Big Bear Lake is a popular resort destination for Southern California and many visit during Memorial Day Weekend to kick-off the summer season!
I thought it would be a great idea to take a look at the various events and activities going on around this small resort community located in the San Bernardino Mountain range at 7,000+ feet this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the 25th of May.
Memorial Day is a national celebration that started on May 30th 1868, as a day representing the memories and lives of fallen veterans throughout history and takes place on the last Monday of May each year. Celebrations and parades are typically held and found among various larger city dwellings, and usually there are ceremonies and fireworks displays in honor of the past.
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Big Bear Lake multiple times in the past and always take an outing on holidays due to the small resort community only being around a two hour drive from my Los Angeles home. I pack up the little ones (and the family dog too – Big Bear is very pet friendly!) and we are just a short ride away from seasonal snow, a gorgeous lake and boating, or a hike through the tall pines. Quite a contrast from the city dwellings and wasteland of LA! Memorial Day is a great excuse to get up to Big Bear Lake and experience the wealth of activities and events going on during the holiday. Let’s check them out!
Big Bear Lake event organizers hold the 3rd annual Memorial Day 5K Fun Run in honor of the veterans and to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project. The race offers a scenic and challenging race over the various terrain of the valley along the border of the National Forest. It starts around 7 AM and features a lifestyle expo. Take a look at openairbigbear.com or runbigbearlake.com to see how to sign up. Even if you don’t race, it’s always fun to be a spectator!
The Antique Car Club Show and Shine offers fun for the entire family! Located at the Big Bear Snow Play parking area, you can check out rare and vintage automobiles. There isn’t any charge and the location is just outside the city!
The Big Bear Lake History Museum opens for the season on Memorial Weekend. Your kids will love checking out the local artifacts that are on display. Located close to the airport, you can also take a look around Big Bear City and the local restaurants and businesses located there.
With a name like Big Bear Lake I’m sure you’re expecting a lake, right? Well, Big Bear Lake is open and ready for boating, swimming and general lake activities – the lakeside parks are also open to use for BBQs and picnicking. Rent a boat at any one of the fine marinas around town and experience all the views and wonder Big Bear has to offer from the forefront of the water. Perhaps check out the very popular Time Bandit Boat Tour located at Holloway’s Marina – my kids love seeing the crew in authentic pirate costume and watching the coast from the deck of the ship. On May 24th Captain John’s Marina is hosting a summer kick-off party from 12 Noon to 3 PM. There will be a catered Tropical BBQ, Vintage Bohemian Shopping with the Wild Banshees and their Fashion Truck along with live music by One Story for your entertainment.
Take a walk around the Village in downtown and you’ll find plenty of local shops and eateries. You’ll also come across The Cave, a larger event venue which typically offers live music or shows. On Memorial Day weekend, you’ll find Stephen Pearcy at The Cave. He’s the Lead vocalist and song writer for the mega platinum rock band “RATT” performing at The Cave on May 23rd starting at 7 PM until 9 PM.
Hiking trails are a great way to see the beautiful Big Bear Valley, and are relatively FREE! All you need is an Adventure Pass at $5 per car to park in the National Forested areas. Hikes range from kid-friendly and beginner to moderate and expert for all sizes of legs and gaits. Trails are pet friendly, just keep them on a leash. Some of my family’s favorite hikes include the guided nature walk at the Discovery Center and the Woodland Trail just across the way from the Alpine Peddle Path – there is even a bike rental shop called Paddles and Peddles stationed at the start. If you’re looking for a hike with STUNNING views and picturesque landscape, definitely take a hike up Castle Rock Trail – you won’t regret it!
If you are interested in mountain biking, there are plenty of options. Take a ride on the Snow Summit Scenic Sky Chair and hit the trails on their Bike Park. There are also guided mountain bike tours or rent a bike and create your own adventure.
As you can see, there are tons of events and activities to be found over Memorial Weekend – and at 7,000 feet, you are sure to live it up! If you are interested in saving money on your vacation, visit BigBear.com’s Memorial Weekend Ideas & Deals page.
– So Cal Adventurer