Big Bear Lake is about two hours from Los Angeles, so no wonder this bustling four-season resort town attracts new visitors every week. Since you’re in town for a quick visit, here are the best things to do in Big Bear this weekend.
We took a much-needed break from the hectic city life in Los Angeles and decided to spend some time living in Big Bear. Even thought it’s a picturesque resort town, there are plenty of fun things to do in Big Bear this weekend.
We are avid backpackers and hikers, and felt like a breath of fresh mountain air would be a nice change of pace. We packed up a truck, and rented a small cabin in the woods.
Los Angeles is great, but sometimes you just need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. So pack your bags and head to the mountains for these great things to do in Big Bear this weekend.
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50 Best Things To Do In Big Bear This Weekend
Our expectations were not high when moving to this quaint resort town. But based on our experience living up here, these are the most exciting things to do in Big Bear this weekend.
1. Big Bear Discovery Center
If you were planning any things to do in Big Bear this weekend, I would start with the Big Bear Discovery Center. Whenever we plan a trip to a new Park or Forest, we always plan to stop by the local visitors center.
You can always do your own research, but there is nobody that has more experience in the local area than the rangers. Consider them to be resident experts. Get advice on things to do in Big Bear this weekend, current road and trail conditions, and learn how to avoid and deal with wild animals.
In addition, the Big Bear Discovery Center hosts a variety of concerts, events and shows during the year.
2. Big Bear Alpine Zoo
There are only two Alpine zoos in the US and one of them is located in the heart of Big Bear. Big Bear Alpine Zoo is home to black bears, bald eagles, arctic foxes, and snow leopards. A large majority of the animals are native to the area, but they do have a few exotics like a buffalo, penguins and even a giant tortoise.
The San Bernardino Mountains are well known for the hiking trails. There are tons of options to choose from that even include easy trails for the beginners.
Castle Rock Trail is easy to find and is one of the most popular trails to hike in Big Bear because of its incredible panoramic views!
If you’re looking for a little more challenge, try the Pine Knot Trail or even the Cougar Crest Trail by the Big Bear Discover Center.
4. Picnic at Boulder Bay Park
Enjoy your lunchtime picnic at Boulder Bay Park. Boulder Bay Park is one of the most popular spots in Big Bear. The massive boulders are perfectly situated in the lake offering incredible backdrop scenery.
There are picnic tables under a large gazebo, plenty of benches with views and quaint meandering walk paths to stretch your legs.
5. Big Bear Tent Camping
There are lots of options when it comes to Big Bear tent camping. If you are looking to spend a bit of time in nature with you family and friends, then Big Bear tent camping is for you.
Big Bear Tent Camping is available year round, so grab your gear and head over to you favorite campground.
- Pine Knot Campground: well-shaded campground with lots of pine trees and laid back vibes.
- Serrano Campground: probably the most famous campground in Big Bear because it is situated right by the lake.
- Holcomb Valley Campground: further away from town and has a more rustic vibe.
- Boulder Group Campground: remote wilderness camping with up to 40 of your family and friends.
6. Off Road in Big Bear
There is an extensive network of dirt roads that take you off road in Big Bear. Whether you are out for the day, or looking for a remote camping location, there are plenty of sites to see when you off road in Big Bear.
For one of the best places to off road in Big Bear, I recommend the Holcomb Valley Scenic Drive, which offers some of the best photo locations in Big Bear.
If you visit Big Bear in the winter, be sure to check road conditions and closures. Most often they wont let you up the mountain unless you have 4WD and snow chains.
More Big Bear Lake Year Round Activities
- Alpine Slide
- Helicopter Ride
- Horseback Riding
- Laser Tag
- Massage and Spa
Things To Do In Big Bear Summer
From mountain biking to lake activities, there is a long list of fun things to do in Big Bear summer. Get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine with these things to do in Big Bear summer. Make sure and bring your no sew hiking shirt so that you can look stylish!
7. Big Bear Lake Water Activities
Big Bear Lake water activities include renting a kayak under $20 for two-hours, Jet Ski, or boat, get out on the water and enjoy the sunshine. Paddle boarding, water skiing and wake boarding are also popular water activities out on the lake during the early morning.
There Big Bear lake water activities for everyone, even guided boat tours and parasailing for those not afraid of heights.
For a more relaxing pace bring your fishing pole because you can catch trout, small mouth bass, and catfish.
Pro Tips: If you never done standup paddle board before, get 4-hours of practice at the Big Bear lake for two people for 50% off and don’t pay full price.
8. Mountain Biking in Big Bear Lake
If you are excited by the thrills of mountain biking in Big Bear Lake, check out Skyline Ridge Trail. Snow Summit Ski Resort also offers downhill mountain biking trails in the summertime so grab a pass and hit the trails.
9. Big Bear Lake Festivals
From music to craft beer and mountain biking, Big Bear Lake Festivals are a blast to attend. Enjoy the fresh air and meet other outdoor enthusiasts. We listed off some of the major Big Bear Lake Festivals in the Big Bear Events Calendar below.
10. Apple Picking In Southern California
Big Bear is not very far from the best apple picking in southern California. I recommend checking out the Oak Glen region during July – September for some incredible apple picking in southern California.
More Things To Do In Big Bear Summer
- Go Carts
- Miniature Golf
- Water slide
Things To Do In Big Bear Winter
Skiing and snowboarding is the number one things to do in Big Bear winter. But with plenty of Big Bear indoor activities, hitting the ski resorts is not the only things to do in Big Bear winter. There is plenty of fun things to do in Big Bear this weekend for the whole family.
