Looking for a romantic weekend in the woods? Well, that sounds like a horror movie waiting to happen, but we’ll happily be your adventure guides. Situated in the San Jacinto Mountains just two hours southeast of Los Angeles and two hours Northeast of San Diego, you’ll find that Idyllwild is the perfect destination for a quick Southern California trip.
Although you won’t be too far from civilization, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped deep into the wilderness. With a population just over 3,500, the city is as remote as you want it to be, offering plenty of opportunities to get lost in nature as well as a popular main street full of shops and bars.
We spent a few days there last February and got there just in time to see the snow. A welcome break from San Diego’s consistent climate.
We stayed at the Fireside Inn and soaked up a few snow days. Our cabin featured a kitchen so we were able to cook our own meals and enjoy some wine hassle-free. We also raided the front lobby for old school VHS tapes (including Moulin Rouge, Ghost, and A.I.–you’re jealous, we know).
Yes, our cabin was “pine cone” themed. Yes, we loved every dorky minute of it. When we weren’t huddled together for warmth in our cabin, we were out feasting.
Homestyle biscuits and gravy–what more could you need on vacation? If you find yourself in town, we definitely recommend Cafe Aroma. We walked up the hill to grab dinner there one night after reading good things about it on Yelp and were not disappointed. Live music, steaks with gorgonzola cream sauce, and wine awaited us. With full bellies and happy thoughts we teetered back to our cabin in the snow. But if you’re looking for a more physical experience, there are tons of hiking trails and ways to get active in the area as well.
Sometimes you have to go off trail in order to feel gnarly. Can’t you tell by Jay’s beanie that she’s a pro wintertime hiker?
All in all, Idyllwild is a perfect place to spend a vacation. Whether you’re with your partner or traveling with the whole family, you won’t regret spending a weekend in this picturesque mountain town.