Located 20 minutes from downtown San Francisco, Berkeley is a blissfully unique travel destination. The city is best known for its prestigious university, which was where the Free Speech Movement began in the 1960s. Berkeley’s rich political history and colorful characters have definitely contributed to the artsy, bohemian, and intellectual vibe you’ll experience today.
While Berkeley is a college town, there’s way more to this city than its university. Whether you’re looking to go shopping on Fourth Street, take a hike in a natural park, or get a history lesson on Telegraph Avenue, there are so many things to do in Berkeley.
Berkeley has also emerged as a popular destination for foodies. Every year, tourists flock here to sample its diverse and innovative restaurants. No trip to Berkeley is complete without visiting Chez Panisse, the restaurant where California cuisine and farm-to-table dining were born.
Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic retreat, or a much-needed weekend getaway with friends, there’s no doubt that you will find a unique Airbnb in Berkeley that’s perfect for you. From wood cabins to picture-perfect cottages and historic homes, there’s something for everyone!
With so many options, finding the perfect vacation rental might seem like a daunting task, so we have picked out 12 of the best Airbnbs in Berkeley to make your decision just a little bit easier!
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Top 10 Things To Do in Berkeley, California
- Escape the city and explore Tilden Park. The 2,000-acre park has dozens of hiking paths, bike trails, and picture-perfect picnic spots.
- Sample Berkeley’s stellar food scene at the iconic “Gourmet Ghetto.” Make sure to stop off at The Cheese Board Collective where you can try over 400 rare cheeses!
- Shop till you drop on Fourth Street, home to some of Berkeley’s best shops, restaurants, and nightlife venues.
- Sip a glass of natural wine at Donkey & Goat Winery. All the grapes come from vineyards in Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, and Mendocino.
- Explore over 13,000 plants at the Botanical Garden, which is located on the UC Berkeley campus.
- Catch a world-class concert at the Greek Theatre. From Bob Dylan to Arcade Fire, all sorts of famous bands have graced the stage here.
- Peruse the endless bookshelves at Moe’s Bookstore. This four-story shop houses over 200,000 new and used books!
- Get cultured at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, home to over 16,000 films and 19,000 pieces of art.
- Go grocery shopping at the famous Berkeley Bowl. The 40,000-square-foot space features everything from organic fruit to fresh veggies and exotic spices.
- Take a walk along Telegraph Avenue and learn about Berkeley’s unique culture and political history.
Why Stay in an Airbnb in Berkeley
Staying in an Airbnb in Berkeley has plenty of advantages. First of all, you’ll have the chance to live like a local, instead of staying in a touristy hotel. People in Berkeley are extremely friendly and welcoming, so you’ll likely get a lot of insider information from your Airbnb host. Many go the extra mile and offer complimentary wine and snacks upon arrival!
The selection of unique Airbnbs in Berkeley is extensive. You can opt for a romantic retreat nestled in the hills, a luxury cabin in the woods, or an adorable cottage in the heart of town.
By choosing to stay in an Airbnb, you are likely to get far more value compared to staying at a hotel. Most of Berkeley’s vacation homes are much nicer and more spacious than your average hotel room. Plus you’ll have a kitchen so you can save on costs by dining at home!
If you are traveling as a large group, Airbnbs usually cost less per person than paying for multiple hotel rooms. This is especially true during holidays and big events when tourism in Berkeley is at its height.
The 12 Best Airbnbs in Berkeley, California
Best Berkeley Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers
This designer Scandinavian-inspired guesthouse is a relaxing reprieve for couples or solo travelers who want to be right in the heart of Berkeley. With pristine white walls, large windows, and multiple skylights, the open-plan living area is flooded with natural light. The wood-trimmed windows add a stylish touch to this picture-perfect space.
You can curl up with a good book on the couch, play some music on the record player, or warm up by the fireplace. Prepare incredible meals in the rustic yet stylish kitchen, which is fully outfitted with everything you need to cook at home. In addition to the incredibly well stocked kitchen, the thoughtful Airbnb hosts also provide guests with a welcome basket of wine and snacks!
After a day on the town, you can unwind in the separate bedroom nook, which features a queen-size bed piled with pillows and a modern en-suite bathroom with a relaxing tub. Large windows offer serene views of the towering trees that surround this secluded Berkeley Airbnb.
If you feel like exploring, all of College Avenue’s shops, cafes, and restaurants are a short stroll away.
If you’re planning the ultimate romantic getaway, this is one of the best Airbnbs in Berkeley. This magical little cabin is set right under an enormous redwood tree called the Sentinel and is surrounded by a grove of 100-year-old oak trees.
