630 Bartlett Rd.Â Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 Â 909-424-4232
Big Bear Lake is a unique mountain resort community located 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles and surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. About 21,000 residents make their home here full-time.
Altitude ranges from 6,750 to 9,000 feet. There are over 300 days of sunshine each year. Summer temperatures average around 80 degrees during the day, and 45 degrees at night. Winter brings about 100 inches of snowfall, and temperatures which average in the low 40’s during the day, and mid 20’s at night.
Pine and oak forests flourish in Big Bear’s alpine environment. The area provides a natural habitat for approximately 30 wintering bald eagles and 29 species of rare plants, ten of which are indigenous to the area.
Our lake is a fresh water lake seven miles long. The average width is 1/2 mile, with a maximum depth of 72 feet and over 22 miles of shoreline.
Our community is full of recreational opportunities such as fishing, water sports, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, tours and winter sports. It’s home to one of the nation’s only alpine solar observatories. Big Bear also features a public zoo, a nine-hole golf course, seven public campgrounds, great restaurants, entertainment and lots of shopping. Big Bear’s airport is open 24 hours every day and is equipped for night landings. AirTaxi/Charter service is available.
Big Bear is an affordable family destination and is Southern California’s only four season resort offering a great variety of activities during the summer seasons. Many of Big Bear’s activities during the summer are affordable or free.
We put together a list of the top affordable or free summer family vacation ideas to help you plan your next trip:
1. Go stargazing: Throughout the year, Big Bear is the perfect spot for stargazing in Southern California plus, it’s FREE! Find out best stargazing spots and tips to see nature’s beautiful night backdrop.
2. Hook a number of different fish from the lake: Big Bear Lake offers one of the top rated fishing spots in all of Southern California. Along with trout and bass, you will also love to find the waters of Big Bear Lake offer an abundant supply of catfish, crappie, blue gill and sunfish. Fishermen of all types will find something to their liking in the pristine waters of the lake. Grab a fishing license, tackle, bait and a chair and you can fish from the shoreline such as on the Stanfield Cutoff bridge or Grout Bay.
3. Visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo: The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a rehabilitation facility offering injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven; temporarily while they heal or permanently as they are unable to survive on their own. Visitors are able to see a broad variety of alpine wildlife, such as bald eagles, wolves, black bears, bobcats and even an arctic fox! Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for seniors and children between the ages of 3 and 10. Children 2 and under are free!
4. Enjoy fresh produce and artwork: Every Tuesday from April until October, the Farmer’s Market at the Big Bear Convention Center gives everyone a chance to buy sustainably grown produce, works of art, antiques and delicious food from a selection of food carts. Be sure to bring cash as most vendors do not accept credit cards.
5. View beautiful classic cars: Big Bear’s popular Antique Car Club Fun Run on August 7-9, 2015 and is free to the public. The Fun Run features a car show with 500+ cars – roadsters, classics, antiques and hot rods, lining the streets of Big Bear Village. Saturday is the day to view the cars which will be lined up along the Village streets. There will be vendors throughout the car show as well as a selection of foods.
6. Visit and feed local animals: At the Baldwin Lake Stables and petting zoo, you can get up close and personal with friendly and local animals and learn about them first hand while entertaining your little ones for very little money. Just pay for the feed and you’re set!
7. Free Nature Walks at The Big Bear Discovery Center: The Big Bear Discovery Center’s free 30-minute Nature Walks are on Saturdays at 1pm and 2 pm and Sundays at 11 am and 12 noon. The walks provide visitors an opportunity to learn about the local plant life, wildlife and interesting historical facts about Big Bear. This activity is ideal for families and individuals who want to gain a greater appreciation of the San Bernardino Mountains. Nature walks are not strenuous and designed for all hiking skill levels.
8. Kayaking or Canoeing on Big Bear Lake: Kayaking in many of the bay areas on Big Bear Lake is an enjoyable way to experience the beauty of nature and serenity spring. Kaya rentals at many of Big Bear’s Marinas start at approximately $20, and a convenient way to get a kayak in the water without having to hauling equipment from a rental shop.
9. Enjoy glow bowling and miniature golf: Glow bowling at the Bowling Barn starts at 8 p.m. and has great music to go with it. Once something to do until then? Just head across the street to the Big Bear Funplex, where you and your family or friends can play a quick game of mini-golf or even LazerTag! The games are all very affordable, typically below $10 per person.
10. Go for a photo hike: Why experience the beautiful views that can be found along any of Big Bearâ€™s hiking trails only once? By taking a photography hike through the woodlands and numerous trails of the Valley, you can preserve the experience and beauty of Big Bear for years. Be sure to pick up your Adventure Pass, $5 per day (if paying with cash), at the Big Bear’s Visitors Center.
