Are stars just like us? It doesn't feel that way when gazing at some celebrity's multimillion-dollar estate through the window of a star-map tour bus.
But thanks to the rise of peer-to-peer vacation rental sites, staying in a legend's current or former home is now sometimes just a click away. These properties offer travelers the chance to live vicariously -- and, sure, lavishly. Staying in a house with ties to big names like actor Denzel Washington, rock star Jim Morrison, or celebrity cook Paula Deen also comes with vacation-rental perks like private pools, gourmet kitchens, and ample square footage.
"At the end of the day, celebrities are just like everyone else and have an interest in making their investments work for them," says Jon Gray, senior vice president of HomeAway.com. "If they have an empty property that they rarely use, why not make money on it?"
See More of Celebrity Homes You Can RentCelebrity history runs deep at this estate, infamous for its parties in the '60s and '70s. (According to the current owners: "Captain & Tennille, a pop music duo from the 1970s, were one of the first occupants and lived here, we were told, with a chimpanzee.") Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the three-bedroom, three-building property with natural light. It sprawls over eight acres up in the bluffs overlooking Broad and Zuma beaches; some guests have reported seeing dolphins and breaching whales. $490 per night with a two-night minimum; airbnb.com. Photo: Airbnb
See More of Celebrity Homes You Can RentRocker Jim Morrison slept here—and gave interviews, jammed on his guitar, and wrote poetry. His former home is decked out with The Doors memorabilia, vintage furniture, and a bit of retro '60s style: beads hanging in a doorway, a trippy floral shower curtain, colorfully painted walls. The two-bedroom is a short walk from the Sunset Strip. $3,180 with a 30-night minimum; airbnb.com. Photo: Airbnb
See More of Celebrity Homes You Can RentOlympic skier Bode Miller and his wife, Morgan Beck, a professional beach volleyball player, own this cozy estate in New Hampshire's ski-resort territory. Beck tweeted about the home in 2013 and touts its "gorgeous views of Mount Washington." Guests can also expect stone fireplaces, deep-soaking tubs, hand-carved wood furnishings, leather sofas, and four bedrooms that accommodate up to 10. $800 per night with a two-night minimum; airbnb.com. Photo: Airbnb
See More of Celebrity Homes You Can RentY'all Come Inn includes, naturally, with a stellar kitchen stocked with all of Paula's cookbooks—one of which will be signed for guests as a souvenir. The 2,000-square-foot house also features three cheery bedrooms and a front porch with picnic-table seating. It's located on Tybee Island, 20 miles from Savannah and four blocks from the beach. It's a neighborhood that's also attracted homeowners John Mellencamp and Sandra Bullock. $295 per night with a two-night minimum; vrbo.com. Photo: HomeAway.com
See More of Celebrity Homes You Can RentPalm Springs has attracted enough legendary residents (among them Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra) to inspire multiple celebrity-home tours. For a truly immersive experience, settle in to Bing Crosby's 1934 hacienda in the old Movie Colony. The Spanish-style four-bedroom villa has the original tiled floors, vaulted ceilings, and a wood-burning fireplace. Modern amenities include a projector in the screening room as well as an updated kitchen. You'll be tempted out of doors by the heated pool, surrounded by bougainvillea and citrus trees. $675 per night with a three-night minimum; airbnb.com. Photo: Airbnb
See More of Celebrity Homes You Can RentLike Oscar-winning actor Willem Dafoe, you may find it tough to resist the Rubber House, an architectural gem built in 1981 for choreographer Eugene Loring. It's full of striking design details like a vaulted glass chef's kitchen and a glass-atrium walkway. In an Interview magazine story, Dafoe said: "I was looking for a house upstate, something rustic, like an old farmhouse. This was the first place my real estate agent took me to see, and I was annoyed because the Rubber House was clearly not what I had said I was looking for. But as I continued to search, I kept returning to have another look. Visit by visit, I was seduced, and I finally bought it." Dafoe eventually sold it in 2008, and now vacationers can rent the 1,949-square-foot, two-bedroom home. It's near the hiking trails of Mohonk Preserve and about 100 miles north of New York City. $500 per night with a three-night minimum; airbnb.com. Photo: Airbnb
See More of Celebrity Homes You Can RentAnne Rice has a knack for evoking dark, mysterious places in her novels, yet her five-bedroom condo is hardly creepy. Instead, she's taken a go-big approach to her home, filling more than 5,000 square feet with grand marble furnishings, chandeliers, four-post beds, two fully appointed kitchens, and several balconies with views of Navarro Beach. "I tiled all the decks so they would be utterly smooth for bare feet," adds Rice. She also placed small statues throughout the property that are related to her books (copies are available on site). $514 per night with a three-night minimum; homeaway.com.. Photo: HomeAway.com
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