Live it up in Beverly Hills or mingle with the locals on Melrose Avenue. Golf your way through the desert or fill your feed with Instagram-worthy landmarks. No matter your style, you’ll find your niche in California — and it’s sure to be glamorous. Where to stay? From the mid-century modern gems of Palm Springs to the celebrity-laden pads of Beverly Hills, these California villas are the answer for your next trip west.
California’s Desert Cities region is known to be a world leader in both golf course volume and quality. Valencia, a California villa in a gated community, is perfectly positioned — between Avenue 48 and 50 in Indio — to snag a tee time at any of the surroundings clubs. With Rancho La Quinta to its west and Indian Palms to its right, plus The Citrus Club, Mountain View, and Plantation all nearby as well, this section in Indio is as well-suited as you’ll find for your next golf getaway. For non-golfers, Valencia is just 10 miles from shopping and dining in Old Town La Quinta. The vacation home has five bedrooms in the main house, and one additional room in a guest house. All guests can enjoy its saltwater pool with a waterfall and a hot tub, plus an alfresco terrace with an outdoor television.
Beverly Grove (Beverly Hills)
There are countless ways to visit Los Angeles, but it’s hard to beat the Beverly Hills lifestyle, even if for just a week or two at a time. Beverly Grove delights with classic 90210 architecture: white exterior, French white oak flooring, an open concept floor plan, high ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. And scenic city views are seen from just about everywhere inside and outside the home, including its infinity pool and terrace, and three wraparound balconies — one on each floor. Life at Beverly Grove can be as connected or disconnected as guests choose: SmartHome technology allows guests to control their surroundings remotely, and a home theater with couch seating is the perfect place to host movie night. On the other hand, a private cabana with a massage table allows guests to clear their minds. For moments of total privacy, head down to the private tree-surrounded balcony where a set of wooden stairs lead down to a teahouse and koi pond.
Edinburgh Modern Mansion (Hollywood)
For a family getaway, a vacation with friends, or an exciting honeymoon, Edinburgh Modern Mansion in West Hollywood has the right stuff. A completely private waterfall swimming pool and hot tub with an adjoining terrace are the likely hangout place for your group of guests. And the adjacent glass wall slides open to reveal the stylish indoor living space and allow guests to easily transition in and out. The blue satin L-shaped couch is a statement on its own, and audacious art pieces add a flare to the home. The villa is located just off Melrose Avenue close to Fairfax, so it’s only a short walk away to grab a bite at local staples like Urth Caffe and Providence, or catch some laughs at the Hollywood Improv Comedy Club.
Greg Norman Estate (La Quinta)
Greg Norman is one of the greatest professional golfers of all time, having sat near the top of the PGA Tour player rankings for much of the 1980s and 1990s. Following his illustrious career, the Australian went on to find great success as a golf course designer. His only project in the Coachella Valley is the Greg Norman Course at PGA West, a 7,200-yarder that offers golfers an “Outback” experience. Norman’s former home on the course, now called the Greg Norman Estate, is welcoming guests as a vacation rental. It’s surely one of the top California villas you could imagine for golf fanatics. The home sits beside the par-5 12th fairway on the back nine’s longest hole. The estate’s backyard faces the golf course and rugged mountain views that can be gazed at from its private pool and hot tub, or from when you’re cuddled around the fire pit and outdoor fireplace.
Flicker Way (Beverly Hills)
Get your camera and your Instagram page ready because this eclectic home — art pieces depict the Monopoly man, Warholian skateboard decks, and mannequin upper bodies — excites the senses at every turn. Its large terrace is the place to be at sunset, gathered around the fire pit or heating up the barbecue, all while taking in the bright lights of L.A. all around you. Its owners are Josh and Heather Altman of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, a reality show that follows the professional and personal lives of four L.A.-based, high-end real estate agents. And the real estate power couple has ensured that each of the home’s three ensuite bedrooms has a view of Downtown L.A. through large glass windows and from a private balcony. The sprawling master suite is particularly attractive for its walk-in closet, lounge area, fireplace, and stand-alone rain/steam shower.
