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10 Drought-Tolerant Landscapes on the West Coast

What can drought-tolerant landscapes look like? The Landscape Library has rounded up the most contemporary landscapes on the West coast.

Drought-tolerant landscapes have many benefits, from being water-efficient to protecting soil and the local ecosystem. These types of landscapes are a worthwhile investment for any homeowner as they also reduce water bills and require less fertilizer and pesticide use. 

Choosing drought-tolerant landscapes requires careful planning. First, make sure you know what type of soil you have on your property. A rocky or hard packed soil will discourage plant growth and look unattractive. Therefore, mulch and a drought-tolerant ground cover are recommended. 

When designing your landscape, try to avoid plants that require a lot of water. Instead, choose plants that need less water and require minimal maintenance. These plants may even add aesthetic appeal to your home and can be an attractive selling point.

In addition to enhancing curb appeal, drought-tolerant landscapes also show you care about the environment. Choosing native plants will help you save water and maintain the local ecosystem. Native plants will also protect your property against pests and diseases. These plants also have a natural ability to survive in less water than their non-resistant counterparts.

What can drought-tolerant landscapes look like? 

The Landscape Library has rounded up 10 of the most contemporary and elegant drought-tolerant landscapes located on the West coast with a touch of nature and simplicity.


Photography by Richard Barnes & Marion Brenner. Architecture by Fernau + Hartman Architects

The Santa Ynez Valley is the perfect California wine country getaway. It’s home to world-class wineries with beautiful views and delicious wines, old Danish towns with flower-lined streets, a castle, a few beaches, the site of a rocket launch, ostriches, and plenty of great food.

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in Santa Ynez Valley, CA.


Photography by Matthew Millman Photography. Architecture by Aidlin Darling Design

With a cosmopolitan history thanks to gold, railroads and later the rise of technology, San Francisco has no shortage of things to see and do. Visitors are drawn to the city’s steep streets lined with historic cable cars, as well as the magnificent Victorian architecture, fascinating museums and wonderful waterfront areas. But perhaps there are few sights as iconic as the Golden Gate Bridge or Alcatraz.

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in San Francisco, CA.

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Photography by Paul Body. Architecture by Soheil Nakhshab

Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or a culture buff, San Diego’s attractions are sure to satisfy your travel cravings. For nature-lovers, the city offers over 70 miles of palm-lined beaches and dozens of mountain parks offering desert hikes, beach walks, and watersports. Culture aficionados will find the city’s cultural epicenter in Balboa Park, which is home to 18 incredible museums and other attractions.

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in San Diego, CA.


Architecture by McGlashan Architecture

A hidden gem surrounded by breathtaking scenery, Mill Valley has an array of unique attractions to please visitors of all interests. From a quiet hike in the redwood forests to a bustling film festival, this town has a little something for everyone. Known for its low-key celebrity residents like Robin Williams and Stevie Nicks, Mill Valley is also home to delicious restaurants, cute shops, epic trails, and great art.

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in Mill Valley, CA.

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Photography by: Shawn Bishop. Architecture by Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Ruben S. Ojeda Architects.

From a historic beach pier and a famous carousel to art galleries, restaurants, and shopping, Santa Monica has an abundance of fun tourist attractions. Its most popular attraction, however, is arguably its 3.5 miles of soft, golden-sand coastline and the beach-side Santa Monica Pier. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of food options ranging from hole-in-the-wall Mexican joints to casual cafes and upscale farm-to-table dining destinations. 

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in Santa Monica, CA.


Photography by Mariko Reed. Architecture by Onion Flats Architecture

There are tons of fun things to do in Oakland. While it’s often lumped in with the nearby city of San Francisco, this bustling Bay Area hub has its own culture and history to share. From unique feats of architecture to a plethora of natural open spaces. Green space lovers will love the tranquil ambiance of Lake Merritt, which is popular among locals for picnicking, walking, and relaxing.

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in Oakland, CA.


Photography by Kodiak Greenwood, Claudio Santini, Paul Dyer, Roland Bishop, JD Peterson. Architecture by Feldman Architecture

With gorgeous natural areas, a charming town that oozes European charm, and plenty of things to do, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a must-visit California coastal getaway. Whether you’re here for a day or two or planning a longer vacation, the charming town packs an extraordinary amount of things to see and do into its tiny footprint.

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA.


Photography by Joe Fletcher Architecture by Malcolm Davis Architecture

The city is a hotspot for food lovers and wine connoisseurs as it houses many unique restaurants and wine tasting rooms. Another of the fun things to do in Healdsburg is kayaking on the Russian River. This activity can be done year-round but the best time is between May and September. The clear water of the river is home to diverse flora and fauna. You can spot wildlife like blue herons, kingfishers and bald eagles as you paddle along.

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in Healdsburg, CA.

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Photography by Matthew Millman. Architecture by Assembledge+

The sprawling Southern California city is the center of film and TV production, with studios like Paramount and Universal offering behind-the-scenes tours. If you want to see the real side of Los Angeles, head to Venice Beach where you’ll find street performers and a boardwalk lined with restaurants and shops. It’s an authentic slice of California culture that often appears on tv and in films. In the neighborhood, Abbot Kinney Boulevard offers excellent boutique shopping and great restaurants.

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA.


Photography by Michael Weschler, Laure Joliet

With stunning views of LA and the Ballona Wetlands, Bluffs Creek Trail is a family-friendly hike that allows dogs. The hike starts off flat and gradually climbs past a babbling stream and through the shaded chaparral. The trail eventually veers into a more desert-like setting where you can view the remains of a former home and a natural waterfall.

Scenic hikes in Los Angeles have something for everyone from novice to expert. Depending on the route you choose, you can trek along paved trails, fire roads, and rugged terrain. Enjoy the sights of native flora and fauna and a wide variety of wildlife.

Click here to view Vacation Rentals on VRBO in Los Angeles, CA.

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