31 Coolest Things To Do In Big Bear, California During The Summer

Nestled in the San Bernardino National Forest is the small town of Big Bear Lake, California. If you’ve never heard of it, Big Bear is a tranquil retreat for outdoor enthusiasts in California. In its past, Big Bear became a gold mining boomtown, though today it’s best known for its ski resorts and lake activities.

While it is most well-known for its snowy slopes in the winter, Big Bear has a fantastic summer scene as well. Sunny skies, mountains, year-round activities and a lot of cute places to stay make Big Bear Lake a family-friendly destination. Travelers will find endless activities here, including exploring the mountain resort, the lake, the forests, and the town.

With its proximity to Los Angeles, Big Bear is an incredible weekend trip option for the summertime. Read on to discover the many things to do in Big Bear, California in the summer.

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Big Bear Lake is located in the San Bernardino Mountains and is an easy drive from most of Southern California. It is approximately 2 hours, or 96 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Depending on traffic and road conditions, it can take quite a bit longer.

When visiting Big Bear Lake during peak visitation periods (or during a snowstorm), consider these routes:

  • Highway 330 – tends to be the most traveled route and tends to get the heaviest traffic on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Holidays and long weekends also tend to be very busy. NOTE: If you take 330, be mindful of the time and leave as early if possible (otherwise expect moderate to extreme traffic delays).
  • Highway 18 (to/from Lucerne Valley) – this is the best route to take in snowy conditions. Traffic can be heavy on weekends, holidays, and after snowstorms.
  • Highway 38 – will take you a bit more east and then wind down back to the main highways; people usually take this as route alternative during heavy traffic periods.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When traveling to Big Bear, CA in the winter months, you are required to carry chains even if it isn’t snowing during your drive. Should Highway Patrol stop you and find you without chains, you will be asked to turn around and purchase them before you proceed. (If you have 4-wheel drive and mud/snow rated tires, you may still need chains with you, though you likely won’t need to put them on in the case of snow.)

All in all, I’ve heard a ton of horror stories of friends who’ve been stuck on the road for 4 to 8+ hours going from Big Bear to LA. Plan ahead and leave early!

Don’t forget to keep a flashlight, water, snacks and extra blankets in the car–just in case there are traffic delays (or worse, if you’re stuck in a snowstorm in the wintertime!).

Need a rental car for your trip?

We like to rent from Hertz. Why? Well with their Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program (completely free to join), you’ll get counter-free pickup at select locations, and even mobile alerts with your exact rental car and its location before you arrive. Check out rental car pricing and availability here.

If you’re more the type to want to compare car rental prices, we highly recommend using Priceline for rental cars because of the free cancellation, no prepayments, and the flexibility to compare prices between various car rental companies.

Alright, now that the logistics are out of the way, let’s get into some of the best things to do in Big Bear, California!




I always try to start any nature trip with a visit to the information or visitor center. Even though I do plenty of research before visiting a new destination, the rangers never fail to teach me something new!

Since they are the local experts and know more about the area, they’ll have tips that will make your trip better and safer. Make a stop here to get advice on what to do, find out about the current road and trail conditions, and even learn about the local plants and animals here.

Oftentimes, they host free daily tours or docent walks for visitors, and sometimes even concerts and shows throughout the year.


The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is one of the best things to do in Big Bear with kids! There are only two alpine zoos in the US and one of them is so conveniently located next to Bear Mountain Ski Resort. This makes it 100% worth a stop!

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a rehabilitation facility offering injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a temporary home while they heal (or a permanent one if they are unable to survive on their own).

You’ll see animals native to the area, including black bears, wolves, coyotes, bald eagles, arctic foxes, and snow leopards. 


In the heart of Big Bear Lake you’ll find a charming district known as The Village, which serves as the central hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment. There are lots of family-friendly attractions in The Village such as urban scavenger hunts, bowling, and arcade gaming rooms.

Not to mention, many of the annual Big Bear Events are held in this area, so be sure to check if there are any events on the days you decide to visit.

There is plenty of free parking available throughout The Village.


Hiking is easily one of my personal favorite activities in Big Bear, California. The great thing about Big Bear is there are multiple trailheads with easy access points throughout the valley.

The Castle Rock hike (2.4 miles round-trip, intermediate/difficult) is one of the most popular trails because of the amazing panoramic views and how easy it is to access. If you only have time for one hike, make it this one!

