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Getaway Guide: Big Bear
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Getaway Guide: Big Bear

Check out our Big Bear getaway itinerary for a cozy and fun weekend. Lots of memories to be made whether by the fireplace or on the slopes.

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4 min read

October 26, 2022

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Heartwarming blankets of white snow envelop everything in sight as the fresh scent of pine wafts through the air welcoming you to your Big Bear getaway. The joyous wails of skiers on the hillsides can be heard from far away, inspiring new adventures around every turn. Though the cold winter air makes cozying up by the fireplace in a forested cabin sound all too appealing, the possibilities awaiting outdoors will have you shed the pajamas in favor of snowsuits and explore the landscape of Big Bear Lake.

Enjoy your stay at Big Bear that's tucked away within mountains, covered in snow.

Arriving at Big Bear

Tucked within the mountains, Big Bear, San Bernardino is only a two-hour drive from both Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Nestled high above sea level at 6,750 feet, the ski resorts portray the region’s main claim to fame. While Snow Summit and Bear Mountain offer 1,000 skiable acres throughout the resort, there are dozens of other things to do in Big Bear once you’ve quenched your need for snowy speed.

Day 1

Afternoon

Lunch

Winter in Big Bear is nearly too picturesque for words. The whites and greens of the snow-covered trees contrast with the vibrant blues of the lake, making winter the best time to visit Big Bear. After winding your way into town, cruise over to The Pines Lakefront for a filling meal that will prepare you for the energetic activities that are to come. Start with a bowl of luscious French onion soup to soothe any lingering worries and calm the soul. Continue on with a refreshing Caesar salad, and you’ll be ready to take on the day. Make sure not to leave without a bite of Dr. Jerry’s special bread pudding doused in butterscotch sauce. 

Bobsledding

After finishing up, head over to the Magic Mountain Recreation Area to experience Big Bear’s Alpine Slide. This world-famous attraction is Southern California’s only destination for authentic bobsledding and one you shouldn’t skip on your Big Bear getaway. Climb aboard your individually controlled bobsled, and fly down the quarter-mile track to participate in the unique winter sport. The thrill of this new activity is sure to stick with you long after it ends. Keep the adventures going as you head over to Action Tours for a ziplining excursion through the forest canopies. 

Indulge yourself in a little getaway at Big Bear cabins.

Lodging in the Cabin

Planning a getaway cabin in Big Bear is easy when you have an option such as Noon Lodge. Built in the early 1950s, these quaint rentals are the perfect blend of hotel professionalism and cabin living, which makes them a great option to rent for Thanksgiving. Though these cabins feature all of the necessities, there is no housekeeping during your stay–so you’ll never have to wonder if someone is in your room while you’re out. The rentals are located just 1.3 miles from downtown, but their secluded coziness allows you to uninterruptedly enjoy California’s Big Bear Lake. Opt for a round of cornhole, bocce ball, or shuffleboard before heading back out, and you’ll start to adapt to the laid-back mountain lifestyle

Although a slower pace sets the tone of this getaway, Big Bear has a mixed array of activities. And though much of the region’s glory arises from its incredible slopes, the next stop is full of family-friendly fun. At the Bowling Barn, the hardest part is deciding what to do first. With pool tables, bowling, and video game arcades at your fingertips, it’s easy to spend all afternoon here. 

Breath in the crispy fresh air before heading for breakfast.

Day 2

Morning

Coffee

Waking up in the relaxing atmosphere of the mountains, the air fills your lungs with ease, but Big Bear attractions of winter await. Though the sight of snow is exhilarating, the aroma and warmth of a fresh cup of coffee are undeniable. Drive over to Big Bear Coffee Roasting Company for a coconut-milk latte and a pound of freshly roasted coffee beans for the ultimate escape.

Afternoon

Brunch

Coffee in hand, take a refreshing walk around town before landing at Sweet Basil Bistro for a Sunday brunch menu that will knock your socks off. Choose between the sweet coconut French toast and the savory eggs Benedict with Parmesan sauce, and you’re sure to leave satiated. For a pro tip, be mindful of the lemon basil Italian soda or the house-made mini donuts, which will take the meal to a whole new level.

The snowy San Bernardino Mountains never get old, so keep the adventure going instead of heading straight home.

Snowboarding

Finally, the time has come to touch the powdery snow. Strap into the board, and hit the slopes for an exhilarating afternoon of skiing and snowboarding in one of California’s top ski resorts. While the common sports sound so incredibly appealing, wobbling and falling are as much a part of the process as sliding down a mountain. After an hour or two, you begin to find your groove, and the flailing arms that look akin to a baby penguin attempting to fly are replaced by a relaxed, confident balance. Later, return the equipment and lay on the fluffy snow for a stretchy time making a snow angel. And with a fun afternoon in your pocket, carry on with your to-do list filled with Big Bear attractions.

Having experienced the Big Bear getaway summit to the fullest, make your way to Lake Arrowhead for some holiday fun and festivals . You can craft your own hot cocoa, roast s’mores, build a gingerbread house, and continue your California ski tour before returning home.

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