A short two-hour drive from Los Angeles to Riverside County will take you to Idyllwild, CA, a small town tucked into the San Jacinto mountains. Most known for its rocks, which attract climbers of all skill levels, and bustling art scene, this town’s idyllic scenery and small town atmosphere will make travelers feel as though they’ve discovered a well-kept secret.
The town of Idyllwild became known in the 20th century as a prime location for movie production. In the 1920s alone, over 20 feature films were shot here. In 1961, Elvis Presley visited the town to shoot the musical, “Kid Galahad”. Most recently, the town earned the distinction of being one of the “100 Best Small Art Towns in America”, as chosen by John Villani in his book by the same name.
Getting back in touch with nature is easy in Idyllwild, where various offerings abound. For most hikes and rock climbing activities, you will need an adventure pass. Pick one up for $5 at the Ranger’s Station at 54270 Pine Crest in Idyllwild.
Rock climbing is king in Idyllwild, as it boasts both Tahquitz Rock and Suicide Rock. They take the pseudo-award for the premiere multi-pitch traditional crags in Southern California and offer over 500 climbing routes for all levels. The climbing season for these rocks typically runs from late spring to late fall.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, but rock climbing isn’t your thing, Idyllwild has you covered. With hiking trails of varying length and difficulty, Humber Park is a good place to start. At this dog friendly park, you can hike with your pooch. For an amazing panoramic view, and a bit more mileage, take a hike to Suicide Rock via the Deer Springs trail. Don’t forget your adventure pass for this 6.6 mile (round trip) hike and bring plenty of water!
For kids and families looking for a more relaxing time, head over to the Idyllwild Nature Center, located just a mile off of Highway 243. Here, you can schedule an appointment for the environmental education program and guided tours or pack a lunch and eat at the picnic tables set among pine trees and local nature. Nature walks and natural history lectures are also offered every Saturday throughout the summer months.
The town hosts its annual Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, which was founded in 2009 by a collection of film enthusiasts, producers, writers, and entrepreneurs. Every January, film showings take place at the Rustic and Caine Theaters and artists are awarded for their work, with one award even being determined by audience ballot. Tickets to film showings can be purchased for $15.
Just an hour’s drive east will take you to Palm Springs, CA, a location known as the playground to the Hollywood stars. The resort city will astonish you with its abundance of spa retreats, golf courses, shops, and hot springs. You can even take an aerial tram to the top of San Jacinto mountain!
Getting to and around Idyllwild will require a car. If you’re coming from Los Angeles area, take Highway 10 East to Highway 243 South. To reach hiking areas and other activities, a short drive will do the trick. Downtown Idyllwild is great for walking, as you can explore the antique shops, restaurants, and art galleries by foot.
Tripping.com offers rentals in both Idyllwild and nearby Palm Springs. Those looking for a romantic night for two can cozy up in a cabin after a long day of outdoor activities. Family vacation-goers can choose from over 60 rentals that will be a win for both kids and parents alike. There are even some rental retreats within walking distance to hiking trails and rock climbing routes.
You can dine and shop in Idyllwild’s quaint downtown. With restaurants like Italian-inspired Café Aroma, where you can dine inside the wood cabin or outside on its deck, and the eclectic Idyology, which also features a lounge, you’re sure to find something for everyone. Specialty soap shops and antique stores help make the town ideal for a weekend getaway from the city.
Looking for a vacation rental in Idyllwild? Tripping.com has 288 vacation rental homes available in Idyllwild. You'll find 2 studios, 105 1-bedroom, 83 2-bedroom and 98 rentals with 3 or more bedrooms ranging from $70 a night. For extra convenience, many of these vacation homes can be booked directly online.
The average price of a nightly rental in Idyllwild is $206 while the average price of a weekly rental is $25. For those looking for more than a short term rental such as corporate rentals, extended stays or long term rentals, the average monthly price of a Idyllwild home is $25.
Wondering if you can bring your dog or cat along with you? There are 141 pet-friendly vacation rentals available in Idyllwild. In addition to accommodating pets, Idyllwild rentals offer a variety of amenities. In particular, 249 rentals have Internet and WiFi, 253 have TV and/or cable and 11 have a pool or hot tub.Search properties from 4 vacation rental sites in Idyllwild where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, Expedia, and Booking.com. There are 144 HomeAway rentals, 60 Expedia short term rentals and 51 Booking.com vacation rentals.