Top 5 Summer Activities in Big Bear
Looking for some last minute summer activities for you and the family but not sure where to go? We’ve got you covered!
1. Marinas in Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake is one of the best key places to enjoy your summer day, so why not include any water sports? Pine Knot Marina and Big Bear Marina are just two of the many marina’s along Big Bear Lake’s coast. These marina’s offer an array of exciting activities from kayaking and canoeing to tubing and jet skis. If you’re looking for an adventure or a simple day of fishing, stop by the numerous locations at your convenience.
2. Hiking Trails
Hiking is not only one of the most popular summer activities in Big Bear, it is also one of the easiest for all ages. Not only will you be treated to Big Bear’s elaborate meadows, but also to the outstanding panoramic views Bear Valley has to offer! The scenic wonders of each trail present a diversity of greenery created by the natural springs. Check out the expansive trails map to pick out your next hike, as they are sure not to disappoint! Also do not forget to pick up your Forestry Adventurers Pass!
3. Mountain Biking
Big Bear Lake is considered one of the world-class biking regions in Southern California. The biking trails range from a simple 30-minute ride to an exciting 26 mile, 5 hour ride. One biking trail, Skyline Ridge, is one of the most popular. It passes through the scenic Snow Summit Ski Resort with views of the majestic Mount San Gorgonio and Big Bear Lake. An easy way to get to the trail head is to also experience Snow Summit’s Sky Chair, which do’s all the uphill climbing for you! If you’re looking for a route towards beginners, Woodland Trail would be right for you!
4. Big Bear Discovery Center
Located in the heart of Big Bear Valley, the Big Bear Discovery Center is an educational/informative portal to San Bernardino’s National Forest. The facility’s number one goal is to create awareness to become a more responsible caretaker of our national forests. Not to mention, to widen the enjoyment and knowledge of California’s great outdoors.
Our gorgeous mountain resort golf course offers a breathtaking environment as you fancy a day of golf. You could sharpen your skills at our own driving range or enjoy a 9-hole round of golf on the regulation course. Have kids? Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain and the Big Bear Funplex both offer miniature golf and more for the whole family!
The view from the Butler Peak Fire Lookout Station is nothing short of amazing. It boasts incredible 360° views – including views of Big Bear Valley, Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Apple Valley, San Gorgonio Peak, and the Inland Empire. The elevation is 8500 ft! It has been said that on a clear day, you can see all the way to Catalina Island from Butler Peak.
The drive to Butler Peak is easy. Start on Fawnskin (located on the north shore side of Big Bear Lake – near the fire station) and head north on Rim of the World Drive. Turn left on Forest Road2N13 and continue to follow 2N13 until you see signage for 2N13C on your left. When you reach 2N13C, turn left and continue to the end of the road. The roads were just recently re-opened to the public last year for the first time since the 2007 fire. However, they are in rough shape and are extremely narrow, so low clearance vehicles are not advised.
On our most recent trip to Butler Peak, we took a 4×4 and in total, it took about 35 minutes. Although we did not time it exactly we estimated it was about 8 miles up and back. You can also hike or mountain bike (experience recommended!). In total, we estimated that it was about 8 miles round trip. At the start of the drive, we passed the area where the 2007 fire in Big Bear Lake passed through. It was an eerie experience to see the damage done by the fire. Directly following this, we reached the top, where there is a small parking area.
The hike to the tower on Butler Peak Trail is fairly short and the trail is easy enough. It took us a few minutes to get to “The Stairway to Heaven”. With the way the sun’s rays shine down, it’s easy to see how it acquired this infamous nickname. We were all a little winded (8,500 ft of elevation will do that!) by the time we reached the stairs, which are quite narrow by the way, and heart rates were increasing. At the top of the stairs, we were greeted by volunteer rangers who informed us that Butler Peak just celebrated its 80th birthday.
As a word of advice, make sure to bring a sweater or light jacket, as it does get quite windy up there.
Having visited many spectacular destinations, I can honestly say that Butler Peak is one of my favorites. So next time you visit Big Bear Lake and are looking for a free adventure, grab your Go-Pro and head up to Butler Peak!
