Spring is Around the Corner

Growing up in Los Angeles, I never appreciated the change from one season to another especially springtime.  Sure, at school there was Spring Break and there seemed to be an overabundance of lighter food and daylight started to last longer but, it wasn’t until I took a visit to Big Bear Lake, did I actually feel what spring was.

In this region of mountains and lakes, life sprouted up from all around the area -flowers, pine tree needles, grass and wonderful gems in nature I did not yet have a name for. This was spring, a world of new beginnings! During spring, Big Bear Lake is an inspiring place to be around and enveloped by. There are endless places to visit, hike around or swim to. My spring adventures have continued decades later, and as spring rises in Big Bear Lake, I continue to be surprised and amazed at the wondrous beauty all around.

snowboarding lessons in Big Bear

Snowboarding lessons at Snow Summit Resort for kids.

You don’t notice spring in the city like you do in the mountains or countryside, where new life is blooming all around you among wide, open skies and not stifled by the city limits. When it comes to activities and choices, Big Bear Lake is high on my list of entertainment value, a place where I can take my kids or my parents to enjoy the events and fun or just to relax and take in the scenic byways. The advantage of spending springtime in Big Bear Lake also means snow but in warmer Southern California weather than typical ski resort areas. Where else can you experience both major seasons in one beautiful place? In most temperate zone locations, spring months are March, April and May. Typically in Big Bear Lake, snow in one form or another exists until the end of April when the two major ski resorts – Bear Mountain and Snow Summit – tend to close their doors and prepare the grounds for their summer hiking and bike park. But fear not, there are plenty of fun activities to do and be seen in Big Bear Lake this spring!

I’ve spoken about Big Bear’s hiking trails before but, let’s explore them a little more! If you’re looking for a view to end all views than look no further than “Castle Rock” – situated at the top of boulders and tall pines, you can see EVERYTHING this gorgeous mountain-top city has to offer, including the lake the small town is named after. You can get directions and a map to these hikes from the local Visitor Center at 630 Bartlett Road in the Village area.

Biking on the Alpine Pedal Path

Biking on the Alpine Pedal Path

If you’re looking for a trail with a little less exertion, you will want to look at taking a walk along “The Alpine Peddle Path” or “The Woodland Trail” which will bring you up close to nature but not so out-of-breath. You can even bring a stroller or wheelchair along the paved Alpine Path so everyone of any age can enjoy the surrounding beauty. Here’s a tip: Try going at sunset and bring your camera! The colors that play off the water are gorgeous all year round.

Another exciting way to see and enjoy Big Bear during Spring is by taking a helicopter tour. Located at the Big Bear City airport, “Helicopter Big Bear” is the #1 aerial touring agency in town. You can choose a trip starting at 15 minutes or more – and if you have a fear of heights – it’s worth having your heart jump into your mouth for this spectacular view! You’ll experience the excitement of a life time from prices starting only at $35 per person. Your family and friends will definitely be able to witness the way Spring sprouts up among the Valley from views you can only find at this very unique and liberating Big Bear Lake attraction.

Something the kids will love and enjoy beyond springtime, is the “Gold Rush Mining Adventures” located in the heart of Big Bear Lake. This enjoyable little adventure for young and old-er is likely to be the new favorite spot in town and on your next itinerary. You’ll have the chance to mine for gold, gems, rare fossils and geodes during your mining adventure with an expert guide – and you even get to keep your treasures! The shop even includes a wooden water-wheel and sluice. Some minerals are large enough to have cut and primed into your very own jewelry!

kids spring activities Big Beara

Kids mining for treasure in Big Bear.

If you want to see nature bloom and springtime pop with new colors, look no further than taking a tour on a zip line! Action Tours are located in the heart of Big Bear Lake and offer various tours depending on the time of season. In spring, their zip line tours prove to be the most popular and more scenic adventures around. Participation on a tour requires general training and spending 2-3 hours suspended on a zip line among the trees and pines in the San Bernardino forested areas. The tree colors and flowers in nature will never look better up close and personal during a zip tour as you suspend high in the air and bounce from track to track. As you make your journey, your helpful guide will teach you the history of nature as you explore the beauty that Big Bear has sprung during this up close and personal tour.

The Discovery Center is a forest institution that upholds the wildlife and nature statistics from years past and for years going forward. The Big Bear Discovery Center offers a hands-on approach to teaching future generations the importance of preserving and respecting the beauty of Big Bear Lake’s forests and the nature worldwide in an effort to keep the earth healthy and plentiful for generations new and old. That being said, the Big Bear Discovery Center offers a children’s play and learning park, free nature walks, guided outdoor tours and a in-door mini museum for anyone whom passes through the doors. They take donations that will help support Big Bear’s Spring and other seasons, along with helpful guides to help map out your forest adventures.

Those beautiful shores of Big Bear Lake will be calling to you! Before the summertime hits and the popularity of fishing blooms, take advantage now by grabbing or renting some gear and start fishing! Spectacular views are not your only treat – without a larger amount of fisherman occupying the shoreline means there’s a better chance that you could catch a bass or trout. If you don’t care to fish there’s still the popular snow sports available! Not only does the Springtime weather give you a boost from the city heat, but at cooler temperatures, you can also enjoy skiing and wearing minimal gear to stay warm – I’ve even spotted a tourist our two snowboarding in a t-shirt before! Spring weather is just so great – and if you are up visiting for a day of hiking – keep your eyes peeled for the blooming wildflowers and animal life throughout your forest adventure.

Big Bear Lake is one of my favorite places to visit – during springtime or otherwise – and I hope it’s yours too!

5 Hot Tips For Enjoying The Snow In Big Bear Lake

Get out of the grind and back to nature when you visit Big Bear Lake, one of Southern California’s favorite winter destinations. We are expecting more snow throughout the season, so be prepared to have fun! Here are five tips on how to have fun and stay safe during your visit to Big Bear Lake this winter:
Warm clothes are a must in colder mountain temperatures, especially for  little ones who will want to tumble, slide and run through the soft, white powder. Wear layers such as turtlenecks, thermals or long sleeved shirts, sweaters or hoodies, a warm jacket and snow pants. Snow boots and thermal socks are a good idea if you plan on playing in the snow and gloves and beanies are recommended for everyone. Bring extras of everything so you can shed the wet clothes and slip into something warm and dry when you’ve had your fill of snow play.


