Tag Archives: California hiking

Weekend Getaway to Idyllwild: Where to Stay, Play & Explore

Last weekend, my husband and I decided to seize the holiday weekend and take a quick road trip together. We both have been super busy and have travel coming up, so we welcomed the thought of getting to spend time together in a relaxing setting.

Having done so many road trips around California, I started looking for a place we’d never been to before. I wound up finding a place we had never even heard of called Idyllwild. Located a few hours from busy San Diego life, Idyllwild is a little town nestled in the mountains with a population of under 4,000 people. It sounded like the perfect getaway spot!

Where to Stay.

After doing some research, I booked us a suite at The Grand Idyllwild Lodge. Described as the boutique luxury lodge, the hotel has a modern but woodsy kind of feel to it. It was a a bit pricier than I usually try to find in hotels, but we had a very positive experience there. It’s owned by a husband & wife team that live on the premises, and you can tell that they put a lot of care and thought into the lodge.

Idyllwild is the kind of place where most of the businesses are mom-and-pop type of places, which I love. We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon and got settled into our beautiful room – dubbed Suite Ambiance.

We brought a bottle of champagne with us, which we popped immediately. I also brought some crackers and snacks to nosh on, and we turned on the electric fireplace, enjoyed our bubbly and watched part of a movie. It was one sweet Friday happy hour!

I adored our bathroom at The Grand Idyllwild Lodge, which had a Japanese style soaking tub and dual rain head spa shower. The bathrooms in my house are older, so I get serious bathroom envy where I stay at places with awesome bathrooms.

The Grand Idyllwild Lodge also has a small gym and sauna, and guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast every day. We were served French toast with fruit (+ chicken sausage for him) on Saturday morning.

Other accommodation options that caught my eye:

Idyllcreek A-Frame Vacation Cabin. Can we talk about how cute this house is?!

Bluebird Cottage Inn. These little cottages are more budget friendly.

Creekstone Inn. I was intrigued by the above “tiny magical cabin” but Creekstone has a number of rooms plus a few other cabins available.

Where to Drink.

After our hotel room happy hour, we headed out for a second happy hour in town. We stopped at Middle Ridge Winery, a cute sister-and-brother owned tasting gallery (tasting room + art gallery).

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Hiking Boat Canyon at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Happy Friday!

Any fun plans for the weekend? Speaking of the weekend, today I want to back it up to last weekend and talk about my latest hiking adventure – which took me up to the Laguna Beach area. Boat Canyon-5

With my hubby working for the Marine Corps all weekend and no plans on my agenda, I declared last Saturday a hiking day! I invited my cousin Michelle to meet me for an outdoor workout together. She lives in Long Beach, and I live in Northern San Diego County, so we decided to try to meet up somewhere in between us. The Laguna Coast Wilderness Park seemed like a perfect halfway point, with it being 45-60 minutes from each of us.
Boat Canyon-1

We decided on hiking a trail called Boat Canyon – which is described as a strenuous workout by local hiking websites. I wanted to get a real workout in, and this trail did not disappoint as a heart pounding sweat session! We parked on Dartmoor Street and began at the trailhead at the end of the road.

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Boat Canyon-4

Immediately I was in awe of the beautiful views! We had the Pacific as our backdrop for most of the hike, and it was a perfect day for hiking weather-wise – in the low 70s and mostly sunny.

Boat Canyon-3

I drove up to Laguna Beach along the coast, and when I got into the area, I was struck by its beauty right away. Southern California as a whole is just so gorgeous, and I feel blessed that my life has taken me to this wonderful area.

Boat Canyon-12

There were a good amount of people out and about hiking and running the trail, but nothing too crazy. Neither of us brought our pups because they aren’t allowed at the park, but it worked out because the 8+ mile hike probably would have been too much for both of our dogs.

Boat Canyon-6

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Lost Horse Mine Hike in Joshua Tree National Park

Hello, hello!

Joshua Tree National Park

How was your weekend? Not surprisingly, my whirlwind weekend in Palm Springs just flew by. Without a doubt, my favorite part of the getaway was seeing Joshua Tree National Park for the first time ever. It was about an hour drive from our hotel in the Palm Springs area, and was well worth the trip.

Joshua Tree Park

I’ve heard things about Joshua Tree before – mostly tidbits about people walking aimlessly around the park while on acid trips, and after exploring the park, I can totally see why it gets that reputation. Joshua Tree is a huge park in the middle of the desert, full of its namesake tree and crazy big boulders.

Joshua Trees

Woman Rock Climbing at Joshua Tree

People were rock climbing all over the place. I had read that Joshua Tree is one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the country, and I can see why.

Joshua Tree Park Bouldering

Adam bouldering at Joshua Tree Park

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Hiking to Wind Caves at Gaviota State Park

Happy almost weekend!

What’s the weather looking like where you live this weekend? I know that some of the U.S. is seemingly getting out of its polar vortex for the season, so I hope that all you who have been cooped up inside for awhile have time to enjoy some more mild temperatures. In San Diego it’s supposed to be pretty hot and sunny – in the mid to high 80s all weekend – so I’m going to try to soak up the sunshine outside as much as I can! Speaking of being outdoors, today I’m talking about my favorite outdoor workout: hiking – more specifically, hiking to wind caves in California’s Gaviota State Park.

Gaviota Park-4

This outdoor workout was part of my getaway with my hubby a couple of weeks ago. First I told you guys all about the Danish town of Solvang that we stayed in, as well as our wine tasting experience in the Santa Ynez Valley (post here), so today is my last recap from our getaway. We hiked at a park near Santa Barbara on our way back home to San Diego on Sunday afternoon.

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