Strawberry Creek Inn: The Most Relaxing Retreat this Side of the Mississippi
Vacationing can be so much more than stressing out over tight schedules and feeling guilty over every hard-earned penny spent. Sometimes waking up early, getting a hot cup of tea, and chatting over breakfast in chilly weather is the best way to escape our day-to-day lives. I mean, nothing beats good company and great food. That is why the Strawberry Creek Inn won such a warm place in my heart.
I had never been to a Bed and Breakfast before Andrew and I traveled to the Strawberry Creek Inn in Idyllwild, California, but it has always been something I’ve wanted to experience. We are somewhat of “young-old” people, which explains why we would celebrate our two year anniversary in a sleepy town halfway up a twisting, rainy mountainside. Before this, we were too young to book—let alone afford—our own hotel or inn, but instead of going clubbing or throwing a party we packed up my Camry and headed North for the weekend.
Because we are old people trapped in young people’s bodies, we were absolutely astonished when reading about the wonderful amenities that the Strawberry Creek Inn offered: a full gourmet breakfast, appetizers, many rustic outdoor spaces (such as a hammock and a courtyard deck), board games, puzzles, bookshelves full to the brim of wonderful reads, a chicken pen, and did I mention a full gourmet breakfast? This is the Inn that dreams are made of! What could be better than driving into the middle of nowhere and retreating into a cozy backwoods cabin, complete with homemade peach french toast for breakfast and fresh baked cookies in the afternoon.
There are many unique things about the Strawberry Creek Inn, but one of my favorite parts was that each room has it’s own distinct personality and design. Andrew and I bunked in the Oak Room, which is a small pinkish abode named for the large oak tree directly out the front window which offers a comfy and quaint bench seat directly underneath. To be honest, we booked this room because of it’s reasonable price, but it has such a unique charm about it! It was perfect for our taste and made Andrew and I feel more comfortable and closer than ever (especially when we locked ourselves in there to watch The Office for three hours straight. Did I mention they have a huge collection of complimentary movies and TV shows?). The reason our room was less expensive than some of its counterparts is because some larger rooms feature a fireplace inside, such as the mountain man's Evergreen room and Maggie’s room. Every room with a fireplace comes with a complimentary log of firewood so the cold weather doesn't creep in.
I must say, I felt so at home there. The owner’s and their coworkers were so friendly and helpful. They cooked the delicious meals themselves, decorated the community room with a collection of wonderful knick knacks and artwork, and were always two steps away if we needed anything.
Idyllwild is a pretty interesting place to stay. The community is fairly small and you can walk to the center of town from the inn, but we never felt like we had run out of things to do. We walked through a tree-shaded trail to buy some loose leaf tea and small Buddha figurines for each other at a local tea shop, and then ice skated in our sneakers on the still-frozen ground. I may or may not have fallen multiple times. We also goofed around on an exercise trail that had a different basic equipment regimen every couple yards, which is a great idea if I may say so. It completely spices up the normal jog through the woods, or in our case, a sluggish and sweaty walk.
We couldn’t possibly forget to mention the hiking trails as well. If you ask the owner, he will provide you with a comprehensive hiking map that shows all of the trails in the area. Andrew and I attempted to conquer the Deer Springs Trail on our visit. Even though it was still snowy and slippery when we tried to hike it, it was beautiful and incredibly fun. But alas, we didn’t conquer the trail—in fact, we became lost halfway up and stood confused amidst shrubbery and shame. Despite all of this, we had bundles of fun and had a great time laughing at ourselves with the other travelers at the inn.
All in all, the Strawberry Creek Inn was one of the most enjoyable, relaxing vacations I have ever taken. I felt so isolated yet so happy alongside friendly strangers and noisy chickens, which made it the kind of getaway that left a warm buzz in my chests and a sweet taste on my lips. I cannot say enough about the kindness of the staff, the beauty of their intricate inn, and the wonderful ambiance that surrounds the area.
It’s easy to get swept up in the current when life moves so fast around us, but taking a step back every once and awhile and letting yourself relax is the most important and most wonderful aspect of travel. To breathe out you have to breathe in every once and awhile.
Thank you so much for checking out our article on the Strawberry Creek Inn! What is your favorite Bed and Breakfast? Let us know in the comments below.