Be Safe – Bring Chains. Tire chains or cables for your vehicle help you drive safely on snowy or icy mountain roads. The law requires you to carry chains in your car throughout the winter months in the mountain areas of California. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for tire sizes and any special instructions, then buy a pair of chains or cables at your local auto supply store before traveling. If you need stop to put on chains while driving up the mountain, please be safe and pull over to the side of the road so cars with chains can safely pass your vehicle. Tip: Practice putting them on in your driveway before reaching any mountain checkpoints. It’ll make your trip to the snow much easier on you! Don’t forget that there are three ways to drive to and from Big Bear.


Bring Your Imagination! Seeing soft piles of snow tends to remind people about the beauty of nature and the nature of playfulness. It stirs the imagination. Visions of building snowmen, snow angels and snow castles  are all fun family activities that become possible during your visit to Big Bear’s wonderland of snow. You can stop by the Big Bear Visitors Center at 630 Bartlett Rd. for maps, area suggestions and a $5 Daily Adventure Pass, if needed.


Snow Tubing In Big Bear. Who loves sliding down hills of sparkling snow? We do! Belly up and bum down… just jump on one of the over-sized inner tubes and slide. The Alpine Slide and Big Bear Snow Play offer a safe and fun snow tubing experience. For $30 per person, per day, you’ll have an unlimited pass for winter fun. Children 6 and under ride free with a paying adult. Forget trudging up steep hillsides or rocky terrain – these snow play areas offer a “magic carpet” to reach the top. The less time you spend walking up hills, the more time you have to sled! Both locations offer an indoor area where you can warm up with hot cocoa and snacks for your whole family. Or if you like, pack your lunch and use one of the picnic tables in the viewing area for a fun family outing. When the sun goes down on Friday and Saturday nights, so do the prices. Only $25 per person for a night session. Open daily from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.  Weekend night sessions from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. The Alpine Slide is located on 800 Wild Rose Lane and Big Bear Snow Play is located next to Motel 6 at 42825 Big Bear Blvd.


So Cal Ski Resorts.  Snow Summit and Bear Mountain offer skiing and snowboarding for all ages. Both are full service ski resorts with lifts, lessons and equipment rentals, restaurants and snack bars, and even a sport shop with a wide array of  clothing and accessories. Whether you’re here for a day trip or a weekend getaway, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain should be at the top of your must-see list. From opening day until the end of March you can treat yourself to an awesome day on the mountain. Your lift ticket allows you access to both ski areas so you can double your fun by taking the complimentary shuttle between the resorts. Bear Mountain attracts avid snowboarders and is known for their Freestyle Park that includes freestyle jumps and jibs, a superpipe, half-pipes and other fun features for all levels. Snow Summit has more of a family atmosphere, with a new Children’s Ski School to get kids 3 years and up ready to conquer the mountain. You can drop the kids off for lessons, take a couple of well deserved runs, grab a bite to eat or have a drink at the Skyline Taphouse and pick your little ski pros up when you’re done. Snow Summit is also the home of Grizzly Ridge Tubing Park and there’s a Rock Climbing Wall in the Basecamp for the truly adventurous. Reservations for both resorts are strongly recommended, especially if you plan on scheduling lessons. Big Bear Mountain Resorts is the perfect place to have big fun in the snow!


Want to have the ultimate Big Bear experience? Call the Big Bear Visitors Center at 800-424-4232 to get referrals on for Big Bear lodging, dining, activities and special events. We can help make your winter getaway a memorable one!

Winter Guide | Affordable Things To Do In Big Bear

When you think of a snow-filled winter vacation in Southern California  the activities that come to mind are skiing and snowboarding. The ski resorts are great, but I want you to know  there is so much more to discover when the snow flies in Big Bear! Here are some affordable winter activities to help make your next vacation even more memorable!


Snowshoe In Big Bear! Get outdoors and spend a day in the quiet solitude of nature. Snowshoeing is a wonderful winter activity for couples, friends or the entire family. There are off-the-beaten-path forest trails like Town Trail or Bristlecone where you can snowshoe at your own pace surrounded by the beauty of the forest in winter. It’s affordable winter fun at $15 per person, per day for snowshoe rentals and there is NO lift ticket! Rent snowshoes with poles at Goldsmith’s Boardhouse & Ski Rentals or Bear Valley Bikes. Ask your rental company if they can point out the best trails and maps for your new adventure. Please Note: Snowshoeing is weather dependent. Please call 1-800-424-4232 for information about snow depth and trail locations.


Winter Hiking in the San Bernardino Mountains. There are four beautiful hiking trails on the North Shore of Big Bear Lake that are perfect for all ages in the winter.  Alpine Pedal Path (Very Easy, 5 miles, RT), Woodland Trail (Easy, 1.5 mile loop), Discovery Center Nature Walk (Very Easy, ½ mile loop) and Cougar Crest Trail ( Moderate – Difficult, 4 miles, RT).  Just remember to wear layered clothing and good walking shoes, bring plenty of water, use sunscreen and always check the weather forecast if you are planning to be in the forest during winter months. Hiking is fun – Hiking is free.


Snowballs and Snow Forts in Big Bear. Get rowdy with a good old-fashioned snowball fight and help the kids build a snow fort to protect their territory!  This is one of the best free activities for all ages! Snow is easy to find in picnic areas, parks, in your yard, or even the parking lot in the Village… especially after a storm hits the valley! One of the favorite free snow play areas is Aspen Glen Picnic Area off of Mill Creek Rd. just west of the Village. Make sure to purchase a $5 Adventure Pass for parking at Aspen Glen Picnic Area.  Adventure Passes are available at the Big Bear Visitors Center at 630 Bartlett Rd.  Look online for current snow conditions or call Big Bear Visitors Center at 1-800-424-4232 for an update.


Snow Tubing in Big Bear Lake. Winter vacation memories are made here!  At Big Bear Snow Play and Alpine Slide a ‘magic carpet’  takes you, the kids and their tubes to the top of the snow-covered runs… a parent’s dream! An Unlimited Day Pass is only $30 per person and children 6 and under ride free with a paying adult. Enjoy hours of fun snow tubing, then take a break to warm up indoors with a hot cocoa and snacks. Or, pack a lunch and use one of the picnic tables in the viewing areas for a fun family outing. Alpine Slide and Big Bear Snow Play are the safest snow tubing areas and have plenty of snow all winter long! Caution: Snow sledding in the forest may have hidden obstacles like fallen tree branches or rocks. Please be careful if you choose to sled in the forest.