Should you have more time, I’d recommend checking out Pine Knot Trail (6 miles round-trip, intermediate), Bertha Peak Trail (6.8-mile round-trip, intermediate), and The Woodland Interpretive Trail (1.5-mile loop, easy, best for families). No matter what fitness level you are, there are tons of options for you to choose from. 

Some hikers prefer to conquer peaks (summiting mountain peaks), and The San Bernardino National Forest has an abundant amount of mountain hikes. Some of your best options here: Bertha Peak, Sugarloaf Mountain, Delamar, and Sugarlump. No matter which one you pick, you will be rewarded with outstanding panoramic views. 

For even more hike inspiration, check out Midnight Moon Cabins’ guide to the best hikes in Big Bear!


  • PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE. Check the weather, make reservations when you can, and bring lots of water, snacks, and layers.
  • LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND. While tempting, leave any natural keepsakes you find in the forest, where they belong.
  • TREAD LIGHTLY. Stay on trails to help concentrate foot traffic and limit your impact on plants in the park.
  • RESPECT WILDLIFE. Give animals their distance, no matter how cute they are up close! Remember, you’re in their home.
  • DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY. Pack it in, pack it out. That includes fruit peels and toilet paper! Bring a bag to carry your trash.
  • BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS. Be mindful of how you’re impacting other people’s experiences. Avoid playing loud music. Let’s make the outdoors special for everyone.


Not interested in hiking up but still want to experience sweeping vista points? 

Snow Summit’s Sky Chair can easily take you to the top so you can hike down while enjoying spectacular scenic vistas that include superb views of Big Bear Lake and the forests surrounding it.


Big Bear Lake has a lot of water activities. Rent a kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, jet ski, or boat to get out and enjoy some time on the water. Kayaking and canoeing are my favorite options, as they offer great exercise and fitness while staying cool from contact with the water. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, you can even go fishing.

Along with sports shops, the following marinas offer rentals for hourly or day rates: Captain John’s on both the northern and southern shores, as well as Pleasure Point Marina, Big Bear Marina, Holloway’s Marina, and Pine Knot Marina. 


Swimming in Big Bear Lake during the summer is so, so refreshing. It goes so well with a picnic as well! For parents who want a safe swimming area to bring the family, Meadow Park is the best place to go. The swimmable beach has a lifeguard, a floating dock, and even water toys, as well as a snack bar and public restrooms.

The East Boat Ramp beach is another popular option for families and small children. There are bathroom facilities and also a fishing dock for use as well. 

For more adventurous swimmers: head to China Island (aka Garstin Island); you can climb up the rock formation behind China Island and take a plunge into the water below.


big bear boulder park

This is hands down one of the most popular spots in Big Bear. Most residents and visitors say Boulder Bay Park has the best universal views of Big Bear!

Whether sunbathing in the summertime or prancing through the park in the spring, this place is a great spot to add to your itinerary. The massive boulders are perfectly backdropped by the lake, which makes for amazing photos.

There are picnic tables, public bathrooms, and plenty of space to enjoy a picnic in peace.



Big Bear Mountain Resort is renowned for its skiing and snowboarding in the winter, but it’s also a ton of fun in the summer, featuring plenty of family-friendly options like mountain biking, hiking, and base area activities.

If you’re with a group that isn’t afraid of heights, you’re in luck! There is a 30-foot rock climbing wall here, fun ziplining opportunities, as well as EuroBungee (bouncing on an oversized trampoline while safely tethered to a harness via giant bungee cords).

Want to do it all? Consider getting an Adventure Day Pass, which includes unlimited, single-day access to the following Basecamp activities:

  • Climbing wall
  • Euro Bungee trampoline
  • Zip line
  • Quick Jump free fall
  • Grizzly Ridge Tube Park
  • Scenic Sky Chair
  • Kid Full Throttle


Take a shot at off-roading with a beginner-level trail. I recommend driving along the Holcomb Valley Scenic Drive (10.8 mile trail), where you will for sure encounter breathtaking photo spots. There’s a section approximately 7-9 miles in that’s pretty rocky, but any 2WD vehicle will handle it without problems.

If you visit in the winter, be sure to check road conditions. Most of the time, they won’t even let you up there without a vehicle with 4WD and snow chains.


Who isn’t interested in a yoga class where goats walking under and around you for the duration of your time there? If you’re lucky, they might even climb on your back while you work your body into multiple stretches. Goat yoga at Bear Valley Farms is meant for all levels, beginner to advanced, so it’s a great activity for the entire family!


