Big Bear Lake Travel Guide

  • Big Bear Lake
    by kimberlyfisher1
  • Big Bear Lake
    by GracesTrips
  • Big Bear Lake
    by Sienlu

Big Bear Lake Highlights

  • Pro
    surferob profile photo

    surferob says…

     Unspoiled nature, good skiing 

  • Con
    Kairus profile photo

    Kairus says…

     Seasonal... 

  • In a nutshell
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    Richmond says…

     Got Mountains ? 

Big Bear Lake Things to Do

  • Bear valley stage lines, horse carriage...

    I guess you can take a tour in a western style carriage, for fun or for special occasions! didn't ride it but will next time I go

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  • The Discovery Center

    The discovery center was fun (kind of scary too) for the kids, showing real live animals (dead of course), bears, mountain lions, birds...Free entrance! It has also lots of outdoor activities educational and informational portal to the San Bernardino National Forest, but we didn't get to do that because of the rain.

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  • Drive all around the lake!

    It was raining the weekend we were there (thunderstorm and all), so we didn't get to really hike with the kids but we drove all around the lake, it's beautiful!

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  • Best Swimming Hole In Big Bear Lake

    If your up during the Summer and out on the 22 miles of Shoreline that surrounds Big Bear lake, and happen to be looking for a place to go Swimming and Rock Jumping, Head straight west when your on the Lake. Keep going West towards the Dam and you will see China Island (the only island on the lake) There is a cove that surrounds the island and on...

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  • The Alpine Slide (or Water Slide)

    The Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain in Big Bear is a ton of fun. In the winter, you slide down it on individually controlled sleds. In the summer, it's a water slide. Either way, it's great entertainment and you'll want to do it more than once. The slide consists of two quarter-mile long cement tracks filled with high-banked turns and long...

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  • Big Bear - Snow Summit.

    Ton of variety slopes for snowboarders and skiers of all ability! Get there early for the half day pass or come skiing at night when the lights go on and most of the visitors have gone home. Either way and any way you do it, you'll have a great day. This place is about 2-4 hrs from LA depending on traffic and snow conditions in the mountain. The...

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Big Bear Lake Hotels

Big Bear Lake Restaurants

  • Great breakfast, and outdoor patio

    We had breakfast there, really tasty, I had eggs benedict, not bad at all!! Rustic ambiance and friendly staff!! Lots of choice on the menu and decent pricing

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  • Home Cooking

    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Some German inspired dishes such as Brautwurst, sauerkraut and potato pancakes. All kinds of sandwiches, salads and home style meals such at meatloaf. Pretty big menu so I'm sure there is something you'll find that you like. Boyfriend had a Bleu Cheese burger which he seemed to thoroughly enjoy. I had the Turkey...

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  • Solid Service & Food - - But nothing too...

    We were freezing on a 15 degree day...Blondie's was the first restaurant we saw. On the main Big Bear Village drag, but need to walk down a corridor of shops to get to it. Ambience was nothing special...pretty bland. Service was really excellent though. Very friendly people. Generous portions with the kids meals...standard stuff, chicken fingers,...

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Big Bear Lake Nightlife

  • Live music

    B's Boathouse Bar is located on Big Bear Lake. Not near, mind you, ON the lake! They have live music, pool tables, karaoke, private beaches, boat docks, plenty of parking, football, you name it! The bar is on of the only places in Big Bear where you don't get that "touristy" feeling. Locals and tourists alike dine at the restaurant, B's Backyard...

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  • Chad's Place

    There isn't much in the way of nightlife in Big Bear. Everything tends to close early, and despite the large numbers of tourists who crowd the area in winter and summer, there are no real nightclubs and most of the bars are located in restaurants. Chad's Place is as close as you're going to get to nightlife here, but it's not for everyone. Located...

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  • My favorite choice for a night...

    My favorite choice for a night on the town would have toinclude 'The Prospector's' near Lakeview Drive. They havea wonderful view of the lake at night. Live Music, dancing,dinner and cocktails...in a really happy atmosphere. Once,while with an outspoken friend of mine, Joan, we introducedourselves to Mark & Brian, who are well known KLOS radio...

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Big Bear Lake Transportation

  • Big Bear Airport

    Big Bear has a little general aviation airport. When I was in college and had time to maintain my pilot license I flew in there a couple of times. It is a nice way of cutting your commute from Santa Monica down to about 1 hour and you avoid all the traffic!

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  • Avoiding traffic

    If you are going east on the 10 FWY, avoid going up to the mountains via the first exit that says Mountain Resorts. The road gets heavily congested in the winter. It is better to come up the back road on HWY 38, farther east. Another good alternative is to come up from Victorville, hardly ever any traffic from that direction.

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  • Big Bear Lake Hotels

    65 Hotels in Big Bear Lake

    196 Reviews and Opinions

Big Bear Lake Shopping

  • Local Supermarkets outside of Big Bear...

