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Winter Special - Whale Season in Rio del Mar!

Bedrooms 4
Space 1,600 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 5 nights


About the property

House, 4 Bedrooms , 2 Baths, (Sleeps 8)

You get it all here. Like walking into a quaint village in Southern France. Our colorful Country French beach house is a tapestry of textures, color, paintings and photography, all the result of our many trips to Europe, especially, France. Within walking distance to the beach you can walk from our Rio Del Mar beach to Pot Belly Beach in one direction and Seascape in the other. Just want to relax? Take in the ocean view from the decks. Sleep to the sound of the ocean waves? Our home is red stucco, trimmed in Mediterranean Blue with wrought iron railings inside and out. There are lounge chairs on the upper back deck, bistro table outside the kitchen french doors as well as dining table for 8 inside and out.. There is a charcoal BBQ as well as propane. The best ocean view is from the upper deck in the back. The front deck has a peek of the ocean and bistro set as well as dining for 4. Step inside, listen to french jazz and remember your last trip to France or dream of the one you hope to take. The interior walls are painted in soft muted colors. The living room chairs that surround the fireplace in soft tangerine and sage green leather. French peasant lamps top the side table draped in custom table covers from the South of France. Fabrics used for our custom upholstery and window coverings are from trips to Paris and New York with touches of Ralph Lauren. Some fabric I saved for years until I was able to put in all together and create this home.

Our home is not intended for the "party minded". It is a home designed with relaxation and indulgence in mind. It is not appropriate for children with lots of energy as there are breakables and collectible decor. Feel free to discuss this with the owner before booking. It is most appropriate for mature adults, grown up girls' weekends, perfect for four couples (there are no common walls between any of the bedrooms). Our best reviews come from vacationers who appreciate color, love to cook, artists, and folks needing relaxation and a break. We are close to many beaches, wineries, walking trails and fine restaurants. Capitola is about 10 minutes away. Santa Cruz 15 minutes and Carmel about 1/2 hour. We are 5 minutes from the entrance to Nicene Marks State Park. Aptos Village is charming. Antique hunters love Moss Landing (15 minutes south). You'll also find Phils seafood there, The Whole Enchilada and the Haute Enchilada. There are some very nice art galleries too.

Back inside the house you'll notice that it is easy on allergies and cleanup. We've used tile and wood floors throughout. Three out of four sleeping rooms have glass doors that open out to decks giving an outside-in feel. The kitchen is a gourmets delight with French Blue Viking Stove, Bosch Dishwasher, French Door Refrigerator, Granite Counter tops, built in pantry, Bay Window. The kitchen is fully equipped for gourmet cooking (including a Bialetti electric pasta maker from Italy,) 2 blenders, food processor, and french filtre coffee maker , coffee grinder, and a larger automatic coffee maker. There are plenty of pots and pans and baking pans. If you are an adventurous cook you'll find many exotic cook books as well as spices galore. There is filtered water in the refrigerator and an ice maker. We have provided stereo, DVD, flat screen TV and invite you to curl up to the fireplace with remote. The home is filled with many cobalt blue accents, original art by owners as well as several original oil paintings from San Francisco, Nice and Paris.. The large painting in the living room was commissioned by us from one of my photos of Pont Even France as the subject.

Three out of four sleeping rooms have doors to decks. Three Bedrooms have queen size beds with high thread count sheets an abundance of pillows and choice of down or alternative down comforters. All are provided to enhance your sense of luxury. The fourth bedroom has an Eastern King bed. Some beds have electric blankets as an added choice in the winter months. One large bedroom has a Wall Bed with a very comfortable mattress. The entire bed can be folded into the wall making way for a large play area for children.

Come and enjoy Friday night sailing regattas, excursions on the bay, whale watching from the beach, harbor seals, dolphins and watch the surfers. (or perhaps try it yourself). See the otters with their babies at Moss Landing, take a whale watching excursion or walk to Seascape Resort, take the kids to Hidden Beach Park or just slither down and enjoy the house. Camp Fires are allowed on the beach in the evenings and the sunsets are just exquisite. Cafe Rio has made a delightful comeback. They are now serving Pizza in their courtyard and exquisite choices inside the restaurant. It faces the beach. Great Cappuccinos and Espressos are whipped up for you to carry on your morning walks down the beach. Watch for circling flocks of birds as they are often an indication that the whales or dolphins are nearby. Getting bored? Consider the Seymour Center in Santa Cruz. There's a great orientation to their environmental program and touching aquariums. Its a great program for kids as well as adults. Its a nice short trip and not too much walking for little ones or older ones.