When you’re ready to spend some time inside, head to The Bowling Barn where all members of the family can partake in a few friendly games of bowling.

The Bowling Barn features 16 lanes, an onsite snack bar, and arcade games, all perfect for the younger ones. There’s also the Alley Oops Sports Bar where adults can enjoy drinks while watching sports.

The Bowling Barn also hosts their nightly Glow Bowling event, where they turn the lights off, turn the music up, light the room up with black lights and roll the screens down for music videos! It’s a whole lot of fun.

Pro Tip: Before visiting, be sure to check their website for any coupons and promotions.


Experience the beauty of Big Bear from a great vantage point – on horseback! Horseback riding will give you more time to explore and enjoy the scenic beauty that surrounds you. To all my non-hikers and families traveling with kids, this option is for you!

At Baldwin Lake Stables, you can opt-in for hourly, half-day, sunset, and even overnight rides. One of the most popular choices is the sunset rides, where you ascend to the top of a summit to enjoy the scenic sunset views. 

For families with younger children, you can opt for the onsite pony rides instead. Your kid can also enjoy a petting zoo featuring goats, sheep, rabbits, and more adorable little animals!


Big Bear was put on the map in the 1990s as the ultimate mountain biking mecca when it hosted a variety of national mountain bike races. Renowned for its top-quality terrain (some may even say it rivals the best of the best in the world), Big Bear has a network of more than 100 miles of trails and Forest Service roads to satisfy riders of all ages and skill levels. 


If you’re a mountain biker, check out Skyline Ridge.

Snow Summit also turns into downhill mountain biking trails in the summer; Summit Bike Park features SoCal’s premier lift-served downtown park and access to more than 60 miles of cross-country trails. Prefer hiking over biking? The Bobsled Trail (2 miles) or the Mountain Top Loop (1 mile) are easy family-friendly options.


  • Going Green (beginner) – at Summit Bike Park, this is a 4 mile trail featuring gentle, sweeping berms, minimal pedaling or breaking, and picturesque lake views
  • Cabin 89 Trail (intermediate) – a 1.7 mile trail that starts from the Aspen Glen picnic area. It’s a short but thrilling ride featuring steep climbs and sharp corners.
  • 10-Ply (advanced) – a 1 mile ride featuring a mix of technical single-track terrain and natural features. Includes drops and rock gardens.


Even if you’re not a mountain biker and want to get out there on a road bike, there are various running/biking trails encircling the lake that will make for an excellent excursion.


  • Alpine Pedal Path (beginner) – a 2.5-mile car-free relaxing lakeside cruise, perfect for family rides.
  • Lake Loop (intermediate) – a 15-20 mile ride around the lake, takes about 1 hour.

👉 Did you know? Professional athletes from around the world have trained in Big Bear’s high altitudes, and the city has hosted its share of major cycling events — such as the Amgen Tours of California!

Need to rent a bike? You can stop by Bear Valley Bikes, Goldsmith’s Sports, or Paddles and Pedals.


Big Sur Camping - Travels With Elle

Summer in Big Bear is the best time to camp and if you love camping, you can’t miss it! Popular campgrounds include the Serrano Campground in the San Bernardino Mountains on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, and the Holcomb Valley Campground, which is more isolated and situated even more north.

If those campground reservations are unavailable, consider Pineknot Campground, which has a bit more availability than the other two.

Don’t forget to pack the s’mores and get the campfire stories ready!

Read More: My Top 15 Hiking and Camping Essentials (With Product Recommendations!)


Exploring the forest roads in Big Bear in your own vehicle and on your own time is fun, but if you’re not interested in going with your own car, try a guided off-roading tour.

Big Bear Jeep Experience allows you to explore the ridges, canyons, and meadows of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains in fully equipped Jeeps. You will even have a lead guide that stays in contact with your group during the entire tour. 


Ok, what kid (or any swashbuckler at heart, really) doesn’t love pirates and pirate ships? If that sounds like you, then you need to seriously consider this pirate ship cruise.

On this pirate ship tour, you’ll enjoy 1.5 hours filled with corny jokes, stunning scenery, and historical enrichment onboard the Big Bear Lake Time Bandit. No tour is ever exactly the same as they have a rotating cast of captains and crew who each bring their own flavor to the tour.

Tours are publicly available on a limited basis, or you can charter the whole ship for a private event (birthday, brunch, or other function). Children under 3 are free!


Urban Adventure Quest offers a family-friendly smartphone-guided, walking scavenger hunt through Big Bear. You and your team will solve puzzles with clues and complete challenges, all while learning local history and fun facts!