Off-Peak Ski and Snowboard at Big Bear Mountain Resorts. Want a more affordable option for skiing and snowboarding this season? Check out the prices at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain for off-peak, half-day or night skiing. Off-peak is usually during the week and non-holiday periods and offers lower rates. Half-day starts at noon and goes until 4 p.m. daily. Night skiing is available only at Snow Summit and starts December 23, 2016. Night skiing hours are 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. daily.  Take a “snow” day and bring the kids up during the week. Shorter lines, less traffic and big savings!


Take a stroll through Big Bear Lake Village. It’s always a fun place to be on a cold, wintry day. Let the scents of fresh brewed coffee and sweet cinnamon rolls surround you as you browse through quaint boutiques and shops getting inspirational  ideas for your next crafting project. Maybe you’ll find a souvenir or two to take home. Outdoor fire pits attract visitors looking for a warm spot to take a break while others dart into one the local pubs for a bite to eat and a cold-weather cocktail.


Big Bear Discovery Center provides hands on learning for all ages with Guided Nature Walks, Nature Crafts, Children’s Story Time, Animal Tracking and more. Most of these activities are free or very low cost. In the winter, weather providing, they offer Eco-Snowshoe Tours for about $30 per person. An experienced guide will lead a tour group to one of our forest trails for a few hours of snowshoeing and a little bit of forest education. Snowshoes are provided by the Mountains Foundation. Check their calendar for upcoming tours and book early to reserve your spot.


Big Bear Alpine Zoo is the only zoo in the U.S. devoted to alpine animal rescue and rehabilitation. Big Bear Alpine Zoo offers wild alpine animals a safe place to heal or permanently stay if they are unable to make it in on their own. I love seeing Hucklebeary, the famous 3-legged bear and all of the other grizzlies! The snowy owls, majestic bald eagles and playful raccoons are just a few of the other beautiful animals you will see during your visit. Admission is $12 per adult (11 yrs. and up), $9 per child (3 to 10 yrs.) or seniors (60+) and free for ages 2 and under. Admission fees go towards the care of the animals and operation of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo.


Affordable Night Life in Big Bear.  Are you a night owl? Friday nights you can listen to free, live country western music and line dance at Wyatt’s Saloon or check out The Cave to grab a burger and beer and hear local bands playing for free. Thursday night go to The Pines Lakefront for cocktails, appetizers and free Jazz. If bars aren’t your thing try glow bowling at the Bowling Barn or lazer tag at Big Bear Funplex for big fun with low prices.

Lodging in Big Bear is plentiful, but book early for weekends and holidays because everyone wants to be here once it snows! Come see us at the Big Bear Visitors Center, 630 Bartlett Rd. or call 1-800-424-4232.


Creating A Family Winter Tradition In Big Bear – One Mother’s Tale

My family keeps the holiday spirit going into January each year with a trip to Big Bear Lake! We live in Carlsbad with family scattered throughout the San Diego area. For the past 10 years we have been making Big Bear Lake our winter vacation destination. For one weekend in January, my husband and I pack up the kids and all our winter gear and head up the mountain to play in the snow.

We started this tradition before the kids were born, so they’re growing up with heads and hearts filled with memories of winter in Big Bear.  Ethan is 8 years old now and Emma is 5… 5 and a half if you ask her. They both love Big Bear and are super excited about our upcoming trip.

We always get a cozy cabin through one of the local cabin rental companies. A fireplace is a must for s’mores and storytime on a cold Big Bear night. Most years it snows while we are there, but even if it doesn’t there are places like the Alpine Slide to take the kids snow tubing. This year the kids are looking forward to trying the nighttime glow tubing at Big Bear Snow Play on our first night. We’ll be bundling up with extra warm clothes for night conditions!

My husband Mike and I both ski, so Snow Summit is a must. Last year we took the free shuttle over to Bear Mountain to check it out. Lots of changes since we were there last! We had so much fun watching the snowboarders at the Freestyle Park that my husband wants to take  a lesson this year. The kids will both be at the Children’s Ski School at Snow Summit. YAAAYYYY! If I can schedule lessons for Mike and the kids at the same time, maybe I can slip away for a little ME ski time. Skyline Taphouse and Hog on the Rocks are at the top of Snow Summit. A burger and beer with an awesome view sounds pretty good to me!

Another family tradition is visiting Hucklebeary, the three-legged bear at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. We always try to go at 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon so the kids can see the zookeeper interacting with the animals and hear stories about how the different animals came to live at this beautiful little rescue zoo. So good to hear that construction has started on the new zoo site at the end of the Bear Mountain Golf Course…  more space for rescue and rehabilitation of these wild alpine animals. That reminds me, I want to make a donation while we’re there!

Breakfast at Grizzly Manor is a must every time we’re in Big Bear. There is always a wait, but well worth it. If it’s snowing, Mike and the kids have snowball fights in the parking lot while I wait under the shelter by the door. Nottinghams and El Jacalito Grill are two of our dinner favorites. Both restaurants are kid friendly and are right in The Village. Before dinner we like to walk through all the little shops. We each get a new Big Bear hoodie and the kids choose a souvenir. I always get a Christmas Tree ornament to add to our tree at home for the following year. We have quite a collection! The streets in The Village are so pretty in the evening. It looks like a magical fairyland of lights, especially when there is freshly fallen snow. The outdoor firepits and benches are nice for a brief stop to warm up on a chilly night and add a lot of charm to the street scene.

If the kids can stay awake after dinner, we’ll go to the Bowling Barn to do some glow bowling. None of us are very good at it, but it sure is fun trying. They have alley bumpers for Emma, flashing colored lights on all the lanes and Mike and I can grab a beer from the sports bar while we’re bowling.  My sister told me the laser tag at Big Bear Funplex is a lot of fun too. We’ll try it next time, I think Ethan will love it.

Sunday morning is check out time, so Mike gets up early to build a fire in the fireplace. I make breakfast at the cabin while we start packing up all of our gear. There is nothing like waking up on a cold mountain morning with the scent of wood smoke from the fireplace and bacon frying on the stove. The kids are happy and looking forward to our last day. Our final family traditions before heading home are going over to the petting zoo at Baldwin Lake Stables to visit the animals and then the Big Bear Discovery Center for the Guided Nature Walk at noon. After the walk we’ll drive around the North Shore of the lake, stopping near the Big Bear Solar Observatory for some family photos along the lake.  Our last stop is always at the dam to say goodbye to our favorite spot in Southern California, Big Bear Lake,

Tip: Always check in at the Big Bear Visitors Center before you start your Big Bear adventure to find maps and information on activities, dining, shopping and more. They’ll help you plan the perfect weekend. 630 Bartlett Rd. or 800-424-4232.

