Lake Arrowhead: California’s Alps

The 2006 Winter Olympics have riveted Americans with the awesome vistas of the Italian Alps. If you’re one of the many people who have added the Alps to their list of destinations to visit someday, take heart. There are places closer to home that offer those same stunning vistas. One such place, in fact, is a short drive from Los Angeles, in San Bernardino county: Lake Arrowhead, California.

Lake Arrowhead has been called “California’s Alps.” While the people of this community have all of Southern California’s famous warmth, the mountains, the pine trees, and the climate are totally alpine. Snowy but mild winters make for some of the West Coast’s best skiing. In the summer, Southern Californians escape here to swim or canoe in the lake and breathe in the mountain valley’s cool, clean air.

Lake Arrowhead, California Real Estate

Close-to-home wonderlands like Lake Arrowhead aren’t just great places to visit. Many people in tight real estate markets are finding that such places offer a unique opportunity for owning and investing in real estate. According to a real estate agent in Lake Arrowhead Louisa Millington, owning your weekend getaway can save money over the long term. In addition to any possible appreciation of the property value, renting can provide investment income. In the Lake Arrowhead real estate market, you can rent not only to long-term tenants, but also to vacationers at higher vacation rates.

If you check out the Lake Arrowhead MLS, luxury homes in Lake Arrowhead, you’ll find that prices are still more down to earth than in much of southern California.

What’s most amazing is that if you’re not a native of Southern California, you may never have even heard of this place. Perhaps it’s Lake Arrowhead’s lower profile that has saved it from overdevelopment, preserving its quiet beauty.

Lake Arrowhead Information

Climate:

According to UCLA, Lake Arrowhead enjoys “310 days of sunshine.” While that may not impress Southern Californians, Lake Arrowhead also boasts four utterly distinct seasons, including snow on the mountains in winter—yet with daytime temperatures that rarely go below freezing and often reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Things to do:

  • Skiing. Lake Arrowhead’s climate is perfect for skiing: just cold enough for snow, but rarely below freezing during the day. The most popular places to ski are Snow Valley and the Big Bear Lake area.
  • Blue Jay Ice Castle. A world-class ice skating rink often used by the premier American woman figure skater, Michelle Kwan.
  • San Bernardino National Forest. The San Bernardino National Forest wraps around Lake Arrowhead, ensuring that much of the area’s natural beauty remains open to all, and protecting the area from over-development. Wildlife includes the Southwestern Arroyo Toad, an endangered species. Activities include camping, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
  • Deep Creek Hot Springs: one of the most popular areas of natural hot springs in southern California. The springs are located inside San Bernardino National Forest. You have to hike to the springs themselves, but the springs and the surrounding canyon landscape are worth the relatively easy trek.
  • The Arrowhead Queen. See the lake area from the best perspective: the lake itself, on this enclosed paddleboat.
  • Lake Arrowhead Film Festival. The theme of the 2006 festival (May 5-7) is “The Future of Film In the Digital Age – the newest in techniques and services that bring strong and innovative movie-making.”8 Shopping: Check out the Lake Arrowhead Outlet, as well as specialty stores on the south shore of the lake.
  • VIP and Hollywood celebrity-watching. Lake Arrowhead has been one of southern California’s “playgrounds of the rich and famous” since at least the 1930s.