Drive just 100 miles northeast from LA and you’ll find Big Bear – a glorious piece of country that’s developed into one of the region’s premier destinations for R+R. Whether you want to kayak, hike, ski, or snowboard, the opportunities for outdoor fun are endless. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our round-up of the ’20 Best Things to do in Big Bear’ for 2020 in California.
20. Take a Hayride at Haunted Bear Valley Farms
If you’re visiting Big Bear at Halloween, don’t miss a visit to the ghoulish Haunted Bear Valley Farms – after all, where else in the world are you likely to be able to experience the thrill of a haunted hayride?
19. Admire the Rock Formations at Champion Lodgepole Pine
For a fun-filled, family-friendly hike, you’ll struggle to do better than Champion Lodgepole Pine. With fragrant, flower-filled meadows, towering trees, and fascinating rock formations, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy nature.
18. Pick Up Some Mementoes at Pine Knot Village
The charming little community of Pine Knot Village is a spiderweb of cute cafes, welcoming restaurants, and fun shops. If you’re looking for some quirky souvenirs of your visit to take home, this is the place you’ll find them.
17. Tour the Big Bear Historical Museum
Trip Advisor ranks the fascinating Big Bear Historical Museum as one of the best places to visit in Big Bear – and with the opportunity to experience the history of the region in an amazingly interactive, hands-on way, it’s not hard to see why.
16. Take in a Show at The Cave
If you want to take in a comedy performance or a concert while you’re in Big Bear, there’s only one place to head – The Cave. Small and intimate, there’s not a bad seat in the house – and the craft beer and gourmet concessions aren’t exactly lacking either.
15. Visit Stanfield Marsh Wildlife and Waterfowl Preserve
To experience the best flora and fauna Big Bear has to offer, a trip to Stanfield Marsh Wildlife and Waterfowl Preserve shouldn’t be missed.
14. Slide Down Magic Mountain
No visit to Big Bear is complete without whizzing down the side of Magic Mountain on one of its two slides. In winter, there’s even a fun water slide to scale.
13. Discover a World of Adventure at Big Bear Discovery Center
As Time Out recommends, a quick stop at the highly informative Big Bear Discovery Center should be the first stop you make before heading out into the wilderness. With naturalist-led tours and a ton of information on getting the most of the region’s biking, hiking, and adventuring opportunities (while staying safe as you do it), it’s a must-visit.
12. Take a Zipline Tour
If you want to get your heart pumping, don’t miss the chance to take an Action Zipline Tour. Soaring through the skies as you enjoy the stunning mountainous views is the kind of experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
11. Enjoy a Pint at Big Bear Mountain Brewery
After an action-packed day, head to the Big Bear Mountain Brewery for a long glass of something cool and refreshing. The onsite brewery and taproom offer a fabulous selection of hand-crafted beers, while the kitchen does a deep-fried avocado bomb you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry.
10. Spot the Eagles at Alpine Pedal Path
Located on the northeast edge of Big Bear Lake, Alpine Pedal Path offers a delightful (and thanks to its paved trail, easy) way to enjoy the area’s beauty spots. If you’re lucky enough to visit from late fall to early spring, you might even spot an eagle or two.
9. Sun-Gaze at Big Bear Solar Observatory
Open year-round, the Big Bear Solar Observatory offers visitors the chance to sun-gaze (safely, naturally) and learn more about the solar system via a fun, informative tour.
8. Hit the Woodland Interpretive Trail
Big Bear boasts over 100 miles of scenic trails, presenting you with the perfect opportunity to pull on your hiking boots and get out into nature. Trails vary by both length and steepness, but you shouldn’t have any problem in finding a trail for your fitness level. If you’re not sure where to start, Trips To Discover recommends the Woodland Interpretive Trail in particular as a great way of learning more about the wildlife, geology, and botany of the region.
7. Picnic at Boulder Bay Park
If you want to enjoy lunch at one of the most picturesque spots in Big Bear, pack a picnic and head to Boulder Bay Park. Once you’ve finished your sandwiches, you’ll find no shortage of recreational opportunities on offer.
6. Practice Your Swing at Bear Mountain Ranch Golf Resort
Fancy taking in a round of golf while you’re in Big Bear? Then head to Bear Mountain Ranch Golf Resort, a championship level 18-hole public play course that promises a fun, challenging game and plenty of magnificent scenery.
5. Mountain Bike at Snow Summit Bike Park
Come summertime, Snow Summit is the place to head for fun in the sun. If you’ve bought your bike, the Snow Summit Bike Park offers great riding and some exceptional views over the surrounding mountains.
4. Ski the Slopes
Come winter, you’ll find few better places in Southern California for a spot of skiing than Big Bear. As home to the only superpipe in the region, it’s also a huge hit with snowboarders.
3. Visit the Zoo
If you’re with your family, put a smile on their faces with a visit to Big Bear Alpine Zoo. Home to over 85 different species (including wolves, bobcats, black bears, arctic fox, and owls), kids will love the opportunity to learn more about the zoo and its inhabitants on a fun, docent-led tour.
2. Rock Scramble at Castle Rock Trail
Castle Rock Trail may be short, but boy, is it steep. Bring plenty of water and take your time as you scramble up the rocks – the view over the lake and ski resort once you get to the top will make it all worthwhile.
1. Relax at Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake is a spectacularly scenic stretch offering plenty of opportunities for fun and recreation. Whether you want to enjoy a picnic by the shore, hit the trails, fish, swim, or simply dabble your toes in the water and enjoy the sunshine, a peaceful day of R+R is guaranteed.