It's just a short drive to Carmel by the Sea or the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the outlets. The outlets in Gilroy are just about 45 minutes away as well. Go to Glaum Egg Ranch to see the "dancing chickens"and pick up your fresh eggs directly from the farm (its 10 minutes away.) Pick your own berries or just eat fresh berry pies at Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville. There is just so much to do. Take a drive down highway one north toward Half Moon Bay. Take in the lighthouses, mating elephant seals (in season). Check out Pescadero and enjoy Duartes Tavern and their old school American eats in the knotty-pine paneled dining room. Their cream of artichoke soup is famous . There's a great market and deli and very interesting shops including one making hand made wood furniture.. The many beaches are magnificent as well as Henry Cowell State Park along the way. This is a photographers paradise. There are some lovely pie shops along the way along with berry stands. Some berries you can pick yourself. Davenport on your way back to the Beach house has great restaurants a lovely old town and spectacular views.

Heading back south you'll come upon Santa Cruz where you'll find its well known beach and boardwalk, live music concerts and one of the few remaining wooden roller coasters. Santa Cruz also offers the Mystery Spot that will keep you wondering. Continue south past the beach house and find Moss Landing, Castroville (the Artichoke Capital of the world), Monterey Bay Aquarium, Carmel By the Sea, Carmel Valley (unforgettable wineries and European landscape pieces brought from Europe ) and restaurants you will never forget. Continue south to Big Sur and don't miss out on Nepenthes a historic restaurants that hangs over the cliff. Try an Ambrosia Burger and keep your eyes open for Clint Eastwood.

If you haven't done enough save a day for the outlets in Monterey or head east to the Gilroy Outlets. Don't forget that Gilroy is the garlic capital of the world.

I need to go back to beach house and relax now just writing all of this.

Keywords: Elegant Country French Beach House , Walk to Beach, Whale Watching

More Details

Judi Jessen 408 203 6369 or Walt Jessen 408 219-8582.
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 10, 2018

About Judi Jessen 408 203 6369 or Walt Jessen 408 219-8582.

This is a photo of Walt in the Canary Islands. We are both psychotherapists and artists, Walt also teaches meditation. We have been married for 35 years and have travelled throughout the world. The interior design of our home reflects ideas we've gathered from our travels to France, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Morocco. . Memorabilia, photos, fabrics and ideas have been woven together creating a palette that delights the senses. We want our guests to sit back and wonder where it all originated. Our past renters have said that they do just that.

Judi Jessen 408 203 6369 or Walt Jessen 408 219-8582. purchased this house in 2003

Why Judi Jessen 408 203 6369 or Walt Jessen 408 219-8582. chose Aptos

We chose to buy and remodel in Rio Del Mar because it is within 30 minutes of our home in Los Gatos and fast access to the beach. We wanted a place that was close enough for us to enjoy it often. We liked that the house was in a quiet neighborhood . It is not so close to the beach that we have to worry about tourists looking in our windows or loud parties, but close enough to just walk down the hill to the beach. It has close proximity to whale and dolphin watching, surfing, beach combing, hiking, theater and the Farmers Market on Saturdays. There is room here for us to entertain friends or have the whole family over for the weekend. The house is separated in such a way as to have two separate suites with separate and or common entrances. It works well.

What makes this house unique

The kitchen is esthetically pleasing. It's colorful, filled with french equipment and has just about everything a gourmet chef could need. I enjoy cooking here. The Viking Stove cooks so evenly. The set up is easy to clean and easy to entertain in. The French Doors that open out onto the decks expands the entertainment areas and brings the outside in. There are also curtains around the sunbathing deck to create privacy from the neighbors. The neighborhood is quiet for reading and lounging. In is in an established neighborhood with mostly full time residents. All of the sleeping areas have no common walls with other bedrooms, so your privacy is ensured. When the weather is cold I appreciate the gas fireplace in the living room. I don't have to lug in wood or clean up a mess. We just sit back and use the remote.