The 27th Annual Classic Car Show & Fun Run in Big Bear was as big a success as ever! More than 500 beautifully restored classic cars were on display in the Village this past weekend. Thousands of fans and car enthusiasts took to the Village to see the variety of cars all built prior to 1975.
The Fun Run Cruise on Saturday went West from the Village entrance on Highway 18, across the Dam and continued on Highway 38 through Fawnskin. People were lined up along Northshore as the cars made their way to Stanfield Cutoff and back to Big Bear Blvd. returning to the Village.
Sunday was all about the show. The village was blocked off to allow locals and our wonderful visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the cars and their owners. You had the opportunity to either watch from a distance or have a chat with the owner about the time, love and dollars that went in to making their classic beauty what it is today. Many of the car owners have some tie to the Big Bear valley, but others come from across the country to be a part of this wonderful event!
Village Reservations hosts quite a few of the car owners every year since almost the beginning of the show and are happy to do so. If you have a car that you’d like to put in the Annual Classic Car Show & Fun Run, give us a call and we can get you all the information about booking your home and getting the application for next year’s event!
We look forward to seeing you and your car in 2017!
If you want to join the 2017 party, you can send a self-addressed and stamped #10 envelope in January 2017 requesting an application (Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club P.O. Box 6311 Big Bear Lake, CA 92315). They mail all applications in at the same time in mid February so that all have a chance to get a reserved parking space.
Image Courtesy of the Big Bear Grizzly
Big Bear is stunningly beautiful in the fall and a great location to spend a weekend, especially during Halloween. There are plenty of events and activities for all ages to enjoy. Be sure to check out some of our favorites:
Big Bear’s second annual Scarecrow Festival runs until November 8, featuring dozens of different types of scarecrows on display throughout the village. To make things even more interesting, there are ballots and maps located at various participating merchants and at the Big Bear Visitor’s Center so you can vote for your favorite scarecrow.
The final day of voting is October 30, with the awards ceremony occurring during the annual Halloween in the the Village on October 31.
Each Halloween, the streets of Big Bear village are closed down turning the area into a spooky, exciting reconstruction of itself. More than 50 shops in the village transform into a community trick-or-treat area in a safe and fun environment.
The Big Bear Alpine Zoo transforms into a Halloween themed park and it is not to be missed. From 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on October 31, the zoo will feature The Graveyard, Pumpkin Patch, Electric Dungeon of Doom, Witches Brew, Scarecrow Land, Witches Lair and Goblins. Additionally, all animals will be on display throughout the zoo. Don’t forget to dress up, as prizes will be award for best costumes in multiple categories.
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Looking for some great restaurant recommendations in Big Bear? Look no further! Here are our top 5 restaurants in Big Bear.
Knickerbocker Mansion & Bistro
869 Knickerbocker Road
The interior of the Knickerbocker Mansion is warm, cozy and historic. While the feeling is much more elegant than when the Knickerbocker family made it their home, our Big Bear Lake lodge still has the original rustic charm and ambiance of days gone by. The main dining room was converted from part of the first floor original exterior veranda and runs the length of the Mansion. It is a perfect place to lose yourself in a wonderful gourmet breakfast/lunch with views and to enjoy the antics of the Knickerbocker family of woodpeckers that reside in an old tree just outside the glass. New Orleans Style Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch. The Bistro at the Mansion The menu changes seasonally and is served Thursday-Sunday 9am-2pm beginning May 1st. It is one of the very best fine dining experiences in Big Bear Lake!
Hacienda Sports Bar & Grill
41787 Big Bear Blvd.
Hacienda Sports Bar & Grill features an impressive bar and many large TVs throughout so you can sit back and enjoy your favorite game or sporting event. They offer a variety of entrees that will please any taste from Mexican staples to American burgers and fries, they have a little bit of everything to impress even the pickiest of eaters. Experience inventive cuisine, attentive service, and a friendly atmosphere at one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in town.
