What to Do in July in Southern California


If you want to get away from the daily grind, but are tired of long road trips with the kids whining, “Are we there yet?,” plan a trip to Lake Arrowhead. Situated on Highway 18 at an altitude of 5,100 feet, it’s the perfect place for Southern Californians to escape the heat as well as the hustle and bustle of the valleys below.

July is the perfect month to spend in the San Bernardino Mountains because temperatures tend to hover at 10 to 20 degrees lower than the flats. Plus, there are lots of great activities planned for vacationers and residents, alike:

Independence Day Celebration – On Sunday, July 3 at 9 p.m., the Arrowhead Lake Association will host a fireworks’ show. Although the event is free to the general public, space tends to fill up quickly. So, this year, event organizers are offering some paid alternatives:

  • View the fireworks from Lake Arrowhead Village – From noon until midnight, you can park at Rim of the World High School and take a shuttle into the Village. Donations are accepted.
  • Lake Arrowhead Presbyterian Church on Highway 173 will be offering parking for $10, with proceeds benefitting the church youth group. The Rim High Football team will be making shuttle stops at the bottom of the church driveway from noon until 9 p.m. Donations are encouraged.
  • For $20, you can park in Blue Jay and be shuttled to and from the Village from noon until midnight. Park in the lot across the street from McDonald’s. Shuttle service will run from noon until midnight and wait times should prove much shorter than at Rim.
  • $30 will secure you premium fireworks’ viewing, for a family of up to five, from the park or on Lollipop Park Beach.
  • $5 per person will provide general admission to Village Bay Beach, located between Woody’s Dock and the Arrowhead Queen.

Space for all of the above is limited. So reservations are encouraged. Call (909) 337-2553 M-F from 9 until 5.

Gold Rush Days – On Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10, Lake Arrowhead Village will be sponsoring the first ever in an event they hope will start an annual tradition. The weekend-long event will feature a Homestyle Chili Cook-Off; live music and entertainment including trick roping, a blacksmith demonstration, model train display, square dancing and comedy; craft brews, vendors with crafts; and gold panning.

  • ICS Chili Cook-Off — Open to individuals, business owners and service organization members, the cook-off is sanctioned by the International Chili Society (ICS), and will be held on Saturday. ICS World Championship Homestyle Cook-Off. The ICS cook-off will be judged by volunteers from Operation Provider, and requires participants to register for $30 as ICS members or $50 without ($30 entry + $20 ICS member fee.) Winners will be eligible to compete in the World Championship Homestyle Chili Cook-off. Prizes up to $250 and a trophy will be awarded. Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions about the ICS Cook-Off.
  • People’s Choice — Also available is the People’s Choice category, which will be judged by the public. The entry fee for this category is $20 and ICS membership is not required. (Winners of this category will not be eligible to participate in the Worldwide Cook-Off. Prizes include up to $100 and a ribbon. Second and third place will also recognized for each category, with additional entries including Best Booth showmanship.

Classic Car Show – Held from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on July 30, Cruizin’ the Village is the 5th Annual Lake Arrowhead Classic Car & Motorcycle Show is presented by the Gavin Stephen’s Foundation. This year’s event will honor founder, Scott Hughes, and will include a 50/50 drawing, prizes, vendors, raffles and live music. To register or for more information about the event, check out the car show website.

Don’t forget to book a great place to stay while you are enjoying July activities in Lake Arrowhead. Whether you’re looking to spend two nights of luxury with your closest friends with a gourmet kitchen or would prefer to stay in a modest cabin for several days, weeks or months, at Arrowhead Property Rental, we offer lodging to fit all tastes and budgets – for individuals, couples, families and groups — all at great prices, with unbelievable amenities. Check out the possibilities. Don’t delay. Book today.

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