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There are a whole lot of things to do in Idyllwild California for fun. Idyllwild is nestled in the San Jacinto mountains – set among tall pines, sweet-smelling cedars, and Legendary rocks.

The town has kept its small horizon quite unique for anyone to come and have a good time, both with family and friends.

Locally owned shops and restaurants are some of the major things that you will mainly find here. The town offers some of the best hike trails for a quick weekend of hiking with family and friends. 

If you are ready to get away from all the traffic jams, and noisy city lifestyle, then a simple trip to Idyllwild California might just be the best decision you’ll make for yourself today.

Best & Fun Things to Do in Idyllwild, California

Below are some things to do in Idyllwild, California

1. Have fun at Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness

Unique among other designated areas, the San Jacinto Wilderness is well divided in two by the Mount San Jacinto State Park and its prestigious wilderness area. The entire place is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The boundary between the San Jacinto State Park and its corresponding wilderness meets with the grand San Jacinto Mountains (from 6,000 feet to 10,000 feet).

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Its flora and fauna vary from desert to alpine. Cliffs and ridges descend dramatically from pine-covered peaks in the northern half of the wilderness.

High mountain plateaus shelter lush, stream-splashed meadows surrounded by magnificent forests in the central section. The southern area often regarded as the “Desert Divide” lies densely covered with stands of chaparral.

You’ll find several deep, eroded, boulder-strewn desert canyons on this divide’s eastern flank. The Mountain Station features a restaurant, gift shop, snack bar, and the state park visitor center.

In the Long Valley, a short walk from the station, you will find:

  • The Long Valley Ranger Station,
  • A picnic area with barbecue stoves and restrooms,
  • Aski center,
  • A self-guiding nature trail,
  • and Desert View Trail

The Desert View trail offers a panoramic clear view of the high country, including its several peaks over 10,000 feet in elevation. You can as well choose to start your hike through the hiking trail system from this point.

2. Visit Fratello’s Ristorante

Fratello’s Ristorante offers both locals and visitors its delicious Italian cuisine in the heart of the town. The restaurant is a family-run eatery owned by four (4) brothers who have been working in restaurants and cooking Italian cuisine for over fifteen years.

These brothers came together to found Fratello’s Ristorante in order to bring authentic Italian food to the people of the San Jacinto Mountains.

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Credit: Squarespace

Thus, one of the main goals of the restaurant is to serve fresh and authentic fare and wood-fired pizza that gives customers a feel of Italy. The Fratello’s Ristorante and Pizzeria menu includes an array of pasta, pizzas, baked pasta, veal dishes, and chicken dishes. 

The Fratello’s Ristorante is located at 54295 Ridgeview Dr, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549, United States.

3. Take a peek at Idyllwild Nature Center

Sited on Highway 243, a mile northwest of Idyllwild, Idyllwild Nature Center offers a variety of study field trips, environmental educational programs, and guided tours, all of which can be scheduled by first booking an appointment where you’d be directed to a program that best fits your specific needs.

Its programs are more focused on orientating guests on the Cahuilla Native culture, the history of the San Jacinto Mountains, mountain ecology, habitats, flora and fauna

Various seasonal events are held at Idyllwild Nature Center, including the well-known Lemon Lily Restoration Day, Butterfly Daze, Trail of the Acorn Day, and Wildflower Day. You can even bring your pet along for the adventure.

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Credit: ExploringRworld

Each year, the Idyllwild Nature Center schedules a series of seasonal events that locals and tourists welcome. Some of the most known events include the Butterfly Daze, Wildflower Day, Lemon Lily Restoration Day, and Trail of the Acorn Day.

Each event features different exhibits and learning opportunities that focus on Mother Nature and its beautiful creatures. The auditorium in which many of these events occur is also available to rent for special occasions.

There is so much to learn and discover at the Idyllwild Nature Center in Idyllwild, California. Visitors have the chance to learn about the local flora, fauna, culture and how it has changed over the centuries.

They can also understand the San Jacinto Mountain region and the various habitats, landscapes, and unique rock formations throughout the area.

The Idyllwild Nature Center offers something for people of all ages, both children and adults alike. When visiting the Idyllwild area, be sure to plan a visit to the Idyllwild Nature Center.

Idyllwild is a town made up of many eclectic artists with pottery, glassworks, spiritual arts, jewelry, and everything in between. Among the trees in the very beautiful park is the perfect combination of art and nature.