Unique Holiday Shopping in Big Bear

The holidays are finally approaching! Let’s remember when the time changes and the chill begins to reveal itself and the wind howls – and in the case of Big Bear Lake – it may even be time for snowfall!

Mother Nature certainly likes to remind us that a Christmas holiday and a New Year are fast approaching! Big Bear Lake will likely give you a chance to test out a fireplace or two if you visit over the next few months for a holiday celebration or just a weekend get-a-way from the bustling city life and job. If you live in San Diego and the greater Los Angeles area or even among the sun in Las Vegas, you truly aren’t far from the San Bernardino mountain range or spending your holiday vacation amongst tall pines. Big Bear isn’t short on accommodations either, featuring everything from a hostel and B&B to a mansion or cabin tucked into a quaint neighborhood. Of course, Big Bear is a popular winter destination, so always book lodging in advance to avoid a spoiled vacation plan before you barely get out the door! You can start looking for upcoming holiday lodging on this website (bigbear.com) that hopefully fits your budget and your expectations for yourself and your guests.

If you and your loved ones celebrate the upcoming festive holidays, than most likely you may be accustomed to giving and receiving gifts at this time of year. Celebrations aside, every gift for someone you care about starts with a hunt; typically at a very crowded suburban mall or even with a (impersonal) online eBay listing in a last minute rush to find a clever gift. However, if you’re busy being a Mom or Dad or just busy working nine to five – you’re not alone! Millions of people each year find themselves leaving their workplaces early in the rush of the final 24 hours before Christmas Eve to locate gifts.

…Who wants to put up with all that?! The longer lines? Computers crashing? Sold out items?

We’ve all been there; the last person in line of a line.

Do you think it’s time to install a little change to your routine? After all, many times the most thoughtful gift is the time spent behind giving it. In passing, you may have thought that Big Bear Lake was strictly a resort town with two ski resorts and lodging built on every corner – however – this friendly mountain community also harbors a wonderful Village with a collection of shops where you may just find inspiration instead of frustration this time of year. Shopping for gifts in Big Bear is unique enough alone; but everyone really will notice the quality or unique gift you present them with. You can even find the children their gifts on your shopping trip in Big Bear Lake – check out “The Toy Galley” located on Village Drive. This toy store features both classic and modern toys, memorabilia and candy. If you’re raising a kid or you’re still a big (bear) kid at heart, you will find yourself shopping at “Typhoon Toys and Collectibles” for every cool kid on your nice list this year. They sell only the best quality scale figures detailed to match the original counterpart of their most beloved heroes from Yoda to Real Steel. Multiple shops downtown cater to the expanding world of women’s fashion – from “Del Lago’s” affordable styles – all the way to a store such as “O Koo Ran” which offers brand name clothing and lifestyle items galore. You can find clothes for men and gifts at “Bear Skins” or local favorite “Hunter Halls” and “The Shirt Shanty”. Many stores in the area will be so glad to help you find exactly what you are looking for in a gift, especially since you’ve smartly arrived before the holiday rush. If you’re looking for gems and jewelry, be sure to visit “Gems of the West” and “Crafts to Treasure” for a unique shopping adventure.

All that shopping is bound to make you hungry! The Village is more than shops and a lovely landscape to look at; it is also home to a variety of restaurants in every direction. You’ll find numerous selections from Indian food and sushi to casual American dining. Once you start shopping again, take a peek inside the 100+ stores end to end in The Village of Big Bear Lake.

Perhaps, you’re trying to find unique cabin décor that would make a stellar gift…?

The Village shops offer “Home Warehouse Design” and “Artisans INC.” to help you decide what’s perfect for your loved ones this holiday season. As of this writing, only two months remain before Christmas – have you started shopping yet? Big Bear’s unique location and beauty will get you into the holiday magic of shopping and planning ahead. After you take a day or overnight trip to Big Bear Lake, and purchase your gifts, you’ll soon be celebrating a return trip on the next major holiday. You can also get your shopping list completed at the 32nd Annual Mountain Christmas Boutique at the Big Bear Convention Center, held on November 25th to 27th, which hosts a bevy of vintage treasures, woodwork, art, crafts and crafters for this popular weekend event open for viewing at 10 AM and will feature not only items for sale, but distinct foods and drinks.

Shopping ahead of time directly in Big Bear Lake will help keep gift costs down, experience positive people and join a unique club to benefit charity arises.

Final local tip: If you are planning to shop in Big Bear Lake for unique holiday gifts be prepared for some great eye candy in the form of decorations. Just before Thanksgiving, the popular “Village” in downtown (featuring shops, lodging and restaurants all located near Big Bear’s namesake lake) is decorated in shiny garland and sprawling lights of red and green shine as the festive shops and eateries follow soon after with their own unique decorations and joy!

Parking is free in Big Bear Lake; the downtown shopping parking lot is located at 630 Bartlett Road. Please visit bigbearlakevillage.com for a complete directory.

Big Bear’s Featured Thanksgiving Dinner Tips

Winter season and the wonderful holidays it brings with it is almost upon us!

Courtesy of Big Stock

Courtesy of Big Stock

With the holidays and merriment arriving so soon, you and your family may already be in discussions over where to spend it, what to do, what to see, and of course, what to eat! I must say… that last part is my favorite part about the holidays: the grub, the sweets and the drinks! Within these discussions with your family, I hope to shed some light on a wonderful place and setting for not only the upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations but beyond: Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. This beautiful location is just a couple hours’ drive from most Los Angeles cities, and relatively close to Las Vegas dwellers as well. Even if you’ve visited in the past, there are plenty of fun adventures and events to keep you coming back for more! Just pick a season! Big Bear has all four!

This year, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 24th 2016. When celebrating the holiday, new traditions begin all the time, especially concerning the feast! For many people, the holidays are viewed as precious family time, bonding time and plentiful memories to match along with their plentiful belly on this special day! Big Bear Lake is a splendid holiday and memory-making location that will simply take you away from the grind of work and the city life as you embrace nature in this scenic destination you can only find in Southern California. Renting a cozy cabin or lodge will cement this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as one to remember! BigBear.com offers competitive “book direct” pricing for your lodging needs. Big Bear Lake’s surrounding beauty coupled with lovely old fashioned charm of this mountain community will surely tempt you to return again and again.

