Escape the heat of Palm Springs in the mountain town of Idyllwild. Located at an elevation of 5,413 feet, the town in San Jacinto mountains is about a 50-mile scenic drive from Palm Springs via CA-74 West. While the cooler mountain air may be enough reason to visit, Idyllwild has a vibrant art scene, delightful shops, great eateries, and natural wonders. It's easy to spend the day browsing the shops and art galleries. Visitors will find the handiwork of local artisans and artwork in every medium. Check out The Spruce Moose for local art and the owners' hand-poured soy candles. Stop by Mountain Pottery's shop to see the beautiful pieces that are handmade onsite. Enjoy Chile Relleno on the deck nestled in pine trees at La Casita Mexican Restaurant.
Stay cool as you visit Yucca Valley's indoor attractions. Start your visit at Yucca Valley California Welcome Center for free maps and information on local attractions. Also, a shop in onsite that sells the work of local artists. Head over to Hi-Desert Nature Museum to see the desert-themed exhibits and live desert animals. Check to see if there's a special event on the day of your visit. The museum is also a venue for concerts, lectures, and movies. Get lost in the stacks at Sagebush Press Bookstore. The used bookstore has thousands of titles, including many out-of-print books. Make a discovery at Pioneer Crossing Antiques. Since there are 22 vendors with different specialties, there's something for almost every taste. Yucca Valley is just 27 miles from Palm Springs.