Some California locations for 8-16 person vacation rentals
Note: "multiple" means are multiple units available in some fashion is there just one house. It's often not clear how the limit splits between adults and kids. As we narrow the list and get some confirms, I'll double check that.
The Russian River is the weekend getaway for the Bay Area. It's 1-2 hours from SF. It's a mix of sleepy cottages, small towns, and rural settings over low rolling hills. There is wading depth canoeing on parts of the river.
Pacific Grove, CA
PG is located about an hour from the South Bay on the coast, between Monterey and Carmel.
There are some cottages at www.andrilcottages.com (Than and I have stayed there before). You can walk to Asilomar beach and there is a playground nearby. Point Lobos is a great place for a hike, and you can rent bikes and ride along the coast. Big Sur is not too far if you want something less crowded. There are some decent restaurants nearby (but not as fancy or expensive as Carmel). Monterey offers the Aquarium and Dennis the Menace playground. I am sure there are places to rent kayaks etc.
I contacted the Andril cottages today and they have two "big" cottages -- one has 4 bedrooms and one has 5 bedrooms. The 5 bedroom place rents for $360 a night (=$2520 for seven nights) and sleeps 12+. It is available from July 19-23rd. It is also available for shorter periods (July 2-4th, July 29-Aug 1st) but is otherwise booked solid for the month of Aug. The 4 bedroom rents for $345-350 per night but is only available for short periods this summer (July 2-4, July 19-23, Aug 18-20). The deposit is one night's rent.
reviewed by Ervan
This is Northern California. Most areas are medium-sized mountains and tree covered. Mt. Shasta stands out and Lassen Volcanic Park has lots of interesting things to see. This is a big area and those sites could easily be an hour or more away. Depending on just where we are activities tend to be hiking, horseback riding, and lake activities (fishing, [darned cold] skiing, jet skis), visiting Shasta & Lassen.
It's a 4-5 hour drive from San Francisco. Redding is much closer and has a small airport, but the cost delta over SFO will be about $200.
The pampered experience:
Coffee Creek Ranch -- These are small individual cottages set in the woods, away from most things, with food and linen service provided. There is a large meeting hall, very close to the cabins, where the meals are served. It's expensive, $1K/person/week, but as noted that does include prepared food. Their big thing is horseback riding. The pond and pool are okay for kids. The stream is scenic, but too cold for lounging (except for Reinhard). The volleyball, ping pong, etc. is rather cruddy and can be ignored. It's located a couple of miles from a big lake (short drive) and in the national forest (lots of roll-your-own hiking/camping potential).
The vacation rentals:
I don't know any of these personally, and it's really too far for me to check out in person. The first three all look like ranch homes on the highway basically, but with varying degrees of buffer space. I'll try to ask useful questions going forward and narrow this down.
I'm omitted things >= $4K/week for all of us (for just lodging), things that cannot accommodate at least 8 adults, and houses that look like white trash renting their dumps near scenic places.
It's often not clear what the adult/kid breakdown is on occupancy. As we narrow this down, I'll call and find out.
Reviewed by Amy
Kings Canyon/Sequoia area
4 hours from Bay Area.
www.sequoia-kingscanyon.com. The Grant Grove Cabins looked promising. There is swimming at Hume Lake, hiking and horseback riding. Bath cabins cost $112/night, Rustic cabins are $60/55, "tent cabins are $45. I believe Kings Canyon is not as popular (ie crowded) as Yosemite in the summer, but I don't know whether Grant Grove is booked yet or not.
It is www.sequoiavillageinn.com. The Dogwood Chalet and Glacier Chalet are the largest, with 3 bedrooms each. The Dogwood sleeps 12 people (one bedroom has 2 doubles and 2 twins). Depending on the size of our group we might want to rent both it and a smaller cottage (maybe the Hummingbird). One other thing worth noting about these chalets: they have A/C. I haven't seen it listed at most of the other cottages I have researched. Could be important in July, esp. since Three Rivers is at a fairly low elevation.
