The Enchanted Lookout - private luxury cabin & Spa


Entire cabin hosted by Tamara

  1. 6 guests
  2. 2 bedrooms
  3. 3 beds
  4. 1 bath
Self check-in
Check yourself in with the keypad.
Tamara is a Superhost
Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
Great location
100% of recent guests gave the location a 5-star rating.


Every booking includes free protection from Host cancellations, listing inaccuracies, and other issues like trouble checking in.
We spent over a year lovingly renovating and remodeling this vintage fire lookout cabin into a luxury vacation rental with a spacious Hot Springs spa.

The two-bedroom, one-bath cabin is just over a mile from the historic town of Julian, yet it’s a private sanctuary with panoramic forest and Volcan Mountain Preserve views.

The Enchanted Lookout is beautifully cleaned and sanitized after each stay.

The space

The Julian Chamber of Commerce describes the town like this: “Julian, a state Historical District, is a former gold mining village nestled in the mountain forest. Julian is San Diego County’s year-round romantic retreat.”

My children and I moved to San Diego five years ago, and one day my young daughter Samantha and I visited Julian. We were enamored by a sense of stepping back in time, and by the pristine beauty of the surrounding mountains and forests.

We stopped by the Chamber of Commerce and noticed a tourism review of Julian written in 1870. Mary Morse, a schoolteacher from New England had arrived by horse and buggy and wrote:

“After passing a ravine and ascending a sharp and rocky hill, the city of Julian in all its glory burst upon us. The sun was just setting and shown with that golden light so peculiar to California. I could have shouted with joy at the very sight. The pines and oaks were a magic green and every cabin and shanty nestled amongst them had a strangely enchanted look.”

Samantha and I could not have described how we felt about Julian better, though nearly a century and a half had passed since those words were written. Later that day as we strolled past picturesque historic buildings and then down a quaint lane, my daughter turned to me and said, “Mom, will you always keep a cottage in Julian?”

After three years of searching, we finally found the right property. It's situated in a quiet forested neighborhood just over a mile from town. It sits at the end of a long drive on its own hillside facing Volcan Mountain. It's surrounded by old-growth pine, manzanita and several types of oak, so it has a wonderful sense of solitude and privacy. Historically built as a lookout site for volunteer firemen, the cabin overlooks a breathtaking vista of forests and mountains.

The cabin itself was in sad shape, but still captured the incredible charm and quality with its high-beamed knotty pine ceiling and picture windows in every room.

It took a full year of hard work extensively renovating and remodeling, including adding a new energy-efficient roof 50-year roof, rain gutters, foundation work, beautiful new decks, gutting and total renovation inside, but the end result was worth all the effort.

Every time we return to our cabin, we are comforted once again by a feeling of traveling back in time to a simpler era. The songs of mountain birds and breezes rippling through majestic trees fill our ears. The beauty of the forest and Volcan Mountain amaze us. It seemed natural to name our cottage “The Enchanted Lookout."


We recreated the home so that it looks like the historic home it is, yet contains every modern comfort and convenience.

Our two-bedroom one bath 600 square foot cabin feels larger than it is because of the high ceilings, large picture windows, and expansive views. It will sleep four adults and two children, but it is best with just one couple, or a couple with a child.

The new highest quality forced air heat and cooling system contains a whole-house air purification system with HEPA filtration for the cleanest possible air. It also uses the newest chlorine-free R-410A refrigerant system that is ozone-friendly and non-toxic.

We installed new 3/4 inch thick solid oak flooring so dust mites or other allergens found in the carpet will not irritate our guests.

1. A new Samsung range and convection oven with hood and counter-top microwave

2. A Bosch dishwasher makes doing dishes easy.

3. A retro red designer SMEG refrigerator

4. The kitchen is well-equipped with new cooking ware, blender, crockpot, electric teapot, and coffee maker. You’ll also find some rare antique utensils. Basic condiments, spices, and coffee are included. Each group also receives a little gift of wine and chocolate (red or white, dark or milk chocolate).

4. A Jotul Norwegian wood-burning stove decorates the living room if one wants to watch the flames dance and reflect off our new 3/4 ” solid oak floors, or push a button for forced air cooling/heat. Please enjoy our collection of vintage records!

5. A new apple-red LG brand stack-able washer and dryer is concealed behind sliding doors for in-house laundry convenience.

6. A gorgeous slipper-style porcelain tub looks like an antique but it’s brand new and includes a convertible tub/standing shower feature.

7. High-end mattresses and luxurious bedding invite sweet dreams.

We have a California King pillow top mattress in one bedroom, and a full-sized memory foam mattress in the second bedroom. Both mattresses have natural organic latex toppers for protection from allergens. Also, all pillows use allergen blocking covers.

Sometimes people want to bring up to six people, so in the living room, we added a beautiful leather sofa that pulls out to a queen bed with an upgraded jell memory-foam mattress. Please note the full-size bed sleeps children or a smaller adult only.