The cozy space features a queen-size bed, a lounge area with comfy chairs and a flat-screen, a recently remodeled bathroom, and a sauna. There is also a kitchenette with a microwave and a mini-fridge if you want to make some popcorn or have a drink.
The cabin is perched on a hill and with its panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll feel like you’re living in a treehouse. The windows are equipped with electronic zebra shades, in case you want complete privacy.
You’ll also have your own private terrace that features an alfresco dining table and a fire pit. Due to this Airbnb’s natural setting, don’t be surprised if you encounter deer, raccoons, or even little foxes! And if you want to truly unwind it’s possible to book a Swedish or deep tissue massage for an extra fee.
It might feel like you’re worlds away, but downtown Berkeley is just 15 minutes from this vacation rental.
This contemporary studio is perfect for couples or solo travelers who want to be within walking distance of Berkeley’s most popular shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The Airbnb features vaulted ceilings, soothing neutral tones, and French doors that lead out to the private garden and chicken coop. There is also a plush queen bed with decorative driftwood art hanging above it.
You can play cards at the kitchen table, play music on the piano, or make breakfast in the kitchenette. The owners will even provide fresh eggs from the chicken coop! If you don’t feel like cooking there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance including the famous breakfast spot, Bette’s.
You can also just relax in the tranquil garden or curl up with a good book in the crochet hanging chair. If you feel like shopping, this Berkeley Airbnb is conveniently located in the heart of town and a short walk away from the famous shops on Fourth Street.
Located on the top floor of a Berkeley home, this colorful 1-bedroom apartment is situated right in the heart of town. This is a great option for a couple, or the sectional sofa has a pullout bed if you’re traveling as a small group or family.
Artsy, colorful, and chock full of character, this unique Airbnb epitomizes Berkeley’s eccentric culture in the best of ways. With vaulted ceilings and colorful accent walls, rugs, and furnishings, this vacation home is as cute as it gets.
You can have a relaxing movie night with the comfy sofa and 40-inch flat-screen, whip up a meal in the fully equipped kitchen, or dine at the 6-person farm table. The Airbnb hosts even provide you with a list of the area’s best restaurants and bars in case you want to enjoy a night on the town!
Head out to the spacious deck where you can dine alfresco and enjoy garden and mountain views. You’ll feel like you’re in a private oasis in the center of town!
Best Berkeley Airbnbs for Small Groups and Families
This modern 3-bedroom home is tucked away in a quiet neighborhood in downtown Berkeley. The cafes, restaurants, and shops of Fourth Street are all within walking distance of this vacation rental. It’s an ideal choice for a family vacation or a weekend away with friends.
The cozy living room features a large sofa, an electric fireplace, and a flat-screen TV. It’s the perfect spot for a chilled-out movie night. French doors open up to a lovely dining room where you can enjoy that morning cup of coffee or a homemade dinner.
You can whip up a farm-fresh meal in the luxurious kitchen that features stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and everything you could possibly need to cook at home. If you need to go grocery shopping, the famous Monterey Market is a short walk from this Berkeley Airbnb.
Each of the bedrooms boasts plush mattresses, large windows, and modern trimmings. The friendly owners go above and beyond and provide a complimentary bottle of wine for you to enjoy in the private garden.
This cute 2-bedroom cottage is located a short stroll from UC Berkeley and is a great option if you plan to visit campus. With its cobalt blue paint job and contemporary interior design, this Airbnb is beautiful both inside and out.
The spacious open-plan great room features oak floors, vaulted ceilings, and a comfy couch. If you like to cook, the kitchen is a dream come true. You’ll love the stainless steel appliances, Carrara marble surfaces, and a cozy breakfast bar that’s just perfect for a leisurely brunch.
There are some seriously excellent restaurants right outside your door. But you can opt to cook at home and dine under the stars on the private 250-square-foot deck while enjoying lush garden views. After a day on the town, unwind in one of the two bedrooms with plush queen beds and a shared modern bathroom with a tub.
There is a playground right around the corner so this Airbnb is a great option for families with young children!
This ultra-modern 3-bedroom home is conveniently located in South Berkeley. If you’re looking for a super stylish vacation rental, this is the place for you!
This entire Berkeley Airbnb is decked out in designer furniture and thoughtful decor. The living room has wraparound picture windows, natural wood floors, and a soothing color scheme. You can curl up with a good book on the beautiful tufted couch, watch your favorite Netflix show on the massive flat-screen, and enjoy a gourmet meal at the modern dining table.
The kitchen features beautiful wood cabinets, top of the line appliances, and everything you need to prepare a feast for the group. There are plenty of grocery stores and specialty shops nearby in case you need to do some grocery shopping.