One more option: www.silvercityresort.com. This resort is located in the Mineral King Recreation area of Sequoia National Park. They have several chalets, "comfy" cabins and "rustic" cabins. Three of the chalets have 3 bedrooms, full bath and kitchen and can sleep 8 persons. They cost $250/night. The "comfy" cabins have toilets, hot and cold water, and a basic kitchen (but you have to use communal showers). They have 2 bedrooms and cost $160/night. The "rustic" cabins do not have bathrooms or hot water. They cost between $70-125 per night. The resort has a play area for kids and a nice looking creek for wading. hiking, horses etc are nearby.
Sierra Nevada/Stanislaus National Forest
North of Yosemite (about 3.5 hours from Bay Area). Check out these websites (all are for areas near the Dodge Ridge ski area, close to Pinecrest Lake): -
www.cabinsatstrawberry.com. These cabins are at 5230 feet, located at the South fork of the Stanislaus River. All have 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, so we would need to rent two. Cost depends on view, with river view cabins costing $189/night and forest view cabins costing $169/night. I have emailed the contacts to ask about availability for July/August.
-www.gorrr.com (The Rivers Resort). There are some 4/2 cabins costing between $650-975 per week. Not sure how people feel about being in a "resort" -- this one has 10 cabins and a swimming pool. I have emailed the contacts to ask about availability.
-www.pinecrest-strawberry-realestate.com. There are two cabins listed that sound good:
1)Briner Cabin, which rents for $1404/week and has its own swimming hole. There are 4 bedrooms/3 baths, with lots of bunk beds for kids. Says it sleeps up to 15 people.
2)Bruzzone Cabin, which rents for $2106/week. This one is also a 4/3 and is 5 blocks from the lake. It is also remodeled (has a nice kitchen).
--www.strawberryinn.com. They have cabins, but not a lot of info on their website. I have asked for details in an email.
Joseph's Cabin 16 beds (4 br + loft), Stanislaw. In National Forest.
Terrapin Sleeps 11-40 :-) (11 in beds, rest in sleeping bags and couches). 5500 ft, 2 hours from Yosemite? Says no alcohol...
East of Yosemite, about a 6 hour drive from San Francisco. The Tamarack Lodge has 29 cabins for rent. See www.tamaracklodge.com for details. The largest cabins are 3/2, so we would have to rent two cabins. They vary in price depending on whether they are "rustic" or remodeled. Remodeled 3/2 goes for $315/night in the summer. Activities at Mammoth include canoes, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, gondola ride.
Lake Isabella is the obscure southern tip of the Sierras, approaching the desert in some of its qualities. This is a more relaxed destination without so much happening. Activities are lake activities and hiking. I remember liking the canyon walls on the twisty road to get here.
The character is more rolling hills and agricultural. Rafting is big around here, some decent wine tasting in part of the area.
It's a 3-hour drive from SF, less from Sacramento.
This is the sleepy part of California half way between LA and the Bay Area. There are nice beaches, decent vineyards at artsy San Luis Obispo (just inland), and the Hearst Castle nearby.
could probably find more in the area if there is interest.
reviewed by Ervan
One of the Channel Islands, Catalina, has a real city, Avalon, and is more than just a park. Avalon is about 3K people, but is mostly a tourist destination. There would be lots to do, hiking, diving, sailing, jet skis, hanging out at the beach, dining and shopping, possible side trips to the other islands to really get away from it all.
Downside: There is nothing suitable for our group anywhere except in Avalon. So, we would essentially be in the city with all of this stuff nearby, and maybe a view if we shop carefully. Also, they seem quite strict about the number of occupants and insist that children over 2 count toward the limit. We'd probably be split into 2 near, but not adjacent, houses. I also expect everything to be pricey.
There is a short boat ride from LA to reach Avalon.
I've never been. What you see in these links is all I know, though it looks very interesting.
Some generic resources: