Hey Siri! 5 Things to Ask Your Virtual Assistant Before Heading Up to Big Bear

We all know that excitement when it’s time to jump in the car and hit the road for a weekend getaway in Big Bear! The road snacks are within reach, Google maps is navigating the way, and hopefully traffic isn’t too painful.

Here’s 5 top questions to ask your virtual assistant (or research online) before heading to Big Bear:


📷: @lex_albrecht

Which Way?
Whether you’re a Waze-r or a Google goer, map out your route before you leave the driveway. We all have routes that we default to but check out all the freeway options to find the most time efficient route.

Road maintenance and repairs along Big Bear’s 3 mountain roads are common throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Check ahead of time for any traffic delays or closures before you start up the hill. Follow the link below for live road condition updates from SoCalMountains.com.

Keep track of traffic here >>> https://socalmountains.com/roads/


📷: @ jenncoppack

What’s the Weather on the Horizon?
Just because it’s gloomy (or sunny) at home, doesn’t mean it’ll be that way in Big Bear. Check the current Big Bear weather before you head off and the future forecast for all the days you’ll be visiting. Also be aware that weather can change quickly in Big Bear. It’s not unheard of for a sunshiny day to get rainy and cold, then switch back to sunshine all within 30-40 mins. Pack for all the possibilities!

Be weather wise here >>> https://www.bensweather.com/ or just use the weather widget on your phone.

Annual Oktoberfest Event

What’s the Haps in Big Bear?
You probably have a good idea of what you’re visiting for and what your plans are in Big Bear. Regardless, keep an eye on other events and activities happening during your visit that you can easily jump in on.

Find all the best Big Bear happenings here >>> https://www.bigbear.com/things-to-do/events-calendar/ and check out some bigger events happening this year here >>> https://www.bigbear.com/things-to-do/special-events/

When & Where are the Deals?
Saving money is always a good idea. Ask your pocket assistant about discounts and deals for lodging and dining while you’re in town. Or go online here >>> HERE
Or here >>> HERE

Um……YUM!
Tropicali Restaurant

What are the closest restaurants to my cabin/hotel?
Big Bear lacks little in the way of dining style or type of food. We’ve got everything from Chinese and Italian, Indian and Hawaiian, and more! There’s fast food and sit down, sports bars and dessert shops, pizza parlors and breweries, the list goes on.

Take your pick and make your plan here >>> https://www.bigbear.com/where-to-eat/

Follow Visit Big Bear on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and let
us know how your Big Bear vacation went and share your own key questions with us too!

Mountain Bike Haven

As Southern California’s premier four-season destination, Big Bear Lake is a haven for cross-country and downhill mountain biking in the summer months, featuring 100+ miles of singletrack trails and the region’s best lift-served, gravity fed bike park.

In the Beginning
Big Bear Lake came to MTB prominence in the 80s and 90s, with Big Bear Mountain Resort’s Summit Bike Park serving as the place for pro and amateur riders alike – hosting some of the industry’s biggest events like the NORBA Nationals Series and MTB World Cup – while pushing the progression of the sport to new heights.

In the early 2000s the Big Bear Mountain Resort suspended all summer operations, including the Summit Bike Park, before amending its policy and allowing MTB riders to access non-downhill trails in 2004.

All Is Not Lost
In 2014 Mammoth Resorts acquired Big Bear Mountain Resort and the Summit Bike Park was reopened to the delight of downhillers throughout the Southland. Since reopening, the Summit Bike Park has reclaimed its status as one of the sport’s leading destinations, featuring new trails, expanded terrain, and training areas for riders to hone their skills. In addition to its downhill and base area options, Summit Bike Park also provides access to 60+ miles of cross-country trails as part of the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation’s Adopt-a-Trail program.

Not Just a Downhill Haven
With over 100 miles of cross-country trails weaving and winding through the National Forest on both the lake, Big Bear has something for riders of all disciplines and abilities. All non-lift accessed trails are free to ride and offer a wide mix of options, from challenging technical terrain to more leisurely treks.

Building a Reputation
As Big Bear Lake continues to become more prominent in the mountain bike industry it continues to host more prominent competitions, like the AMGEN Tour of California, as well as grassroots events like the Summit Series, Crafts N Cranks Bike & Brew Festival, and Big Bear Gran Fondo & Grizzly 100/75.

