Miramar Beach, California

We found a California rental with steamship style and commanding water views.
Text by Elizabeth Raines Beeler

**This rental was remodeled. See "Wish You Where Here" for updated information.

In town for a photo shoot, I stepped into this third-floor rental overlooking Miramar Beach and found it hard to believe I was on solid ground. While the yacht-style apartment doesn’t move, it takes in 180 degrees of California coastline so dramatic you’d swear you can feel the pull of the tide.

The home measures just less than 12 feet wide, helping it look and feel like a boat. Dressed in classic blue and white, the interiors call out to the ocean beyond. Sturdy teak furniture in the living area mimics plantation teak flooring imported from Costa Rica. The coffee table was crafted from an old lobster trap and drifts above an area rug depicting stormy seas.

Custom built-ins enhance cabin allure. In the kitchen, teak cabinetry topped with granite adds elegance. A king-size berth in the bedroom pays homage to a yacht’s stateroom. Doors carved of solid wood hang throughout.

While small, the unit lives large. A domed fiberglass ceiling spans the structure, admitting filtered light and adding an overall feeling of airiness. Ample glass surrounds the space, connecting it to the outdoors. With a view from almost every room, the ocean never escapes the eye.

Equipped with the most energy-efficient materials, this ship may sail for quite some time. According to owner Greg Huglin, the home was built “to last 100 years.” With exterior shingles made of a composite material that outlasts wood in the salty coastal climate, maybe it will.

Just outside the door, you’ll find fantastic surfing and a variety of other water and beach activities. And the clean streets and whitewashed buildings of downtown Santa Barbara await just three miles away.

Thinking about your next vacation? Take a cruise in this rental—you’ll never forget the view.

(published November 2006)