This place also offers an eclectic mix of ceramics, paintings, glass, jewelry, woodworking, photography, fibers, live music, and many more.

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Credit: ExploringRworld

The Town Gallery is located at 54425 N Circle Dr, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549, United States.

5. Have fun at Middle Ridge Winery

When winemaker, Chris Johnston, envisioned starting a boutique winery, he was still far away from the hassles of everyday city life, amid the tall pines and sweet-smelling cedars of the popular artistic community of Idyllwild, California.

The friendliness of the small town inspired Chris to bring people together through the enjoyment of handcrafted, artisan Idyllwild wine. He traveled to vineyards all over California in search of the perfect grapes for the Middle Ridge Winery.

Today, the wine produced here is made in Temecula, while the original Innovation Lab in Idyllwild continues to be the source of new ideas for a fine winery.

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A down-to-earth approach to wine and the people who enjoy it makes Middle Ridge wine the perfect match for every conversation.

The philosophy here is quite simple – have a conversation with everyone who comes into contact with the winery. This is exactly what the company likes to do with Middle Ridge wine, claiming that “a bottle of wine always seems to start a conversation”.

Middle Ridge is a wine cellar headquartered in the mountain arts community of Idyllwild, California. The friendliness of the small town inspired the winemaker, Chris Johnston, to bring people together with artisanal and artisanal wines in an intimate setting.

Making good wine is a lot of fun. Winning prizes makes it even more fun. But the real reward comes with the many positive feedbacks from both old and new customers. Thus, Middle Ridge Winery hope wishes to invite you to try out one of their many fine wines and let them know what you think of it.

Middle Ridge Winery is located at 54301 N Circle Dr. Idyllwild-Pine Cove, Californie, 92549 États-Unis.

6. Explore Idyllwild Area Historical Society Museum

The award-winning Idyllwild Area Historical Society is a volunteer organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the San Jacinto Mountains.

The Idyllwild Area Historical Society Museum is owned and operated by the award-winning volunteer Idyllwild Area Historical Society organization, dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the history of the San Jacinto Mountains.

The museum’s rustic cabin from 1930 is home to several exhibits related to several mountain communities, including Idyllwild, Pinewood, Garner Valley, Alandale, Mountain Center, and Pine Cove. 

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Credit: TravelInspiredLiving

There are also rotating exhibits on display at the museum to offer something new for visitors to see. Other exhibit subjects include mountain recreation, cattle ranching, mountain road travel, filmmaking, logging camps, and more.

Idyllwild Area Historical Society Museum is located at  54470 N Circle Dr, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549, United States.

7. Take a bite at La Casita Restaurant, Idyllwild, California

La Casita Restaurant is a welcoming restaurant in the cozy mountain village of Idyllwild. It is an eatery in the quaint small town sited close to the San Jacinto Mountains, providing visitors with a unique dining experience among the many pine trees and wildlife the area has to offer.

Las Casita Restaurant offers dishes and drinks for everyone with a menu that features tacos, nachos, tostada, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas, tamale, chimichangas, and lots more. Breakfast dishes are served all day as well.

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Credit: GetBento

Friends and families can enjoy a meal inside or sit outdoors on the deck, maybe while enjoying a glass of Michelada.

The La Casita Restaurant is located at 54650 N Circle Dr, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549, United States.

8. Expore Idyllwild Park, Idyllwild, California

Idyllwild campground is located in Mount San Jacinto State Park, between Hemet and Palm Springs. The San Jacinto Mountains are well known for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway that runs from near Palms Springs to 8,500 feet near the 10,834-foot San Jacinto Peak summit.

Mount San Jacinto State Park’s campgrounds and headquarters are on the west side of the mountain range, along Highway 243 and 74. Trails lead through the park’s wilderness area and connect with the tramway.

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Credit: TripAdvisor

Visitors to Idyllwild Campground enjoy hiking on local trails. A majority of the park is designated as wilderness. 

9. Relax at Lake Fulmor, Idyllwild, California

Lake Fulmor is a delightful oasis for both people and wildlife.

On the trail winding around the lake, look for ground squirrels, tree frogs, butterflies, and dragonflies; listen for the raucous chatter of Steller’s jays. Fully accessible pier, picnic tables, and toilet.

