Nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains, Lake Arrowhead is an idyllic lakefront town and the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Just 80 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the “Alps of Southern California” offers endless ways to enjoy a weekend. Here are a few ideas to spark your inspiration.
1. Explore the lake by kayak or boat
If you’re lucky enough to be staying lakefront, the lake is yours for the taking. (Lake Arrowhead is a private lake, so you’ll need a home on the water to launch your own vessel.) Spend a warm afternoon navigating the deep blue waters, perhaps even fishing or taking water ski lessons. Not staying on the lake? No problem. You can still experience it from aboard the Lake Arrowhead Queen. During the one-hour guided tour, you’ll learn about the history of the lake and the native cultures of the area, while marveling at some truly gorgeous lakefront mansions (some once owned by celebrities).
2. Wander through Lake Arrowhead Village
Located on the southern shore of the lake, Lake Arrowhead Village has been the community hub since the 1920s. Alpine-inspired buildings house over 50 shops and restaurants, as well as the Lake Arrowhead Village Center Stage. It plays host to a popular summer concert series, with tribute bands playing all summer long. Throughout the year, the Village hosts other events, including Oktoberfest, a wooden boat show and holiday festivities.
3. Take a hike
Thanks to its mountain locale, there are plenty of hikes to enjoy around Lake Arrowhead and in the entire San Bernardino National Forest. For a long and challenging hike, try Strawberry Peak Trail. At an elevation of over 6,000 feet, Strawberry Peak is the highest in the region, which means it offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. The 8-mile out-and-back hike is no walk in the park, with serious elevation gain over the last two miles. The views make it worth the effort, and on a clear day you can see all the way to Los Angeles. If you’re traveling with little ones or simply want something shorter, find your way to Heart Rock, also known as the Seeley Creek Trail. After just one mile, you’ll arrive at its namesake: a large rock with a perfectly heart-shaped indentation. The entire hike offers scenic beauty, with winding mountain paths, towering ponderosa pines and, after a spring rain, a lovely waterfall.
4. Have some family fun at Skypark at Santa’s Village
As the name implies, you can actually visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Village during the holiday season. It’s undoubtedly the most popular time of the year to visit Skypark, as the whole village is decorated with Christmas lights, a charming outdoor skating rink beckons and a miniature train takes kids on a magical tour. But there’s plenty of year-round fun to be had at this mountain retreat. You’ll find a mountain bike park (and balance bike track for the little ones), pedal car tracks, bouldering, ax throwing, an archery range, a playground and more.
5. Take a drive on the Rim of the World Scenic Byway
For a scenic drive with plenty of pullouts for marveling at mountain scenery and taking photos, the Rim of the World Scenic Byway is a can’t-miss. The 110-mile-long highway weaves through the Inland Empire and goes all the way to Big Bear, but you can easily jump on right outside of Lake Arrowhead. The winding mountain road reaches more than 7,000 feet of elevation in some places, so you’re destined for cool mountain air and incredible views. Popular stops include Silverwood Lake and Big Bear Lake.
6. Make a splash at Lake Gregory
If you don’t have access to Lake Arrowhead, Lake Gregory is a wonderful alternative, just 20 minutes to the west. The public lake is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. You’ll find a swimming beach, water slides, an inflatable on-water playground and a splash pad for the littlest swimmers. Boat rentals are also available, and there are plenty of trout in the lake, just waiting to be caught.
Make Lake Arrowhead your mountain retreat
As a co-owner of a Pacaso second home in Lake Arrowhead, you’ll have your very own luxury getaway, surrounded by the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains. Make it your home base for exploring everything this beautiful area has to offer.