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.
Things to do in Idyllwild
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.
Day Trips from Idyllwild
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!
Transportation in Idyllwild
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.
Vacation Rentals in Idyllwild
Save hundreds with a vacation home rental from Tripping.com and forget the hotel room. For the ultimate getaway, Idyllwild offers 582 affordable vacation rentals with a price to match your budget and accommodation needs. Prices in Idyllwild start at an average price of €171 a night with long-term rentals averaging €25 a month.These vacation rentals offer a range of amenities, so you’ll feel right at home. For those looking to stay in a corporate rental, 510 of Idyllwild’s rentals offer high speed WiFi Internet so you can easily keep in touch with your company or team. Go for a swim at one of the 21 properties complete with pool or jacuzzi, or relax with a night of cable TV in any of our 513 vacation home rentals.Traveling with your dog or cat? Choose from 283 pet-friendly rentals in Idyllwild that allow you to bring your extended family along.Tripping.com’s home rentals offer far more room and comfort than a hotel, providing a safe and spacious place for you and your pets. Many properties allow you to book directly online, so once you find that perfect vacation rental, you’ll be all set to go!
Search properties from 4 vacation rental sites in Idyllwild where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, Expedia, and Booking.com. There are 283 HomeAway rentals, 119 Expedia short term rentals and 109 Booking.com vacation rentals.