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Credit: Mapio

In 1980, the US Forest Service planted a giant sequoia sapling in the picnic area on the northern shore of Lake Fulmor. The tree has since propagated into an entire grove of giant sequoias collectively called Lake Fulmor Grove.

It is now one of only two artificial giant sequoia groves known to be breeding free of human intervention. The other is Black Mountain Grove, located at the head of Indian Creek.

10. Visit Palm Springs

Palm Springs, a city in the Sonoran Desert of Southern California, is known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses, and spas.

The place is also well noted for its many fine examples of midcentury-modern architecture.

Its core shopping district along Palm Canyon Drive features vintage boutiques, interior design shops, and restaurants. The surrounding Coachella Valley offers hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails to visitors.

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Credit:Miramonteresort

Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Colorado Desert’s Coachella Valley.

11. Take a sip at Mile High Cafe

Welcome to Mile High Cafe and its newly remodeled interior! This is a family-owned restaurant that is dedicated to serving you good food along with really exceptional services.

You can expect a friendly atmosphere, pet-friendly outdoor patio, and overflow parking if needed.

Feel free to visit the cafe for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can rest assured to be served the very best in American and Korean dishes. You also have free access to WiFi and Entertainment.

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Credit: Idyllwild Business Directory

Mile High Cafe is located in Southern California’s Idyllwild-Pine Cove region, within the San Jacinto Mountains.

12. Pay a visit to Eastside Reservoir Project, Idyllwild, California

The Eastside Reservoir Project is an engineering marvel. If modern feats of human ingenuity often fascinate you, then you are guaranteed to have loads of fun here.

The three enormous dams between the Diamond Valley and Domenigoni mountains stand tall as the indomitable human spirit hallmarks. The Eastside Reservoir has played a vital role in making the state water-sufficient.

The beautiful surroundings add to the precision of its superior engineering in a stunning juxtaposition.

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Walk, hike, stroll or even camp in these regions, and return with lots of life-long memories.

The Eastside Reservoir is built in the saddle of two mountains and located in the Domenigoni, or Diamond valleys, in Riverside County, about 90 miles (145km) southeast of Los Angeles, California, US.

13. Explore Gastrognome, Idyllwild, CA

If you’re still in search of some of the best things to do in Idyllwild California for fun, then you’re definitely going to like this place. The food here is so so good!

Gastronomy studies the relationship between food and culture, the art of preparing and serving rich, delicate, and delicious food, the style of cooking of a particular region, and the science of good eating. One who is well versed in gastronomy is called a gastronome.

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That being said, here at Restaurant Gastrognome, you will likely observe that their menu is quite extensive. There is a separate menu for each area of Gastronomy, that is to say, a menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and wine.

Restaurant Gastrognome first opened its doors for Memorial Day Weekend in 1973. 

The Restaurant Gastrognome is located at 54381 Ridgeview Dr, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549, United States.

14. Have fun at Hike Devil’s Slide Trail

The Devil’s Slide Trail is a five (5) kilometer heavily trafficked out and backed trail that is located near Pacifica, California, and features some really beautiful wildflowers.

The track is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching. Dogs can also use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Devil’s Slide gives hikers, runners, bicyclists, and equestrians access to the rocky heights of Devil’s Slide above the Pacific Ocean. At provided overlooks, trail users may rest on benches, gaze through observation scopes, and take in the view of the rocky coastal waters below.

Interpretive signs are placed at key points along the trail and describe the history, geography, and marine and avian communities that live and migrate here.

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Credit: VisitHalfMoonBay

The trail is paved with separate lanes for hikers and directional bike traffic. Many convenient amenities are provided, such as pet waste stations, bike racks, drinking fountains, and restrooms.

The Devil’s Slide Trail is an easy coastal walk between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay’s Coastside. It’s not a particularly long hike, nor a technical one, but it has some of the best ocean views of any hike in the Bay Area.

15. Visit Artspresso Art Gallery

Come and savor the taste of delicate art at the Artspresso Gallery in Idyllwild.

This Art Gallery specializes in paintings and ceramics and hand-made jewelry by local and not-so-local artists. Celeste and Gerry have owned this gallery for 18 years. Gerry High’s specialty is paintings and murals.

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Credit: ArtinIdyllwild

The City is a small venue with a handful of curated artworks. The excellence of these pieces will spellbind you. They have a wide array of works on different media.

