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Lovely dining spot for lunch or dinner. Near our other top Idyllwild favorite spot: Ferro. Be sure to make reservations! This is a highly popular spot and gets booked up early on busy weekends. Check schedule for when they are open. Fantastic menu. Cozy, eclectic vibe. Be sure to check out the gallery next door too!
Our favorite place in Idyllwild. Higher end gourmet menu of delicious options. The quality of food competes with the best of what you might find in the city - but you're in a tiny town at 8500 ft elevation. Book in advance. This is one of Idyllwild's most popular dining spots. Go Thursday night's for Jazz night. Beautiful back patio dining area with heat lamps.
Located in a beautiful mountain setting, the Idyllwild Nature Center on California Highway 243 combines displays about local nature and wildlife with trailheads for hiking. If you want to picnic, you can do so on the benches outside. If your time is limited, take the Perimeter Trail, which is a beautiful short loop that comes out from the trees to stunning views of the mountains. The Idyllwild Nature Center also offers this detailed map of the area’s trails.
Nestled high up in Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild has always been a popular getaway — first as a seasonal destination for the indigenous Cahuilla people, later as a sanatorium for patients recovering from respiratory diseases, and today as a nature lover’s retreat dotted with postcard-perfect rental cabins. The mile-high community, nestled between majestic Tahquitz Peak and nearby Suicide Rock, has garnering a reputation as a perfect weekend getaway among hikers, campers, rock climbers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. They are all drawn to its network of local hiking trails, ranging from a leisurely 1.7-mile route to a serious leg-busting 20.5-mile trail. Best yet, when you’re done with enjoying the great outdoors, you’ll return to a quirky, artsy little mountainside community filled with surprisingly good dining options and enriching cultural events.
Most visitors to Idyllwild-Pine Cove come by way of Los Angeles or San Diego, making the scenic two-hour drive. Alternatively, visitors can fly into Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), where numerous car rental options are immediately available upon arrival, shortening the drive to a little over an hour.
You will want to rent a car if you aren’t already driving in; Idyllwild is a small town, but rental cabins and homes are strewn around its perimeter and not always within walking distance from the town center. Additionally, most trailheads require a short drive to get to.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise Idyllwild-Pine Cove’s mountain climate can vary considerably depending upon the time of year. T-shirts and shorts are perfectly comfortable during the span of warm months — June through September — when daytime temperatures are in the 80s Fahrenheit and nights remain in the 50s. Winter months call for layers and jackets, with highs in the 50s and lows dipping into the 30s, and rain and snow regularly fall from late November through late March. If you visit during the more temperate months, don’t forget to pack sunglasses, sunscreen, and a long-sleeve outer layer. The higher altitude can be deceiving, and it’s easy to get sunburned even during cooler days.
Before heading out to explore Idyllwild’s numerous hiking trails, drop into this nature center to get a quick primer about the flora and fauna native to the San Jacinto Mountains. Park rangers are not only happy to share hiking recommendations, but also offer details about the fascinating history of the native Cahuilla people.
This 2.5-mile loop just outside town is an ideal introductory hike for most people. The trail steadily climbs more than 600 feet, with enormous rock formations to explore along the way and colorful wildflowers everywhere during spring. Quiet and observant hikers are sure to spot woodpeckers, Steller's jays, sunbathing lizards, and squeaking chipmunks. Also be sure to stop to smell the trees: Jeffrey pine bark smells like butterscotch, ponderosa pine like vanilla, and incense cedar like pencils.
Visit the San Jacinto Ranger Station in the center of Idyllwild to get your free hiking permit; day permits are required for all trails. Permits are located outside the station and available after hours.
This 14,000-acre park’s namesake is part of the second highest mountain range in Southern California, and the trails it contains lead you through subalpine meadows and forests to stunning vistas. The popular 4.5-mile Round Valley loop trail takes you past a historic, nearly 100-year-old ranger station.