Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.
A favorite photo-op spot coveted by locals (and Instagrammers), Heart Rock is a geological anomaly that lies at the end of the half-mile Seeley Creek trail in Crestline, less than 10 miles from the resort. The perfectly heart-shaped pool was carved out of the rock by the Seeley Creek waterfall centuries ago. Now, the fall cascades into a different pool, creating the perfect backdrop for your heart rock photo.
Don’t expect a typical zoo experience at this wildlife sanctuary located in nearby Cedar Glen. In fact, in order to visit, you must make a reservation first. That’s because the sanctuary’s main priority isn’t it’s visitors but the animals themselves – all of which are indigenous to the San Bernardino area, many of whom were either orphaned or injured and wouldn’t have survived without the sanctuary’s intervention. You’ll see all types of fauna from bears and bald eagles to deer and coyote, including Stubby, the tail-less resident raccoon.
THE GRILL AT ANTLER’S INN
Sushi at a steakhouse? While this quaint lodge-like restaurant located in nearby Twin Peaks features plenty of classic cuts, from filet mignon to rib eye, what it is best known for is its small sushi bar, open on Wednesdays through Sundays. Try their dragon roll made with crab, cucumber, and strawberries.
STRAWBERRY FIRE TOWER
To get an impressive view of the San Bernardino Valley without having to spend a full day hiking, head to this tower on the top of Strawberry Peak. Located off Highway 18, a two-mile paved road drops you right at the foot of the tower (an elevation of 6,135 feet). After just three stories of stairs up the 80-foot tower, you’ll be greeted with an amazing vantage of the Inland Empire and its cities, as well as the surrounding mountains of Mount Baldy and Cucamonga Peak.
How to spend 36 hours in Lake Arrowhead with Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa as your base camp.
8 P.M. | LATE DINNER & DRINK AT THE LAKEFRONT TAP ROOM BAR
Located in the quaint European-style Village of Lake Arrowhead (within walking distance of the resort), this laid-back restaurant is known for three things: its amazing view of the lake (thanks to a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows); the best selection of burgers around, starring American Wagyu beef; and its broad beer selection with 34 beers on tap, plus another 42 bottled craft brews and IPAs.
11 P.M. | STARGAZING AT THE ROBERT BROWNLEE OBSERVATORY
Every Friday night into Saturday morning (from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.), the Mountain Skies Astronomical Society that owns and operates this Lake Arrowhead observatory opens its doors to the public. The stargazing events include the use of the 16-inch Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope, which allows excellent viewing into deep space, and an on-site member to narrate your celestial journey.
8 A.M. | BREAKFAST AT BELGIAN WAFFLE WORKS
This lakeside patio is a breakfast favorite with waffles that run the gamut from savory – like the benedict Belgian – to sweet. If you aren’t in the mood for one of their 17 signature waffle dishes, other breakfast options include biscuits and gravy or a “country breakfast” of two eggs your way, a protein of your choice, grilled potatoes, and a biscuit.
10 A.M. | ANTIQUING AROUND
The triangle between Lake Arrowhead, Skyforest, and Twin Peaks is a hotbed of antiques, with 10 stores in the 30 combined square miles. Check out The Lake House, offering a gorgeous collection that includes everything from wooden pond yachts to decorative rugs, lighting, and furniture that would fit beautifully in any of the lakeside homes of the area.
1 P.M. | MOUNTAIN HISTORY MUSEUM
Located in a charming yellow A-frame style building, this museum chronicles the story of Lake Arrowhead and the San Bernardino National Forest area. Exhibits depict the life of the Yuhaviatam Native Americans who inhabited the area for centuries before Spanish explorers arrived, the logging industry, and the famous old Hollywood movie stars who formerly occupied the palatial lodges along the lake in the early 1900s.
4 P.M. | TAKE A DIP AT AZTEC FALLS
This swimming hole is a part of the Deep Creek Canyon in the San Bernardino National Forest and a local favorite for both its sandy beach for sunbathing and easy entry into the water. There’s also a 40-foot cliff for jumping for those looking for a little more adrenaline in their afternoon.
