15 Things To Do In Lake Elsinore, California

things to do in lake elsinore california
Lucy
Lucy 
Updated

Lake Elsinore is a small town just over an hour outside of Los Angeles in Western Riverside County, California. It is home to the largest natural freshwater lake in Southern California, Lake Elsinore, and was established in 1888. Lake Elsinore is a great place to take a walk through history, explore nature and is even a popular spot for skydiving. If you’re looking for a historic small town vacation with lots of outdoor activities, or even a quick weekend getaway from busy Los Angeles, check out Lake Elsinore. Read this article to learn about the best things to do in Lake Elsinore, California.

1. Smell the wildflowers along Walker Canyon Trailhead

Walker canyon wildflowers
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mike's Birds used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is one of the most trafficked trails near Lake Elsinore is Walker Canyon Trail, and for a good reason. The landscape along the trail is breathtaking from March to October, especially during bloom season when the hills are covered with beautiful wildflowers. The region is excellent for spotting wildlife and bird watching. Feel free to bring your pooch along, but make sure to keep it on a leash at all times.

Walker Canyon Trailhead

Address: 27200 Lake St, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Website: Walker Canyon Trailhead

2. Hike to Ortega Falls

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you’re looking for more things to do outdoors (and you should, after all, you’re in California), check out Ortega Falls, located near Lake Elsinore. The trail leading to the waterfall is a great year-round destination for hiking and rock climbing. Since the hike is quite short and has a moderate level, it is kid and dog-friendly. Keep in mind, though, that there’s no shade, and it can get quite hot on sunny summer days. To make the most out of your trip to the waterfall, check it out after a rainy day when it gets bigger and quite impressive.

Ortega Falls

Address: -33382, 32806 Ortega Hwy, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

3. Go shopping at Outlets at Lake Elsinore

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Outlets at Lake Elsinore on Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reserve half a day for shopping while in Lake Elsinore, California, and head to Outlets at Lake Elsinore. With over 40 retailers, including popular brands like Gap, Levi’s, Vans, and Sunglass Hut, there’s plenty to choose from. The outdoor shopping center has that Californian vibe with palm trees and the Californian hills as a backdrop. There are a few dining options to check out on a shopping break, and sometimes there are different events going on at the Outlets at Lake Elsinore.

Outlets at Lake Elsinore

Address: 17600 Collier Ave, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Website: Outlets at Lake Elsinore

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 8pm; Sun: 10am - 7pm

4. Enjoy a peaceful afternoon stroll through Lakepoint Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Take the entire family and head over to Lakepoint Park for a relaxed afternoon in the sun, where the kids can make friends on the playground. You can get active on one of the softball or soccer fields, and then you can all take a walk on one of its trails. The park also features picnic and barbecue areas, and the views of Lake Elsinore and Ortega mountains are magnificent.

Lakepoint Park

Address: 420 Lakeshore Dr, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Website: Lakepoint Park

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

5. Spend a day in the sun at Elm Grove Beach

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Elm Grove Beach is a lovely public beach in Elsinore Lake, featuring free parking and picnic and barbecue amenities. People come here to sunbathe and spend time outdoors while playing sand volleyball on one of the beach courts. During summer evenings, you can gather around one of the fire rings on the beach and share stories and laughter with family and friends. Dogs are allowed on the beach too, but make sure they’re on a leash.

Elm Grove Beach

Address: 500 Lakeshore Dr, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

6. Try your luck at Econo Lodge Lake Elsinore Casino

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Lake Elsinore Casino on Friday, June 12, 2020

Staying in Lake Elsinore doesn’t have to break the bank and can offer a fun, entertaining experience too. Enjoy a budget vacation at Econo Lodge Lake Elsinore Casino, a hotel that features various accommodation options, from budget rooms to luxurious suites, pool and spa access, and an on-site casino. Guests can try their luck with different card games or join one of the casino’s tournaments. On weekends, the fun and parties happen by the pool. Still, there’s plenty to do around the hotel as well, including golfing at Links at Summerly Golf Course, heading to the beach, or checking out the Storm Baseball Stadium.

