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Inland Empire Small Towns

Small Towns Overview

Inland Empire

The Inland Empire has a wide variety of interesting cities and small towns. The Inland Empire is comprised of low-lying regions of urban sprawl and mountain communities nestled in the pine trees. Take in panoramic views from the Top of the Notch Restaurant on Mt. Baldy. Stay overnight in a mountain cabin in Idyllwild. Sample delicious apple pie and cider in Oak Glen. Take advantage of the multitude of outdoor activities available in Big Bear including boating, fishing, camping, snow skiing, hiking and so much more. Soar over vineyards and sample the local wines in Temecula. From quaint lakeside resorts to bustling wineries, you'll find all of the cool towns in the Inland Empire listed on this page.

Inland Empire Small Towns

Mt. Baldy Inn and Restaurant

Mt. Baldy is located north of San Bernardino off Highway 210. Situated in the Angeles National Forest, Mt. Baldy features a ski resort with snow skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking, mountain biking and sightseeing in the summer. Park at the end of Mt. Baldy Road and take the ski lift up to the Top of the Notch Restaurant for views of the L.A. Basin all the way to Catalina Island. Ski lift and restaurant are only open weekends and holidays during the summer. Several hiking trails head out from Mt. Baldy Road to peaks and ridges throughout the San Gabriel Mountains. The small town of Mt. Baldy is where you'll find the Mt. Baldy Lodge offering cabins and a country BBQ restaurant. You're guaranteed to catch at the Mt. Baldy Trout Pools where you only pay for what you catch.

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Tahquitz/Lily Rock, Idyllwild

Idyllwild is located off Highway 243 south of Interstate 10 in the San Jacinto Mountains. This quaint mountain community resides on the second highest peak in Southern California. Rustic cabins and campgrounds are plentiful in Idyllwild. Activities include camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, shopping and sightseeing. The region is filled with Indian petroglyphs but their locations are closely guarded to avoid vandalism. Ask for directions at the San Jacinto State Park headquarters. An Indian grinding rock is located behind campsites #6 and #7 in the State Park campground. Consider hiking to the top of Taquitz peak or farther to San Jacinto peak. Those who can commit to a 17-mile strenuous hike can head for the Palm Springs Tram and ride down to Palm Springs. Idyllwild offers several great restaurants and quaint cafés.

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Oak Glen is located off Interstate 10 east of Yucaipa and north of Beaumont. Nestled in the pine trees below Mt. San Gorgonio, Oak Glen is a picturesque small town known for making one thing to perfection... APPLES. Spring rewards visitors with orchard after orchard of apple blossoms and Fall delivers delicious, tree-ripened apples of many varieties. Everything from apple cider to apple pies are available from local merchants. Many farms offer the option to pick your own apples straight from their orchard.

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Big Bear is located in the San Bernardino National Forest northeast of San Bernardino off Highways 18 and 38. Nestled in the pine trees at 8,000-feet, this has long been a retreat for Los Angeles residents. Highlights include the large 7-mile long Big Bear Lake and several Big Bear ski resorts. Big Bear Lake offers boat rentals for trout and bass fishing. There is plenty of camping and cabin rentals surrounding the 22 miles of shoreline. Hiking and mountain biking trails are abundant and the ski resorts offer downhill mountain biking during the dry months. Other activities include golfing, swimming, horseback riding and off-roading. Moonridge Zoo showcases the local wild animals of the region. Take a Big Bear Lake paddlewheel boat tour on Miss Liberty. Get a birds-eye view on a Big Bear Lake helicopter tour. With an average population of 21,000, Big Bear Lake is not the small town it used to be but today offers many amenities and activities.

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Ponte Winery Temecula

Temecula is located off Interstate 15 between Riverside and San Diego. Temecula is Southern California's wine region with nearly two dozen wineries situated in Temecula Valley. Several Temecula wine tours are offered including Jeep, horseback, bike tours and more. Old Town Temecula is a mix of historic buildings, restored structures and a recreation of the original 1800's town. Old Town Temecula features museums, restaurants, boutique shops, antique shops, a community theater and lodging. This small town hosts events throughout the year including car shows, concerts, western shows and more. Pechanga Indian Casino offers a casino, hotel, restaurants, night clubs and world-class entertainment. The nearby Lake Skinner offers boating, fishing, swimming and camping. Go hot air ballooning over Temecula wineries with A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure. Temecula has several world-class golf resorts from 9-holes to challenging 18-hole courses.

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