Big Bear Lake
This is Southern California’s high-country. Big Bear Lake sits at 7,000 feet and offers alpine adventures in every discipline – kayaking, paddle boarding, and waterskiing. But quietly over the last couple of years, the small tourist town has been adding trails to it’s already awesome system on the ridgelines that parallel the lake.
Insider tip: Traverse Skyline Trail end to end for an all-day mountain bike with incredible views of San Gorgonio and the Big Bear Valley. Afterward, celebrate your adventure with a round of craft margaritas and delicious mexican food at Hacienda Grill and Sports Bar.
Quieter and more subdued than it’s neighbor Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead’s vibe is all about relaxing fun. From the pet-friendly shops in the Village to the family friendly activities at SkyPark at Santa’s Village, the town is about a getaway that recharges you for the week ahead.
Insider tip: Stay at Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa and experience all the culture of a well-appointed basecamp.
While Julian is known for its orchards and the resulting sweets like pies and jams, the town is also home to visual artists, musicians, and writers, as well as a number of galleries displaying their work. Whether you feel a creative spark to grab your own easel and paint brushes and find a pretty vista, or are looking to add to your collection back home, spending time in Julian is sure to be inspiring.
Insider tip: Stay up late, grab a blanket, and head outdoors – Julian is one of the few places in the U.S. that is dark enough to enjoy viewing the Milky Way.
Joshua Tree has been working on transforming itself from a sleepy desert town to an oasis of artisans and adventurers. Still holding on to its hippie roots, Joshua Tree now boasts the kind of rural spot urban dwellers seek. From home-cooked meals at Crossroads Cafe and New York style pizza at Pie for the People, to vintage finds at Coyote Corner, Joshua Tree is not what you thought it was.
Insider tip: Stay at Joshua Tree Acres and you’ll have a vintage Airstream all to yourself with prime mountain views.
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