Laguna Beach, California

This California rental has tropical style, a private beach, and room to spare.
Text by Elizabeth Raines Beeler

Want to experience Hawaii without the exhausting flight? We’ve found a luxurious California rental house where you can do just that. Go ahead, invite the in-laws: The shingle-style Laguna Beach home, Bob’s Beach House, comes equipped with a separate guest suite and detached apartment, yielding enough parking, beds, kitchens, and amenities for the entire gang.

Hawaiian paraphernalia and tropical finds fill this house, owned by Bob Truskowski and his wife, Maureen Gallen. Building on a collection of rattan furniture the home’s previous owners left behind, Bob and Maureen added vintage Hawaiian pieces from consignment stores and antiques shops. Bob even made trips to Hawaii (he’s a landscape architect with clients there), and came home with old photographs, travel posters, and a bolt of original 1950s fabric that he used to cover a duvet and upholster seating in the guest suite, called the Hawaiian Room. “Throughout the home, the intent was playful and fun,” he says.

Down a long staircase behind the house, renters enjoy a private stretch of sand. An air-conditioned beach cabana holds all the essentials for a day in the sun and eliminates the need for a return trip up 125 steps to the main house for forgotten supplies. Just offshore, lobstermen haul traps (dinner, anyone?), and natural tide pools brim with sea life.

Whether it’s the quirky charm of the interiors, the lush landscaping, views that seem to go on forever, or the secluded beach, one thing’s for sure: At Bob’s, you can indulge in a visit to tropical paradise without ever leaving the mainland.

(published December 2006)

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Writer Tate Taylor and his friends escaped the holiday hassle at Bob’s Beach House.