In Spring 2019, Big Bear Mountain Resort announced a three-year agreement to host the FOX US Open of Mountain Biking at Summit Bike Park, marking the first time in the event’s 16-year history that it will be held on the West Coast. In preparation for the event, Summit Bike Park is building a new expert/pro downhill trail that will be open to the public before and after racing, further cementing Big Bear’s status as the MTB mecca of Southern California.

Scheduled for 2019:

July 19-21 – Crafts N Cranks
Part bike competition, part craft beer festival, featuring two days of on-hill racing, 40+ craft beers available for sampling, live music, and plenty of family-friendly activities. Base area admission is free (all ages), with riders competing for over $40,000 in prize money. Website: CraftsNCranks.com

August 1-3 – Tour de Big Bear
One of SoCal’s most popular road races, 2019 marks the Tour de Big Bear’s 10th anniversary, featuring serene scenery, themed rides, a cycling expo, and 10K, 25-, 50-, 70-, 106- and 109-mile courses designed for riders of all ages and abilities.

September 12-15 – FOX US Open of Mountain Biking
For the first time in its 16-year history, one of the most renowned events in mountain biking will take place on the West Coast at Big Bear Mountain Resort’s Summit Bike Park. The four-day event features a unique Pro/AM format with some of the most challenging and competitive racing in the industry, plus a full schedule of live music and vendor activations.

September 28 – Gran Fondo & Grizzly 100/75
Back for its sixth year, the Gran Fondo & Grizzly 100/75 features some of the best riding in Big Bear, with five different routes to fit all levels of riders, ranging from the 20K Skyview to the Grizzly 100/75 National Ultra Endurance races.

Taking On Big Bear: Easy Hikes in the Valley

Spring is making its way to the Big Bear Valley which means it’s time to start taking advantage of outdoor recreation – like hiking! Not ready for a grueling trek to start off your season? We’ve compiled a few easier routes for you to start out with; and they’re perfect for younger kids too.

Alpine Pedal Path – This is about as easy as it gets, there’s no dirt involved either. The fully paved Alpine Pedal Path extends 2.5 miles one way on the North Shore from Stanfield Cutoff to the Solar Observatory (or vice versa). A diversion about halfway through will also take you to the Cougar Crest trail head and the Big Bear Discovery Center. You have options here!

This route is a popular spot for dog walkers, cyclists, and picnickers as it offers some of Big Bear’s most scenic views of the lake and ski resorts.

Happy Hills Trail – This newer trail, added in June 2017, is ADA compliant to allow anyone to enjoy Big Bear’s trails system. The fenced and fully-paved path begins from the City Hall parking lot. Trail users can admire historical buildings and protected wildlife along the .2 miles stretch and use one of the numerous picnic tables that border the trail.

Woodland Interpretive Trail – If you’re ready to trek off-road, The Woodland Interpretive Trail is located directly across from the Carol Morrison Public Launch Ramp on the North Shore. This easy 1.5 mile loop winds through the National Forest woodlands and features 16 posted stops that are part of a self-guided tour; pick up an info brochure at the trail head.

Several boulder outcroppings and rock gardens are a blast for kids to climb on. This route also offers some great lake views!

To park in the lot requires an Adventure Pass or an America the Beautiful Pass. Parking is also available at the launch ramp and along the North Shore Hwy.

Towne Trail – Beginning from the Snow Summit base area, Towne Trail weaves through Big Bear’s south side woodlands with views of the north shore and the lake. This easy route is ideal for beginner mountain bikers as well! When the trails forks at Forest Service Road 2N08, loop back for a 2.5 mile (slightly longer) round trip or take a right down the hill and finish on Knickerbocker Road near The Village.

Champion Lodgepole Trail – Visit one of the largest Lodgepole Pine trees in the world! This easy trek takes you through a lush forest to Bluff Meadows where bright green ferns cover the forest floor. Hikers can take in the colorful wildflowers alongside a seasonal stream and wander wide-open spaces filled with corn lilies on their way to the Champion Lodgepole Pine.

Bluff Lake

Hiking the trail begins by driving up Mill Creek Road (Forest Road 2N10-dirt road) for 4.5 miles, then turning right on 2N11 and continue 1 mile to the trailhead. Vehicles with high ground clearance recommended.