I’ve spoken about Thanksgiving food above, and if you’re staying in Big Bear Lake during the holiday, it is always best to plan ahead. Big Bear is a resort community that caters to the tourist, traveler and family units. If you are planning on staying at a cabin with a large group or just for two at a cozy lodge, Big Bear Lake has numerous restaurants that will please any palate on the famed “turkey day” by serving traditional dinners for your enjoyment. Check out BigBear.com Thanksgiving Holiday page for featured restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. If you’re looking to set back and relax this Thanksgiving hire a personal chef to do all the cooking, serving and cleaning in the comfort of your vacation rental. With one phone call to Chef Allan, all the arrangements from menu planning to food preparation through clean up are handled for you. Chef Allan takes care of every aspect of your special event while you relax and enjoy your own party.

Another tip, if you have food allergies or require a special diet, please call ahead to your chosen restaurant of choice to see if they can accommodate your needs; always plan ahead as much as possible with your party before arrival and keep in mind that popular weekends and holidays may prove busier than you expected at your eatery of choice. Typically, many restaurants open on Thanksgiving in the Big Bear area only serve traditional holiday meals with a limited menu.

…However, there is always Plan B: Cooking in your cabin! All private rentals come fully equipped with a kitchen and modest cooking ware. All you need to do is provide the food! Please keep in mind the supplies in the kitchen will likely not be the same supplies you have in your own home. If you are preparing a turkey, bring a larger pan that works for your cooking should you need it. You can also choose to shop upon arrival for any necessities that the cabin may not come equipped with – Big Bear Lake stores and major suppliers include: Vons, Stater Bros., K-Mart, The Dollar Tree, CVS and Walgreens. You may want to avoid mess all together by providing your guests with paper plates and plastic utensils to avoid a heavy amount of cleaning during the trip. Of course, I suggest shopping ahead of the holiday, as locations either close or close early similar to any other community during this popular family holiday. As always, plan ahead!

Now, you may be thinking that this is your vacation too, and you want to cook and clean as little as possible to better enjoy family time and the wonderful outdoors Big Bear Lake has to offer. If you don’t want to book a restaurant meal and you definitely don’t want to cook from scratch, there is another route to filling your belly without all the cook books or dinner reservations to uphold. Barnstorm Cafe, a popular family dining location in Big Bear City (near the airport), is offering pre-cooked traditional style Thanksgiving meals to take home and make, heat and dine upon! You will have all the holiday food favorites without all the mess! Barnstorm can be reached at (909)-585-9339 and I strongly suggest booking meals in advance should you wish to have carry-out on November 24rd. You may also be interested in the traditional meal carry-outs that grocery provider Vons offers each year. Their website states that for under $40 you will receive: a fully cooked 10-12 pound turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, cornbread stuffing and a pumpkin pie. They also offer other meal options depending on what you’d like to spend or eat, including spiral ham or prime rib. Again, selecting Barnstorm Café or Vons to provide you and your guests with a wonderful dinner to take back to your lodging will bring your family closer together during this wonderful celebration. If you or your guests are meat free, there are plenty of famous holiday dishes to make or buy at our local grocery markets such as a green bean casserole, sweet potatoes and roasted garlic. No matter what you eat, or what you don’t, celebrating Thanksgiving with your loved ones is what truly matters this year and always.

Don’t forget, you can also visit the Big Bear Visitor’s Center at 630 Bartlett Road (9 AM to 5 PM daily; 11 AM to 5 PM on Thanksgiving) and pick-up a map and get friendly activity and event advice from a local professional. Need advice now? Call 1800-424-4232 to speak with a Big Bear expert!

First Big Bear Comedy Festival Comes to Big Bear

November 4th and 5th the First Big Bear Comedy Festival will be held at prime venue locations in The Village!

That’s right, some of the best comedians around are heading to Big Bear Lake, and this great lineup can’t be beat! Many of the comedians have been featured internationally and appeared on popular shows such as Comedy Central, TruTV, HBO and late night talk shows. This two day event is brought to you by Rebel Rousers Entertainment, who seeks to bring an amazing new event to Big Bear Lake, where Los Angeles dwellers and beyond can take a short trip to the gorgeous mountains AND be entertained for the weekend. The four venues selected for the shows will truly be memorable; and all you need to bring is your funny bone! This new comedy fest will bring out the best, and that includes you and the amazing comedic talent this fest will bring to the community of Big Bear Lake – it makes a perfect excuse for a weekend vacation away from the grind but close to home. Everyone needs a good laugh once in a while, and at this new comedy festival, you’ll surely get it!

Expected to draw crowds of all age groups, this comedy festival will start your vacation off right! The acts will appear in four locations throughout the downtown Village area, with shows ranging from friendly jokesters to more adult oriented stand-up comedy routines, with a total of seven planned shows over the two night event. These new shows will have performances by comedians seen on Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, The Conan Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and others as well in attendance. If you are looking for a bite to eat, or even more live entertainment over the weekend, you’ll find yourself stopping by these friendly locations more than once. The Cave, an intimate entertainment venue, will be housing some of the various comedy shows, as well as the other three locations – Nottingham’s, Chad’s Place and the Big Bear Brewing Company.  Grab a drink and have a seat!

As you experience Big Bear Lake in all of her majestic glory, and visit the comedy shows for the weekend, you will help this small resort town flourish and prosper. Keep in mind that shows range from “LR” (some adult language) to “R” (harder language) and “ADULT” (strong profanity). Since there are quite a few acts lined up for this new event, let’s explore what they are all about:

Friday Shows

This is when all the laughs begin! The evening show starts at 7PM at Nottingham’s, a popular pub and restaurant. Their first show is rated LR, titled “Tap the Funny”, and will get your laugh track goin’! After this show ends, bounce over to Chad’s Place, for an 8:30 PM R rated show, that will most certainly give you a chuckle rush.  At 10 PM you can rejoin the show at Nottinghams just across the street from Chad’s Place for a show (rated ADULT) liberal, raw show with some dirty antics and high spirit.

Saturday Shows

Things start up again at 7 PM with an LR show at Nottinghams. Grab dinner before or after the “Café Hilarity” set which features some of the funniest comedians around. Following that set, take a walk up to The Cave on Village Drive around 8 PM to check out “90 Minute Abs”, a R show that promises 100% laughter. Just leave room for the drinks, which are for sale at the bar. It is battles of the sexes at 9 PM! Again at Nottingham’s, experience some of the funniest comedians around in this male vs female showcase. Finally, closing out the evening and the fest at 11 PM, is the last show of the night: “Poisoned”. This rated R show will be held at The Big Bear Lake Brewing Company on Pine Knot Ave. This set takes the title seriously: comedians take the stage buzzed. That means no filter and drunken banter from (15) different comedians! They encourage you to laugh yourself silly and enjoy the drinks!

