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Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076
Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076

Whisper Valley, rustic country retreat

Bedrooms 2
Space 2,000 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Nature is calling. This charming 2000 square foot home sits on 160 acres east of Santa Margarita on a private gated ranch. The home is located in a valley and is surrounded by large rock formations, hills, oaks, and pines; lovely views from every window. There are several (hilly) hiking/riding trails, and a seasonal creek runs through the property. There is a horse corral and hitching posts if you would like to bring your horses. For a number of reasons this is not an appropriate site for a wedding.

The post and beam construction and custom woodwork throughout the home are breath taking. There are 2 master suites (each with a full bath) and a sleeping loft. A second loft overlooking the living room has a desk where you may set up your laptop and use the free WiFi. There is no cell service but a land line is available for your use. The vaulted ceiling living room has a gorgeous stone wood burning fireplace. The covered front porch is a great place to relax and watch the local wildlife (pretty much every critter that lives in this county could wander by) or to enjoy a glass of wine. You will enjoy cooking in the fully equipped kitchen and having your meals at the kitchen table where you can take in the lovely views. The laundry area is equipped with a utility sink, washer and dryer. Additional creature comforts: central air conditioning, AppleTV, DVD player, jetted tub. While the location is a little remote, there is a boutique winery Soaring Hawk (weekends by reservation) at the adjoining property, and it is only half an hour from many great places, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Templeton, Avila Beach, and Morro Bay. The home is about 6 miles from the little town of Santa Margarita, right off the 101 freeway north of the Cuesta Grade from San Luis Obispo. It has a gourmet restaurant, The Range, Ancient Peaks winery, ziplining, Dunbar brewery, Porch Cafe, Home Santa Margarita (features Joanna Gaines furnishings) and a few other spots for you to discover.

If just want to "chill" that works too!

More Details

Stephen Peterson and Karen Willer
Member since: 2015
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 21, 2018

About Stephen Peterson and Karen Willer

I was born in California and raised in the little (then) town of Turlock. After I went to college to be a materials engineer I moved east and spent the last 38 years as a patent attorney for a law firm in Washington DC. When I retired I wanted to come to the Central Coast and live on a ranch and bought Whisper Valley. I hunt (not in Whisper Valley), I am an amateur photographer, and restore old English and Italian motorcycles. I lived on the property for two years and met Karen who has a ranch in Creston. She is a retired high school college guidance counselor. We are now married and live on the Creston ranch, We stay in Whisper Valley often to visit the "wilderness."

Stephen Peterson and Karen Willer purchased this house in 2013

Why Stephen Peterson and Karen Willer chose Santa Margarita

Whisper Valley is a unique small valley in the Santa Lucia mountains. It is very hilly and steep, covered with Oak with a few pines. It has caves, cliffs and, while remote enough to be quiet and peaceful, it is only 17 minutes from town. There is so much wildlife in the valley it is rare that we don't see a deer, turkey, fox, coyote, or quail. The house is like a story book cottage with interior woodwork that is unique and beautiful.

What makes this house unique

It is the wilderness with the amenities that make being in the wilderness comfortable.


Santa Margarita House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2000 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 2:00 PM / Check-out: Noon
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Free Wifi
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , jetted tub
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Loft over bedroom 2 - 1 double
  • Please note by looking at photos that Bedroom 2 (queen bed) and the Loft (double bed) are in the same room, limited privacy. The Loft overlooks Bedroom 2. The ideal set up is for 4 adults and 2 children in the loft.
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • festivals
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rock climbing
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(38 traveler reviews)

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Whisper Valley, rustic country retreat
average rating of 4.894737 based on 38 reviews

A true retreat

  • 5 of 5

Our stay in Whisper Valley was everything it should be: quiet, outdoorsy, relaxing, and then, when the grandchildren arrived, it was fun. The house looks just like it does in the pictures and its placement provides you with a wonderful sense of being in nature (although with all the conveniences of a very comfortable home). The master bedroom suite is giant and offers a little seclusion from the rest of the activity in the house.

Stephen and Karen were great, accommodating hosts. When there was a problem with the propane heat, Stephen was immediately responsive and had it taken care of before the day was over.

Since we have family in the area, I know we'll be back.

