One Day in Idyllwild, California (and Gluten-Free!)

Tucked in the mountains of San Jacinto, and just a hop, skip and jump away (aka 2 hours) from both busy metropolises of Los Angeles and San Diego exists the beautiful and quaint town of Idyllwild. The town serves as nice escape for anyone. Whether that’s a solo getaway, camping trip with friends or family, or a romantic adventure, driving up the hill will sure be worth it.

Where to Stay

The Grand Idyllwild Lodge

Arguably, the fanciest and newest bed and breakfast in town. We were enamored at first site. It is stunning, and owned by a husband and wife, who literally built everything by hand! The rooms are quaint and have a spa-like feel. Each room is priced differently, sporting individual names like ‘Tranquility.’ It is centrally located, and includes a phenomenal breakfast. Although we didn’t tell the owners about my allergies and CD ahead of time, they were able to quickly accommodate. Our fears of having to scrounge around for a last-minute brunch spot were immediately lifted, and we had gluten free French toast on the table in no time. Yummmm.

 

Hicksville Pines

For a more rustic, Twin Peaks-themed adventure, this option is for you. Twin Peaks themed cabins and fun activities, capped off with with some Damn Good Coffee. Know that these rooms sell-out quickly, so plan ahead of time.

 

Breakfast

The Town Baker

In case you’re not staying at The Grand Idyllwild Lodge, you can find gluten-free options galore here! Yummy food for both breakfast or lunch. You won’t be disappointed by the options offered.

 

Coffee/Tea

Forest View Tea House

One of my new favorite spots in town. This is a UK-inspired tea house, complete with an array of different teas, including amazing Matcha and various dairy-free tea options. Did I mention they have delicious gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free deserts? Yep. The owner is Polish and vegan, and completely delightful. What’s not to like? Update- they now serve Dark Horse Coffee Roasters!

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Higher Grounds Coffee House

If you are in need of more caffeine than what tea can offer, you can literally walk across the parking lot from the Tea House and end up at Higher Grounds. They blend everything in-house, and it's the only certified organic coffee on the hill. In addition to great coffee, you also have some gluten-free treats to choose from.

 

Things to Do

Idyllwild Nature Center

A lovely and interactive nature center, just down the street (though I recommend driving) from the town’s center. It’s an interactive center (great for all ages), right in the midst of some amazing hikes. We completed the Deer Spring Trail, a shorter hike on the premises, and it was super pleasant. Anyone at the center can offer you a map, and provide recommendations of other hikes to complete in the area.

 

The Rustic Theatre

Can we go back to when all town theatres were simple and comfy, without any anxiety over what movie or seat to choose? This theatre gets you that warm, nostalgic feeling (they literally provide blankets). We watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi here and loved the retro experience.

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Humber Park Trailhead

Hiking aplenty! Though you will need an National Forest Adventure Pass to access the hikes ($5/day or $30/year). Keep in mind, some hikes are subject to quotas.

 

Antique/Thrift Shopping

You can’t leave Idyllwild without exploring some of their awesome antique and thrift shops like The Funky Bazaar and Fern Valley Emporium.

 

Karaoke, and other activities

The American Legion hosts karaoke on Saturday nights, and has other activities scheduled throughout the week. Check out their Facebook page to find out more.

 

Lunch

Plant Food Supper Club

Holy yummy! This place is full of organic vegan and gluten-free options. We looooved the tofu scramble tacos. And they now offer dinner on certain nights. We are already dreaming of returning back.

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Café Aroma

Eat your lunch or dinner in a beautiful surrounding. This restaurant has its own gluten free menu, with items such as pizzas, pastas, salads, etc.

 

Dinner

FERRO Restaurant

We had no idea you needed a reservation, because of how busy this place gets, and were lucky that we arrived pretty early. A home, converted into a restaurant, giving a mix of old world and new world rustic. Their flour is imported from Italy to serve you up some of the most legitimate Italian dishes. They can make just about any dish gluten and dairy free. We were happily surprised by the service and the amazing food. Added bonus? Our waiter was Greek, and we had a great time bonding.

 

Dessert

El Buen Cacao

The lovely couple who own this shop are chocolatiers who really Know their cacao, and visit the countries they export their chocolate from. In addition to their fantastic chocolate, they also have different coffee drinks (and hot cocoa duh) with every kind of milk possible, including hazelnut mmm.

 

Drinks/Nightlife

IDYology

A fun restaurant (veg and gluten free options), with live music on most nights.

 

Idyllwild Brewpub

Another great place to eat and drink, with live music. They also have vegan and gluten-free options available on their menu.

 

Now, who’s ready for a fun weekend getaway?

 

As always,

Buen Camino!

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