Of course, there would not be a comedy fest without comedic, talented people. Big Bear Lake is bringing up some of the best comedians in the biz. Without further ado, here are just some of the comedians travelling to Big Bear Lake for our benefit:

Suli McCullough

Best known as “Crazy Legs” from the Wayans Bros. hit “Don’t be a Menace…” he has razor-sharp punch lines! A former writer on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, don’t miss this chance to see Suli live!

Chris Fairbanks

He is the co-host of ALMOST GENIUS on truTV. Chris headlines comedy venues nationally. He’s also appeared on Comedy Central, Conan, Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Vh1.

Rawle Dee

Rawle Dee has been in show business since 12 years of age, appearing in several movies and on numerous TV shows. He is best known for his starring role in the movie “Cool Runnings” with John Candy. You may have also seen Rawle in “Angel of Death” with Zoe Bell or in “K-PAX” with Kevin Spacey. His star just keeps getting brighter!

Sina Amedson

Since arriving in LA, he has become a regular fixture at Hollywood clubs and has been featured on ABC, NBC, TNT and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

Flip Schultz

Yes, that’s his real name, and as a comedian Flip has toured Europe and appeared on HBO and Comedy Central.  He’s also performed with many amazing artists including George Carlin, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Greg Giraldo and Dana Carvey (who asked Flip to co-write his new comedy special with him).

Liz Stewart

Liz can be found on the TV Guide Network, Reelz Channel, Nuvo TV and Sirius XM radio. She also made 2013’s “Best of the Fest” at the SLO Comedy Festival.

Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett has been seen on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show and at different clubs and festivals around the country including the San Luis Obispo Comedy Festival.

Laura Hayden

Laura has made TV and podcast appearances as well as in Scotland at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her solo act was a hit with everyone lucky enough to see it! Laura has already been invited back to perform at the Fringe Festival again for a 7th year. In December, Laura will head overseas for the 6th time to entertain the troops. Laura is also currently working on her second book, turning her dissertation (yes officially she is Dr. Laura, but not THAT Dr. Laura) into a speaker platform to help heal the world with laughs. Laugh more! Doctor’s orders!

You’ll likely need somewhere to stay to enjoy this awesome weekend of comedy… look no further than this link for all your lodging needs from a big house to a bed and breakfast! Check out www.bigbear.com for everything you need concerning Big Bear accommodations. Booking ahead can have its benefits; various lodging facilities tend to offer discounted rates! Make sure you mention you’re coming up for the Comedy Fest.

The Comedy Fest tickets are now on sale for $15 per person, per show on the official website of the Big Bear Comedy Festival, or if you happen to be in Big Bear before the Comedy festival stop by “Village Music” located at 603 Pine Knot Ave in Big Bear Lake to purchase your tickets. At the venue door(s) tickets will be $20 per person, per show. A great way to experience everything this great event has to offer is to buy the weekend pass for $49 per person in advance from the link provided above; as of this posting only 20 passes remain for this limited offer.

Please check out the Comedy Fest website for all the info you need: www.bigbearcomedyfestival.com

See you there!

Please note: As always, venues and acts are subject to change. But, let’s hope not!

Scarecrows Add Color to Big Bear Lake Village

If Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz were to direct people to see a soirée of his relatives on display in Big Bear Lake Village he would point in two directions, one finger pointing toward Pine Knot Avenue and the other pointing at Village Drive.

Now that October is here, so are dozens of scarecrows. It’s as if these stuffed creations have stepped out of a Hollywood movie set and onto the sidewalks of Big Bear Lake Village to greet guests to an inviting autumn atmosphere, which adds extra spice and seasoning to an invigorating shopping experience.


Now in it’s third season, is Big Bear Lake’s very own Scarecrow Festival. For the next five weeks (daily now through Sunday, November 6), scarecrows of all walks of life reside in front of storefronts and restaurants in Big Bear Lake Village. What makes these scarecrows special are participating merchants have given each scarecrow a piece of their heart, the same component Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz precariously was in search of. These handcrafted scarecrows in Big Bear not only have heart, but they are certain to warm shoppers’ hearts as they stroll from shop to shop.

The temperatures have dropped a bit, producing crisp evenings and mellow afternoons. These are ideal conditions to break out a light sweater and sip a hot cup of cocoa or pumpkin-spiced tea. The fall season is in full swing in Big Bear with a beautiful bouquet of autumn hues and fall foliage. Of course, Big Bear Lake Village is one of the hot spots to see these blazing leaves of yellow, gold, amber and red.

The scarecrows are an added bonus that gives Big Bear’s marketplace a joyful autumn twist. Merchants compete for best scarecrow in six different categories, which includes best reflection of Big Bear, most traditional, spookiest, best use of recycled material, most reflective of business or organization, and most humorous. Winners of each scarecrow category are determined by votes from the general public. The final day for voting is Sunday, October 30, 2016. An awards ceremony takes place Monday, October 31, 2016 during the Annual Halloween in the Village. Ballots and maps are available throughout the Village at participating merchants and at the Big Bear Visitors Center located at 630 Bartlett Road. To learn more about the Big Bear Village Scarecrow Festival, log on to BigBearLakeVillage.com.

So when Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz says, “Pardon me, this way is a very nice way,” he of course is referring to the pathways in Big Bear Lake Village, and not the yellow brick road. These straw-filled, hat-topped seasonal icons are only around for a limited time (Now through November 6). Like Frosty the Snowman, these cheerful figures only come once a year before they make way for the next seasonal figures of snowmen and snow angels. So enjoy this season now for a festive autumn shopping experience in the heart of Big Bear Lake Village. October is ideal for those looking to find hidden treasures for the upcoming holiday season. So come up to witness the fall colors and these jovial one-of-a-kind scarecrows.

Fall for Scarecrows,
Daniel P.

Big Bear Offers Unique Adventures this Fall

The glorious colors of fall have started to accumulate all around in Big Bear Lake! Soft orange hues, magnificent yellows and contrasting reds are showcased among these mountainous lands as far as the eye can see.

