Happy Hump day friends!
This past weekend Joey and I took a trip up to Big Bear, CA and had just the absolute best time. It’s very rare, especially during the soccer season, that Joey and I get a weekend off together. So when we knew Joey would have the weekend off after having a game Friday night, we reserved a room up in Big Bear immediately and began making some plans as to what we wanted to do. And with summer coming to an end, Big Bear seemed like a perfect retreat to sit on the lake, relax, and reflect on the summer we’ve had.
We booked our room using Trip Advisor and stayed at “Big Bear at the Lodge” which was an amazing place to stay! Our room was right on the lake and had it’s own fire place! If you’re thinking about a trip up to Big Bear, I highly suggest staying at The Lodge and you can follow this link to book your room! If you have AAA, they also offer that discount! (We typically only stay at hotels where they offer a AAA discount, because take any discount you can get, right?)
Upon getting an early check-in like 11 am early, we headed out to the Big Bear Airport. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to check the city’s own website to see if they’re having any local fairs or festivals. Lucky for us, the Big Bear Airport was having an air fair the first day we were there. We walked around and enjoyed viewing all the old, vintage airplanes (some of which were actually used during WWI & WWII).
We also had the chance to try some old-fashioned soda! Which was DELICIOUS! We tried a flavor called sarsaparilla, which is the original “Root Beer” flavor. It’s the real “root” used in root beer and because of that it’s much stronger than what you know root beer to taste like. Joey and I both liked it a lot more and now no longer think we can go back to normal root beer. If you ever have the chance to try sarsaparilla, I highly suggest giving it a try!
After spending some time walking around, it was up to the lake for us. We went back to our hotel to change into bathing suits and headed out for some kayaking. Joey and I absolutely love the water and spent nearly every weekend kayaking while we were in Florida. Getting a kayak and being out on the water was something we really missed.
A couple hours later and it was time for a hike. We asked around to see which hikes the locals recommended and one that everyone had in common was a hike called “Castle Rock.” It’s a beautiful hike but for sure takes some guts and bravery! At the end of it you actually have to rock climb up a plethora of rocks to get the 360* view of the mountains and lake around you.
We ended our day walking around “The Village” which is Big Bear’s little main street area where they have local shops and eateries. We ate at a place called Saucy Mama’s pizzeria and finished with some ice cream next door, at The North Pole.
Sunday started off with none other than A HELICOPTER RIDE!
Come Sunday morning, at 9:00 am, we were in the air, high up above Big Bear Lake. I’m not going to lie, I was super excited as they drove us out to the helicopter but upon actually walking up and into my seat, I was so afraid and nervous! When we finally got going I was fine and couldn’t have enjoyed it more. I didn’t want to land and wished it lasted longer! Even Joey (who’s afraid of heights) loved the experience and wanted to do it again as soon as it ended!
After our tour, we grabbed some breakfast, at the local hotspot, The Grizzly Manor, walked around The Village one more time, and then it was home it went!
Big Bear is an absolute beautiful place to be and there are tons and tons of things to do! Below are some of the summer activities we did (prices and places to rent as well) around Big Bear Lake, CA.
- Stand-Up Paddleboarding/ Kayaking- Paddles and Pedals $30/1 hr or $50/2 hrs for a tandem kayak (because let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to row a kayak by myself :))
- Jet Ski- Pine Knot Marina $125/hr
- Boat Rentals- Pine Knot Marina $114/1 hr for a 22″ pontoon boat.
- Parasailing- Pine Knot Marina $80 for a single $160 for tandem.
- Fishing- I have no idea how to fish to you’ll have to research this one if interested 😉
- Hiking- grab a hiking map at any local souvenir shop/ hotel. They have the trails mapped out, along with length and difficulty level. Castle Rock is one I recommend! It is a 2.5 mile hike and is ranked as “moderate” but if you’re actually going to get to the top, I think that would for sure be categorized as expert. I mean you’re literally squeezing between rocks and pushing yourself up.
- Biking- some hiking trails are actually bike-able and others are strictly for cyclists. Again, the hiking map will also show you bike trails. You can also rent bikes at a ton of local shops throughout the city.
- Zipline- Action Zipline Tours $129pp for a 3 hr tour.
- Helicopter Tours- THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE EVER. Helicopter Big Bear Sightseeing Tours. Prices depend on length of tour. Check the website for a tour that best fits for you!
- Off-roading- You can rent jeeps and go off-roading or go for a tour where someone drives you throughout the mountains! There are two places that I know of- The Big Bear Jeep Experience and Big Bear Off- Road Adventures.
- Horseback Riding
- Snow Summit Sky Chair- Take the ski lift up and down the mountain. $24 per ticket.
- Big Bear Alpine Zoo- $12 ages 11+. I’m a sucker for a good zoo. And by that I mean a zoo where they are saving injured animals, rehabbing them, studying them, and then releasing them back into the wild if the animal is able to survive on it’s own. The Big Bear Zoo does just that. Every animal they house has been injured/ born into captivity, or otherwise unable to protect themselves in the wild. Here they are taken care of and used to spread awareness to issues such as keeping wild animals as pets (i.e. why they take care of two snow leopard sisters), and the illegal hunting of animals (why they have a few mountain lions and grizzly bears that were injured).
I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures and hope you’re inspired to one day visit Big Bear, CA!