Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

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**You will have to visit as an airbnb guest to see the home**

Go to their Airbnb page

Make sure to check out our list of hidden gems in Alpine!

About the Shire

You would not expect to find such a magical home next to a busy highway. With a thick wall of trees to protect it, it is easy for the observer to get lost in its majesty and forget the hustle of the surrounding world.

Known as the ‘Shire’, this home was built in 1972 & designed by the famous & whimsical artist James Hubbell. Hubbell began his artistic career as a sculptor and slowly moved into architecture.

He set himself apart from the rest by maintaining designs that have a whimsical feel with a large emphasis on nature. He states that travelling & learning about new cultures largely influences his design work.

Although only a mere 780 square feet, the Shire is packed with intricate details that create a very natural flow throughout the home. Take note of the mosaic glasswork, sculptures and strange brickwork. This home is truly a stunning work of art.

Hubbell has been quoted saying that “the intention was to create a home that continually reveals itself, challenging rather than satisfying his  clients’ expectations.”

Personal Experience: I was THRILLED when I received an invitation to visit the Shire I have been a big fan of James Hubbell’s work for a long time now. You can view one of his public pieces of work at the Crestridge Ecological Reserve and Briercrest Park.


The current owner, Chucks Samples, was extremely kind and gave us a thorough walk-through of the home while revealing back-story: apparently a family of 6 lived here for 30 years!! That had to have been quite a tight squeeze but I imagine they wouldn’t have stayed for so long if they didn’t truly enjoy it.

Right below the home is a creek and forest which is the perfect spot to just close your eyes and meditate. I can only imagine how stimulating it must be to live in a home like this. It seriously looks as if it is part of a fantasy movie set!

If you are interested in staying here, the home is currently being used as an Airbnb! I have provided the link above to help you get into contact with the owner. Just keep in mind that the main intention is to help preserve this home, so only quiet and respectful people should apply.

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  • Anonymous
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    There is another Hubbell house in the Julian area that is similar but a must see. There is a giant turtle in the yard. It’s on top of a hill past a round house on Oak Land Drive. The turn is near the red Trading post off main hwy.

    April 17, 2019

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