When most of us think of booking a vacation in Big Bear, California, we imagine a winter getaway spent zooming around the slopes with cozy evenings tucked up in a rustic lodge cabin.
But did you know that this charming mountain town has plenty to do year-round?
From hiking to water sports to zip lining, you’ll certainly be kept busy on vacation to Big Bear – whatever month you visit. Here are the best things to do in Big Bear beyond ski season.
Hiking Trails in Big Bear
Big Bear offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all types of skill levels.
The Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point is a popular year-round option for hikers. This trail is considered moderately challenging and offers beautiful views of the glistening Big Bear Lake and the encircling mountains.
Expect to complete this trail in around three hours. And feel free to bring your pup along as long as you keep him on a lead.
Other popular routes include the Castle Rock, Cougar Crest, and Grays Peak trails.
These trails are also great for wildlife spotting, so keep an eye out for the likes of black bears, bald eagles, and mountain lions – and be careful!
Scenic Drives in Big Bear
If you enjoy scenic road trips, don’t miss an adventure cruising down the Rim of the World Scenic Byway. This is a 100-mile route snaking through the rugged San Bernardino Mountains and the otherworldly Mojave Desert.
While you can take this famous drive any time of the year, it’s particularly memorable when the leaves change colors in the fall. Take in the scenic beauty of Big Bear from the comfort of your car and snap plenty of pictures to remember your trip.
Water Sports in Big Bear
Big Bear Lake is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts, especially during the warmer months. Kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing in Big Bear Lake are all great activities if you want to spend some time on the water.
While it’s usually pretty straightforward finding a tour company and organizing water sports on the day, you might prefer to book in advance by searching online. For example, you can reserve kayak rentals online at Big Bear Lake Kayak Rentals.
The Big Bear Alpine Zoo
The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a wildlife sanctuary in the San Bernardino Mountains. The zoo is home to over 160 animals, including a variety of native and non-native species. These animals include black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, and many others.
The zoo’s mission is to provide a safe and caring environment for animals in need, as well as to educate the public about the importance of wildlife conservation. Many of the animals at the zoo are rescues that have been injured or orphaned in the wild and can’t survive on their own.
This is one of the most popular family-friendly activities in Big Bear – the little ones will love seeing and learning about all the different animal species.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids aged three to 10, and entry is free for children aged two and under. Parking is free.
Mountain Biking in Big Bear
With some of the best mountain biking trails in California, Big Bear is a paradise for mountain bikers. The Skyline Trail and Santa Ana River Trail are popular options that offer breathtaking views of the area.
Rent a bike (or bring your own) and soar through the trails to experience the beauty of the mountains up close.
The Village in Big Bear
The Village in Big Bear is a buzzy area filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries to explore between all the outdoor exploring.
Stroll through the Village and browse the stylish boutiques for gifts and souvenirs. Grab a soothing cup of coffee or hot chocolate at the Copper Q or indulge in a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants in the area – we love the Peppercorn Grille for hearty, all-American dishes.
Horseback Riding in Big Bear
If you’re interested in adventure tourism in Big Bear, experience the magic of the mountains and forests on horseback. Several stables in the area, like Baldwin Lake Stables, offer guided horseback rides for all levels of experience.
Trot and winnie through the forests, streams, and meadows, and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife in Big Bear along the way.
Zip Lining in Big Bear
For the adrenaline junkies, try zip lining in Big Bear to enjoy the mountains and lake from a different vantage point.
Several companies, like Action Tours California, take you through the forest canopy, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Big Bear Lake as you glide through the air.
Relaxing in Big Bear
Finally, don’t forget to take some time to relax and unwind in Big Bear. Known for its natural beauty and tranquility, Big Bear is the perfect place to zone out and escape the stresses of everyday life.
Sit by the lake with a good book and a cup of tea, take a yoga class, or indulge in a spa treatment to truly unwind.
Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a peaceful getaway, Big Bear has something for everyone – no matter what time of the year you visit.
And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, browse our selection of spacious and homely Big Bear vacation rentals, which can serve as the perfect base for your outdoor adventures. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore this beautiful mountain town.