Big Bear Lake is a small city in San Bernardino County, California, located in the San Bernardino Mountains along the south shore of Big Bear Lake, and surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. The city is located about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of the city of San Bernardino, and immediately west of the unincorporated town of Big Bear City. The population was approximately 5,019 at the 2010 census, down from 5,438 at the 2000 census. Being a popular year-round resort destination, however, the actual number of people staying in or visiting the greater Big Bear Valley area regularly surges to over 100,000 during many weekends of the year.
Restaurants in Big Bear Lake
4.5 based on 174 reviews
Went with my wife and two year old (in a backpack carrier). Got parking street side right next to it around 8. The way up was a bit tough with my son but not too bad. Decent trail, good scenery on the way, and a good vista at the top.
4.5 based on 10 reviews
Parking in the lot requires an Adventure Pass, parking on the road is free. Before you get started pick up a trail pamphlet; they are located on the sign next to trash bin. The trail is easy, unless there is snow/ice on the ground. There are markers throughout the hike, your trail pamphlet will give you interesting facts about that spot and the area. I enjoyed the stories more when kids read the info for the first time.
We like to hike this trail for a short hike, but especially when the snow is falling. If the snow is too deep we snow shoe the trail, getting lost (not really) is part of the fun. One word of caution in winter, sledders don't watch where you are walking so keep your eyes open for fast moving sleds.
4.5 based on 479 reviews
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.We are extremely proud that 90% of all the animals brought to us for rehabilitation are successfully released back into their native environment.Those that remain with us on exhibit are either too injured or have been imprinted by humans and can not be released back into the wild to care for themselves.
We went to the zoo for a quick day trip. It's very reasonably priced and well worth it! The animals all have a story, so please splurge the extra buck for the program. It's interesting to read how these animals got to the zoo. Hard to believe that a lot were actually someone's pet! Glad we went and will go back again.
Favorite: the bears and eagles!
4 based on 36 reviews
The Cave is a truly one-of-a-kind concert and comedy venue in the heart of Big Bear. The lighting, sound, laser light shows, gourmet concessions, craft beer, comfortable seating, room to dance, and of course amazing acts are not common for such an intimate venue. It is this perfect mix of location, amenities, and amazing live entertainment that make The Cave a venue that will bring you closer to your favorite bands than you ever thought possible.
Doing this review between opening act and main act. Apparently this place has improved since other negative reviews. Plenty of seating (maybe off-season). First band was 12 to 16 year olds. Impressive. Got hear at 8pm wish I saw whole show. Despite showing at 8 we are in 2nd row.
White wine $7. Chicken philly cheese and steak philly cheese steaks are $10. Popcorn 4. Did not order food though. Wine good. Having fun.
Assuming main band will be good.
4.5 based on 14 reviews
Took my brother since neither of us have ever paddleboarded. He fell twice, me zero. Was a great workout. Super nice staff. Nice view. All u need is balance to paddleboard. Although the water is low and a bit muddy, which is not anyones fault but mother nature's, the water was refreshing according to my brother. HA! GREAT FIELD TRIP.
4.5 based on 555 reviews
Big Bear Lake is a nice town with too many people chasing your dollars. It has some good restaurants and a nice climate to walk around in the fall. The visitors center is well kept and very helpful. The lake is part of the San Bernardino National Forest and in the North part one can walk along the shore (The Ranger station is here too). This is a beautiful lake with lots of pine trees and delicious nature aromas. I hope this shore is not spoiled with hotels and game arcades, etc.
4.5 based on 26 reviews
The captain/owner is a Big Bear lifer, it seems, and knows a lot of history. He'll take you around the lake and tell you stories, anecdotes, and will occasionally stop by the house of Mel Blanc Jr's house who will come out and entertain the guests. Very fun, not too pricey.
4.5 based on 162 reviews
This new and small park is along the lake. The park is situated just above the water and has a fresh feeling about it. There is enough grass for picnics and kayaking and swimming are also available. The only drawback in busy Big Bear is that the main parking lot is quite small. A good place to take a break for an hour or so.
3.5 based on 10 reviews
Booked an hours' jet skiing for the children and I to tour at least 30% of the lake. Be prepared to leave a hefty deposit on your credit card or have a spare $500 cash per jet ski.
We took to the lake and took the advice to stay away from the reeds. Once on the open lake, a great time was had by all. Beware of the Lake Police...not joking, they only want to ensure you have a good time.
A couple of tips for next time
1. Wear fairly tight fitting sun glasses or something to keep the spray out of your eyes.
2. Make sure you have a waterproof camera and keep phones well away from water.
I defy any teenage son or daughter not to enjoy this rather expensive one hour luxury.
We went at the end of season and only had to wait for an hour, otherwise you need to book a day in advance.
4.5 based on 3 reviews
Are you here for the tour? (I can only speak for that—not so much the hiking, Jeep wrangling, rock-climbing part)
Who knew there was a lot of cool history next to tourist-y Big Bear Lake? Overall, nature has pretty much reclaimed most of this “ghost town.” You’ll see a few scattered logs that was once part of a cabin, a tall tree used to hang people, remnants of a mine… 12 stops total. Key word: remnants.
The brochure showing you how to get around SUCKS! The description of what to look for is vague and since there’s only a marker telling you were to park but not another marking actually showing the site, it’s easy to question whether you’re looking at the right area or not.
The map also doesn’t show the many roads that branch off from the tour’s road. Since the road signs are so small, we easily missed a turn (is that what that angle in the map means?) and 30 minutes later ended up in a harsh, rocky road with dead trees everywhere.
You can walk, but we drove from marker to marker. This is 90% dirt/rocky road—regular economy cars may get unhappy and it’s recommended you don’t use a car like that to get to the mines—they won’t be able to handle how rocky the road will get.
The 12 destinations are often a short walk down a path from the road and you’ll normally see a lot of beautiful, natural scenery until you get there.
Begin by grabbing a map at the Discovery Center (also a good starting point to visit)—no matter how useless I claim it to be.
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