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Alex Farnum

Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead
Escape to an exclusive mountain haven

The drive from San Bernardino to Lake Arrowhead is a quick one—just 23 miles/37 km. But as you twist and climb from the busy valley and into the San Bernardino Mountains, then arrive at this picturesque town set on a deep-blue mountain lake, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to a different world. This lake has long been the favored escape for those seeking exclusive alpine luxury, and the lake and much of its shoreline are privately owned—with gated lakeside vacation homes to prove it.

But you don’t have to have the keys to a gated estate to visit. In summer, pitch a tent at a pair of campgrounds, and head out on a network of trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail, that lace through surrounding forestlands. Relax in a rustic rental cabin, many are available and include dock and lake privileges. Board the Arrowhead Queen paddlewheel boat for a guided tour and an exclusive peek at lakefront homes. Stop in at shops in relaxed Arrowhead Village. Kids enjoy a chance to visit with wildlife at Wildhaven Ranch, a sanctuary for endangered and indigenous species. Winter often means snow at Lake Arrowhead, the perfect time to spoil yourself in all this luxury with a stay at the Lake Arrowhead Resort—maybe a treatment at the lodge’s Spa of the Pines.

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Southern California

Discover the Inland Empire

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15
November
Average (°C)
Sept - Nov
32°
High
6°
Low
Dec - Feb
20°
High
3°
Low
Mar - May
26°
High
6°
Low
June - Aug
34°
High
12°
Low

With its inviting destinations and uncrowded wilderness, this region feels like an insider’s secret amid the bustling excitement of Southern California.

Mount San Gorgonio—nicknamed “Old Grayback”—is the tallest peak in Southern California, at 11,502 feet/3,506 meters.

Surprising alpine scenery around Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear beckons, with pine-scented trails in summer and winter sports when the snow flies. If you’re into action, get the adrenaline rush of seeing the world’s best NASCAR racers compete at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. For a dreamier escape, float in a hot-air balloon above rolling Temecula Valley wine country. 

SPECIAL FEATURE
There are tons of reasons why you might plan a winter trip to Big Bear. Here are some you might not have thought of

With plenty of groomed runs and terrain parks at Big Bear Lake’s two alpine resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, it’s easy to see why skiers and boarders head here when the snow flies. But this...

Big Bear Lake in Winter
Courtesy of Big Bear Mountain Resorts
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Courtesy of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation

Fender Guitars: Behind the Scenes

The company synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll offers a full music experience at the Fender Visitor Center in Corona.

Even the most casual music fan knows the name behind rock ‘n’ roll’s most iconic electric guitars: Fender. The Stratocaster king has been...

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Harriot Manley

Temecula Valley Wine Country

Taste your way through Southern California's leading wine region

For many visitors, the Temecula Valley wine country is still a surprise. After all, a lot of people just don’t expect to see gently rolling hills...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for kid-friendly fun zones that...

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John/ Flickr
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Courtesy of Big Bear Mountain Resort

Big Bear Lake

Escape to Southern California’s mountain wonderland

Just two hours from Los Angeles, the San Bernardino Mountains offer a cool, pine-scented escape. Set at 6,759-feet/2,060-meters, Big Bear Lake is...

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Dave Lauridsen

Route 66

Get your kicks on America’s legendary highway

Back in its glory days, Route 66 began in Chicago and ended along the bluffs overlooking the Pacific, a 2,451-mile journey through farmlands,...

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Courtesy of Auto Club Speedway

Auto Club Speedway

Rev up for racing action at this classic track

Whether you’re into NASCAR, INDYCAR, or drag racing, Auto Club Speedway delivers all kinds of thrills for fans of powerful cars and high-speed...

March

Get into the checkered-flag spirit at this big and loud NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. Cheer for your favourite drivers as they zoom for the front in this 5-wide race event. The action kicks off...

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Courtesy of Auto Club Speedway
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Trip 3-4 days 10 stops

Route 66 - Mother Road

Legendary Highway, California Dream
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Start your trip in this idyllic oceanfront city, bounded by a 3.5-mi/5.6-km-long beach, and feeling more like a weekend getaway spot than a city just a few minutes west of downtown Los Angeles. Car-free options, including a shuttle to Los Angeles International Airport (8 miles/13 km south) make...

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On your way to this park, you’ll pass through the little community of Borrego Springs. Stop in at the town’s visitor center to get driving maps to an astounding collection of enormous prehistoric animals—metal sculptures made by artist Ricardo Breceda—that dot the surrounding desert landscape....

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Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Inland Empire Outlets

Find bargains on brand names at major outlet centers

The only thing better than scoring the perfect outfit or designer shoes is to get them for a bargain price. That’s why shopping in the Inland...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you're in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you'll find it here. Want to sample fresh produce? Try our farmers...

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Courtesy of Mission Inn

Mission Inn & Riverside

Old world romance, contemporary comforts

Lavish and elegant, Riverside’s Mission Inn Hotel & Spa combines Old World romance with the splendor of Southern California’s citrus-growing...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to save on Gucci, Versace, and other big-name brands

With bucket-list magnets like Rodeo Drive and Union Square, California has undeniable star power when it comes to shopping. But all those fashion finds and gifts for everyone back home don’t have...

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Robert Sheie/Flickr
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Brian Stevens

San Bernardino Museums

Discover local and natural history and see art from around the world at area museums

Two local museums let you experience everything from the natural side of the Inland Empire to the treasures of ancient Egypt.

The San...

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Brian Stevens

Idyllwild

Nature and the arts find a perfect balance in this quaint mountain hamlet

Backed by mountain wilderness and filled with galleries, Idyllwild is a haven for both outdoor recreation and the arts.

Steep forested...

SPECIAL FEATURE
There are tons of reasons why you might plan a winter trip to Big Bear. Here are some you might not have thought of

With plenty of groomed runs and terrain parks at Big Bear Lake’s two alpine resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, it’s easy to see why skiers and boarders head here when the snow flies. But this...

Big Bear Lake in Winter
Courtesy of Big Bear Mountain Resorts