March 25, 2013

Big Bear Lake Adventures

Looking to get away with the family but don't have the time, the money, or possibly a combination of the two?  Big Bear Lake is the perfect solution.  With so many options on places to stay from hotels to motels and inns to bed and breakfasts to cabins there is bound to be a place that will fit any budget.  I would likely recommend staying at a cabin if you are bringing the family along as there will be plenty of space for everyone and you can typically get the best rates on cabins for larger parties.  The most common site to check out is for most of the cabins in Big Bear, however, many cabin owners also list their cabins privately on (vacation rentals by owner).  I suggest checking both sites out before committing to a cabin to make sure that you not only get the best deal and the most bang for your buck, but you get everything that you need out of your cabin (bedrooms, amenities, spa, proximity to slopes/lake/village, etc.).
If you are looking to get away for a romantic getaway, I suggest checking out Apples Bed and Breakfast off of Moonridge Rd.  It is a quaint old Victorian home that oozes charm and provides each of its guests with a unique experience.
The experiences that you will have while at the lake depends on the time of year you are heading up to Big Bear Lake.  If you are going up during the winter, there is both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit Ski Resorts.  Where it is $59.00 per person to ski/board for a full day, you get access to both Resorts and you are provided with free shuttle service between the two Resorts (*If you have a student I.D. of any kind you can get $20.00 off of the price of admission-so your ticket will be $39.00).  If you have little ones, Bear Mountain offers a ski school/daycare for little tikes from ages 3 to 6 the cost is $95.00 for a half day and $120.00 for a full day.  The kids will "learn" to ski and have plenty of play time in the snow and e provided with a snack (and lunch if staying for the full day).
If skiing doesn't tickle your fancy there is also Alpine Slide Magic Mountain at the lake.  A great place for families to hang out!  We took our son for the first time and he (and we) had and absolutely amazing time!  You can play miniature golf, ride go karts, go down a water slide (summer months only), take a bobsled style ride down the mountain, or go snow tubing (winter months only).  This place lends itself to hours of fun for the whole family, and will be sure to bring out the kid in everyone!
If you are going to Big Bear in the warmer months, I suggest checking out the Cable Park- a wakeboard park, or renting a boat for a few hours to explore the lake from a different vantage point, going to Swim Beach, or taking a hike up to Castle Rock to get a fantastic 360 view of Big Bear Lake and the San Gorgonio Mountains.  Of course, you are are going up to Big Bear between September and October, be sure to stop by the event center in Big Bear City to check out Oktoberfest.  It is quite the spectacle with actual German entertainment, activities, food, drinks, crafts, and games (I suggest buying your tickets pre-sale to avoid the ticket lines and higher prices at the gate).
Don't forget to check out some of the local fare; Bear Belly Deli is a delicious little delicatessen that is sure to please even the pickiest eater, North Shore Cafe has the best breakfast burritos on the mountain,    if you are as hungry as a bear, head over to Grizzly Manor Cafe for breakfast (only open 6:00 am - 2:00 pm).  If you are looking for something a little nicer, try the Peppercorn in the heart of the Village.  With its excellent service, wonderful ambiance, and some of the best food on the mountain, you will agree that the price tag is well worth the meal and experience.
If you only have a weekend or a whole week, you will find plenty of things to do to keep you and your loved ones occupied.  You will have a great time making plenty of memories, no matter how big or small your budget or amount of time, I suggest going to this place that I consider a little slice of Heaven.  You will be sure to fall in love, even if the only thing you do is get up there and do nothing at all!

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