by Morgan Craft
One of the reasons we desert dwellers extol the virtue of living in our arid environment are the many choices we have to get away from it. Idyllwild has always fit the bill, and it’s only getting better.
With its many art galleries and the Idyllwild Arts Center (www.idyllwildarts.org), this funky mountain hamlet has been named as one of the top 100 small art towns in America. The town hosts regular art and musical events like Jazz in the Pines, numerous Art Walks and festivals, and Idyllwild's Adult Arts Center attracts adult students, drawn by its diverse offerings in contemporary arts, theatre, and creative writing.
Park in the small town square, and most of the town’s offerings are within walking distance. Idyllwild tried for decades to cash in on a Swiss Village theme, and much of the downtown architecture reflects this. And while there’s a dearth of touristy knickknacks and high-calorie temptation, a new generation of hip, enlightened businesses has taken root. The community now offers yoga, pilates, an organic market, watsu (floating) massage, spiritual and meditation retreats, and of course, thousands of acres of contemplative wilderness. (Click to read on...)