(credit: laverne.edu)

Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountain range, and home of the beautiful Puddingstone Reservoir, San Dimas claims some of the most stunning natural and man-made landscapes in Los Angeles County. Whether you’re looking to shop at the San Dimas Marketplace, golf at the San Dimas Canyon Golf Course, or just relax at one of the many city parks, San Dimas offers something for everyone. Less than an hour from Los Angeles and most Orange County cities, San Dimas is the perfect city for a family day trip or a quick romantic getaway.

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Getting There

A drive due east on Interstate 10 from Los Angeles with a northward turn on the 57 Freeway puts the trip to San Dimas at about 40 minutes.

What To Do

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Bonelli Park

120 Via Verde
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909) 599-8411
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Price: $10 daily vehicle entrance/free on non-holiday weekdays from November to February/$11 motorized boat permit/$7 non-motorized boat permit

Bonelli Park has so many activities to offer, you may not want to go anywhere else on a day trip to San Dimas. Shoreline and boat fishing are  available starting at sunrise, and with barbecues at each picnic area, you might very well catch your own lunch. Enjoy horseback riding Tuesday through Sunday for visitors 7 years old and older through the Talking Horse Equestrian center as well. A one-hour ride costs $35 and includes a spectacular view of Puddingstone Lake. If these activities aren’t enough, swimming, hiking and bird-watching are also available.

(credit: sandimascanyonnaturecenter.com)

San Dimas Canyon Community Regional Park and Nature Center

1628 N. Sycamore Canyon Road
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909) 599-7512
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Take some time to connect with nature at the San Dimas Canyon Park and Nature Center at the San Dimas foothills just 10 minutes northeast of the San Dimas Marketplace. Camp or picnic at the park, but what really sets this park apart is the historical nature center and animal sanctuary. Enjoy hiking trails of varying difficulty, traversing the 138 acres of wildlife habitat, but first pick up a plant identification guide at the nature center to become an expert on the local flora.

Related:  Best Hiking Trails in Orange County

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Puddingstone Resort Hot Tubs

1777 Campers View Road
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909) 592-2222
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Price: $48 per hour for two people Sun to Thurs/$58 per hour for two people Fri and Sat and special holidays/$5 per hour extra each additional person

For couples who want to unwind after an active day in San Dimas, the Puddingstone Resort Hot Tubs are your ticket to a relaxing, romantic evening under the stars. Get there just before sunset for a spectacular view of Puddingstone Lake while you enjoy the relaxing hot water, the open air and the soft candlelit atmosphere. To add a special touch, order gift packages for $25, which include a balloon bouquet, a teddy bear and a rose for your loved one to take home as a reminder of your day together.

Related:  Best Places For Romantic Hikes In LA


(credit: Greg H./Yelp.com)

Pozzetto Italian Dining

114 West Bonita Ave.
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909) 305-9797
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After a day of hiking or horseback riding, the perfect place to refuel is Pozzetto Italian Dining. Located at the Frontier Village Shopping Center, Pozzetto aims to please with outstanding customer service and mouth-watering pizza and pasta dishes including its chicken tequila lunch specialty plate. Pozzetto is a casual, family friendly restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and affordable prices.  You may also order ahead for pick up, and take your lunch or dinner to one of many nearby parks.

(credit: luckyelephantthai.com)

Lucky Elephant Thai Cuisine

531 W. Arrow Highway
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909) 592-4242
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With a bright and elegant dining room, the Lucky Elephant Thai Cuisine Restaurant is a perfect place to dine on pad Thai noodles or salmon with red curry and coconut milk. With an award-winning building and authentic decor, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to Thailand for a healthy meal and a complete Thai experience. Centrally located in the heart of San Dimas, the Lucky Elephant is about a 10-minute drive northwest from Bonelli Park, and just five minutes west of Raging Waters.
Related:  5 L.A. Restaurants That Feel Like Vacation Spots

David McDonald is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.