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Guide To A Three-Day Weekend In Idyllwild

idyllwild california header
(credit: Idyllwild California)

A three-day weekend is the perfect chance to get out of the city and back to nature. With its gorgeous forest environment and small town vibe, Idyllwild is the perfect place to visit for a weekend full of outdoor playtime that is just the right distance from home. Hiking, mountain biking, delicious dining and a booming art scene offer a rich experience perfect for a memorable trip. With special winter lodging deals and a chance to breathe the crisp, clean air of the San Jacinto Wilderness, now is the time to plan a three-day trip to Idyllwild.

Idyllwild Fire -- Street Team Submission
(credit: Mike H./UGC/CBS)

Idyllwild Nature Center
25225 Highway 243
Idyllwild, CA 92549
(951) 659-3850

The Idyllwild Nature Center is surrounded by enough natural amenities, in addition to those offered by the Nature Center itself, that visitors could spend an entire day at this one location. The Nature Center is surrounded by trails for hiking and biking, and the nature shop has trail maps, books, stuffed animals and local art available for purchase. If the weather permits, there is plenty of space to play in the snow, and pets are welcome to join in the fun. The Idyllwild Nature Center is located about a mile off of Highway 243 as you head into Idyllwild, so a visit might be best planned on your way into Idyllwild.

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(credit: Idyllwild Inn)

Idyllwild Inn
54300 Village Center Road
Idyllwild, CA 92549
(888) 659-2552

With rustic cabins and suites, and theme rooms like Old West, French Country and seasonal motifs, the Idyllwild Inn temporarily transports guests to another time and place. Located in the heart of the San Jacinto Wilderness, the Idyllwild Inn is the perfect place to stay while hiking and mountain biking through gorgeous woodlands. On certain weekends in January through March, visitors can take advantage of the Idyllwild Inn's winter special where guests buy two nights and get a third night for free - perfect for a three-day retreat. The Idyllwild Inn's top-notch service and close proximity to local eateries makes it a perfect place to set up base camp for a long weekend in the woods.

cafe aroma
(credit: Lisa C. / Yelp)

Cafe Aroma
54750 N. Circle Drive
Idyllwild, CA 92549
(951) 659-5212

For a hip, artsy dining experience, visitors to Idyllwild can feast on fabulous French, Italian and Asian cuisine at Cafe Aroma. This Idyllwild eatery promotes local farmers and brewers, in addition to showcasing the work of local artists via rotating exhibits. Open every day at 7am, Cafe Aroma serves up must-have espresso from custom-roasted beans, and boasts an extensive and delicious dinner menu cooked by highly trained chefs. In the middle of a rustic mountain town, Cafe Aroma offers a world-class dining experience.

Related:Tips For Keeping Your Kids Active In OC

Idyllwild County Park
(credit: Darren S. / Yelp)

Idyllwild County Park
54000 Riverside County
Playground Road
Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549
(951) 659-2656

Idyllwild County Park contains over 200 acres of both open space and woodlands, making it a great place to connect with nature and sled in the snow during the crisp winter months. Five trails of varying difficulty offer visitors some natural, invigorating exercise as they enjoy stunning views of the surrounding forest. Bouldering is also possible for those seeking a more extreme physical challenge. Located within walking distance from town, guests can conveniently take a lunch break or do some shopping before returning to the park for more adventurous winter activities.

Idyllwild Snow1
(credit: Melissa Maynarich/CBS)

Singerton Fine Arts
54245 N. Circle Drive
Idyllwild, CA 92549
(951) 659-2504

Don't let the countryside town vibe fool you - Idyllwild has a thriving art scene, including local artisanal work and the breathtaking paintings and sculptures that can be found at Singerton Fine Arts. The inexhaustible creativity displayed by award-winning California artist Ronald Singerton and his wife Darla is on full display, featuring spectacular landscape paintings, abstract paintings and sculptures, jewelry and photography. Glass art and wall sculptures are also exhibited, accenting the wide range of media utilized by this creative giant. After a day or two experiencing nature, visitors to Idyllwild can treat themselves to some high culture at Singerton Fine Arts.

Related:OC Art Enthusiasts To Follow On Twitter

David McDonald is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on

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