Friday, March 14, 2014

If You're in Southern California, You Need to Visit Idyllwild

Sometimes the best kind of relaxation is breaking away from your normal routine and going somewhere quiet for a few days. If you're like me, you are probably surrounded by a lot of noise and distractions. Some of the sounds might be soothing like the birds singing but others might be more harsh and grating like the neighbor'a dog always barking every morning at the same time. Or the the sounds of car horns echoing off the buildings in a big city. Or simply an irritating car alarm or loud music.

For me, the most common and rather annoying sounds I hear everyday are these: two cute dogs barking when they wake up, trains passing by on the tracks at almost every hour on the hour, workers grinding jackhammers and machines at a newly created construction site nearby and the occasional helicopter or plane flying through the area or up the river. In other words, it can get very loud where I live in San Marco. It's a good thing this neighborhood is so beautiful or else I wouldn't have lasted here as long as I have, haha.

The last time I was in California, I was obsessed with all of the palm trees, beaches and sunny weather. While I still enjoy all of those things, I was really glad to have the opportunity to visit a state park and a mountain range near the San Bernardino area. We heard great things about Idyllwild, CA and also heard that there might be snow in the mountains so my brother and I took off on an adventure.

The view on the drive up to Idyllwild.

At one point during our drive up to the mountains, we reached an elevation point of 6,000 feet above sea level. It is by far the highest elevation the two of us have experienced both together and separately. Though my ears hurt a bit at that point, it was really fun to be that far up! The fun was just beginning though.

This kind of elevation makes the Mile High City look like nothing!

One of the things I liked most about the drive up to Idyllwild and the town itself was the quietness. It want until I had experienced almost total silence that I realized how noisy my home environment was. 

I really enjoyed looking at this view as much as I enjoyed taking it with my camera. It was so peaceful and serene up there.

I think the neatest thing about a town of Idyllwild's size was that it was a part of California but it managed to maintain its own culture and charm. The town is heavily influenced by Native American culture and you can see it best represented in their woodwork.

The town monument - all hand carved!


The handcrafted log bench outside of Wooly's Gift Shop.

Not only did the town offer its own brand of charm but the tiny shops and cafes did as well. The people of Idyllwild, locals and tourists alike, were very warm and friendly. They were very diverse too. We enjoyed cups of coffee (Nathan) and tea (me) in a small cafe and overheard a few South Americans carrying on a lively conversation in Spanish. The other two diners in the cafe didn't seem to follow the conversation but Nathan and I were keeping up. It just goes to show you how much more people are traveling and exploring new places these days. The cafe itself has had several international visitors as you can see in the map pictured below:



However, the trip up to the mountains near Idyllwild was not complete without these two things:


Good old Smoky was there warning us about the dangers of forest fires.

And last, but not least, California Redwoods!

If you ever find yourself in Southern California, I hope you will find time to make a trip up to Idyllwild. With great views, friendly people, cute shops and good food, you won't be disappointed! Where is a place that you like to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life? Leave a comment below!

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