(credit: Shutterstock)

(credit: Shutterstock)


A vacation by the water tends to be soothing, but sometimes the roaring sea is not the sound you want to hear for that particular occasion. Enter lovely lakeside settings close to the Los Angeles fray, but far enough away so that if crickets are around then you can hear these nighttime creatures and hardly anything else. The following are five of those idyllic destinations for all types of budgets at which you can enjoy your next Southland vacation.
(credit: Shutterstock)

(credit: Shutterstock)


Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa
27984 Highway 189
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
(909) 336-1511
www.lakearrowheadresort.com

Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa is one of the most deluxe outposts on this list of lakeside getaways. In fact, if you book an exclusive Lakeview suite (there are 11 on the premises), you’ll be sure to be privy to some mighty fine accommodations, offering everything from your own private way to watch over Lake Arrowhead (what a view!) to deep soaking tubs (monogrammed bathrobes await after your bath) to cushion-top mattresses (ensuring that great sleeping awaits). As for the lake itself, Arrowhead is one of the best of all that thrive in Southern California. All kinds of boats ply these waters, including kayaks, hobie cats, sail boats and motorboats. Fishing for trout and bass is also on hand. But the premiere sport of this particular lake is waterskiing, with skiers and boogie boarders given preferential treatment at Lake Arrowhead.

(credit: Rom P./Yelp)

(credit: Rom P./Yelp)


Vail Lake Resort
38000 Temecula Parkway S.
Temecula, CA 92592
(951) 303-0173
www.vaillakeresort.com

Vail Lake is arguably the best place in California to fish for largemouth bass. It’s also an ideal place just to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Vail Lake Resort accommodates RVs and the folks who travel in these decked out rigs make visiting places like this fun and easy. Water, septic and 30 amp power hookups are on hand at each camping site, with the Oaks perfect for families and Chardonnay Mesa geared more toward adults and those who hanker for a great view. Low key is the watchword at this cheerful place where you’ll never get bored, unless that’s how you want to spend your stay. No matter what you do here, you’ll relax and want to stay away from the L.A. fray as long as is absolutely possible.

(credit: Reindeer Cottage)

(credit: Reindeer Cottage)


Reindeer Cottage
1677 Thrush Road
Wrightwood, CA 92397
(626) 629-6032
www.stayinwrightwood.com

This mountain retreat offers the epitome of the proverbial cabin in the woods, pinecones and all. Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, not far east of Jackson Lake, this charming outpost offers the ideal vacation for a close-knit family or as a romantic getaway for the loving couple. Reindeer Cottage hits the mark, offering everything you’ll need for a short stay or a longer one. No matter how long the visit, you’ll be able to count on a cozy, vintage 1930s wonderland complete with such amenities as a fully stocked kitchen, a sauna, a chess table, and a warm and friendly living room, enhanced by a fireplace, a lot of knotty pine, a vaulted ceiling, and a wagon wheel chandelier. Oh, and there’s even a reindeer on the premise. Actually, it’s a reindeer’s head thats been subject to taxidermy and mounted on the wall. As for Jackson Lake, spend as much time as you can at this festive watering hole that’s great for fishing or just daydreaming.; it’s that inspirational.

Related: Best Hotels With A View In Los Angeles

(credit: Lake Elsinore)

(credit: Lake Elsinore)


Best Western Inn Plus Lake Elsinore
31781 Casino Drive
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
(951) 674-3131
www.bestwestern.com

Lake Elsinore’s claim to fame is the largest fresh water lake in our neck of the woods, and is popular for all kinds of water activities. For that reason, staying somewhere clean and friendly is about all you need for your overnights. In fact, that’s all that’s available in this remote area, so check into the highly regarded Best Western Plus for just those reasons. Named Trip Advisor’s best place to stay in the vicinity of the lake, this property offers spacious accommodations, free wifi, a fitness center, free breakfast (eaten outside if you prefer), and a refreshing pool and hot tub ready for out-of-town guests who are hankering to get in some water action after a long drive. When ready, Lake Elsinore is waiting with a plethora of pursuits, like sailing, motor boating, jet skiing, waterskiing, wake boarding, kayaking, and, of special interest, shoreline fishing. Make sure you schedule enough time to sample all wares available in this tranquil environment.

(credit: Vicky B./Yelp)

(credit: Vicky B./Yelp)


Northwoods Resort
40650 Village Drive
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 866-3121
www.northwoodsresort.com

Stay at Adirondack-style Northwoods Resort to get the full effect of the region plus some pampering that comes in many forms at this sizable resort residing in popular Big Bear Lake. The mountainside location, located about a mile-and-a-half from Big Bear Lake, features a huge pool (a great place to meet other guests) and a toasty sauna. Some 148 rooms on three floors speak to the more rustic aspect of your personality and Casual Stillwells is a restaurant on site that specializes in sizzling steak and tasty seafood. As for the activities to be found at the lake, get primed for boating and wake boarding, among many other sports. With 23 miles of shoreline, there’s something for everyone at and in Big Bear Lake. Enjoy!

Related: Best Hotel Dining In Los Angeles

Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist and always travels with her pillow. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.