Salt-washed charms in San Diego beach rentals

Down in San Diego, there are a couple of choices that visitors will have to make. Do you want to be immersed in the adobe pueblo homes and honky-tonk saloons of the Wild West Old Town? Might you prefer the cocktail joints and jazz bars of the Gaslamp Quarter? Or are you 100% set on a San Diego beach rental? If the last, you've got oodles of places to think about. This guide lists just a few of the very best…

There's an enticing mix of Pacific Beach rentals

The range of Pacific Beach vacation rentals pretty much has something for everyone. Long-haired surfer dude with the board in tow? Grab a shack on the clifftops. A-lister celebrity with a convertible to park? There are villas with garages and infinity pools. It's all down to the curious mix of beach bums and beautiful people that are drawn to this sand-fringed corner of the city. The most coveted areas to rent in include the Ocean Front Walk and the point where Pacific Beach meets Mission Bay.

Imperial Beach rentals – down by Mexico

With one foot firmly planted on the US-Mexico border, Imperial Beach is just about as far south as it's possible to go before having to flip open the passport. There are two sides to it. The first is the classic Californian sand stretch, running for four miles past a timber pier and easy-going surf breaks. The second is the wild Tijuana River National Estuary, a sprawling reserve where you can spy rare seabirds and sloshing wetlands. And in even better news, vacation homes here tend to be far less than up in the middle of San Diego proper.

Ocean Beach, San Diego, vacation rentals

There's an undeniable energy about little Ocean Beach. Like a town within a town, the district effortlessly casts away the pretensions of a metropolis and enjoys kicking back as the rollers crash in from the Pacific. The boardwalk area is abuzz with life. Get yourself a quaint little cottage there and you'll be sharing the shoreline with surf shops, roastery cafés, vegan eateries – that sort of thing.

Encinitas and Solana Beach vacation rentals

Trade in the hurly-burly of the big city for something altogether more chilled by cruising up Highway 101 to the salt-sprayed surf havens of Solana Beach and Encinitas. These are the wave-riding mainstays between San Diego and Orange County, where you'll get a welcome that's almost as warm as the midday sun. Rental wise, it's all clifftop villas with gardens gazing at the swells, and Spanish-styled casitas with porches for stashing the board after a day at the waves.

Cool Coronado has the slickest San Diego beach rentals

Arguably the single most famous part of the San Diego coast is given over to the Coronado Peninsula. Ever since the turn of the last century has this place been entertaining vacationers – just check out the grand Victorian resorts that still adorn the shore. These days, it's laced with five-star penthouses and beach bungalows, many with panoramic ocean views and hot tubs. Dog lovers might like the designated walking paths to the west. Shoppers and diners might prefer the precincts of the Coronado Ferry Landing mall.

La Jolla – a paradise on the cliffs

Perched on cliff-ringed bluffs on the northern end of the San Diego riviera, there's lots to get up to in La Jolla. Upscale homes nestle between the pine groves and palm trees right by the water's edge, poking out over hidden coves where you can swim in private, or much-loved surf breaks where the longboard will get a good ride. At the heart of it all, cascading down wooded hills to the east, is La Jolla Village. Go there for designer boutiques, haute kitchens, oyster bistros, and champagne bars.