Jul 15, 200806:37 PMThe Life
Day Trip To The Pines from Palm Springs desert cities
Idyllwild Makes a Cool Summer Retreat
A quick escape only an hour from the desert cities, the community of Idyllwild exists among alpine forests, mountains, and meadows — and amid first-class offerings of art and music.
The beauty and tranquility of the mountain resort alone lure travelers to the quaint village. Add top-notch musicians, along with the area's popular art workshops, and Idyllwild becomes an ideal getaway destination.
At an elevation
of 5,000 feet, visitors to the western slopes of the San Jacinto
Mountains enjoy temperatures at least 20 degrees cooler than the desert
air — an extra appeal of popular summer events: Idyllwild Jazz in the
Pines and Idyllwild Arts Summer Program.
Jazz in the Pines
In its 15th year, the festival, Aug. 22-24, offers three-days of non-stop jazz. This year's headliners are saxophonist Dave Koz, likened to jazz icon David Sanborn, and internationally acclaimed guitarist Lee Ritenour. Other musicians include Southern Californians harpist Lori Andrews, members of the Peter Sprague Ensemble, and Idyllwild locals of the band Change Required.
Through the years, event organizers have continued to refine the event. Their efforts are working, each year attendance grows by at least 15 percent.
"This will be one of the best years yet, with these headliners," says Executive Producer Jeff Hocker. The thing that's really great about Jazz in the Pines is the time of year. It's a time when it's hot throughout Southern California, so it's great watching jazz under the towering pine trees while sipping wine. From the desert to that within an hour, that's incredible."
In addition to the world-class music offerings, Jazz in the Pines offers a new wine experience in which guests may purchase premium wines by the bottle. They will receive a bucket of ice and two glasses to take back to their seats.
While great jazz, wine, and fresh air are enough to tempt many visitors to the mountainside, there's more.
Arts in the Pines
A beneficiary of the jazz festival, Idyllwild Arts Summer Program offers lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on classes and workshops for children, teens, and adults through Aug. 16.
Explore your artistic abilities in creative writing, music, dance, theater, and visual arts. Since 1950, the art program has invited artists and visitors to the Idyllwild Arts 205-acre campus in the mountain wilderness. Here, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday city living, creations, music, and ideas come to life. Each summer more than 1,300 students attend.
For a full schedule and registration information, visit
Insider Tips to Idyllwild
Stroll through Idyllwild Town Center for some unique finds among their eclectic shops and eateries.
The Candy Cupboard serves old-fashioned candy included shaved ice and retro treats; Lady of the Lake is full of trinkets and gift items, from statues to candles and lotions; and Red Kettle, one of the areas oldest dining locales, a colorful coffee shop with indoor and outdoor seating, is a great spot for a quick bite to eat.