TRAVEL BLOG

October 17, 2017

DayTrippers Gone Idyll-WILD at Annual Art Walk

IMG_0014There’s just something about going to the mountains in the fall.  Maybe it’s the smell of the pine trees.  Maybe it’s the subtle change in colors from green to gold and orange.  Or maybe it’s the promise of a fun-filled day in Idyllwild at their annual Art Walk and Wine Tasting.

This was the 20th anniversary of this delightful event and our 52 DayTripper passengers were ready to drink in every aspect of the magic that happens when art galleries, artists and Southern California wineries join forces to raise money for art scholarships and vents.  Our first stop on the drive north was the Old Town Temecula.  We climbed out of the coach right into the heart of the weekly Temecula Farmers’ Market.  This is one of the best Farmers’ Markets in the region.  Tents were bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables right from the farmers’ fields.  But in addition, there were beautiful craft items like jewelry made from old typewriter keys, wind chimes made from antique spoons, and precious miniature succulents.  Oh, and I must mention the best brittle candy you’ve ever tasted!  I saw several passengers pick up bags of brittle for snacking on—flavors included butter pecan, brownie bites, pumpkin and even tropical (with coconut and mango…my favorite).  I heard several Daytrippers say, “We need more time here” as they came back to the bus.  True, we could have spent an hour, but 30 minutes is all we had for our comfort stop.

IMG_0009Our driver David and I decided to take the scenic route east of Temecula on our way to Idyllwild.  As we drove on Rancho California Road we passed several beautiful wineries including Thornton Winery, Callaway Vineyard & Winery, and Wiens Family Cellars.  Again, it was very tempting to stop and do a little wine tasting here, but we still had miles to go and hundreds of feet in elevation to climb before reaching our destination.  Soon, the scenery was changing from the wide flat former lake bed where the tiny town of Anza fiercely holds onto its small town status to the pine-covered hills of the “Palms to Pines Highway” better known as Highway 74. Along the way, David even had to steer our 45’ coach around a big tumbleweed in the middle of the road!  By noon we had arrived in Idyllwild nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains of Riverside County.  Known as “Mile-high Idyllwild,” one of its attractions is that it offers all four seasons.  Idyllwild was listed in the book,”100 Best Small Art Towns in America,” and was also voted “L.A.’s Best Mountain Getaway.

IMG_0010Idyllwild was originally known as Strawberry Valley because of the wild strawberries that grow there, especially beside the creek that runs through the town, Strawberry Creek. Today, it was the wine, not the strawberries that was the big attraction and complimentary wine glasses were distributed to those passengers who purchased wine tasting tickets when they made their reservation.  The afternoon was free for everyone to wander around and have lunch on their own at any of many eateries in town, from the raved-about La Casita Mexican Restaurant to Uncle B’s Smokin’ Bar-b-que, to the cute and cozy IDYology Restaurant.  All in all, 18 wineries and 12 art galleries took part in the event, drawing more than 2000 visitors to this small town.  Free shuttles were even available to transport us between venues if we desired.

Time flew by and soon David was welcoming us back to the coach with cold water and snacks for the drive home.  Our comfort stop was once again Old Town Temecula as one of our passengers met us there on the way up and needed to be dropped off as well.  The Farmers’ Market had closed up shop and cleared out by the time we arrived at 6pm, so this time we briefly explored the board sidewalks and shops of the main street which was buzzing on this Saturday evening.  By the time we all were dropped off, we realized what a wonderful, full day we had had with Daytrippers to the mountain getaway of Idyllwild, California.
IMG_0011IMG_0003– Pat Brown
Tour: Idyllwild Annual Art Walk
Date: October 14, 2017


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