Oktoberfest Up the Mountain

ARROWHEAD AUTUMN: Look. We're not one to pull out "oh, whatever" in response to anything. Because it is rude, and goodness knows the world is always due for a little social sweetness. But hearing, again and again, that Southern California lacks in seasonal goodness always sets our personal "whatever" meter to high. We flat-out don't buy it. Not only are there plenty of trees that go yellow and red -- granted, they tend to turn closer to November than September -- but we've got several mountain villages that are but a short drive away. Like Lake Arrowhead. We spent a happy Halloween weekend tooling around the lake once, and the fall foliage? Mighty impressive. Which makes it an ideal example of why fall does indeed visit Southern California. It is also an ideal setting for Oktoberfest.

OPENING DAY: The accordions started a-wheezin' 'round Lake Arrowhead on Saturday, Sept. 24; the Oktoberfesty fun will continue to dance every weekend for the better part of October. Getting in is free. And the bonus? Again? You can walk down to the lake from the village. There are plenty of excellent Oktoberfests in the SoCal area, but this one comes with a big body of water and a bunch of fir trees to boot. We challenge you to not use the word "Alpine" several times while there. It's nearly impossible.

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