The Big Bear Lake Valley is home to the four glorious seasons of the year – spring, winter, summer  and, of course, Fall. If you live in the inner city, you can sometimes forget the sheer beauty of Mother Nature during her finest time. City life is different than Mountain life – instead of the surrounding sky scrapers, the mountains have tall pines right in your backyard. You may be wondering what could possibly be exciting or adventurous during the fall season here at Big Bear Lake but, on your next weekend or longer get-a-way during the fall, keep in mind the unique activities and events Big Bear has to offer during such a gorgeous time of year:

Mountain Biking Alpine Pedal PathBiking! If you’re coming up to Big Bear and you’re a novice or even a speedster mountain biker, you will be able to experience a ride at 7,000 feet weekends only at Snow Summit. Titled “Snow Summit Summer” the trails typically used for skiers and snowboarders by the thousands in winter is transformed into a bike-riding haven for biker enthusiasts. I love riding the sky chair to the top of the mountainside and taking in the sweeping views. Open on weekends now for the rest of the fall season, you can get a pass and bike around and off the trails for hours. If you’re hungry, stop and grab a kabob or salad at “The View Haus” Restaurant at the top of the mountain high above views of Big Bear Valley – you’ll be certain to see the glorious colors of Big Bear Lake all around you.

Off-Roading! The ultimate off-roading adventure is waiting for you at Big Bear Lake. Of course, you can bring your own vehicle and discover the back roads via information from the local Big Bear Lake Discovery Center or you can choose to participate in a tour given by local experts and guides of the area. From Jeeps you can drive off-road yourself to tours off the back roads on an all-terrain Pinzgauer by the pros. Experience the Big Bear Lake forest like never before on these tours designated for all levels and all experiences. The off-road tours are popular all year round.

Action Zip Line Tours

Action Zip Line Tours

Zip lines! The zip lines available in Big Bear are unlike most in Southern California – situated high above the pines on private property you switch between various levels of platforms with gorgeous views of the surrounding valley. Action Tours presents zip lines like you’ve never seen and fall colors like you’ve never dreamed!

Tree Rope climbing! Also by Action Tours, you can climb your way to the top! The colors of the Big Bear area have never been prettier than situated at the top of a tall pine tree. This three hour hands-on tree climbing adventure tour gives you the most unique view at 7,000 feet and beyond. Don’t forget, some of our trees are unique to our Valley, so this experience will be unique to any other. You’ll be guided by professionals on how to shimmy up a tree and how to hold on tight, so what are you waiting for? Go climb a (pine) tree!

Oktoberfest! During the dates of September 10th to October 29th on weekends, you can check out one of Southern California’s favorite festivals – the Oktoberfest! A favorite event of every age, it offers more than just high-energy German music, beer and food – it also offers, contests (such as stein-carrying and yodeling), games, dancing and unique local vendors and crafts. Held every year at the Big Bear Valley Convention Center, you can even get a FREE ride home if you’ve had a little too much fun. I’ve personally experienced the Oktoberfest every year and it just keeps getting better and better! On Saturdays the festival runs from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight so be sure to buy tickets ahead of time to avoid longer lines. If you decide to visit the Oktoberfest on Sunday, you’ll find a more family friendly experience since the doors close at 5:30 PM. Be sure to take a spin on the giant dance floor! Please remember to drink responsibly and take advantage of the free shuttles both to and from the venue.


Fall Fishing in Big Bear Lake

If you want to get out of bed and into the great outdoors, perhaps you should grab a rod and bait and reel in some adventure! Big Bear Lake covers 22 miles of shoreline which means there are a lot of different areas to fish from! What better way to see the beauty of the Big Bear Valley than by standing at the edge of the water, serene and peaceful, with beauty all around? Even if you don’t have your own gear, you can rent your rod and reel from various local shops around Big Bear itself. If you are over 16 years of age, please be sure to purchase a California Fishing permit from a marina or sporting goods store to make sure you abide by county laws. Don’t worry, it won’t break the bank at around $13 per person for the daily license. There are several recommended areas to fish from around these parts – take a look at the North Shore area, Stanfield Cutoff and Boulder Bay.

Revised from original blog posted on 9/28/15. See original post…

Fall for Big Bear’s October Events

As the rays of summer turn gold and yellow, it is a sure sign that the sweltering heat is over and the lovely, much cooler days of fall season begin! Big Bear Lake is one of the best destinations for visitors or Southern California residents, with temperatures typically 25 degrees less than the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. When visiting Big Bear Lake one can typically expect the following: mountain charm and rustic décor, homestyle cooking at local restaurants and bars as well as plenty of unique activities and events that are located only in the Big Bear Lake area. Visiting Big Bear and the mountains during fall season offers great photo opportunities as the colors change and the leaves start to fall, creating a beautiful drive or walk around the namesake of Big Bear, the lake! Just be sure to bundle up and dress appropriately for cooler weather; in the mountains it can be sunny for ten minutes and cold the rest of the day, so wear layers to fight off a chill.

If you visit the Big Bear Village area, you can grab some hot cocoa or soup at Teddy Bear Square, or some salsa and chips at El Jacalito. Live music can often be found at The Cave, Chad’s and Whiskey Dave’s. The shopping is great in this area, with everything from winter attire to mugs and scented candles. The Village also offers various forms of entertainment, such as a movie theater, bowling alley, fun plex and more. You won’t get bored in Big Bear, and if you do, go ask for advice in planning your next adventure at the local Visitor’s Center where they offer brochures and a helpful guest services! The Visitors center is open daily and located at 630 Bartlett Road in Big Bear Lake.

Why stay a day when you could stay for two? A fall weekend get-a-way is a lot more affordable for a weekend trip than you might be thinking, with bigbear.com offer exceptional lodging links that include private homes, resorts, bed and breakfasts and ranging from modest to luxury accommodations. Call ahead and see if they offer any sales or discounts for early bird reservations.

Events during the fall season range from the always popular Oktoberfest to Trout Fests, offering a little something for everyone! Let’s take a look at the events happening in October and perhaps one or two will grab your attention and secure you a visit to Big Bear Lake:

Big Bear North Shore Half Marathon / 10 K / 5K
On 10/1/2016 at 6:30 AM to 2:00 PM
This popular race at the start of October will expose you to the glorious fall colors located on North Shore Drive with race options containing a half marathon, 10K and 5K races. Starts and Finishes on 140 Business Center Drive Big Bear Lake, which also the registration area. Call 909-633-6729 for complete details.

The Big Bear Lake Troutfest
On 10/1/2016 at 6:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Since 2004, the Big Bear Lake October Troutfest has proven to be a popular outing for all members of your family. Come on up and enjoy a weekend among fellow anglers as you fish for fun and thousands of dollars in cash and prizes! Please call 949-366-0030 for registration details.

The 46th Annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest
Every Weekend in October; Saturdays 12 Noon to Midnight; Sundays 12 Noon to 5:30 PM
The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest runs for eight weekends, September 10th through October 29th at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center, at 42900 Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear Lake. Rated California’s #1 Oktoberfest, expect to see live (German) music, perform the chicken dance and sip on ice cold brews. Don’t forget to try the sauerkraut! Visiting the fest with kids is great on Sundays, offering children and their parents a chance to enjoy a fun and safe environment that closes just in time for dinner! Visit www.bigbearevents.com for more info on this very popular event.

