The Best Things to Do in Idyllwild

Many people are looking for things to do in Idyllwild. What you will find is that there are many activities to keep you busy during your visit.

There are also some events happening this summer that should be on your calendar, including the Annual Mountain Music Jamboree and the Oktoberfest hosted by Stumpknockers Brewery. We hope these suggestions help you plan a great trip.

Mount San Jacinto State Park

One great activity to do in Idyllwild is to visit Mount San Jacinto State Park. The park features some of the most spectacular views of Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

While you’re here, be sure to check out the San Jacinto Peak Loop Trail. It’s a little challenging and might not be the best for beginner hikers, but it’s so worth it. This trail offers some of the best views of the forest.

Of course, there are still several different trails that are perfect for hikers of all skill levels. They all have varying level of scenery and views of nature that are still pretty great.

Idyllwild Nature Center

Another activity to do in Idyllwild is to visit the Idyllwild Nature Center. This nature center offers a wealth of knowledge about wildlife, plants, and more! There are some great programs taking place at this location including those for kids of all ages.

The park features biking trails, rock climbing routes, and more. The nature center has easier trails that you can take with your kids. The on-site museum is also a good indoor activity. It’s got informative exhibits on the local ecosystem and on Native American culture.

It’s a great place to visit with the family!

Lake Fulmor

Another thing to do in Idyllwild is to visit Lake Fulmor. This small lake offers fishing, boating, kayaking, and more! One good thing to keep in mind about the water here is that it’s very calm.

The lake is also a good fishing spot, so bring your gear with you if you’d like to catch some lunch. There are also several places to camp and picnic in the area. You can even access a few different trails from Lake Fulmor that lead into the San Jacinto Wilderness Area.

You’ll find Lake Fulmore between Banning and Idyllwild. It makes a home in the San Jacinto Mountains so you’re sure to get great views of the mountains here.

Middle Ridge Winery

Another must-do in Idyllwild is to visit Middle Ridge Winery. This winery offers a wide selection of wines and they’re known for their pumpkin and apple pie wine all year round!

They offer tours of the vineyard with tasting opportunities throughout. You can also buy bottles or cases of your favorite varietals.

To make this winery adventure even more romantic, there is also an art gallery on the site. So you can sip on your glass of wine while looking at local art.

Idyllwild Park

Also worth visiting is the Idyllwild Park. It’s run by Riverside County and features information about the natural history of the area. One good thing to know about this location is that it’s home to some great hiking trails with an emphasis on local wildlife.

You’ll find some great views of the forest, so be sure to pack a camera in case you see anything that looks interesting. There are also some special events hosted at Idyllwild Park, including nature walks and lectures.

If you’re looking for something outdoors to do in Idyllwild, this is another great option!

Idyllwild Area Historical Society Museum

Another fun activity when you’re in Idyllwild is to visit the Idyllwild Area Historical Society museum. This museum features exhibits on local history, including information on the Native Americans who once lived in the area.

This museum features a wealth of knowledge about the history of this amazing town. There are many artifacts that are on display for visitors to view, including old photos, movie posters, and much more!

If you’re a fan of art, consider visiting the Town Gallery. This gallery features local artists and their work! You can view paintings, sculptures, woodworking projects, and more.

There are many different forms of art that you can take a look at while visiting here. The Town Gallery offers workshops in various arts so be sure to ask about those.

If you’re looking to take in some art when in Idyllwild, this is the place to be.

Mile High Cafe

Wondering where to eat? Stop by the Mile High Cafe for some good food and great vibes. This cafe features delicious dishes with a lot of local flair! They’re a family-owned local restaurant that serves American and Korean dishes.

You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner all week long. Explore some new dishes by trying their Korean food.

It’s a cozy place downtown you shouldn’t miss!


Looking for something a little fancier? Gastrognome is the one to try. Gastrognome is a family owned business that takes pride in their cooking.

They serve an eclectic menu, with influences from around the world! This restaurant offers a casual atmosphere with delicious gastropub fare. They also have an impressive beverage menu that includes craft beers and wines.

It’s even more of a unique experience because of the ambience. You’ll find Gastrognome inside a mountain cabin that mixes rustic elements with modern design.

Indian Vista Scenic Overlook

The Indian Vista Scenic Overlook has impressive views of Palm Springs and the Salton Sea as well as San Jacinto Peak. It features beautiful sunsets and clear skies.

If you are taking a drive, be sure to stop at the Indian Vista Scenic Overlook. This spot offers epic views of Tahquitz Peak and Mount San Jacinto as well as the Idyllwild townscape. There are lots of wildlife to see while getting here.

You’ll find the overlook in between Banning and Idyllwild on Highway 243.

Eastside Reservoir Project

The Eastside Reservoir Project is another reason to get out of the house this summer! This reservoir feature fishing, boating, and more. You can also camp at the area or hike one of many trails that lead into the San Jacinto Wilderness Area. It’s right near the Diamond Valley Lake, about an hour from Idyllwild.

La Casita Restaurant

Looking for a comfort food fix? La Casita Restaurant is the place to go when in Idyllwild. This Mexican restaurant has been in business since 1988 and has great reviews on their tasty cuisine!

La Casita serves up authentic Mexican dishes, including tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, and much more. You can easily share a meal with friends and family here.

The place has a pretty casual and cozy vibe with pine trees surrounding you.


Craving some Italian? You can’t go wrong with Fratello’s. This Italian restaurant is run by four brothers who’ve spent years cooking Italian cuisine.

This is a popular spot for people to eat, so be sure to call ahead and make reservations if you’re bringing lots of people with you! They offer an extensive menu, with wood-fired pizza, pasta, and more.

This is definitely a good idea for a nice night out in Idyllwild!


Wondering where the locals hang? Stop by Wooley’s Camp Store and you’ll be greeted with good vibes.

This store is open 24/7 all year long, so it’s nice to stop in anytime! It’s a small mom-and-pop shop that offers gifts, souvenirs, ice cream, soda, and more. This is a good place to stop and buy some gifts for family and friends!

You can’t miss the huge cowboy hat at the front of the store! Plus, there are these cute little bears holding up a Wooley’s sign to guide you.

Rustic Theater

One of the best places to catch a show is at the Rustic Theater. This local movie theater has been in business since 1970 and shows independent, classic, and art films. You can even get drinks and snacks at the movie theater.

There are also live performances at the theater that showcase local talent. It’s a great place to see amazing acts and to unwind after a long day exploring!

Idyllwild is a beautiful town with many things to see and do. We’ve listed some of our the best ones, but you can always explore the area on your own!

There are so many options for outdoor adventure. You can go hiking, climbing, biking, and more!

There are also farms, craft breweries and wineries to experience. Don’t forget to check out the beautiful scenery of Palm Springs and the Salton Sea. It’s a great area for all ages to enjoy!

What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today.