Lake Arrowhead, California–The Alps of the West Coast

By: Lindsey Rawson-Lin

If you are looking to migrate to the calm solitude of mountains and lakes for a summer filled with boating and relaxing, or are looking to escape to powdery snow, warm fireplaces, and skiing during the winter months, look no further than Lake Arrowhead, California. Nestled 5100 feet above the deserts of San Bernardino, California, about an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles, Lake Arrowhead offers a multitude of enjoyment, recreation, and relaxation for the entire family.

Driving up the Pacific Rim Highway on a clear day you will be marveled by the panoramic views of the valleys of Southern California and ocean below. As you focus on driving the winding road up to Arrowhead, through forests and cliffs, you will feel yourself leaving the stresses of modern day life behind.

Lake Arrowhead is the outdoor enthusiasts playground. In the summer there is hiking, boating, horseback riding, water skiing, fishing, golf, and much more. Just about any mountain activity you can think of you will find there. In the fall you can hike amongst the brilliance of the leaves changing. In the winter cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and curling up by the fireplace are musts. Downhill skiing is only a short drive away in the famed mountain resort community of Big Bear Lake (about 20 miles away).

The towns and villages around Lake Arrowhead are charming and remain untouched by modern civilization. It is hard to believe you are only an hour and a half from the hectic pace and concrete of Los Angeles.

Blue Jay is a small village a few miles from Lake Arrowhead that is the home of the famous Ice Castles skating rink. In Blue Jay you will find a movie theater, restaurants, grocery store, and a few fast food restaurants. Crestline is also not far away. Crestline offers dining, eclectic shopping opportunities, and its’ own lake, Lake Gregory. All of the communities in Lake Arrowhead are within a six mile drive of each other; connected by winding mountain roads nestled into the rocky hills and tall pine trees.

Lake Arrowhead also offers world class entertainment. In July and August there is the Blue Jay Jazz festival which offers some of the best jazz entertainment in the area. There is also a summer concert series that offers live entertainment, good food, and views of Lake Arrowhead. In December Blue Jay hosts Christmas activities and a Christmas parade.

There are many types of lodging to choose from in and around Lake Arrowhead. You can find hotels to stay in for a few days at a time or a cabin. On holiday weekends there is usually a three night minimum. There are rustic cabins that take you back to a place in time when life was more simplistic. These no frills cottages offer the basics. If you are looking for more luxury in your travels there are many cabins that offer decadent bathrooms with jacuzzi’s, granite fireplaces, and first class kitchens. My advice is to do your research, I would not book a cabin without seeing pictures. Most cabins have websites and you can see pictures of the rooms and amenities online. Some cabins also cater to pets. Cozy Cabin Rentals of Lake Arrowhead and Arrowhead Pine Rose Cabins have a good selection of cabins. If you are looking for something that requires even less maintenance there are many Bed and Breakfasts. Broken Arrow B & B offers rooms decorated in Native American and mountain art. The Storybook Inn is a B & B that offers panoramic views of the San Bernardino mountains, first class rooms, and lets you bring along your well behaved pet. If you are looking for luxury directly on the Lake try the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. This resort offers worldclass rooms, a private beach on Lake Arrowhead, and an on-site spa.

If you do not feel like cooking your own food, fear not; you will find many restaurants to cater to your dining needs. Lake Arrowhead is a true mountain getaway, but that does not mean there are not a multitude of delectable restaurants to choose from. If you are looking for something ethnic, Papaya Thai offers good quality Thai food with calming views of the Lake. If you are looking for something more gourmet try Chateau Gourmet Restaurant in Crestline. Looking for a cozy mountain restaurant that offers home cooked delights? Try historic Antler’s Inn Restaurant in Twin Peaks, there is even a cozy fireplace that adds to the ambiance.

Shopping is another great past time in Lake Arrowhead. After a day of boating or communing with nature take some time out to shop at the world class stores of Lake Arrowhead. Lake Arrowhead Village offers an outdoor shopping center on Lake Arrowhead with a multitude of shopping pleasures. This shopping center has mainstream stores like Coach, Jockey, and Bass. Looking to pick something up for the home to remember your travels to Lake Arrowhead? Check out Acorn Hollow or Promenade on the Lake. Missing your furry friend? Buy your four legged friend a gift at Just Browsing Pet Boutique and Paws Spa.

Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or a week long family vacation, Lake Arrowhead has a lot to offer. There are so many activities to chose from you will never be bored. Before you know it, you may become so enchanted with Lake Arrowhead, that you may find yourself running to the nearest real estate office to purchase your own piece of mountain paradise.

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