Pinnacle (La Quinta)
At the same resort as the Greg Norman Estate and golf course, PGA West, Norman predecessor Jack Nicklaus has also made his mark on the Coachella Valley. The Golden Bear architected a private course and a resort course at PGA West, and the latter has vacation rental properties lining its fairways. Pinnacle — a familiar name to golfers — is a villa on Nicklaus’ Resort Tournament Course designed so that its guests can enjoy the California sunshine as often as possible. Flanking the golf course, its exterior has a saltwater pool, hot tub, and multiple living and dining spaces. One formal living space takes shade from tall palm trees, while another provides comfortable seating facing an outdoor television and fireplace. The home’s open concept great room wisely lets the sun in through large windows.
Paramount is a stellar option for an Indio, California golf trip and its setup also makes it ideal for a multi-family trip. Two master-style ensuite bedrooms each have California king size beds and direct terrace access. The other two rooms have bunk and twin beds and share bathroom access. A fifth bedroom in the Guest House adds extra privacy for a teenager or two, or even a family with a baby. Along with all the world-class golf courses travelers to the area are spoiled with, Paramount provides much of its own fun to groups of friends or multi-family trips. Guests can congregate in the sports-themed game room, which has a poker table, shuffleboard table, retro arcade game, foosball, and a dartboard. Once the kids have gone to bed, adults can open up the wine fridge and saddle up at the outdoor bar or around the fireplace for a nightcap.
Toluca Lake (Greater Los Angeles)
The Toluca Lake neighborhood is an affluent section of Los Angeles just north of Universal City, 12 miles northwest of downtown. Just north of the Hollywood sign, it’s home to many of Hollywood’s elite, and this home is owned by Jessica Simpson’s mother Tina. Toluca offers a feeling of solitude and a view of the lake and golf course from its backyard, which has a brick terrace with a pool and hot tub. On the opposite side, a cozy courtyard terrace has a long alfresco dining table, and group dinners can be prepared in the villa’s European farmhouse-style kitchen. Meanwhile, terracotta flooring and warm wood tones spruce up the interiors and contrast nicely with the outdoors’ lush greenery and lakefront views. The home has a private dock from which guests can peel out on a provided kayak.
Skybox Villa (Hollywood)
The history of Hollywood can be felt on Mulholland Drive, an iconic road in the Santa Monica Mountains. Not only is Mulholland a scenic drive connecting two sections of Route 101, but it’s also the site of some of the most exclusive homes in the world. Many of the homes are set back from the road, creating panoramic DTLA views, and some are occupied by Hollywood celebrities. Others are converted vacation rentals, some of the finest California villas you’ll find. Skybox Villa sits in a section referred to, self-explanatorily, as Celebrity Row, close to Universal City Overlook, a city park with stunning lookouts. Skybox itself has some memorable views with its wide view-framing windows providing trademark L.A. views from every inch of the home. All five of the home’s bedrooms have direct access to its infinity pool at the terrace edge. For entertainment, congregate in the home’s top-level piano bar which has an extensive wine fridge and bar setup. For those making a road trip to Skybox, its garage has space for six cars.
Pretty in Pink (Palm Springs)
From the roadside Cabazon Dinosaurs to the massive wind turbines of the San Gorgonio Pass, Palm Springs is not short on Instagram-worthy photo spots. Minutes away from many of those landmarks, there’s a photo-friendly villa called Pretty in Pink that would leave any Instagrammer in awe and requires no filter. Within Indian Canyons Golf Resort, the bright and stylish Palm Springs home is decorated with bubblegum pink and blue pops of color. On one side, a large pool and hot tub are surrounded by pink and blue lounge chairs creating an aesthetic that vibes surprisingly well with views of the Tahquitz Canyon mountains. On the home’s other side, a second terrace sports casual alfresco dining and cozy seating around a fire pit for cool evenings, plus a putting green and shuffleboard court.