Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa
We arrived at Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa on a busy Friday evening. The lobby was buzzing with travelers checking in and is elegantly appointed with comfy sofas and a fireplace that create a welcoming, rustic feel. As the resort is extremely pet-friendly, many guests were accompanied by their furry friends – which added to the festive environment. We checked into our room and were pleasantly surprised by a beautiful view of Lake Arrowhead.
We settled in and then headed to Bin 189 for dinner. The restaurant, which is inside the resort, has a beautiful view of the lake, as well as terrace dining that overlooks the lake. We ordered crab cakes for our appetizer, the braised short rib and pan fried chicken for our entrees and topped off our meal with crème brulee and New York cheesecake – which were all delicious. We headed down to the resort’s private beach to enjoy the lights on the lake. It was quiet and serene – the perfect way to end the evening.
We awoke bright and early to meet with Jorge – our guide from Enjoy the Mountain – who picked us up outside the resort to take us to do some mountain biking. We were under the impression we’d be taking a leisurely ride around the lake but soon discovered the “easy” trail was actually a fire road that started at the top of the mountain. Jorge gave us a map and a GPS tracking device and sent us on our way. Weeeeeeee! For those that don’t know – mountain biking and bike riding are not the same thing! It was quite the thrill and we managed to make it down the mountain unscathed. When we reached the bottom, another guide was there to meet us and drive us back to the resort.
Our next stop was Lake Arrowhead Sports Grill – just down the road in Blue Jay. If you like good beer and good food – definitely come here! We ordered a chicken Caesar salad and the First Catch sandwich – which consists of beer battered fish with a pesto spread, coleslaw, sliced tomatoes and served on homemade flat bread (who knew pesto and fish could taste so good!) – plus two ice cold Ballast Point IPA’s. It was the perfect place to refuel and unwind after our harrowing ride.
Shopping in Lake Arrowhead Village
Feeling re-energized, we decided to check out the shops in Lake Arrowhead Village. We were delighted to discover how convenient and accessible it was to Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. We scored some sweet deals at the Bass outlet – which included a new pair of boat shoes for Ellie – who was so excited to come up to the lake that she forgot to pack any shoes – aside from the flip flops she had on her feet!
Spa of the Pines
We arrived back at the resort just in time for our couple’s massage at the Spa of the Pines. We enjoyed a soothing and rejuvenating one-hour massage with scented aromatherapy oils of our choosing. Afterward, we relaxed in the private lounge, and then luxuriated in the steam room and whirlpool before reveling in the full-experiential shower that had water shooting at you from 10 directions! Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh….
After that, it was time for a cool dip in the lake – which felt heavenly! We settled in at a cabana while people gathered around the fire pit for a bonfire and s’mores. Yes, the resort has a bonfire and s’mores every night! We watched the sunset on the lake, then decided to check out a sushi spot that Jorge had recommended.
Grill Tales at Antler’s Inn
A short drive away in Twin Peaks is Grill Tales at Antler’s Inn – which is a sushi restaurant inside another restaurant called The Grill at Antler’s Inn (which was also recommended, but we didn’t have time to check out). This place gets a special mention, as it was some of the most scrumptious sushi we’ve ever tasted. Seriously, we’d go back for this place alone! Apparently, their regular chef was out of town but the gals who were covering did an amazing job. Their desserts were also out of this world – we had a yummy slice of peanut butter pie but would have also loved to try the flourless Chambord chocolate cake (all homemade on the premises) if our tummies would have allowed! Super satisfied, we headed back to the resort, crawled into our crazy, comfy bed and immediately fell asleep.
Hiking Aztec Falls
We awoke Sunday morning to another beautiful sunrise on the lake and got ready for a guided hike to Aztec Falls with Enjoy the Mountain. Jorge’s wife and daughter picked us and another couple up at the resort and we headed out to the trailhead. This area is called the “Rim of the World” for a reason – stunning views surrounded us as we descended into the canyon toward the falls. It was a steep climb down to the falls but worth the effort. There was a group of teenagers swimming and diving off the rocks – which looked dangerous, but was entertaining. We hung out, snapped photos and took in the views. On our way back, we passed a bridge that lead to the Pacific Crest trail – a 2650-mile trail that stretches from Mexico to Canada. Overall, it was a really fun and visually stimulating hike.
After burning those calories, we were ready to EAT and decided to try Rocky’s Roadhouse where we ordered some monster sandwiches – the Italian and the Eggplant Parmesan. These people are serious about their sammy’s – one would have easily fed us both – but two sustained us for the rest of the day, as we later revisited our leftovers for dinner.
Lake Arrowhead Queen Boat Tour
We ventured back to the village for one more stroll around the shops before we embarked on a tour of the lake on the Lake Arrowhead Queen Boat. The captain told us all about the history of the lake and also pointed out noteworthy homes along the shore. During the tour, we learned about Lake Arrowhead’s rich film history, as well – there have been 120 movies filmed in Lake Arrowhead over the years – including Heidi, Giant, I’ll Take Sweden, The American President, Space Jam, Next, and the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap, to name a few.
All in all, it was an incredibly relaxing, yet invigorating experience. Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa is the perfect getaway for those who truly enjoy nature. There’s so much to see and do – we can’t wait to go back! We’re even considering getting married at the resort, as it truly is a romantic and magical place. If you’re ever in the area, make sure this is one of your destinations!
Check out the gallery below to see more! (Photo credit: Ellie Perez Photography).