Cottontail Creek Ranch
A country ranch retreat for urbane city slickers.
Not far north of Morro Bay, this luxurious ranch is a well-kept secret. The enormous six-bedroom vacation rental house is set on rolling hillsides with fruit orchards and grasslands where horses graze. The expansive grounds are full of opportunities for hiking and bird watching, or you're welcome to bring mountain bikes and horses for exploring. The reservoir pond is stocked with fish, and kayaks and rowboats are available to paddle around. With advance arrangement, gourmet meals, massage services, and even yoga instruction are available. There are horseshoe pits, a ping-pong table, outdoor whirlpool spa, and volleyball and badminton courts, so there'll never be an excuse for being bored. Inside the ranch house, which is ideally built for large groups, there's a full kitchen and a rock fireplace in the lounge. There are VCR and DVD players in the living room, plus a library of movies to choose from, as well as a computer with free Internet access. The layout has two master bedrooms upstairs, plus a sleeping loft above the living room, and three more bedrooms downstairs, all of which sport country décor and either queen- or king-sized beds. Make reservations far ahead of time for holiday periods.