Guestbook comments from the owner

Dear Susan,

Thanks so much for your words of acknowledgement. It's your kind of feedback that continues to make it fun and an artistic thrill when making the house more and more exciting for our guests. You are always welcome back and its renters like you that I appreciate most. Judi
Jun 2016
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Aptos House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
Floor Area:
  • 1600 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Min. age of primary renter: 7
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
  • Exceeding person limit may result in loss of deposit. No parties or events. No more than 3 cars in courtyard. Read expectations left in home.
Location Type:
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Resort ...
  • Rural ...
  • Village ...
  • Water View ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Computer Available ...
  • Garage ...
  • Gas Fireplace ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Catering Available ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • King size beds (1) 1 Eastern Tempurpedic Bed. It's just luscious. There's also a TV in this room in the Armoire, Queen size Beds (3) There is a Queen Bed in the downstairs studio bedroom. (this room also has pvt. deck, beverage cooler, sink and stove) and antique setee. A queen wall bed in the large Art/Computer/Bedroom. There's a wall bed with a regular mattress is case renters want a large play room for children. They can just flip the bed up. A queen bed in the upstairs bedroom with 10 ft. sliding glass door onto deck with ocean view.
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • VCR
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • arboretum
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • theme parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • paragliding
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(37 traveler reviews)

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Winter Special - Whale Season in Rio del Mar!
average rating of 4.9459457 based on 40 reviews

Beautiful house close to everything!

  • 5 of 5

This house is beautiful. Just half a mile to the beach. I was hesitant to stay in Aptos over Capitola or Santa Cruz because I thought it would be further from everything. I actually prefer it over both of those. It doesn't seem so busy. More small town feel:) The kitchen was well stocked and the beds comfortable. A couple of minor things. We slept in the room with the king bed. The windows above the bed have no window coverings. When the sun came up, I found it very hard to sleep in. I had to pull the covers over my head. Also, luckily, we brought shampoo, conditioner and shower gel because there wasn't any there in case we forgot ours. Most places we stay through VRBO have that amenity. It's not a big deal, but you may want to mention it in the ad. We really loved the house and all the decks! We will definitely like to stay there again in the future.

  • Submitted: Apr 4, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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The French Country Beach House.

  • 5 of 5

This was a very nice place to stay. All members of our family were comfortable and enjoyed our visit. The Beach House is tastefully decorated and has all you need for a great vacation.

The home was clean and the bedding was ready for us as we arrived late at night. The location is convenient to town and the beach. There was plenty of off street parking.

Most appreciative was the host, Judi, who was a lovely, pleasant person to work with. She responded to all our inquiries in a very timely manner, using emails, texts, and phone calls.

We really could not have asked for more. Thank you for a such a great place to rest and visit with family.

The Lincoln Family.

  • Submitted: Sep 5, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Todd and Marcia, Thanks for the nice review. It was nice that I was able to meet your needs. I enjoyed talking with you and getting everything in place for you. I also enjoyed talking with your son (the groom) the night of your arrival who came to the house before you arrived. What a sweet man! I hope you return to Aptos and stay at our home again. Judi
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San Ramon, CA

The house was exactly as pictured. Every detail was nicely attended to for our stay.

  • 5 of 5

At first we were just a tad disappointed that the house was not closer to the beach but that quickly faded as lovely character of the home enfolded us in its charm. It was truly a delightful experience. From the tiny vases of lavender to wonderfully appointed kitchen. The design elements were especially nice, really enjoyed the little nooks, French fabrics & wonderful photographs & paintings done by the owner. All the assorted kitchen gadgets were a handy addition. The beds were comfortable & cozy. The decks front & rear allow one to see the ocean while scented sea breezes flow wonderfully in and out of the upper floor. The house was very well appointed in its furnishings. All this made for some great new memories for our family, while encouraging remembrances of past seaside vacations. Our grown children were recalling the many summers we spent in nearby Pajaro Dunes. This was a nice central location from which to reach sevetal of our favorite spots in Carmel, Capitola and Santa Cruz. This was our first experience with a VRBO so we did not know the ropes too well. There were lots of helpful notes left by the owner here and there. There was a bit of unexpected housekeeping at the end which doesn't happen at any of our timeshares but then they lack the wonderful personalization that really shines in this lovely French country home. There is easy access to highway 1, a nice local grocery store, coffee houses & a poultry farm. While one is really not really aware of the road the house sits off of while at the house (not noisy at all), cars can speed by at a fairly good clip. We therefore decided driving to the beaches was preferable to walking. All and all it was a delightful experience that we will not soon forget.