  • Submitted: Jan 1, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Shell Beach

Great holiday home for the family

  • 5 of 5

Our family really enjoyed the stay here for Christmas. The property is incredibly beautiful and the house was spacious and well decored for the holiday season. It's close to a local winery, and the nearby country sights were unbelievable. The house was clean and tidy, though it looked like between the last house cleaning and when we arrived a few critters may have gotten in; so good feedback for the next trip!

  • Submitted: Dec 29, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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California Bay Area

Super quiet, rustic retreat among the trees

  • 5 of 5

Great "hideaway" near Santa Margarita where you can go "off grid" and enjoy the great outdoors on the trails that take you around the large property....and maybe glimpse wildlife.

Very spacious and clean home. Highly Recommend

  • Submitted: Dec 2, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Calm, rustic, retreat

  • 4 of 5

We came to celebrate Cal Poly Family weekend with our daughter. While Whisper Valley wasn't all that close to campus, it wasn't the worst drive ever. The morning we left we saw:

a tarantula, bobcat, bald eagle (my first ever!), skunk, wild turkey, and a ton of ground squirrels. The house is large, despite only having 2 bedrooms and a loft. If you had a close family, this arrangement would be perfect, separate families who want some privacy may have a harder time figuring out how to make it work. Here are some of the things we found that were superb: All the stars in the Northern Hemisphere and the Milky Way are visible from the house if you can figure out how to turn the exterior lights off. If you forget a toothbrush, for example, the owners have provided a very thorough collection of toiletries-in-a-pinch, including shaving cream! The Master Bedroom and Bath are enormous, folks afraid of spiders should be prepared to share some of your space with some shy roommates. The MB mattress is dreamy. I always forget that whole bean coffee is not the norm: no grinder here! We drank tea. We were still happy. We will keep this home on the top of our list of places to visit again. What a good break from the rat race. I wish we had more time to enjoy the property!

  • Submitted: Nov 6, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Fantastic stay, total privacy

  • 5 of 5

We absolutely loved staying at this beautiful home. It has a lovely antler chandelier. The master bedroom and bathroom are huge. The loft bedroom is actually inside the 2nd bedroom on the main floor, a little less privacy there. Perfect for the kids. The home has beautiful custom wood trim. We loved the cicada bugs singing to us each night. We actually heard owls hooting to each other. We loved the Ravine Water Park nearby. It wasn't too busy on a summer Saturday like others have said. We wished we had brought our mountain bikes to use on the trails. They were great to hike. Karen has provided everything (soap, kitchen amenities and well stocked shelves.) The TV was a little weird. We ended up watching things on You Tube on the TV.

  • Submitted: Aug 23, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Albuquerque, New Mexico

A heavenly retreat just inland from the Central California coast

  • 5 of 5

Our family had a most enjoyable stay at this rustic getaway hidden amid a California oak forest. Although utterly quiet and peaceful with abundant wildlife, the property is only twenty minutes from Highway 101. The house, complete with all amenities, is beautifully constructed with lots of exposed wooden beams and redwood highlights. A memorable experience

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
23 Miles
San Luis Obispo
Nearest Barpub
15 Miles
Dunbar Brew Pub
Nearest Train
20 Miles
Amtrak San Luis Obispo
Nearest Motorway
16 Miles
US 101
Nearest Restaurant
15 Miles
The Range
Nearest Beach
29 Miles
Avila Beach
Car: necessary

While the property is an isolated valley in the Santa Lucia mountains, off a country road, it is 17 minutes from the small town of Santa Margarita and just over the Cuesta Grade from Cal Poly. While dress is informal, Santa Margarita has a world-class restaurant, The Range (closed Sunday and Monday and cash only). Dinner there for two with wine and dessert will break $100. There is a small boutique winery literally right next door, Soaring Hawk. Whisper Valley is 40 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, with beaches at Avila, Pismo, and Morro Bay. There is abundant wildlife on the property, all the species native to San Luis Obispo County except, Tule Elk and Pronghorn Antelope. Santa Margarita Ranch has winery and vineyard tours as well as a zip line adventure leaving from "downtown" Santa Margarita. As noted elsewhere, the property is located in the center of the Central Coast wineries with over 300 wineries in the county alone. Edna Valley and San Ynez valleys are about 30 minutes and 1 hour away respectively.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $125
Pet Fee $125
Damage Deposit $500

The rural location means that all wildlife indigenous to this region lives on this property.
Children are welcome however there are railings in the loft that are not childproof.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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