Discovery Center Guided Hikes – Looking for a little something extra? The Big Bear Discovery Center offers guided tours every week for nature enthusiasts! And they’re free!
• Eco-tour hikes take place each weekend on the Discovery Center’s own ½ mile trail. On this 30-45 minute trek, your expert guide will give you the rich history of the Valley and an in-depth look at Big Bear’s local flora and fauna!
• Explore Big Bear by night Thursday evenings from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. This non-strenuous trek is perfect for hikers of all ability levels.

Visit the Discovery Center’s event page for Nature Walk and Night Hike times.

Safety First – Hiking in the mountains should be a fulfilling and fun experience. Be sure you’re prepared for the outing with plenty of sunscreen, snacks, and hydration. If you’re familiar with the trails, make sure to stay along the path to avoid getting lost and if you’re new to Big Bear, always have a trail map handy. Last but not least, keep our trails clean! If you packed it to go out, pack it to take back and leave no trace.

Let us know how you did by sharing your outing with us on social media. Tag your pics with #TakeOnBigBear!

Hey! It’s camping for Horses – Equestrian Campgrounds in Big Bear

One of the most pleasurable ways to see the San Bernardino National Forest is on horseback.
Horseback riding is allowed on all National Forest roads and trails, except for nature trails.
The San Gorgonio Wilderness trails are very popular and Big Bear has a series of gentler trails which connect to the legendary Pacific Crest Trail.

If you want to bring your horses out of the summer heat for some alpine mountain riding but don’t want to camp, you can book your lodging in town and board your horses at Bear Valley Farms. From the farm you can head out to the trails in the area or onto PCT and get in some good rides, tuck your horses in for the night and head out to dinner in The Village.

If you don’t necessarily want to trailer your horses up here, but you’d like to get in some awesome Pacific Crest Trail rides, check out Baldwin Lake Stables. The horses are very well kept and they offer guided rides by the hour, half-day or sunset rides.

Enjoy Horse camping at Big Bear Lake

The Forest Service maintains equestrian campgrounds that are exclusively for horse camping. There are equestrian group camps and equestrian single-site camps. Check out four of our local camps:

Heart Bar Equestrian Group Campground – Hwy 38
65 guests – 21 cars
$286 per night $296 per night holiday
46 corrals
2019 Open: 5/10 – 9/21

This equestrian group campground is located in the Heart Bar Campground Complex off of HWY 38. There are 46 corrals and 11 picnic tables. Only campers WITH HORSES are permitted to camp at Heart Bar Equestrian Campground. Amenities include accessible restrooms with flush toilets and showers,one group fire ring and potable water. Firewood is available at Heart Bar Family Campground.

Driving Directions: From I-10 in San Bernardino, take the Alabama exit in the city of Redlands to Lugonia Avenue (State Highway 38). Travel northeast on Highway 38 for approximately 30 miles until you reach Forest Route IN02. Continue less than a mile to the campground.
Bring your family to Wildhorse Equestrian Campground for horse camping

Wildhorse Equestrian Campground– HWY 38
8 single-family campsites – 8 guests per site – 1 vehicle per site -$31 to $33 per night
3 double campsites – 16 guests permitted – 2 vehicles per site – $62 to $64 per night
Tents or RV camping
30 corrals
2019 Open: 5/10 – 9/22

This campground accesses the Santa Ana River Trail with several trails in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. Facilities include 30 single horse corrals (12×12), 2 flush toilets and showers, water hydrants, picnic tables, fire rings with grates, 1 group fire ring, horseshoe game area, and a horse mounting area for visitors needing assistance. Only campers WITH HORSES are permitted to use these sites.

Driving Directions: From I-10 in Redlands, turn onto State Highway 38 and continue north for approximately 31 miles, to Forest Route 1N02. Turn right and continue less than a mile to the campground.

Both horses and RVs are welcome at Big Pine Equestrian Group Campground

Big Pine Equestrian Group Campground
25 guest max – 5 vehicle max
$110 per night – $120 per night holiday
Tents or RV camping
4 horse corrals
2019 Open: 4/26 – 10/5

This equestrian group camp is located in a pine forest at an elevation of 6280 ft. Amenities include 5 picnic tables, 2 double pedestal grills, 1 group fire ring, vault toilets, potable water and 4 horse corrals. Availability of water on site is very limited. Please fill up RV’s, trailers, etc. before coming to the site.

Driving Directions: Take Highway 330 to Running Springs, then head northeast on Highway 18 to Highway 38. Do not cross the Big Bear Lake Dam. Continue on Highway 38 to Fawnskin. Turn onto Forest Road 3N14 and continue about 6 miles to Forest Road 3N16. Turn left and continue less than a mile, then turn right and continue to the campground.