7 P.M. | DINNER AT BIN189
The resort’s on-site restaurant offers fine dining in the form of creative dishes featuring fresh ingredients, like pasta adorned with foraged mushrooms, tomatoes, and baby kale to plancha-seared ruby trout with succotash and house-made chimichurri. Finish off the night with a specialty cocktail like the mango mojito or black cherry Manhattan.
6 A.M. | MORNING STROLL ALONG THE SHORE
The Shore Trail begins off of Village Road and makes almost a complete loop around the lake before ending next to the Lake Arrowhead Resort – the perfect place from a morning stroll along the water.
9 A.M. | BREAKFAST AT THE LAKE ARROWHEAD RESORT
Breakfast at the resort is a sweet and savory affair. Crunch into the cornmeal-crusted, fried French toast with fruit and syrup or try the Cajun chicken and waffles with jalapeno-infused syrup.
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SYCAMORE RANCH WINERY
This gorgeous 3.5-acre vineyard estate, winery, and tasting room are nestled high in the San Bernardino Mountains in Crestline’s Dart Canyon, just seven miles west of the resort. Producing 500 cases of award-winning wine annually, the family-run facility specializes in zinfandel, syrah, and hard cider from their on-site vineyards and orchards, but also sources grapes from Central Coast vineyards within the Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos, and Paso Robles AVA.
FARMERS’ MARKET NIGHT
From Memorial Day to Labor Day on Friday evenings, the Village of Lake Arrowhead transforms into a mini-food fest as the streets fill with booths and stalls hawking everything from local cheese and honey to vegetables and spices to artisan goods and crafts. It all wraps up with the concert series, bringing in local cover bands to the village’s center stage.
THE GRAPEVINE STORE
Set in the Village of Lake Arrowhead, this wine bar and retail store serves and sells hard-to-find craft beer, gourmet cheeses, imported cigars, and fine wine. Check their online calendar for special tastings, hosted by regional winemakers, breweries, and sommeliers.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Owned by husband-and-wife locals, this sweet shop specializes in a range of made-from-scratch confections, including fudge, cookies, turtles, and, chocolate-dipped everything (think Oreos, pretzels, graham crackers, and strawberries). Yet, their signature treat by far are the caramel-covered granny smith apples, rolled in a seemingly endless assortment of topping possibilities: crushed snickers bars, cheesecake bites, roasted pecans, white chocolate and brown sugar, and more.
When simply “seeing” a destination just won’t do.
GUIDED KAYAKING ON THE LAKE
The resort offers kayak rentals to its guests, but with an added perk: Along with the vessel and paddles, you can also rent a personal tour guide, who will take you around the lake and point out notable landmarks, like the shoreline mansion where old Hollywood icons Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, and Rock Hudson used to vacation.
MCKENZIE’S WATER SKI SCHOOL
This school and rental service are perfect for water skiers and wakeboarders of all skill levels. Newbies can learn the basics from how to get up on the skis to how to maneuver in the water. For more advanced riders who are looking for a challenge, instructors can teach you all kinds of tips and tricks for jumping, flipping, and making the most of every wave.
RIDE INTO THE MOUNTAINS
While Lake Arrowhead is known as “the gem of California,” the surrounding San Bernardino Mountains are certainly nothing to scoff at. Rent a quad, ATV, or Jeep from Enjoy the Mountain for an exhilarating one- or two-hour tour. As the tours are private, they can go at whatever pace you want, whether that be a fast, adrenaline-inducing sprint through the mountains or a leisurely meander allowing for some prime photo opportunities of Lake Arrowhead’s majestic scenery.
Your top-rated places to explore in Lake Arrowhead, CA
Rent a quad, ATV, or Jeep for an exhilarating one- or two-hour tour that allows you to pick the pace, from a fast, adrenaline-inducing sprint through the mountains to a leisurely meander allowing for prime photo opportunities of Lake Arrowhead’s majestic scenery. No Credit/Shutterstock.com
Every Friday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., the Mountain Skies Astronomical Society meets at the observatory and welcomes the public to use the 16-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope for excellent viewing into deep space. No Credit/Shutterstock.com
Home to Southern California's only chairlift-serviced sledding area, this independent family-run resort has been in business for over 80 years and prides itself on award-winning instruction for all ages and ability levels. snow-valley.com