Econo Lodge Lake Elsinore Casino

Address: 20930 Malaga Rd, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Website: Econo Lodge Lake Elsinore Casino

7. Taste various wines at La Rebelde Winery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Lake Elsinore is full of hidden gems, and La Rebelde Winery is one of them. The artisanal winery is dedicated to using a simple process, all-natural and without chemicals, in making small-lot wine, sangria, and sake. They also have a tasting room on-site, where visitors can stop to savor one of their drinks or try several by ordering a wine flight, at the same time learning a thing or two about the story of the place and the process of making the drinks.

La Rebelde Winery

Address: 530 Crane St, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Website: La Rebelde Winery

Opening hours: Thu: 4pm - 7pm; Fri: 4pm - 8pm; Sat: 12pm - 8pm; Sun: 12pm - 6pm (closed from Mon - Wed)

8. Go bowling at Pins 'N Pockets

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Pins 'n Pockets Entertainment on Thursday, June 11, 2020

Pins ‘N Pockets is one of the go-to spots for fun and entertainment in Lake Elsinore. The event venue and bowling alley is a family-friendly entertainment center with plenty to do for the entire family, day and night. Their banquet rooms often host different events, but they also organize pool and bowling tournaments and have various arcade games and a full-service restaurant and sports bar, where hearty food is served from lunch to late in the night. What makes Pins 'N Pockets stand out, though, are its 36 high-tech bowling lanes organized between multiple private and VIP rooms equipped with large screens, automated scoring, and cozy seating.

Pins 'N Pockets

Address: 32250 Mission Trail, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Website: Pins ‘N Pockets

9. Take a hot air balloon ride at Adventure Flights

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

It might not be your usual way of exploring Lake Elsinore, but it is, undoubtedly, worth trying. Book your hot air balloon ride with Adventure Flights for a safe flight. All pilots have lots of experience, they use the best quality equipment, and everyone goes above and beyond so that everything goes well. Start the day early with freshly baked pastries and a hot drink to get you ready for the adventure, and then get your adrenaline flowing through your veins as you begin your balloon flight over Lake Elsinore.

Adventure Flights

Address: 19301 Jasmine Ct #6352, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Website: Adventure Flights

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 2pm

Price: From 117 USD

10. Explore the historic downtown of Lake Elsinore

Lake elsinore chimes
Source: Photo by user miheco used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The 125 year old historic downtown takes you back to the 1900’s with its vintage street lamps, charming novelty shops, museums and dining establishments. If you’re a history buff, there are a few different historic sites including the City Hall, Masonic Lodge and the City Park which are all within walking distance. The Chimes is another site with a lot of history. It was at first a bathhouse, later an antique store and now it is a historic landmark rumored to be haunted by ghosts!

For those looking for a less spooky experience, make it a day for window shopping or stop by for breakfast at Annie’s Cafe, lunch at La Unica or happy hour at Main Street Kitchen & Tap to enjoy some grub with the locals. If you happen to be in town for the weekend, there will sometimes be local street art displayed outside from Studio 395.

Downtown Lake Elsinore

Address: Main St.

Near by Food: Annie’s Cafe, La Unica, Main Street Kitchen & Tap

Website: Downtown Lake Elsinore

11. See the lake by boat

Clevelin Hills, Lake Elsinore, California
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sejelsinore used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’re visiting Lake Elsinore, you shouldn’t miss out on its namesake lake. Lake Elsinore has a few different local establishments available for renting boats, water skis or even jet skis. If you’re looking for something a bit a slower pace, you can also rent out kayaks or just picnic by the lake’s shore, under the sun.

The boating hours are sunrise to sundown and you can rent from Everyday Jet Ski and Boat rental to get you started. Pack a picnic, a swimsuit and take a boat out for a spin on the lake. Jet Ski’s cost 85 USD and up, whereas boat rentals range from 260 USD and up depending on how long you would like to take the boat out. Life vests, lake pass, fuel and launch fee are all included.