Start at the Big Bear Lake Visitors Center whenever you want and play at your own pace. Your scavenger hunt adventure will take you on a fun route among the quaint streets and history of Big Bear and will guide you right down to the water’s edge and back into the heart of the action!


Are you or your children somewhat of an adrenaline junkie? Or maybe you just like climbing on things! You’re in luck because Big Bear Ropes Course is here for you.

This aerial adventure features more than 42 obstacles including suspension bridges, wide-open gaps, cables to scramble across, and more. Have yourself an invigorating aerial adventure while you balance on ropes and climb through obstacles–all from the safety of a climbing harness.


Head to the Big Bear History Museum to see the building blocks that have made history since it was first recorded in the San Bernardino Mountains. Big Bear was first a gold-mining town, and this museum focuses on showing what life was like for the early settlers of Big Bear.

At the museum, you get to go into the original buildings that were moved to the site. They sure pack a lot in a small space–with over one million artifacts housed here, all the sights make it hard to leave!

There are plenty of local docents to answer all of your questions. Before you leave, check out the blacksmith shop and even try your hand at some gold panning! Admission is $5 per person.


Glide among the treetops and get a birds-eye view of the beautiful Johnson Valley! Big Bear is definitely a prime location to zipline. The Sky Rail Zipline at Big Bear Ropes Course adds an exciting element for those who wish to zipline. The cost is $12 per person per round, and is located at 42825 Big Bear Boulevard along with Big Bear Speedway and Big Bear Snow Play.

As an alternative, consider this highly-rated zipline tour by Action Zipline Tours:


You don’t have to have to love the outdoors to enjoy your trip to Big Bear, CA. Indoor activities like escape rooms are popping up everywhere, so why not in Big Bear too? If you’re into problem-solving with your friends under time pressure, this activity is for you!

With three different adventures in one location, Big Bear Escape Room specializes in high-tech escape room experiences. Unlike other escape rooms, they utilize very few locks or combinations. Instead, they specialize in immersive environments for a thrilling and challenging adventure.

Check out a few of their popular ones here:


Big Bear Alpine Slide - Best Things To Do In Big Bear With Kids

The Magic Mountain Recreation Area is home to the world-famous Alpine Slide and offers family fun activities year-round. In the summer, visitors can enjoy the fun and refreshing water slide while in the winter, there is plenty of snow play.

The Alpine Slide, Southern California’s only authentic bobsled experience, is open all year-long and will begin with a scenic chairlift ride to the top.

From there, riders navigate their own individually controlled sleds, each with Teflon runners and ball-bearing wheels, down their choice of two quarter-mile long cement tracks filled with both turns and long straightaways. Riders can go as fast or slow as they want, by merely applying a touch of the brake with the control handle!

Bobsledding not your thing? No worries! There are a variety of other attractions at the recreation area, which include year-round operations of the go-karts, an 18 hole miniature golf course, as well as the Mineshaft Coaster and The Soaring Eagle rides.

Winter activity: In the winter, natural snow and snowmaking machines ensure there is always snow for tubing and snow play!

Big Bear Lake Mineshaft Coaster - Best Things To Do In Big Bear With Kids


Big Bear Lake Village has got a good number of restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining so just walk around and pick your favorite!

A casual and convenient place to check out is Big Bear Lake Brewing Company, a lively restaurant with an on-site brewery.

If you’re looking for more nightlife, check out AV Bar & Nightclub and The Cave, a concert and comedy venue. The Cave is family-friendly and pet-friendly too, with nightlife after 8pm!


Not into rugged nature activities? Big Bear Mountain is also home to a nine-hole, par 35 golf course for those who prefer to spend summers on the green. Bear Mountain provides golfers with a picturesque setting of rolling fairways and manicured greens, as well as a full-service pro shop, driving range, and PGA-certified lessons.

After your golfing, stop by the clubhouse grill to refuel and reenergize.


Gold Rush Mining Adventure offers a truly unique activity in Big Bear. As its name suggests, they are an immersive interactive rock and mineral attraction where you can pan for real gold, gemstones, and crystals. You can even harvest pearls right from oysters or excavate fossils!

Anything you find you’ll get to keep, which we think the kids will really enjoy. Who doesn’t want to take home a little souvenir from their hard-earned fossil panning and geode cracking?