The 5 corrals at Green Spot Equestrian Group Camp allow you to bring your whole group

Green Spot Equestrian Group Camp
25 guest max – 8 vehicle max
$110 per night – $120 per night holiday
5 corrals
2019 Open: 5/10 – 10/19

This equestrian group camp is at the east end of Big Bear Valley at an elevation of 7,224 feet. Water is available for horses, however it is not suitable for human consumption. Trash services are NOT provided, so remember to ‘Pack it in, Pack it out’. Amenities include 4 picnic tables, 1 double pedestal grill, 2 single pedestal grills, 1 group fire ring and vault toilets.

Driving Directions: From the Big Bear Ranger Station, turn left on Highway 38 and proceed 3 miles east to Greenway. Turn right and continue past the airport to the signal at Big Bear Boulevard. Turn right and continue on Highway 38 for almost 4 miles to Forest Route 2N93. Turn right on Forest Route 2N93 and continue a half-mile to the second dirt road on the left (not marked). Proceed up the road about 50 yards to the campground.

Enjoy the trails around big bear on your horse

Here are a few links that you may want to check out:

Reservations for Equestrian Camping in Big Bear

Trails to ride in and around Big Bear

How to protect trees with a highline – Video

Horse Sense from SBNF

Pacific Crest Trail – Equestrian Info

Big Bear Lake Adventures

Big Bear Lake is a year-round, four-season resort in the mountains above Southern California. We are located in the San Bernardino Mountains about a 2 ½ hour drive from Los Angeles or Orange County and about 3 hours from San Diego. Big Bear Airport is available for most private planes and other aircraft.

 

Go skiing at Big Bear Lake

Everyone knows that winter in Big Bear Lake offers the best skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and snow tubing in Southern California.

Spring, summer and fall open up a whole new world of adventure for the outdoor enthusiast. Mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, wakeboarding, parasailing, rock climbing and more.

From Adventure Season in the Spring to Falltacular in the Autumn, here are some not-to-be-missed races and activities that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

 

Compete in the Reebok Spartan Race

In mid-May, competitive adventure enthusiasts descend on Big Bear Lake as the true beast arrives with the Reebok Spartan Race. The Beast will test not only your endurance, perseverance and grit, but also your mind. The 12-14 Mile Beast packs more than 30 Signature Spartan Obstacles and your final hurdle to Spartan TRIFECTA glory.

 

Run in the HolComb Valley Train run in June

Three more high-octane events for adventure junkies are the Holcomb Valley Trail Run in mid-June Crafts and Cranks in late July and the Kodiak 100 Ultra Trail Run in late August. One is a 7, 15 or 33 mile trail run along the Pacific Crest Trail, one is a craft beer festival with downhill mountain bike racing and the other is an ultimate trail run of 25, 50 or 100 miles.

 

Race in the Big Bear grizzly 100 in September

Big Bear Grizzly 100/MTB Gran Fondo is the last weekend of September and is one of the last big adventure bike races of the year. This heart-pumping race gives MTB riders the option of a 20K, 30K, 50K, 75K or 100K course.

 

Enjoy German food at the Octoberfest at Big Bear lake.

If you still have some energy to burn after the race, sign up for the log sawing competition at the Big Bear Oktoberfest. Saturday night and Sunday afternoon you can enjoy German food, imported brews, Bavarian bands, traditional dances and other competitions, such as the Queen Stein Carrying Contest.

 

Enjoy the thrill of the Big Bear Jeep Experience

Thrill seekers can book a day of boulder crawling and other off-road fun at 7000′ feet with Big Bear Jeep Experience or bring your own 4WD and explore Holcomb Valley on the 3 1/2 hour self-guided Gold Fever Trail.

 

Go mountain biking at Snow Summit Bike Park

Like to mountain bike? Check out Snow Summit Bike Park where you and your bike can ride the scenic sky chair to the top of the mountain and choose from over 60 miles of trails to ride back down. While you’re up on top of Snow Summit, stop in at the Skyline Taphouse or Hog On The Rocks for BBQ and ice cold brews.

 

Enjoy remote camping at Yellow Post Sites

Remote camping at Yellow Post Sites is secluded and free and definitely off the beaten path. There are traditional campsites that start around $22 per night and Group Camp Sites that can have up to 40 people for about $120 per night. For camping reservations visit www.recreation.gov Big Bear also has hostels, hotels, cabins, cottages and private home rentals in a variety of locations. Explore your lodging options at www.bigbear.com.