37th Annual Soroptimist’s Hearth & Home Tour
On 10/1/2016 at 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
This wonderful tour allows you to see the beauty and charm of some of the best homes located in our small city. Typically decorated for fall with holiday flair, you’ll stroll through four amazing, gorgeous cabins. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at the Big Bear Visitors Center, Interiors, Haus and Home, Little Green House, Fox Farm Antiques or buy online at www.sibbv.clubexpress.com to secure your place for the 37th home tour.

Alpine Zoo Flashlight Safari
On every Friday and Saturday at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (in October only; regular admission prices apply)
The Big Bear Alpine Zoo will be hosting a Flashlight Safaris every Friday and Saturday for the month of October excluding Halloween and the first Friday and Saturday in November. Exploring the zoo after dark is a treat! Come see how the mountain lions, wolves, grizzly bears, owls and many other animals react to the night life! The Alpine Zoo asks that you bring your flashlight and wear warm clothes.

DOVES “Starry Starry Night” at the Community Church on the Lake
On October 22nd at 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Enjoy the show! Held and sponsored by DOVES, the community will rise together in support of ending domestic violence and cruelty through fundraising. Expect to have dinner, dancing and live music along with the silent auction. Held at the Community Church by the lake at 40946 Big Bear Blvd; call 909-866-1546 for complete details or check out www.doves4help.org for auction and ticket sales.

Halloween in The Village
On 10/31/2016 at 4:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Boo! Get the kids ready and dressed up to discover the ultimate trick-or-treat experience! In order to provide a safe environment for the little ones, the main Village streets close to provide easy walking (or running) for all involved. Local businesses’ come to life at night and hand out candy and other treats. Parking is available at 630 Bartlett Road as well as public restrooms. Have fun and enjoy this spooky holiday!

As you can see, October has plenty of events and adventures for friends, couples and parents! Plan ahead and enjoy the beautiful scenery Big Bear Lake has to offer this fall season.

Time for a Road Trip this Autumn Season

Cooler weather has settled in and warmer weather is on the way out, indicating fall is on its way to Big Bear Lake. Now is a great time to take a road trip to see what Big Bear offers this time of year. Big Bear is a true four season alpine resort and calls us in year round with the tree tops soaring high into the clouds, the bountiful fresh lake and the crisp, clean air that are all inviting to the senses.

Mountain Biking Alpine Pedal PathPerhaps you want to make this trip more than just a drive or as a casual passerby to the scenic route. It doesn’t matter if you’re from San Diego or Las Vegas, taking a weekend get-a-way and turning it into the ultimate road trip, makes it an experience to remember!

From experience, a road trip can start off several ways. It can be planned and well mapped out with lengthy travel itineraries or, it can be an impromptu journey, far from home to your destination of choice, with little planning and just enjoying everything along the way. A road trip to Big Bear can be satisfying, and depending on the time of season, taking in a little of the unknown. In summertime and the fall, cruising over to the mountainscape of Big Bear Lake typically means lots of selfie and photo breaks, roadside cafes, amazing views and a fully loaded itinerary with the usual must haves: an activity for the whole group, a history lesson, a unique dining experience and a relaxation motivator, nature and some decent lodging for the weekend of your road trip. Getting there may take sometime, but arriving is where all the fun’s at!

Planning ahead vs. the Unknown
You are likely to have friends or family that run the gamut of different personalities. Sometimes, it can be hard to please everyone and to be on the same page. Even just getting to your destination of choice can bring on a migraine. It’s best to take a list and check it twice, just to be sure some essentials are on board (or at least in the trunk) such as music, sunblock, proper clothing, gum and lots of snacks. Knowing when and where you’ll need lodging is also apart of the unknown or planning ahead category. Since you’re heading to Big Bear Lake, the site bigbear.com makes it a snap to locate lodging at home or on-the-go. Make sure to discuss with friends or family beforehand what matters to them most in their accommodations. Big Bear offers PLENTY of choices from B&Bs to private homes rentals, hostels, condos, resort cabins, hotels and motels. If your group can get on board and pick a place, you’ll start out a step ahead of the game!

Depending on where you are traveling from, you will find yourself stopping at the convenience store for snacks, food truck or travel-friendly diner. Since Big Bear is a short drive away, I recommend to wait until you arrive and enjoy one of Big Bear Lake’s restaurants. They go above and beyond casual food fare and serve everything from gluten free to sushi to T-bone steaks. We like to think there is a little something for everyone, and you’ll get it at 7,000 feet!

History, Interrupted
A relaxing summer and fall road trip to the mountains with your kids or with your best girlfriends means you can choose to learn a lot or a little! Big Bear Alpine Zoo is perfect for both kids and adults, where everyone can take in the sight of a Grizzly Bear or a cute, harmless owl. Admission supports and benefits animals whom have been danger or wounded in the wild, and everyone loves a good cause! If you’re an educational sponge, soak up some nature knowledge at the Big Bear Discovery Center, where you can learn all about this majestic valley. Even if you have young kids in your party, they will have fun outside in the Adventure Zone built just for them to crawl, climb and jump around in.

Take a hike or Take a tour
You may be itching to stretch those legs after the couple of hours spent in the car but someone in your group keeps complaining that they want to see more than just the flora and fauna side of things. Well, maybe you can agree to disagree? While some of your friends take a hike – Woodland Trail, Cougar Crest, Pine Knot – just to name a few, the others in your group may want to soar above it all with a outdoor tour from Helicopter Big Bear or take a rough and tumble four-wheel-drive experience with a Jeep Tour. Big Bear Lake is famous for its lake with 22 miles of shoreline, so why ride a jet ski, paddle activity or take a chance at fishing? Even if your idea of a vacation is to sit back, you can do that too, just by visiting the downtown Village and have a spa day finished off with a beer or mimosas at one of the many rustic, welcoming breweries, bars or pubs.

If your destination is Big Bear this summer and fall, then there are loads of different ways to see and experience the Great Outdoors. Driving around, flying around, walking around, swimming around and biking around are just some of the many ways to connect with nature and your friends and family on a road trip to one of the best destinations in Southern California. There are various events and competitions every weekend, including concerts and fall festivals. I hear the Oktoberfest is soon to arrive! If there ever was a time for a road to Big Bear Lake, it should be now!