You’ll love the beautifully decorated bedrooms. Expect hardwood floors, stylish bedding, and modern bathrooms. With three bedrooms, this Airbnb can sleep up to six guests so it’s a great pick for a family or a group of friends looking for a weekend away!
This adorable 2-bedroom home is located in the heart of North Berkeley, just two miles from UC Berkeley. This Airbnb was recently remodeled so expect to find contemporary furnishings, high-end appliances, and plenty of modern art throughout.
With comfy couches and chairs, a gas fireplace, and an arched picture window, the living room is about as homey as it gets. You can whip up a home-cooked meal in the custom kitchen. With stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and deluxe cookware, preparing meals is a complete joy.
And if you feel like dining out, this Airbnb is located near the “Gourmet Ghetto.” You’ll have the chance to sample the famous farm-to-table restaurant Chez Panisse. There are also plenty of cafes and shops within walking distance.
You’ll love the private balcony where you can sip your morning cup of organic coffee and take in the garden views.
Best Berkeley Airbnbs for Large Groups and Events
If you’re looking to host a long-awaited reunion with family and friends, this is hands down the best Airbnb in Berkeley! The 3-story vacation home has five bedrooms and can accommodate up to 10 guests.
You can gather with the group in the sun-filled living room, have a movie night in the fully outfitted media room, get some work done in the private office, and feast on a homemade breakfast in the stylish breakfast nook. The luxury kitchen has everything you need to cook meals at home.
You’ll love the sitting area on the private patio and the spacious deck with an outdoor dining table. Plus this property has a large private garden surrounded by lush trees for complete privacy.
Located in the quiet Elmwood neighborhood, this vacation rental is conveniently located near UC Berkeley, a range of restaurants and cafes, and a BART station. There are also plenty of hiking trails nearby if you feel like exploring the natural side of Berkeley.
Built in 1910, this historic Berkeley home just oozes charm. From its turquoise paint job to the stylish furnishings, this home is an absolute gem located right in the heart of town. It was even featured on an episode of Netflix’s Salt Fat Acid Heat!
This spacious Airbnb has three stories and four bedrooms – including two master suites with Sonos sound systems and steam showers – and can sleep up to eight guests.
The kitchen looks like something you’d see in a magazine, which is why it was featured on TV! With an adorable blue oven, a rustic island, and a cozy breakfast nook, cooking up family meals is a dream. You can enjoy more formal dinners in the dining room, which has an 8-person table and garden views.
The large back deck is perfect for socializing. Warm up around the fire pit, jump around on the trampoline, and dine under the stars. You’ll love the wraparound front porch that’s perfect for your morning cup of coffee. If you feel like hiking, Tilden Park and Cesar Chavez Park are just five minutes away.
This luxury cabin in the woods is nestled deep in the Berkeley Hills. With four beautiful bedrooms, this Airbnb can accommodate a group of eight. It’s the perfect option for an unforgettable reunion or celebration with family and friends.
This unique Airbnb has two wings connected by a windowed hallway boasting spectacular mountain views. You can also enjoy sweeping views from the massive picture windows in the living room.
The open-plan great room is perfect for gathering as a group. You can prepare a special holiday meal in the chef’s kitchen, sip your morning coffee at the breakfast bar, warm up around the wood-burning stove, or lounge around on the comfy couch and chaise lounge.
The theater room is perfect for a relaxing movie night. You’ll also love the spacious outdoor deck with plenty of seating and an area to do your morning yoga. Head to the top of the driveway and hike up the trail to take in stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline!
It might feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, but downtown Berkeley and Tilden Park are a scenic 2-mile drive away.
This 119-year-old craftsman home is a great pick for an unforgettable family vacation. Located in the highly coveted Elmwood district, this home has four bedrooms and can sleep up to eight people.
The entire house has been fully remodeled but still boasts some of its original features like the light fixtures and the wood-burning fireplace. Another standout feature is the indoor/outdoor living concept. The breakfast nook just off the kitchen features bi-fold doors so you’ll feel like you’re dining outside!
The living room is a great place to lounge around on the large sofa and luxurious massage chair. You can cook up a storm in the gourmet kitchen. It’s fully stocked with everything you need including extras like a Vitamix, a waffle iron, and double ovens.
You’ll also love the spacious backyard with a large garden, a barbecue, and plenty of seating. Head out to the backyard and pick fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs from the organic garden!
That’s it – 12 of the best Airbnbs in Berkeley! Do you have a favorite vacation rental in Berkeley? Let us know in the comments below.
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