Located in Southern California Big Bear Lake is a small and beautiful city located on the banks of fish-filled Big Bear Lake. It’s known mainly for its ski resorts but you would find plenty of boutiques, gift shops, and restaurants in its Big Bear Lake Village.

Big Bear Lake was inhabited by the indigenous Serrano people for over 2,000 years before it was explored by Benjamin Wilson and his party. Once populated by only the natives and the grizzly bears, from which the area received its name. Grizzly bears were not found in the region after 1908. Today, there are black bears in the region since their introduction in 1933, and they are sometimes sighted in residential areas.

It is a very popular destination during almost all seasons. In the winter its ski resorts are packed and during the summer it is an amazing place for a family trip. We visited it during the month of May and the weather was perfect. The lake is by no means the size of the Crater Lake but its big brother is located quite high at 6,790 to 7,200 ft (2,070 to 2,190 m) elevation.

The city itself is significantly less crowded than during the winter season. If you want a relaxing time at the lake there are plenty of places to stop and fish or just relax. The Big Bear Lake Village is also a great place to spend time shopping and dining. There are plenty of restaurants for lunch and dinner as well as some quite nice desert locations.

The village itself is quite colorful. You can find a lot of handmade wooden statues of various animals placed around the main street. If you drive around the lake you would find that this is a common theme and many of the houses and businesses have those displayed next to their buildings. It gives the city a very unique vibe.


If you are staying in any of the hotels/resorts and would like to have an amazing breakfast outside you should try the Grizzly Manor Cafe. We loved every single bite there and would absolutely recommend it. We found it by “Yelping” and it did not disappoint at all. It is always packed so have that in mind when you do your planning.

Getting there

Getting to Big Bear Lake is an adventure by itself. One filled with a long winding road and amazing views. If you have the time do not rush and spend some time at the many pullouts along the road. Some of the views there are really breathtaking.

Overall if you are in the mood of spending time outside and enjoying nature Big Bear Lake would not disappoint. During the winter season, the place is truly alive and buzzing with people. In the warmer months, it is much less busy and offers tons of outside activities. There are plenty of lodging places and more than a few highly rated restaurants.


Technology professional with a passion for exploring the far reaches of our world while doing his best to be a great father, husband and friend.

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