave it at one. This Ocean Beach property has a friendly listing where you’ll be staying in the home of two seafaring adventurers – which is really reflected in the décor! You’ll have access to the house’s common areas which include the kitchen, living room, and shabby chic back deck. Your hosts will leave a shelf free in the fridge for you and you’re even welcome to use some of the oils and condiments. It’s like a home away from home which is exactly what Air B n B is all about.

Amazing Luxury Airbnb in San Diego | The Ultimate Beach Escape

The Ultimate Beach Escape, San Diego
  • $$$$
  • Stunning views
  • 8 Guests
  • Awesome location

If you’re planning a big celebration with a group of friends or family, then you can all chip in and can afford to splash out a little more. So, why not check out some awesome, exclusive beachfront properties? This beautiful San Diego Airbnb townhouse can fit up to 8 guests across 4 rooms in a mixture of king beds and sofas. You’ll have stunning views across the bay from the balcony, and a fully equipped kitchen to prepare all your meals.

Although this is a luxury option, you’ll find it’s not all that expensive if you manage to fill all 8 spaces in the house!

Over the Top Luxury Airbnb in San Diego | Lanes Beach House

Lanes Beach House, San Diego
  • $$$$$
  • Rooftop terrace with hammock
  • 14 Guests
  • Free parking

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a sunset in a rooftop hammock? We know we would. You have to be quick though – there’s a chance 13 other guests could get there before you in this totally awesome over the top San Diego luxury Airbnb! If you can actually drag yourself away from this clean, comfy, and cool property, restaurants, bars, and the beach are just moments away on foot. There’s plenty of stuff to keep you entertained at the house, and you can take paddleboards, bikes, and games all down to the beach!

Best Airbnb in San Diego for Families | The Rockaway House

The Rockaway House, San Diego
  • $$$
  • Children’s books and toys
  • 4 Guests
  • Fully equipped kitchen

No matter how great a vacation you’re on, let’s face it the kids can get bored. This is a great San Diego Airbnb to prevent any boredom! It’s geared towards families of all ages, but a bonus is that you can pull out a travel cot, highchair, children’s books and toys, and even children’s tableware if you’ve got young children with you. There are plenty of spaces for the family to chill together too, including a living room and outdoor area!

Best Airbnb in San Diego for a Group of Friends | Awesome Crown Point Home

Awesome Crown Point Home, San Diego
  • $$
  • Apple TV
  • 6 Guests
  • Great location

Nestled between two beautiful bays, this San Diego Airbnb on Crown Point has awesome views and plenty of space for you and 5 mates. It’s in one of the most popular areas in Mission Bay, in large part due to the stunning sunsets! There’s a fully equipped kitchen so you can rustle up something that will feed the whole group, and Apple TV so you can watch a movie after dinner. That’s if you don’t fancy heading out to one of the nearby bars or restaurants of course!

Best Airbnb in Mission Beach | Zen like studio

Zen like studio, San Diego
  • $$
  • Boogie Boards provided
  • 2 Guests
  • Queen bed

We know you’ve already seen an awful lot of rentals in San Diego’s mission beach, but we have a couple more for you. This zen-like studio is another perfect option for a couple – as there’s a queen bed. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from the beach, so it’s really not far to carry the boogie boards that you can take advantage of during your stay!

Another Great Apartment in Mission Beach | Mission Beach Studio

Mission Beach Studio, San Diego
  • $$$
  • Essentials provided
  • 2 Guests
  • Right on the beach

We promise this is the last awesome apartment in Mission Beach! It’s a little more expensive than the one above, but another great option for couples. All essentials are included and there’s a fully equipped kitchen. There’s even free overnight parking 5 minutes away which is really useful if you are on a California Road trip.

Top Value Airbnb in Pacific Beach | Cozy unit with bikes included

Cozy unit with bikes included, San Diego
  • $
  • Snacks and coffee provided
  • 2 Guests
  • Laptop friendly workspace

Last but not least is our favourite apartment in San Diego’s Pacific Beach. The compact, cosy, and comfy unit comes with bikes so you can explore the beach and surrounding areas to your heart’s content! There’s even an outdoor space where you can enjoy your morning coffee or a cigarette. It really traps the sun!

What to Pack for your San Diego Airbnb

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from us, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art we have perfected over many years.

Check out our definitive Airbnb Packing list for our top packing tips!

FAQ about Airbnbs in San Diego

Here’s what people usually ask us when they look for vacation homes in San Diego.

Final Thoughts on San Diego Airbnbs

So, that concludes our list of the best Airbnbs in San Diego. We hope that you’ve found out list useful and we’ve taken some of the stress away from planning your holiday. After all, now you can just plan the cool and exciting stuff!

As you can see from the list above, there’s a lot going on in San Diego. Whether you want a beachfront house for you and all your pals, a loft in the booming Gaslamp District, or a quiet cottage in the hills overlooking the city, there’s a San Diego Airbnb with your name on it. We’re just a little worried we’ve given you too much choice!

If that’s the case, keep it simple and go for our best value Airbnb in San Diego – Pacific Beach Private Studio. It combines a great location, price, and style to make it an awesome shout – no matter who you are.

All that’s left is for us to wish you an amazing vacation in San Diego, in your perfect vacation rental!

And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.

If there’s one insurance company I trust, it’s World Nomads. To find out why I use World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.

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