    Stores are 2 - 3 mile drive past Big Bear Village further down Rte. 18. Definitely better then the local "markets" and convenience stores in the Vilage itself. You can pick up Sleds at either the Vons or the Kmart.

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  • Kitchen N Things-Big Bear

    Kitchen N things currenlty is loaded with great merchandise. The jam as always is wonderful but the ceramic pieces that just came in are amazing and really well priced. You must see them to believe...Currently a free gift is being given out. As always really fun staff. Don't miss this great shopping adventure, the best in Southern California The...

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  • Kitchen n' Things: Great samples and...

    Kitchen n' Things is my favorite shop in Big Bear. This tiny store sells kitchen items and gourmet foods and is always one of the most crowded stores in the village. This might be because they have numerous trays of free samples (jellies and jams, dips and spreads, cheesecake, cider and juices, cookies...) or it might be because the store smells so...

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Big Bear Lake Local Customs

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    by KikBkK8 Written Oct 4, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Big Bear Lake has long been the site of Oktoberfest, which
    is a busy time of year for tourists and locals. With a few
    ski resorts in the area, the available lodging is sometimes
    tough to find during peak seasons. Cabin rentals can be an
    option, and Big Bear City, Arrowhead, and other nearby towns
    can be alternatives to locate rooms in the event Big Bear Lake area and Fawnskin are booked and nothing can be found.

    More Info...

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Big Bear Lake Warnings and Dangers

  • Fill up your gas tank before you start...

    Once you pass Highland and start up the mountain, there are no gas stations until you reach Running Springs. While it's only about 20 miles... if the traffic is bad it can sometimes take more than 2 or even 3 hours to get to Running Springs. Don't take chances. Fill up your gas tank before you get started. Cell phone reception is patchy on the...

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  • Be sure to bring snow chains for your...

    In the winter, the roads can get very icy in Big Bear and all over the mountain. If you're driving up the mountain, you need to bring along snow chains. Don't put them on until you reach the upper portion of the mountain. There will be areas that you can pull over and put on the chains. Usually, there are men who will help you do it for a small...

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  • In wintertime it is advisable...

    In wintertime it is advisable to travel with chains in this area. Elevation can be anywhere between 6,000 to8,000 ft. and proper clothing for the season should beanticipated and allowed for.

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Big Bear Lake What to Pack

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    by Sienlu Written Aug 1, 2011

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Well it rained the whole weekend in July, kind of different from Los Angeles area! not used to thunderstorms and lightening, I liked it though besides that we didn't get to go hike! so pack some umbrellas

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Big Bear Lake Off The Beaten Path

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    by Sienlu Written Aug 1, 2011

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    Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain, year-round family fun!! you water slide in summer and snow slide in winter, Fun!
    - Single Ride $1.00
    - 10 Ride Book $8.00
    - Unlimited Pass $12.00

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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Big Bear Lake Sports & Outdoors

  • The Cable Park

    You canenjoy wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakeskating or knee boarding without a boat, simply being pulled by a cable. The cableway tows riders for approx. 500 feet down our enclosed course and back. I didn't try it but heard if was lots of fun!!

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  • Get Boards Ski/Snowboard Rental

    This shop is on the main road to Snow Summit. The rentals costs are about the same up at the ski resort itself but if you don't mind hauling the rentals in your car, you won't have to deal with the crowds up at the resort. I found this to be an easy process with this store and if you print the coupon from the website, you get a 15% discount. Ski...

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  • Snow Summit Rates

    Snow Summit ski lift tickets are EXPENSIVE! The web site below is not quite updated. The weekend/holiday all day ticket is now $64. At the bottom of the web page, there is a tiny blub about downloading the C.O.R.E. Program form. If you have never done this, you should. Fill out the form and take it to window # 25 (C.O.R.E. Program window) and show...

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Big Bear Lake Favorites

  • Being with our thoughts...

    This was our first trip without our good friend Dave. Dave died on March 31st 2006. We had so many plans for 2006 and 2007! Unfortunately Dave lost hs battle with cancer. We almost lost him in 2005 but the Lord gave us alittle more time with him. While at Big Bear we felt that Dave was with us still. Big Bear was so peaceful and tranquil that we...

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  • skiing and snowboarding at...

    skiing and snowboarding at Snow Summit, take their free classes if you're beginners like us, you'll be gliding down the slop in no time, the younger and shorter ones advance faster too, John and I may look like a pro, but were we shocked to see Diana gracefully skiing down the big hill like she was born to ski, while John and I were still...

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  • A few years ago my father...

    A few years ago my father bought me a plane ride above Big Bear as a birthday present. I was through a small tous service on a little runway east of the lake. We left in the morning when there were just a few puffy cummulus clouds in the sky and the sun was just peaking above the mountains. Before my father and I got in the small four person...

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