Everyday Jet Ski and Boat

Address: 32310 Riverside Dr. Lake Elsinore Ca 92530

Website: Everyday Jet Ski and Boat

12. Take a hike to Tenaja Falls

Tenaja falls 3 san mateo creek
Source: Photo by user Seauton used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A quick 40 minute ride outside Lake Elsinore will land you on a beautiful trail alongside a river. It is a 4.5 mile (7 kilometer) out and back hiking path that is classified as moderate difficulty with a 600 foot (183 meter) elevation gain. Take in the greenery as you weave alongside the river until you reach the top and are rewarded by a breathtaking view of a waterfall. This hiking path is available year-round and is a great option to immerse yourself in nature and a moderate enough path to bring the kids along.

Depending on the time of year, the river crossings throughout the trail can sometimes be high, so be sure to wear water friendly shoes!

Tenaja Falls

Duration: 4.3 miles out and back

Website: Tenaja Falls

13. Catch a local game

Lake Elsinore Diamond
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gateman1997 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Lake Elsinore Diamond, commonly referred to as Storm Stadium, is home to the minor league baseball team, Storm. This is a great venue to watch a local game of up and coming baseball players, that won’t break the bank. Bring the family and join the crowd as you cheer on the team. Make sure you check for daily specials and promotional nights. A popular night is Friday, as they have a fireworks show for every home game! The Diamond is a state of the art facility that can accommodate over 8,000 baseball fans. Pricing for the games varies, but you can find tickets under 20 USD for most games, which can be purchased ahead of time or at the stadium. The Diamond also has several concession stands as well as alcoholic beverages available to purchase.

If baseball doesn’t interest you, they also have a few shows throughout the year, most notably the “Field of Screams” in which they turn the field into a ghostly haunted house around Halloween!

Lake Elsinore Diamond

Address: 500 Diamond Dr, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Price: from 20 USD

Opening Hours: Check schedule for times and dates

Contact: (951) 245-4487

Website: Lake Elsinore Diamond

14. Hang out at Canyon Hill Community Park

Splash Pad
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ben P L used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Canyon Hill Community Park is a great park for kids, adults and dogs! They have soccer, basketball and baseball fields for kids to run off steam and a dog area if you’re bringing along your pets. They also have plenty of picnic tables and benches throughout the park. Pack a picnic, snag a BBQ or reserve the gazebo for large parties.

In the spring and summer months they open up the Splash Pad, a great way for kids (or adults) to cool off and have fun with sprinklers and other water spraying gadgets. In the winter months, kids can still enjoy the jungle gyms and multiple slides.

There is parking at the park as well as a public bathroom.

Canyon Hill Community Park

Address: 34360 Canyon Hills Rd, Lake Elsinore, CA 92532

Opening Hours: 6am - 10pm.

Contact: (951) 674-5170

Website: Canyon Hill Community Park

15. Skydive over the Pacific Ocean

Skydive
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

For the thrill seekers, Lake Elsinore is a popular destination for skydiving! Skydive Elsinore’s Skydiving School is one of the best training facilities in the world and said to be one of the most scenic skydiving destinations in Southern California. As it is in between Los Angeles and San Diego, you’ll get great views of the Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island, Lake Elsinore, Mount Palomar, Big Bear and Mt. San Jacinto.

For first-timers, a good starting place is with a tandem jump, where you are securely attached to a United States Parachute Association (USPA) licensed Tandem Instructor. The pricing for this starts at 179 USD and you can also add in a photography or video package to capture this exciting moment in your life! They also have options for experienced skydivers. Expect to be at the site for two to four hours, make sure you wear comfortable clothes and bring your photo ID.

Skydive Elsinore

Address: 20701 Cereal Street, Lake Elsinore, CA. 92530

Price: from 179 USD

Duration: around 2-4 hours required.

Contact: (951) 245-9939

Website: Skydive Elsinore

Plan your next trip to Lake Elsinore!

For adrenaline junkies to families looking for a relaxing vacation to antique hunters, Lake Elsinore is a great place to stop by. It is a beautiful town full of history - and maybe even a few ghosts! If you’re heading there during the spring or summer months make sure you also check out nearby Walker Canyon where you’ll be able to see fields upon fields of California Poppies in bloom, a local bright orange wildflower.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Lucy is a Pacific Northwest native, currently finding adventure in San Francisco and daydreaming of the next trip around the globe. When she is not hunting down the best ramen spots or sailing on...Read more

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