Less than two hours from Los Angeles but a world away in terms of its rustic nature, Lake Arrowhead is a mix of the crunchy (hiking and wildlife peeping) and the stylish (mod A-frame cabins and a smidge of cute shopping). Here’s what to do on your perfect clean-air getaway weekend.

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Antler Lodge
Take Sunset

Sleep in Your Dream Cabin

Long before a Tumblr made them hip, A-frames were synonymous with Lake Arrowhead. We especially love Antler Lodge, a lovingly renovated 1959 blond-wood-and-white-painted three-bedroom, three-bath abode. It’s new on Airbnb, and with its stylish interiors, soaring lake views and reasonable rate ($245 per night), it won’t be vacant much. 

Road Trip
Road Trip

Indulge in Retail Therapy

Lake Arrowhead Village has more than 50 little shops fronting the lake, most notably tomboy-chic outlets like Bass and Pendleton. But our favorite store is Road Trip, a cute little A-frame along Route 173 that’s full of well-edited vintage fashion, handmade pottery, serapes and sage bundles (because you want to clear the air in your weekend rental, natch).

Take a stroll through the changing leaves

At Heaps Peak Arboretum, you can wander around the grounds of a protected landscape, including a mile loop that highlights so many trees, from quaking aspen to giant sequoia. It’s especially great for nature-deprived city kids and their parents, since on weekends there are tours and an information booth for all those facts about photosynthesis you’ll want to remember.

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Sitting bear

Commune With Wildlife

Wildhaven Ranch, a 35-acre wildlife sanctuary and education center, is home to bears, coyotes, eagles and other indigenous critters that are endangered or injured and can’t safely be released back into the wild. Reserve a time online to attend a session, including (gulp) bear feeding by hand. 

Hike to a Watering Hole

The Pacific Crest Trail runs through these parts, but you don’t have to go full Reese Witherspoon to appreciate it. Take a three-mile walk to get to Deep Creek Hot Springs, the clothing-optional series of geothermal pools beloved by naturists and amoebas (maybe just soak your feet, to be safe). Or do a gonzo jump at Aztec Falls, a swimming hole that’s less crowded as the weather eases into fall.

Lake Arrowhead Sunset

Enjoy Dinner Over A Sunset

Like so many pastoral places, dinnertime comes early in Lake Arrowhead. Take in the multicolored panorama from the windows of Mexican restaurant Hortencias in Skyforest or settle in for a cozy dinner (and equally cozy martini) at the Grill at Antler’s Inn.

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