Idyllwild California

13 May

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Ok guys! So I am going to hope this squeaks by as a counter-culture. I think it does. I recently spent some time in a sleepy little town called Idyllwild. Hidden away in the San Jacinto mountains – it was a mission to even get there. I was scared for my life on the crazy highway that winds through the mountains but Oh My God the view. I kept veering off of the road because I couldn’t stop looking around at the gorgeous mountain beauty that surrounded me!

Upon my arrival, I was filled with a serious feeling of joy. It is hippie paradise, and THAT is right up my alley. Every building is made of wood and the air smells like pine. I ended up snagging a huge cabin all to myself at cute spot called the Bluebird Inn for $60 bucks – a steal. The town is very small and you can learn your way around in one quick drive. I went to dinner at Aroma Cafe; as suggested by a helpful, friendly dude at the Bluebird Inn; who looked like a white-haired Elvis. I started reading and talking to people to learn more about the town; all while listening to a blues band playing in the crowded, cozy restaurant.

Turns out that Idyllwild is a little art community. Everyone is very friendly. Lot’s of visiting naturalists and hikers. I think I saw more dreadlocks in my time here, than I have my whole life! People can be seen reading or debating politics in many of the town hangouts including it’s many art galleries. The culture here is camper/hiker. Everyone wears natural colors and the guys all have long beards. People smile when you pass and say hello – if you happen to pass someone on a hike, expect that you might have to have a 15 minute conversation! The focus here seems to be on the simple things. People take their time when talking to you, and many people are simply hanging around, enjoying simple activities, like drinking tea and catching up with a friend. There is one bar (Joanne’s), one grocery store and so on.

I would highly recommend going to the organic spot ‘Nature’s Wisdom’ and ordering a bowl of overpriced soup and a slice of homemade organic fruit tart. Best meal I’ve had in a long time – healthy too! I also sampled (and was coerced into purchasing) buffalo jerkey from a shop called ‘Grandpa’s House of Jerkey’ and a mood ring from an old grouchy lady who owns a rock shop.

Idyllwild is like the town you wish you grew up in; charming, quaint and full of interesting characters. Grab your gear, and drive down if you want to hang out with some cool people who seem to have focused in on what’s important in life: human connections. If you are looking for some country fun, or a relaxing getaway Idyllwild is the place to go.

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2 Responses to “Idyllwild California”

  1. Amber May 16, 2011 at 3:22 PM #

    Idyllwild is a wonderful community! There is an arts boarding school there called Idyllwild Arts. I’m a senior there this year, and I’ve been here for two years. It’s such an amazing place and I’m sad to have to leave. Next time you’re up, check out some of the artistic events going on; in the spring, Idyllwild Arts has a ton of student performances. Higher Grounds, the local coffee shop, also has monthly poetry readings. And there are tons of art galleries and thrift stores that you never know what kind of treasures you’ll find. I’m glad you like it up here!

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