Road to Idyllwild feature photo

Day Tripping to Idyllwild While In The San Jacinto Valley

Day tripping to Idyllwild while in the San Jacinto Valley is a great way to spend a day. If you enjoy a scenic drive, than a road trip to Idyllwild is one you will love! The drive from Hemet to Idyllwild is scenic with stunning mountain views.

moutain views between Hemet and Idyllwild

Plan to stop for photos on the way to and from Idyllwild, as there are several pull overs that offer amazing photo opportunities. As with any mountain drive, the view changes when you travel in the opposite direction.

A stop at Higher Grounds Coffee Shop is where you can get your coffee fix. I’m not a coffee drinker, but the friendly staff here had no problems preparing a drink for me. How’s this for a vanilla chocolate mix with cream?

vanilla chocolate mix drink

Higher Grounds Coffee Shop prides themselves on the fact that they offer organic and 100% fair trade coffee. The atmosphere, staff and drinks, are as good as they claim to be.

If you are fortunate, you will meet Mayor Max while in Idyllwild.

Mayor Max

There are several rustic, unique dining experiences in Idyllwild. A quick search on Trip Advisor landed myself and the people I was traveling with at Gastrognome. Here we found tasty food, fantastic service and outdoor dining with a rustic mountain feel. Anytime I can dine with a view like this, I’ve got a smile on my face.

Gastrognome outdoor dining

The Idyllwild Area Historical Society Museum is free to visitors and offers insight into the history of Idyllwild. Here is you will see the things that mountain life is made of. From rock climbing to early kitchen equipment, the history of Idyllwild can be experienced here. Not to be missed is this beautiful bench that sits on the porch of the museum.

It's a Brand New Moment

And of course a day in a cute mountain town like Idyllwild would not be complete without a little bit of shopping.


The shops on the main drag in Idyllwild could have entertained me for the whole day. From hats to jewelry to ice cream, Idyllwild had a lot of what I love to experience while spending a day in a cute mountain town.

Day tripping in Idyllwild was an adventure and it was a fun day! The drive itself was approximately 45 minutes from Hemet and as I said it was a winding road. If you are prone to motion sickness, address that issue before you leave Hemet. I am looking forward to a return visit to Idyllwild, as I want to sample more candy, ice cream and eat breakfast at The Red Kettle.

Have you taken a day trip to Idyllwild while in the San Jacinto Valley? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience. In your opinion, what do I need to do while in the area on my next visit?

Stay Connected:

Facebook: Higher Grounds Coffee Shop

Website: Higher Grounds Coffee Shop

Facebook: Visit San Jacinto Valley

Twitter: VisitSJV

Website: Visit San Jacinto Valley

*Thank you San Jacinto Valley for hosting me during my stay.



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A traveler at heart with a passion for travel in the Midwest. SaraB

Read All of Sara's posts and be inspired to travel SaraB

18 thoughts on “Day Tripping to Idyllwild While In The San Jacinto Valley

  1. Debbie~ Thanks for sharing your story. I hope to return to Idyllwild for a longer stay, as it is how you described it. A breath of fresh air, peaceful and a place to slow down from our crazy, busy day to day lives.

  2. Idyllwild is part of my soul since my family bought a big place up there when I was 6 months old. I am a mountain girl at heart but due to having problems walking living up in this beautiful place I can’t do. But I go up there a few times a year and stay at the Fireside Inn and they have a great special check it out. Stay 2 nights get the third night free. Unfortunately almost 20 years ago my mom sold are 5000 foot Mountain House and we believe that the man who was a real estate agent up there and bought the place got in over his head and torched it. It leaving me so heartbroken that I could not even go up for 12 years. But after being up there for almost 50 years it couldn’t keep me away forever. I go up there sometimes just for the day and have lunch 42 stay for 3 or 4 days. It’s exactly what our lodge was called Paradise. I know I’m going to be going up there in another month the mountains are calling me. If you’ve never been to this tranquil, peaceful then go up there and take a breath of fresh air. I think you will be amazed how the place will draw you back many many times.

  3. This is a really beautiful region. I’m actually passing through it briefly next month! Great calls on stopping for photos, anything you recommend in the way of wine?

  4. I love being able to eat outside with a view! Even better if an adorable dog named Mayor Max shows up 🙂

  5. Love Idyllwild, we get a cabin every winter. The restaurants are so amazing for a mountain town. Great chefs and unique quirky atmosphere. Gastronome is great, but did you get a chance to try Cafe Aroma or Idyology?

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