After your mining adventure, check out the gift store where you can browse one-of-a-kind items, toys, jewelry, handcrafted fudge, unusual sodas, and old-fashioned candies! This spot is generally open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.



Not into rugged outdoor activities? Go play a round of outdoor mini-golf under some super tall pine trees!

Big Bear Mountain is home to an 18-hole novelty mini-golf course featuring creative obstacles, cute corners, and quirky signs sure to entertain the whole family.

Prices are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors 60+ and kids 12 and under. There is plenty of free parking at the location.


“Care for Big Bear” is a community initiative in Big Bear, California, aimed at preserving the natural beauty and environment of the area while promoting responsible tourism and sustainable practices. It encourages residents and visitors to actively participate in various volunteer opportunities to protect and maintain the unique ecosystem of Big Bear.

For a fun day out with the whole family, you could participate in one of their volunteer events! Here are some example volunteer events and activities that Care for Big Bear offers:

  • Adopt-A-Street Program: Volunteers can participate in regular litter cleanups along designated streets and roadways in Big Bear to keep the area clean and beautiful for residents and visitors alike.
  • Trail Maintenance: Participants can help maintain hiking and biking trails by clearing debris, repairing signage, and ensuring the trails are safe and accessible for everyone to enjoy.
  • Tree Planting and Restoration Projects: Volunteers can get involved in planting native trees and vegetation to restore habitats, prevent erosion, and support wildlife conservation efforts.
  • Lake Cleanups: Those who are passionate about protecting the local lakes can participate in organized cleanups to remove trash and debris, preserving the water quality and supporting aquatic life.
  • Community Garden Support: Volunteers can assist with community garden projects, including planting, weeding, and maintaining these green spaces, which provide fresh produce to the community.


Big Bear is a great spot to go fishing! You can either reel them in on shore, or venture out by boat for exceptional freshwater fishing.

Wondering what you could possibly catch out here? There are several species of fish that thrive in Big Bear Lake — the most popular are rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. There are also some panfish, including bluegill and black crappie.

The west end of the lake tends to see a majority of the action for trout, while hot spots for bass fishing are Eagle Point and Boulder Bay. Catfish are primarily found on the east end of the lake near Stanfield Cutoff and the East Boat Public Launch Ramp.

Tips: A fishing license is required and can be purchased at most marinas. Head to Big Bear Sporting Goods to stock up on all your fishing needs before going on your fishing adventure!


Get ready to be captivated by the stunning vistas and pristine waters as you set sail on a lake tour from Pine Knot Marina!

During this 90-minute narrated tour, knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories and insights about the area’s history, local wildlife, and unique ecosystem. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles soaring above, playful otters frolicking in the distance, and maybe even a glimpse of elusive deer grazing by the shore!

During the cruise, you’ll stop by iconic landmarks like Boulder Bay, Grout Bay, and the renowned Solar Observatory. So have those cameras ready!


If you’re a thrill-seeker or simply someone who’s celebrating something special in Big Bear, prepare to be amazed as you lift off from the heart of Big Bear, effortlessly ascending into the boundless blue skies.

As you fly through the clouds, your professional guides will share fascinating facts and stories about Big Bear’s rich history, diverse wildlife, and the ecological wonders that define this mountain paradise.

You’ll get to capture breathtaking panoramic views of iconic landmarks like Bear Mountain, Snow Summit, and the serene San Bernardino National Forest from a vantage point that very few get to experience!


  • Bald Eagle Celebrations (Jan/Feb)
  • USASA Halfpipe (Mar)
  • Fishing Season and Farmer’s Market Opens (Apr)
  • 1st Annual PubFest (May)
  • The Big Bear Lake Grill & Chill (May)
  • Summer Wine Walk (Jun)
  • Big Bear Lake PaddleFest (June)
  • Summer Concerts at The Cave (Jun – Aug)
  • Music in the Mountains Concert Series (Jun-Sept)
  • July 4th Party at the Summit (July)
  • Big Bear Cycling Week (July)
  • Chili Cook-Off (July)
  • Tour de Big Bear (Aug)
  • Big Bear Lake Brew Festival (Aug)
  • Big Bear Lake Fall Troutfest (Sept)
  • The Village Fall Wine Walk (Sept)
  • Oktoberfest (Sept/Oct)
  • Big Bear Lake Comedy Festival (Nov)
  • Christmas in the Village (Dec)
  • New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade (Dec 31)