  • Submitted: Jul 9, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Debbie, What a lovely review. You have captured the delight that I had and continue to have in putting the house together; trying to imagine what people would want, what they say they want as well as continuing to weave in the beauty of our ongoing travels. You have highlighted an appreciation of particular areas that I found the most pleasure in creating (my photography, my husbands' paintings, architectural features, mementos of travel and design). You cared for the interior of our home in a way that I care for it and this is what I most appreciate in travelers such as you. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Judi
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L.A., CA

Beyond Expectations

  • 5 of 5

Several family members stayed here for my son's New Years Eve wedding. I was blown away by the ambiance, décor and comfort of this home! Judi has thought of everything to ensure your stay is as near perfect as possible. Nothing has been left to chance. I truly get the feeling Judi is more interested in making people happy then making a buck! She definitely succeeded this time!

  • Submitted: Jan 8, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Danny, You were a joy to work with from your initial inquiry to your check out. I love it when people notice and appreciate the little extras I add in. Your wife is surely a keeper. I couldn't have left the house better. I would love for you to come back when you don't have a wedding when you can just hang out and explore. Judi
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Relaxing weekend

  • 5 of 5

We stayed had a great weekend in July with 2 families. The place was very cute and clean. The beds were very comfortable and the kitchen had everything we needed. The kids loved looking at all the knick knacks. The owners were very responsive about a broken BBQ and brought out a new one right away. We enjoyed eating on the deck at night. The beach was easy to get to with the car and quiet on the days were visited.

  • Submitted: Nov 13, 2016
  • Stayed: July 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Sue, I was distressed that the BBQ pooped out, but glad we could get it replaced quickly for you. It also gave us an opportunity to meet you and so pleased that it all worked out and you all had a great time. Judi
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beautiful stay

  • 5 of 5

Stayed here for 7 days with 4 couples (wedding in aptos) and had a lovely stay. Loved the colorful ambience and cozy feel...nice big kitchen area appointed with anything you could possibly need. The beds and pillows were super comfy and all slept well...showers (one of my pet peeves) were great...plenty of towels too. We were able to get 4 cars in the driveway with no problem. Owners were easy to get a hold of with any questions we had. Location was perfect with CVS and Grocery store just down the road. We would return in a heartbeat! Thank you Judi...hope to meet you in person at our next stay!

  • Submitted: Aug 9, 2016
  • Stayed: August 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Patti, If I could rate my renters, I must say you get the biggest 5 stars. All of our interactions were so lovely and your regard for our home could not have been most respectful. Even our cleaners said, "these people really loved your home". I would love for you to return...and I would love to meet you.
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Nearest Airport
35 Miles
San Jose, Ca.
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
Cafe Rio
Nearest Golf
1 Miles
Seascape Golf Course
Nearest Train
5 Miles
Santa Cruz
Nearest Motorway
1 Miles
Highway 1
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Bittersweet/Cafe Rio
Nearest Ski
150 Miles
Lake Tahoe/Squaw Valley
Nearest Beach
1 Miles
Rio Del Mar
Nearest Point of Interest
Carmel By the Sea
Nearest Point of Interest
Elkhorn Slough
Nearest Point of Interest
10 MINUTES to Capitola
Nearest Point of Interest
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Nearest Point of Interest
Rio Del Mar Beach
Nearest Point of Interest
Arboretem at UCSC
Nearest Point of Interest
Wetlands of Watsonville Nature Center
Car: necessary

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Carmel by the Sea, Hidden Beach Playground, Monterey Marine Sanctuary, Cement Ship, World Class Golf, Santa Cruz Boardwalk- Wooden Roller Coaster,

Antiquing. Soquel and Moss Landing, Gayles Bakery- Capitola. Fresh Berry picking in Davenport. Hang gliding, Surfing, Live Theater at Cabrillo College and Shakespeare Festival at UC Santa Cruz as well as the arboretum, Nicene Marks State Park about a mile away. Surf from our beach. You can walk to Seascape Resort from our beach.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $180
Refundable damage deposit $500
Tax Rate 11.0%

Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Canceled bookings will not receive a refund

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