 

Grab a cocktail while enjoying the live music at the cave

Most of the nightlife is in the Village where you’ll find local restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Big Bear Lake Brewing Company is perfect for tasty craft beers and an extensive pub menu and The Cave is a great venue to hear some live music, grab a cocktail, a bite to eat and just chill with friends on the weekend.

 

Check out the bagels and sandwiches at Amangela's Sandwich & Bagel House

If you want something fresh and healthy, stop by Amangela’s Sandwich & Bagel House for made-to-order sandwiches, bagels and freshly-made soups and chili or check out Local Tropicali, a new spot featuring fresh organic bowls, coffee, juices and smoothies with a tropical flair. Both eateries have vegan options.

There are new events happening all the time, so visit our website at www.bigbear.com while planning your Adventure Season in Big Bear Lake.

Something Good is Brewing in Big Bear

Whether you’re looking for the perfect coffeehouse for a freshly roasted brew on a cool morning, or just a place to relax, read the paper or jump online to get a little work done while you’re in Big Bear Lake, you have options.

 

Enjoy a Bagel and tea at Amangela’s Sandwich & Bagel House
Amangela’s Sandwich & Bagel House – A Big Bear Village favorite for specialty coffees, teas, smoothies and other tasty beverages. Deli sandwiches and toasty bagels made fresh to order. Homemade foccacia rolls and huge salads. Freshly simmered soups and vegan chili. Dine inside or out near the firepit. Dogs on leash are welcome on the outdoor patio.

 

Have a house-made pie or vegan food at Copper Q
The Copper Q – Smack dab in the middle of the Village is a beautiful little coffeehouse, bakery and kitchen shop filled with eye-catching wares. One of the rare places in Big Bear to find delicious vegan fare as well as house-made pies, pastries and muffins. Check out their cooking class schedule that operates for small groups at the back of the store. Pet-friendly patio.

 

Get a delicious coffee at Starbucks
Starbucks – All the usual offerings from one of the top names in coffeehouses. You’ll find Starbucks in the Von’s shopping center at the east end of Big Bear. Gather around the outdoor fireplace or step inside for cozy seating. This store also has a drive-thru if you want a quick to-go cup.

 

Get either a coffee or tea at Coffee and Tea Exchange
Coffee and Tea Exchange – At the west end of Big Bear Village is a nice little shop with an array of coffee and tea specialties. Baked goods and sandwiches are also on offer. This is the best place to find a good selection of loose leaf teas, unique teapots and coffee presses.

 

Get a dank donut at Dank Donut
Dank Donuts – Home of the dankest donuts on earth…and in Big Bear. The original ‘dank donut’ is vegan, gluten-free and baked…not fried. For the purist, you still have the option of traditional bear claws, cinnamon rolls, fritters, maple bars and more. For heartier morning fare, try one of their filled croissants or a breakfast burrito with housemade salsa. Inside Tip: From 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. daily they have a Happy Hour. All donuts from the day are .25 each and a mystery beer is $3.

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. Try out 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 Sports or Bear Valley Bikes. Your rental company will point out the best trails and provide maps for your new adventure. Please Note: Snowshoeing is weather dependent.

 

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.

snowshoe

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). 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, Snowmen 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! Build a snowman to stand guard over your fort.  This is one of the best free activities for all ages! Snow is easy to find in picnic areas or city parks… 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. 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.

 

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 $35 per person and children 36″ – 42” tall are $20 and must be accompanied by 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. Night skiing hours are 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.  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. The Village is always a fun place for shopping and dining 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. Maybe you’ll find a souvenir or two to take home or the perfect holiday gift for someone special. 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.

 

Guided Nature Walks, Nature Crafts, Children’s Story Time and Animal Tracking at the Big Bear Discovery Center. 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 animals a safe place to heal or permanently stay if they are unable to make it in on their own. See grizzly bears, black bear, snow leopards and cougars. Snowy owls, majestic bald eagles and playful raccoons are just a few of the other beautiful animals you can 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.