  • During peak winter and summer seasons, make sure to book accommodations ahead of time.
  • Big bear is 2 hours from Los Angeles, 2.5 hours from San Diego, and about 3.5 hours from Las Vegas.
  • From LA, the most direct route is Highway 330. This is an extremely curvy and mountainous road. If you get carsick easily, you may want to sit in the front seat or take some motion-sickness medicine beforehand.
  • The roads are very curvy and hilly and at times, you’ll definitely be driving on an incline. If you’re concerned about whether or not your car will make it, rent a car instead for a worry-free experience!
  • You can avoid the mountainous roads by driving up I-15 to Victorville, then coming down CA-18. This will add roughly 30 miles to the drive.
  • Travelers can opt for the longer (but often less congested) Highway 38: a scenic route that meanders through the Redlands.
  • Travelers visiting from Las Vegas and other high desert cities take Highway 18. (This option also has the least amount of mountain driving
  • Give yourself plenty of time to drive. Mountainous and curvy roads always take longer, and if there is snow on the ground, you’ll need even more time.
  • Flying into Big Bear? The closest airport is Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino, but you may find cheaper flight prices from one of the other airports near LA (such as LAX or BUR).


  • Big Bear is at 7000′ altitude. The altitude ensures things never got too hot at Big Bear, and the area is known for having 320+ days of sunshine.
  • Summer temperatures have an average high of 77 and a low of 45. Winter has an average high in the mid-40s and lows in mid-20s.
  • If you visit in the winter, be sure to check road conditions. Many back roads require high clearance, 4WD, and snow chains.
  • If it’s your first time using snow chains, practice putting them before leaving. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of the mountains googling how to put on chains with limited service!
  • Bring layers! During the warmer seasons, it can be warm during the day but drop to pretty cold temperatures at night. Also worthy to note, the higher you go in elevation, the colder it gets.
  • Even on a cloudy day in the winter, don’t forget to wear sunscreen. The atmosphere is much thinner at this altitude and can lead to severe sunburns if you’re not careful. In the market for an amazing sunscreen for the face? Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen is the best invention since sliced bread.


  • If you’re looking to camp at Big Bear, like many other camping sites in California, your site should be reserved in advance through the United States Forest Service. Popular options include the Serrano Campground in the San Bernardino Mountains and the Holcomb Valley Campground.
  • If you’re looking to fish in Big Bear, aim to go during the spring, when the lake is teeming with rainbow trout and bass.
  • Visit easily accessible spots early in the morning to avoid crowds.


  • Himalayan Restaurant – yummy Indian and Nepalese dishes
  • Royal Thai Bistro – if you’re in the mood for stir fry, noodles, curries, and more
  • The Bone Yard Bar & Grill – features 40+ beers on tap
  • Sister My Sister Bake Shop – features fluffy sticky buns, cupcakes, sandwich cookies, and other delicious baked goodies!
  • Barrel 33 – trendy wine bar featuring 100+ California wines including small-batch boutique wines from the Central Coast and Southern California


Big Bear visitors have lots of options for lodging, though you won’t find many 5-star hotels here! Lodges, cabin rentals, and bed and breakfasts are abundant, but if you can snag a room at the ski resorts themselves, there’s no better place to lay your head down.

We personally really like WorldMark Big Bear Lake, a 3-star hotel that offers 93 accommodations with fireplaces, balconies, full kitchens, and washers/dryers.

If intimate private rentals or lodge-style accommodations are not your thing, check out these better-known chains that provide nice and convenient accommodations:


  • Lake Arrowhead (25 miles west, 45 min drive)
  • Joshua Tree National Park (72.4 mi east, 1 hr 35 min drive)
  • Palm Springs (81.8 mi southeast, 1 hr 40 min drive)
  • Idyllwild, CA (83.8 mi south, 2 hrs drive)
  • Los Angeles (96.6 mi west, 2 hrs drive)

And with that, I hope you have a good idea of what’s on your list of things to do in Big Bear. Wishing you a wonderful summer Big Bear trip, jam-packed with all the coolest activities!

Want more California travel tips? Read More:

Your Guide To The Perfect Ojai Trip: 15 Best Things To Do In Ojai, California

Los Angeles To Las Vegas Road Trip: 25+ Awesome Stops (ROUTE 66)

30 Travel Essentials for Hot Weather and Tropical Climates

The Perfect California Desert Weekend Trip: Palm Springs and Surrounding Desert Area

20+ Best Towns Between San Francisco to Los Angeles: California Coast Road Trip

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Elle Leung

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger and adventurer based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in my state (and all around the world too)!

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