Local things to do to save gas

■ RICHARD PERRY / Contributed

Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy,

The rains will reside and spring will be here in no time. With that in mind, I want to share with you my short list of local things to do for fun that don’t require much planning.

1) Bee Canyon Jeep Trail to Pine Cove
My Jeep club friends shared this with me some time ago. It starts from east Hemet and climbs up around Soboba to a fresh creek and waterfall that ends up in Pine Cove (of course you’ll need a Jeep).

2) The new Soboba Casino and Country Club at Soboba Springs
Try out your luck at California’s new playground and then visit a great place to golf or have dinner. Both are a must see and gems for our valley.

3) The Ramona Bowl
My wife and I have several family members that are traveling over 500 miles to get here in April to see the Ramona Pageant at the Bowl. I take them up there even if there isn’t anything playing just to share the view of our historical stage.

4) Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
I haven’t been there in years, but I will never forget the time we went from 100 degrees to being greeted by snow and a prime rib dinner at the top of the mountain. I’m looking forward to going again!

5) Cabazon Factory Outlets
There are lots of choices for shopping. My wife can really do some damage to a credit card there!

6) Museums and monuments
Visit museums, you will feel smart and enlightened, whether it’s our local depot museum on Florida Avenue or the air museums at March Air Force Base. Any of them are a must see at least one time.

7) Old Downtown Hemet
In the Harvard Street area of Hemet you will see a variety of new, renovated shops. There is also the Hemet Historic Theatre, which has great performances by covert bands throughout the year.

8) Idyllwild
Even the drive up to Idyllwild is nice. There is fresh air and much to see and do in the friendly village.

9) Wine tasting in the Temecula Valley
So you can’t bring the kids to this particular activity, but it is a lot of fun to do with other couples. Just remember to designate a driver because that wine goes down smooth and the buzz creeps up on you.

10) Diamond Valley Lake
This is a wonderful place and an important resource to our valley. I’ve been there many times for different occasions including the Habitat for Humanity Marathon. Diamond Valley Lake is a drinking water reservoir built, owned and operated by The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

The lake and the surrounding hills have also become known for the spectacular wildflower blooms each spring, and are popular among hikers. Non-motorized bicycles are also permitted on the Lake View Trail, and equestrians can enjoy the North Hills Trail.

So you see, there is a lot to do locally without burning a tank of gas.

Happy Driving!

Richard Perry is the owner of VIP Autos in Hemet and is known to his readers in the Chronicle as the Hemet Car Guy. For more information visit www.hemetcarguy.info.

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