8. A luscious five-person Hot Springs Spa and sleek Saber grill wait to be savored on one of our large decks overlooking exquisite forest and mountain scenery.

9. High-speed internet lets us stay connected, and wall-mounted smart TV in one bedroom and DVD player and movies in the other.

10. Last but not least, we filled the now beautiful space with art, classic books and antiques, many of which we had discovered and restored ourselves.


Julian was founded in 1869 when a local rancher and former slave named Fred Coleman discovered gold. For thousands of years before that, the Volcan mountains, the area that is now Julian, and portions of the desert below were heavily populated by Native Americans, and evidence of their occupation is everywhere.

On hikes in the Volcan Mountains, we have seen ancient and massive oaks sheltering boulders pitted all over the surface with myriad large mortars (bowl-shaped holes in the stone once used by Native Americans to grind acorns and other seeds into a meal).

The cabin overlooks the dividing line of where the high forest becomes the high desert. It’s almost a straight line down the face of Pechacho Peak (The highest peak in the Volcan Mountains)… to the left is forest, to the right is desert. Views from The Enchanted Lookout are of forest and mountain but walk up the road a block and you'll see a fantastic view of the Anza Borrego Desert.

As a former student of Anthropology and Archaeology at UCLA, I was fascinated by what this geographic layout represents:

Indigenous people all over the world considered geographic boundary areas, where different elements met, (freshwater/saltwater, mountain/desert, etc.,) to be powerful places of healing, transformation, and restoration. They were thought to be important places to make decisions or guide life choices, and Native American vision quests were often held in such places.

Where you'll sleep

1 of 2 pages

What this place offers

Free parking on premises
Hot tub
TV with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video
Air conditioning
Patio or balcony

Select check-in date

Add your travel dates for exact pricing

4.96 out of 5 stars from 438 reviews


Where you’ll be

Julian, California, United States

The Enchanted Lookout is only one and a half miles from the historic and bustling town of Julian, located in the quiet forested neighborhood of Whispering Pines, yet in in own secluded location.

Enjoy our Daffodils & Lilacs in the spring, fall colors and sometimes a beautiful winter snow storm.

WILDLIFE: Wild animals abound in the area. Besides the wonderful bird life we often see deer, raccoons and other wild creatures.

PROXIMITY TO ATTRACTIONS: Walk or take very short drive to town with its restaurants, shopping, gold mine and other historic tours and museums, and just an all-around fun town.

WINERIES: Julian and the surrounding areas have become a mecca for the creation of excellent wines, cider, craft beer breweries, and even mead! Walk or take a short drive to a world-class tasting of these beverages. The Nickel Beer Company, a craft beer brewery, is an easy walk from the cabin. Menghini Winery and Volcan Mountain Wineries are just 2 1/2 miles from the house. There are also several wine tasting venues in town.

My favorite restaurant is Jeremy's on the Hill. It's gourmet, and the food is just great.

The Enchanted lookout is about an hour's drive from the great city of San Diego, with its culture, nightlife, beautiful beaches, museums, The San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, Legoland, and SeaWorld.

HIKING TRAILS: Walk or take a short drive to stunning hiking trails of the Volcan Mountain Preserve. Others nearby located Heise State Park, Cuyamaca State Park, the surround Cleveland National Forest, and the Anza Borrego desert below.

Fish for Bass, Trout and even Sturgeon at nearby Lake Cuyamaca.

And don't forget apple picking in the fall or snow sledding in winter.

Jess Martin Park is minutes away and with it's baseball field, playground, barbecue pits and picnic tables.

Drive down nearby Banner Grade to the Anza Borrego desert below for beauty and natural mineral hot springs.

Hosted by Tamara

  1. Joined in September 2016
  • 547 Reviews
  • Identity verified
  • Superhost
Hello, my name is Tamara Shure, and I will be your host. I enjoy saving historic homes that otherwise would be lost, and I'm proud to say that some have been subsequently designated California State Historic Landmarks. All of them, including The Enchanted Lookout, were in very poor shape, but I could see the potential. My passion is to save history and create spaces that inspire and nurture people.

Hello, my name is Tamara Shure, and I will be your host. I enjoy saving historic homes that otherwise would be lost, and I'm proud to say that some have been subsequently designat…


  • Samantha
  • Juanita

During your stay

I am happily available to speak to guests about any of their comments, questions or concerns. If there are any needs, I hope to address them immediately! I also have two wonderful property managers close by, and together, we are available for our guests.
I am happily available to speak to guests about any of their comments, questions or concerns. If there are any needs, I hope to address them immediately! I also have two wonderfu…

Tamara is a Superhost

Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
  • Response rate: 100%
  • Response time: within an hour
To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.

Things to know

House rules

Check-in: After 4:00 PM
Checkout: 11:00 AM
Self check-in with keypad
No smoking
No pets
No parties or events

Health & safety

Airbnb's COVID-19 safety practices apply
Pool/hot tub without a gate or lock
Heights without rails or protection
May encounter potentially dangerous animal
Carbon monoxide alarm

Cancellation policy