Teddy Bear Restaurant
583 Pine Knot Ave
Established in 1944, the Teddy Bear Restaurant is one of the most successful in the entire area. Known for their home-style cooking, Teddy Bear features chicken pot pie, country fried steak and delectable homemade pies.
Make sure to come in for their famous breakfast, some which are actually named by or after patron who frequently visit. Finally, make sure to bring cash, as the restaurant does take accept credit or debit.
Saucy Mama’s Pizza & Beer
618 Pine Knot Ave
Bringing back Great Grandma’s recipes in this pizzeria. Saucy Mama’s Pizza & Beer easily makes our top 5 restaurants in Big Bear. They create all of their sauces and dough from scratch every day and hand toss every pizza. Serving beer and wine with dining either inside in their newly expanded restaurant or outside on patio, it’s really a great spot to enjoy a pie with your friends and family. They have big screen TV’s, play awesome classic music and there is just a great atmosphere all around.
Big Bear Lake Brewing Company
40827 Stone Road (in the Village)
Big Bear Lake has beer! And it’s not just at Oktoberfest. Big Bear Lake Brewing Company has been making a name for it’s self up here on the mountain this year as one of the hottest new restaurants and places to be in Big Bear. They pride themselves in making the food fresh, keeping the menu updated and focusing on customer service. The avocado bombs are their most famous menu item and that’s just an appetizer to get your taste buds primed. They also have great burgers and make them unique by serving them on a croissant roll. The fries are made with real potatoes, the pizza is loaded with delicious quality cheeses and you can wash it all down with a house brewed beer. Big Bear Lake Brewing Company will give you a tour as well so you can learn all about the beer making process before you sample each one.
And… As a Bonus!!
This is local establishment has been a tourist attraction for decades… known for their HUGE portions and small town charm… this is a breakfast spot you have to try at least once…
Grizzly Manor Cafe
41268 Big Bear Blvd
Well known for their great breakfast and classic deli, stocked by the popular Boar’s Head meats, the Grizzly Manor Cafe is definitely worth a visit, landing it firmly in our top 5 restaurants in Big Bear. Make sure to arrive early for breakfast and not be in a rush, because there is usually a line to get in. The customer service is excellent, the portions are massive, the pancakes are bigger than the plates and don’t leave without trying the blob (biscuits, gravy, bacon, two eggs and cheese).
Next time you’re in the area, make sure to check out some of our top 5 restaurants in Big Bear and let them know we sent you!
More from Village Reservation’s Blog: Five Must Do Activities in Big Bear
Southern California’s #1 Oktoberfest turns 45 and the celebration promises to be one of our best yet!
The 45th Annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest is back! Running Saturdays and Sundays from September 12 through October 31 at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center the even is unlike any other in Southern California.
From noon to midnight on Saturday and noon to 5:30 pm on Sundays enjoy German celebration at it’s finest. Listen and dance to live music from the Express Band and The Franken Power Express. Dine on a variety of German foods: Bratwurst, Polish Sausage, Potato Dumplings, Bier Knockers and so much more. Compete in the Log Sawing or Stein Holding contests. There is a children’s fun-zone outside to keep your little ones included in the festivities also. Enjoy the dancing shows by the Cripple Creek Cloggers, GTEV D’Oberlander Dancers and Big Bear’s very own Polka Tots. There are plenty of booths and shops to browse outside for a wonderful assortment or handmade arts, crafts and collectibles. And you can’t forget about the beer featuring a large selection of beers from Germany as well as the regular brands that everyone knows and loves.
The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest is truly a one-of-a-kind event in the gorgeous Big Bear valley. Located at The Convention Center at the corner of Big Bear Blvd and Division, the Oktoberfest is definitely a celebration you don’t want to miss! Rain or shine, you’re always welcomed to drink, eat and be merry at what has been described as the best party in town!
So if you are looking for a weekend getaway this fall give us a call at 909-866-8583 or visit our website VillageReservations.net to book your vacation home. Or if you’ve already booked your trip with Village Reservations, this is the best event of the fall to add to your itinerary. Stop by the Big Bear Convention Center and enjoy all our Oktoberfest has to offer!