This spring, visit Big Bear for a romantic getaway. Take a hike and experience beautiful mountain and lake views or to see wildflowers and nature or get out on the lake for a peaceful canoeing excursion; either way you are sure to find romance in Southern California’s only mountain lake resort.
- Hiking – A hike together in the forest is always special. See beautiful wildflowers blooming along the trails in spring and summer.
- Paddle on the Lake – For a unique view point of Big Bear Lake, paddle in a hidden cover like Grout Bay on a canoe or kayak or try stand-up paddle boarding. Many of Big Bear’s local marinas offer paddle activity rentals.
- Catch a slow ride on the Scenic Sky Chair (Opening Weekends starting April 18, 2014) from the forest floor to the top of Snow Summit to treat your eyes to spectacular panoramic views.
- Head into the woods for a romantic picnic under the forest canopy.
- Take a narrated tour aboard the Miss Liberty Paddlewheel Boat to learn about Big Bear’s intriguing history. Tours offered on Saturdays, 2 p.m. during the spring months.
- Sunsets – Sunsets in Big Bear are always best when shared with a loved one. Stroll along the Stanfield Marsh boardwalk or take a sunset horseback ride.
- Stargazing – The night sky fills up with thousands of stars unspoiled by city lights. Watch shooting stars from your deck and make a wish!
- Spa & Massage – Enjoy a massage in your cabin rental with one of Big Bear’s Relax and Unwind packages or visit one of Big Bear’s day spas. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the peace and quite Big Bear has to offer with a relaxing massage.
In Big Bear Lake up at 7,000 feet on a cool, breezy summer day you just can’t beat the view. The view can be seen from various vantage points, lakeside retreats and mountain hikes in the valley. But, if you are here to check out the #1 lake view point, look no further than a local restaurant with delicious food and beverages. You cannot beat the ambience of sitting inside or out and taking in the view at such a height and gazing at Big Bear Lake’s 22 miles of majestic shoreline. Even if you don’t eat, there is always a drink to be had and watching the setting sun at one of these local, lake view restaurants…
If dining Lakefront is your goal, there is currently only one lakefront experience on our list to pick from when you dine out in Big Bear Lake: The Pines. They offer an expansive and unique menu, and a wonderful fine dining experience. They offer a wine and dessert list to finish off your meal, as well as lunch options including sandwiches and chili specials. The Pines also has boat docks available to park your boat at no charge for their dining guests. Just paddle or motor up to one of their five slips and cast anchor! At The Pines, you can be seated inside or outside for the best view in town. Don’t forget to grab a drink at their bar!
Another fine dining experience, Evergreen has the extinction of offering some of the best views in Big Bear Lake from their expansive deck. You can dine on their seafood and steak entries while watching the sunset in The Village downtown. The restaurant also offers a bar with a large selection of wine and spirits. They open at 5 PM daily and take reservations â€“ be sure to ask for a seat outside and enjoy the view!
The View Haus
Look no further or no higher than the top of Snow Summit for your next dining experience! Featuring spectacular views and classic BBQ food, you can enjoy the skyline from approximately 8,000+ feet on their outdoor patio. Take the Scenic Sky Chair up to the top of one of the highest points in Big Bear and gaze at the majestic scenery while enjoying a delicious hamburger or kabob. The reviews are in: marvelous!
Located just steps from the lake, Nottinghams offers a menu fit for a King and Queen! Dine upstairs and take a look through their gorgeous windows as the sun sets and watch the lake from high above. You’ll find a plentiful bar (a pub room with a dance floor) and friendly staff upstairs. Downstairs, there is a dining room and outdoor patio. The menu offers your favorite foods such asÂ French toast for breakfast,Â burgers for lunch and steaks for dinner. With a rich Big Bear Lake history, Nottinghams is sure to be the restaurant you visit trip after trip. A local tip: They also offer live music on their patio or upstairs most weekends!
Bear Trap Restaurant
If you are on the hunt for a view of the pines and open sky, take a drive up to the Bear Mountain Golf Course and take a seat at The Bear Trap Restaurant. You don’t have to be a participating golfer to enjoy the good food and local charm! Although this restaurant on the list does not offer lake views, we added it because of the unique views of the golf range sprawling out before you and the mountains, you’ll quickly call this haunt your new favorite in Big Bear Lake.
While not a traditional indoor restaurant, one of the best ways to see Big Bear Lake is to picnic â€“ lakeside! Grab some food from a local restaurant such as Amangela’s Sandwich and Bagel House,Â Himalayan or Big Bear Lake Brewing Company in The Village and walk down to Meadow Park or Veteran’s Park just a few blocks away to get one of the best views you can find. Bring a blanket and beverages and enjoy the sunsets! While you aren’t being served, you are still being entertained with Big Bear’s gorgeous views.