Nestled high in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains, located near Pine Cove, Mile High Idyllwild is a nature lover’s paradise resplendent with Pine, Fir, Oak and Manzanita trees and brilliantly colored wild flowers. There are over 200 miles of hiking trails suitable for any activity level, from a leisurely stroll to a strenuous, challenging climb. Mountain biking enthusiasts will enjoy some of the best trails in Southern California.
At heart, Idyllwild is an artist community and is home to more galleries per square mile than many larger cities. Idyllwild is also home to one of the finest residential arts high schools in the country, Idyllwild Arts Foundation. The school offers instruction in music, theater, dance, visual art, creative writing, moving pictures, interarts, and fashion design. Visitors are invited to attend a variety of theater, art and musical performances hosted at the school. Further evidence of Idyllwild’s reverence for art is the recently completed installation of a public art project called Deer Sightings, featuring 22 full-sized recyclable aluminum deer, all painted by local artists. The deer are installed at 12 locations in Idyllwild and Pine Cove and represent a variety of themes. The Art Alliance of Idyllwild commissioned the project and hosts many events year-round, including the popular Art Walk & Wine Tasting held each October.
Idyllwild Shopping and Restaurants
For a small town, Idyllwild has a PHENOMENAL number of restaurants offering a variety of cuisines. Our newest, Ferro Restaurant, offers gourmet Italian/American cuisine set in a beautiful building and outdoor area. All pasta and pizza are made from scratch. A stone and copper 700-degree pizza oven in the back-patio area creates perfect pizza in 3 minutes. Ferro has live music many nights. Café Aroma, located less than a block from the Inn, offers exceptional breakfast, lunch and dinner with an artsy, trendy vibe. Aroma usually has live music and features local art and photography and has been featured in the LA times and Sunset magazine. Gastrognome, located in the heart of the Idyllwild Village, features delicious steak, seafood, poultry, and salads in a cozy, cabin like setting. Idyology has unique and delicious burgers, salads and mixed drinks in a fun Victorian meets rustic hipster vibe. Idyllwild Pizza Company offers some of the best pizza in Idyllwild as well as sandwiches, salads and draft beer. La Casita has THE BEST Mexican food around with owner Roberto's family recipes. All restaurants are located a short drive, or walk, from the Grand Idyllwild Lodge. The Idyllwild Brewpub is our very own micro-brewery with incredible beer and gourmet bar food. Middleridge Winery is also a fun place to wine taste, listen to live music and explore their huge art gallery.
Idyllwild Nature Center
The Idyllwild Nature Center offers many exhibits and education programs throughout the year. Located just minutes from the Inn (1 mile northwest of Idyllwild), the Center offers field study trips, environmental education programs and guided tours by appointment. Programs focus on mountain ecology, habitats, flora and fauna, Cahuilla Native culture and the history of the San Jacinto Mountains.If you’re looking for a convenient, reasonably easy hike, the Nature Center is perfect. The trails behind the Nature Center are short, relatively easy and have great views.
Idyllwild 2nd Saturday Art Fairs
More than 35 artists and musicians invite you to join us at the ICC property under the trees for the six monthly events. Held on the 2nd Saturday of each month, May - October, 10am - 5pm, this event includes ceramics, paintings, photography, jewelry, glass art, fibers, woodworks, and other types of original artwork for sale. In addition, local musicians provide a lyrical background to our event.Our primary goal is to introduce you to our beautiful mountain community, whether you purchase art at the fair, shop downtown, or eat at our amazing restaurants.
Lake Hemet Birding and Fishing
Fishing enthusiasts will enjoy, Lake Hemet located a short 15-minute drive from Idyllwild. The lake is stocked with trout, bass, bluegill, and catfish; and a variety of boats are available to rent. Lake Hemet offers a breathtaking view of the San Jacinto Mountains and you’ll be in awestruck by the eagles and hawks that often soar overhead. Day use permits are available.
Bird Watching and Fishing at Lake Fulmor
Lake Fulmor is located 10 miles north of Idyllwild. Stroll the trail around the two-acre lake and enjoy local wildlife and birds. Visitors can also enjoy fishing in the lake which is stocked with Rainbow Trout by the Department of Fish and Game during the spring and summer months. Bring along a picnic lunch and settle in at one of the picnic areas complete with grills for your convenience. The idyllic setting makes for a wonderful afternoon communing with nature.Relax, explore, and read that novel, or simply enjoy the scent of pine, the clear blue sky and the wildlife surrounding you. Whatever your pleasure, Idyllwild is the perfect setting for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation.
Idyllwild Art and Entertainment
Listed below are some calendar-worthy events hosted in Idyllwild annually.
March Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema
May Idyllwild Earth Fair
May – October Second Saturday Art Fair
July Lemon Lily Festival
July - August Idyllwild Summer Concert Series
August Jazz in the Pines – 25th Year
October Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, Halloween Parade and Great Pumpkin Carnival