 

Affordable Night Life in Big Bear.  Are you a night owl? On Friday and Saturday nights you can listen to free country western music and kick up your boots with some line dancing at Wyatt’s Saloon or check out the weekend entertainment at our newest Village hot spot, The Oakside Restaurant & Bar. Thursday nights you can go to The Pines Lakefront for cocktails, appetizers and free Jazz. The Cave is a fun spot for live concerts on the weekends.  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.

Best Lodging in Big Bear. The most affordable lodging rates in Big Bear during the winter will be mid-week, non-peak days. Book early for weekends and holidays because everyone wants to be here once it snows! Hot Tip: Always check out the specials on our lodging page.

 

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! Indoor Family Fun In Big Bear

 

Brrr…Big Bear is cold in the winter. Some days the weather is windier, snowier or rainier than normal and that can send mommies and daddies searching for indoor activities that are fun for the whole family. When you’re looking for things to do in Big Bear, indoors, out of the elements, here are a few ideas:

 

Big Bear Bowling Barn

Come have fun bowling at the Big Bear Bowling Barn in Big Bear
Great gathering space for large groups or parties. 16 bowling lanes with bumpers for the littles, a snack bar for the whole gang and a sports bar for those looking for a cold beer and a glimpse of the game. At night, when the glow lights come on, they pump up the music and create a really fun atmosphere to bowl with family and friends.. 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. (midnight on Fri & Sat) Kids $5 – Adults $6.50 40625 Big Bear Blvd. 909-878-2695

 

Big Bear Discovery Center

Learn more about the San Bernardino Nation Forest at the Big Bear Discovery Center
Stop by to see the San Bernardino National Forest exhibits. Get maps and information on the forest, rare native plants, and a variety of animal species. Popular winter programs include Animal Tracks, Children’s Storytime, Nature Crafts and Nature Walks. If there is enough natural snow, they also offer guided snowshoe tours most weekends. Open Thursday through Monday, year round. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 40971 North Shore Dr. 909-382-2790

 

Gold Rush Mining Adventures

Never go home empty handed going prospecting at Gold Rush Mining Adventures
Everyone can experience a ‘Eureka’ moment while cracking open a geode or mining for gemstones, fossils or gold. No prospector goes home empty handed. Take home the best souvenir in Big Bear— real gemstones, fossils, or geodes. Some minerals are large enough to have cut and faceted into your very own valuable jewelry. The friendly miners on staff will help your family or group get the most out of your Mining Adventure.Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 40016 Big Bear Blvd. 909-866-5677

 

Mountain Room Escapes

Beat the clock solving the puzzles Mountain Room Escapes
For all you puzzlers out there, Big Bear has two imaginative escape rooms that will get your mind working. You and your team try to solve the clues in one hour and 13 seconds to escape. Perfect for 2-6 players.Visit the website for times or to make a reservation. 40729 Village Dr., Ste. 6 877-584-6427

The premise: After a fun day of hiking in the woods, you and your friends find that you have become lost. A search for shelter leads to an abandoned cabin and the much sought after warmth you were looking for…but the cabin may not be as deserted as you thought. Can you escape a lonely old miner before he makes you a permanent houseguest?

 

Village Theater

Enjoy watching the latest feature films at Village Theater
See the latest feature films at Village Theater in Big Bear. With three movie screens and a full snack bar stocked with all the usual goodies, this is a perfect place to warm up on a cold winter day. Go to their website to get discount coupons or for ordering tickets in advance. Insider Tip: Tuesday is Family Fun Day with all seats at all shows for only $5. Call or go online for showtimes. 602 Pine Knot Ave. 909-866-5115.

Holiday Inspired Big Bear Shopping

Holiday shopping. In Big Bear. In The Village. At the ski resorts. From Big Bear souvenirs to beautiful works of art; unique mountain fashion or something beautiful for your home, you’ll find inspiration while shopping in Big Bear Lake. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

village

The Village in Big Bear Lake. With a nod to mountain living, in an alpine winter setting, you’ll find trendy fashion, handcrafted jewelry, local arts and crafts, toy stores, candy shops, and beautiful gifts for the kitchen and bath.

ski-shop girl

Ski Shops. Big Bear has a lot of them. Look for the latest in ski and snowboard gear. Find goggles, gloves, sunglasses and the hottest skiwear to kick-off the winter season.

mountain bike shop

Mountain Bike Shops. Big Bear has become a mecca for mountain biking. Local shops carry mountain bikes, fat tire bikes and road bikes along with all the accessories needed to thrill two-wheeled techies.

