safer journey OUTDOOR NATURE TRAVEL 3 Tips for Planning a Vacation to Big Bear Lake, CA

3 Tips for Planning a Vacation to Big Bear Lake, CA



If you’ve never been to Big Bear Lake, you’re missing out. It’s a mountain resort community nestled in the heart of the San Bernardino National Forest, providing one of the most tranquil settings you’ll find in all of California. Planning a trip to Big Bear Lake can be a bit daunting, as there’s so much to do and see. Use this guide to make organizing your next vacation a little bit easier.

When to Visit

The good part about visiting Big Bear Lake is that it’s a great place to be all year round. The area sees more than 300 days of sunshine each year, meaning it’s rare you’ll have to deal with inclement weather. In the summer, you’ll have endless hiking, biking, and water sport opportunities thanks to the 80-degree average temperature during the day.

However, don’t count out winter. Big Bear Lake is a huge winter sport destination thanks to the 100 inches of snowfall every year and the mild temperatures that hover in the low 40s.

To avoid some of the crowds that flock here during these two prime seasons, try visiting in the fall or spring, when moderate temperatures allow you to take advantage of the many outdoor opportunities.

Getting Around

Since Big Bear Lake is about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, it’s relatively easy to get there from this major city. Simply take either Highway 330 or Highway 38 north for most of the way. If you’re traveling on the weekend, try to avoid the Highway 330 route, as this backs up with a lot of traffic.

Once you’re there, you won’t need to use your car much if you’re staying near Big Bear Village, as everything is easily walkable. You can also rely on public bus transportation, which has two routes through town and costs $1.50 each way. However, you will need to drive to hiking trails and various natural outlooks, but don’t fret as parking is free.

Your best bet is to use Hotel Planner to book Big Bear Lake hotels near whatever attractions are most important to you. If you plan on enjoying the waterfront amenities and town attractions, stay near the Village. However, if you plan on hiking a lot, staying outside of town could save you money.

Where to Eat

Dining is an important part of any vacation, and luckily, Big Bear Lake has a lot of options. To try something new, stop at Masala Craft for traditional Indian cuisine, Himalayan Restaurant for a mix of Nepalese and Indian cuisine, or Royal Thai Cafe for delicious dishes from Thailand.

More traditional options include Captain’s Anchorage, which offers steak and seafood fare. If you’re a fan of craft brews, you’ll also appreciate Big Bear Lake Brewing Company, a contemporary American pub that produces its own beverages.

Now that you have the basics about Big Bear Lake down, you’ll need to plan out your itinerary. Will you prefer boating out on the water, fishing for bass or trout, or taking the Scenic Sky Chair to the top of Snow Summit for stunning views? The choice is yours.

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