I may be moving to Southern California next year. Two of the towns I am considering living in are Idyllwild and Big Bear Lake. My girlfriend's father lives in Idyllwild, and it seems like a nice place to live. I would appreciate any input on either of these towns and whether they would be pleasant places to live. I am used to living in a medium sized college town (Charlottesville, VA) with some conveniences of cosmopolitan neighborhoods but with easy access to wilderness.
Idyllwild is smaller and sexier, with a little bent toward the tourist. I liked it a lot last summer, with great hiking right close by. Tremendous climbing is close as well. The town is small, though. Think Hot Springs, if you've been there. Big Bear City and Big Bear Lake City are larger and also very nice. Access to the LA megaplex is immediate if you want stuff from there. BBLC is pretty large, BBC alot smaller, though larger than Idyllwild. Given then choice, I would like in Idyllwild, but both of the cities were among my favorites from this summer.