Pleasing photographs, paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and ceramics by local artists adorn the walls. In addition, some items from international artists augment the hard work of the regional artists.

16. Explore Suicide Rock

Suicide Rock is a granite outcrop near Idyllwild, California, popular with rock climbers. Over three hundred climbing routes have been described. It is located near Tahquitz Peak.

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Come and enjoy the high adrenaline boost by rock climbing at Suicide Rock.

They have more than 300 courses here to challenge climbers of all levels. Alternately, if you are not in the mood for such an intense exercise, stroll along the Suicide Rock Trail.

The 6-mile stretch energizes you with its fresh air and warm atmosphere. Everyone seems to have a gala time walking here, from the young to the old.

17. Have fun at Tahquitz Peak Trail

Tahquitz Peak Loop is a 12.4-mile lightly trafficked loop trail near Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California, featuring beautiful wildflowers and is rated as difficult. The track is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

The hike up to this lookout tower through the San Jacinto Wilderness offers some of the most beautiful vistas in Southern California, including the Salton Sea to the southeast. Tahquitz’s name originates from the Cahuilla god Tahquish, who believes the peak to be the god’s home.

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A hike on the Tahquitz Peak Trail is one of the most popular things to do in Idyllwild. For a good reason, too.

The panoramic visuals on both sides are stunning. Once again, you can stomp your four-legged friends with you. If you are crying at just the thought of having to walk the entire trail, they also let you cover the track on horseback. This trail is unique due to the fantastic wildflowers dotting the sides.

18. Visit The Rustic Theatre

Movie lovers can enjoy some popcorn and their favorite Hollywood flicks at the Rustic Theatre. The 117-seat hall houses superior theatre equipment to give the audience supreme cinematic experiences.

These hi-tech facilities include a wide-screen, concert high-quality sound system, and a well-designed stage.

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The Rustic Theatre is located at 54290 N Circle Dr, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549, United States.

19. Explore Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in Palm Springs, California, is the largest rotating aerial tramway globally. It was opened in September 1963 to get from the floor of the Coachella Valley to near the top of San Jacinto Peak and was constructed in rugged Chino Canyon.

Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. This legendary tramway first opened its doors to the public in 1963. Connecting the Coachella Valley to San Jacinto Peak, you can relish the beautiful scenery on either side along your ride.

Once you hit the peak, you can hike on several trails crisscrossing the slopes. Some of these are suitable even for novices. However, it will be better to try the others only if you are a seasoned campaigner.

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Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is located at 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, United States.

20. Explore Humber Park

Humber Bay Park West is a narrow park jutting out into the water of Lake Ontario in the City’s west end. It’s an excellent spot for bird watchers hoping to find interesting waterfowl and shorebirds.

Along the shores of Humber Bay West, you’ll also spot a wide variety of ducks overwintering in Lake Ontario. Combine your walkthrough of Humber Bay Park West with a loop around Humber Bay Park East for a great day of hiking.

Several parking lots and paved pathways make this an accessible park.

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Though brimming with natural havens, the crowning jewel in Idyllwild’s bouquet is Humber Park. The trails are delightful, allowing hikers of all levels a healthy trek through the area. You can amplify your fun by leading over your pathway into the San Jacinto Wilderness region.

Once you get here, you can stroll carefree amid the majestic landscapes! The ideal way to connect with nature is in a new union.

Humber Park is located at 24559 Fern Valley Rd, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549, United States.

Conclusion

Idyllwild, California, the small mountain town, is nestled within the San Jacinto Mountains and offers a nice break from busy cities.

Some of the best things to do in Idyllwild California for fun range from hiking and other outdoor activities, to eating at delicious local eateries, shopping, and more.

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore Mount San Jacinto State Park, Idyllwild Park, andLake Fulmor. Other attractions include boutique shops, art galleries, and a winery for wine lovers.

It is hard to believe that a sleepy town with fewer than 4,000 residents could be a major tourist destination, however, that is what Idyllwild in Southern California has become.

Millions of visitors fly to this city to enjoy its natural beauty and small-town charm. Surrounded by glorious peaks and cradled in lush green forests, the town offers stunning views.

Many exotic plant and animal species add to the excitement. The mystery behind its popularity makes Idyllwild an allure for tourists.

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