I have lived in Southern California for 25 years and have never visited Lake Arrowhead before. I was excited to visit this year because I haven’t heard that much about the area. It doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of Big Bear, which is bigger and more populated. Even though the elevation isn’t as high, it still had plenty of snow and even some black ice on some roads. The vibe is very relaxed and slow paced. I would definitely come back if I wanted to relax and have a chill weekend in a cabin. If I wanted to do snowboarding then I would visit Big Bear but you don’t go to Lake Arrowhead for that.
I stayed at an Air BnB cabin, if you visit the website they have tons of cabins you can choose from.
The downtown area is pretty small and has some cute eateries and shops. My two favorite shops were Pendleton Outlet and Shop Road Trip. For dining, I recommend the Lakefront Taproom which had great food and beer.