BBsportinggoods

Big Bear Sporting Goods Stores. Look for specialty fishing gear, hunting gear, camping gear and outerwear. Perfect for the person who enjoys actively exploring the great outdoors.

wooden bear

Wooden Bear Carvings. Big Bear is known for custom carved wooden bears. These artisans also create wooden eagles, raccoons and elaborate totems. Perfect for vacation home owners and people who love truly unique local crafts.

Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates – The list is long. Grab gift certificates for the ski lifts or snow tubing. Treat someone to a helicopter, zipline or Jeep tour. Give a gift certificate for dining at one of our local restaurants. If you really want to splurge, a night or two of lodging in Big Bear would be an amazing gift for friends or family to enjoy a winter getaway in Big Bear Lake.

parking

The Village in Big Bear has free parking with over 600 parking spaces in five city lots located on Bartlett Rd., Knickerbocker Rd., Pennsylvania Ave., Alden Rd. and behind the Oakside Restaurant.

Vintage, Antique and Thrift Shops in Big Bear

Discover the unexpected. Are you one of those folks who loves to browse antique shops and thrift stores while you’re traveling? I am. Big Bear Lake has several shops that can keep you occupied for hours and hours of sheer browsing pleasure.

Whether you are hoping for rare finds of mid-century modern collectibles, distressed farmhouse pieces, or the bohemian gypsy look that is wildly popular, you can find a little bit of everything in the antique shops in Big Bear.

You’ll find collectible items like cast iron cookware, wood duck decoys, fine jewelry, antique toys, advertising signs, clocks, antlers, lanterns, distressed furniture as well as beautifully restored antiques. The list goes on and on.

Check out the thrift stores for good deals on second-hand, gently used cabin decor, household items, flannels and jackets, and sports gear. Also a great place to grab a quick vacation read for those wintry nights near the fire or long summer afternoons by the lake.


foxfarm

Fox Farm Antique Mall

42146 Fox Farm Rd.

Rd. | 909-866-0618

Thursday – Tuesday 10AM – 5PM

20 individual antique dealers all in one location. Beautiful antique furnishings, art and collectibles. Owners are friendly and knowledgeable.


northshore

North Shore Antiques & Collectibles

39220 North Shore Dr. | 909-878-3235

Thursday – Monday 10:30AM – 5PM

Open all major holidays

Don’t be fooled by the small appearance of this antique store in Fawnskin. The shop owner holds the majority of this easy-to-browse floor space with the back area giving way to 5 individual antique dealers. Beautifully displayed antique furnishings, collectibles, jewelry and art.


thriftstore

Big Bear Thrift & Treasure

40074 Big Bear Blvd. | 909-866-4336

Thursday – Monday ⋅ 10AM – 4:30PM

Ever-changing second-hand items and antique treasures. Browse through nine western themed outdoor buildings and the main two-story building for second-hand items and antique treasures.


nestings

Nestings Vintage

39307 Big Bear Blvd. | 760-413-1950

Friday – Sunday – Hours vary – Call ahead

(Seasonal store. Open May – October)

This delightful little shop in Boulder Bay is jam-packed with a combination of vintage collectibles and small furniture pieces for the cabin. Open from May through mid-October and the hours vary, so call ahead.


Heidis

Heidi’s Consignment

41658 Big Bear Blvd. | 909-866-4508

Monday – Saturday ⋅ 10AM – 5PM Sunday 11AM – 4PM

4,000 SF consignment mall where you can find hidden treasures of fine jewelry, art, furniture, consignment clothing and antiques.


doves nest

Doves Nest Thrift Store

217 W Big Bear Blvd. | 909-585-5698

Monday – Saturday ⋅ 9AM – 5PM Sundays 11 – 4

(Closed the 3rd Sunday of each month)

Two-story thrift store featuring gently-used items including clothing, household goods, crafting items, sports equipment and electronics. Non-profit shop that benefits local domestic violence education programs.


hummingbird

Hummingbird Project Thrift Store

400 W Big Bear Blvd. | 909-584-8642

Open Daily ⋅ 12 Noon – 5PM

Non-profit thrift store with gently-used items including clothing, household goods, crafting items, skiwear and holiday decorations.


thriftsenior

Big Bear Senior Citizens Thrift Store

1013 W Big Bear Blvd. | 909-585-0131

Open Tuesday through Saturday 10AM – 3PM

Non-profit thrift store featuring everything from clothing and jewelry to sports equipment and household goods.