Highway 74, aka the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway, will connect yomountu to Highway 243 and the mountain town of Idyllwild — an artisan-centric community with quaint cabins, rustic boutiques, and miles of ponderosa forest waiting to be explored.
Idyllwild Nature Center
Whether the forecast heralds sun or snow, you’ll find plenty of fun outdoor activities at this pet-friendly nature center. Warmer months call for hiking or horseback riding, while winter brings snowball fights and sledding. Breathe in the mountain air and feel your worries melt away. fb.com/idynaturecenter
Learn to throw clay on a pottery wheel in a town that’s known for arts and creativity. The store itself is filled with one-of-a-kind pottery and ceramics made by local Idyllwild artists, while the studio welcomes all levels to get their hands dirty and learn the craft. mountainpotteryidy.com
Middle Ridge Winery
Winemaker Chris Johnston grew up in Idyllwild, where he attended the Idyllwild Arts Academy and studied violin as a teenager. Today, he and his wife, Melody, produce small-batch wines from grapes sourced at California vineyards. At their boutique winery, they offer tastings, art shows, live music, and events. middleridge.com
Fresh-brewed beers made with pure Idyllwild well water are the main draw of this rustic mountaintop brewery. You’ll find 21 housemade varieties on tap alongside a full bar and modern gastropub menu. An elevated patio that’s covered and heated overlooks Strawberry Creek. idyllwildbrewpub.com
A small artificial lake off Highway 243 provides a scenic setting for a morning stroll or an afternoon fishing for rainbow trout off the doc. (No swimming or boating is permitted.) An easy path winds around the 2-acre lake, and dogs are allowed on leash. palmspringslife.com/lake-fulmor