11. Big Bear Ski Resorts
Big Bear ski resorts are extremely popular during the wintertime. Snow summit ski resort is more geared towards family fun, while Bear Mountain ski resort targets the snowboard enthusiasts. Big Bear features the only half pipe in southern California and is a great place to go for beginners
More things to do in Big Bear winter:
- Cross Country Skiing
- Snow Shoe Tour
Big Bear Indoor Activities
- Laser Tag
- Indoor Pool
Things To Do In Big Bear At Night
Most small town shops and stores close early, but not in Big Bear! There are plenty of fun things to do in Big Bear at night and unique experiences for families and couples.
More Things To Do In Big Bear At Night
- The Bowling Barn
- Murray’s Saloon & Eater: Karaoke night
- Whiskey Dave’s
- AV bar & nightclub
- Club Bombay
- Live band music at Chad’s Place
Romantic Things To Do In Big Bear
On a day trip or a weekend getaway with your loved ones? From outdoor activities to local wine and beer tasting, spark your date’s interest with these romantic things to do in Big Bear.
- Enjoy evening skiing from December through March; the slopes are open late until 8:30pm.
- Big Bear Lake Brewing Company is open late until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Grab some small bites and taste local beers.
- Wine tasting at Barrel 33 or Le Dolce Vita Tasting Room
- Live musical at Big Bear Valley Community Arts Theater Society
- Live music at The Cave
- Morning guided snowshoe tour
- Grab a cocktail at Slopeside Speakeasy
Free Things To Do In Big Bear
To enjoy your day and weekend doesn’t necessarily need to break your bank, especially if you booked expensive cabins for a night or two. There are really fun free things to do in Big Bear that most tourists don’t even know about.
Save money and have a fun time with these free things to do in Big Bear today!
- Big Bear historian museum free admission
- Big Bear Discovery Center offers free activities on Saturday and Sunday
- Fish for free on Labor Day (no fishing license required to fish on this date)
- Free farmers market at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center
- Learn knitting and crochet for free at Yarn Designers Boutique on Tuesday evenings
Best Photo Locations In Big Bear
We stay fairly active and got to check out many of the best photo locations in Big Bear. Here is a list of the best photo locations in Big Bear so that you can experience some of the natural beauty for yourself. Let us know if there are any photo spots that we need to add to this list!
- Boulder Bay Park – great rock formations and lake view backdrop
- Holcomb Valley Campground Area – short hikes to the pinnacles, boulders to climb on, and remnants of the Big Bear Gold Rush
- Holcomb Valley Scenic Drive – off road in Big Bear with amazing vistas and scenic viewpoints
- Snow Summit Chair Lift – incredible views above the lake
- Moon Ridge Road – drive up to the top of the road for an view
- Stanfield Cutoff – great for sunset
- Alpine Pedal Path – paved path for walking and biking
- Castle Rock Trail
- Pine Knot Trail
- Cougar Crest Trail
- Stanfield Marsh Boardwalk & Wildlife Preserve
- Fawn Park – odd statues, eccentric dolls, and peculiar mannequins
- Prospect Park
- Morton Peak Fire Lookout
- Butler Peak Lookout
- Strawberry Peak Fire Lookout
- Keller Peak Fire Lookout
Big Bear Event Calendar
- USASA Slopestyle (Jan)
- Bald Eagle Celebrations (Jan/Feb/Mar)
- Polar Plunge (Mar
- USASA Halfpipe (Mar)
- Fishing Season (Apr)
- Farmer’s Market Opens (Apr)
- Spartan Race (May)
- Craft Beer Festival (May)
- Classic Car Show (May)
- $50 Trout Derby (June)
- Carp Roundup (June)
- Summer Wine Walk (June)
- Big Bear Lake PaddleFest (June)
- Music in the Mountains Concert Series (June-Sept)
- July 4th Fireworks Spectacular (July)
- Crafts N’ Cranks (July)
- Big Bear Cycling Week (July)
- All Fish Tournament (July)
- Big Bear Artwalk (July)
- Tour de Big Bear (Aug)
- Annual Quilt Show (Aug)
- Big Bear Renaissance Faire (Aug)
- All Fish Tournament (Aug)
- Big Bear Lake Fall Troutfest (Sept)
- Oktoberfest (Sept/Oct)
- Big Bear Lake Comedy Festival (Nov)
- Santa’s Grand Entrance (Nov)
- Christmas in the Village (Dec)
- New Year’s Eve Parade (Dec)
Tips For Visiting Big Bear
- Book accommodations ahead of time during peak seasons, winter (Dec – Feb) and summer (July to Sept).
- From LA, Highway 330 is the recommended route. This highway is a curvy and windy mountain road. For the weary stomachs, consider sitting up front for the car ride.
- Avoid the curvy mountain road by going around the backside through Victorville. Take I-15 to CA-18, which will add an addition 30 miles each way to you trip.
- Allow plenty of time for the drive up. The roads are tough and the trip may take a little bit longer that usual. If there is any snow on the ground, drive safe and allow even more time for the travel.
- Use the turnouts when cars begin to stack up behind you. Don’t let other drivers pressure you into driving faster than you feel comfortable on the mountainous roads. Pull over cautiously and let them pass. Best to be safe so that you can enjoy all the fun things to do in Big Bear this weekend.
Plan A Big Bear Packing List
- At 7000’ elevation, Big Bear Lake offers 320+ days of sunshine per year.
- Summer temperatures average a high of 80 and a low of 50.
- Winter temperatures average a high of 40 and low of 20.
- In the winter, check the road conditions. Chains and 4WD may be required on many back roads and even on the highway getting up the mountain.
- Practice putting on your snow chains before leaving the house. The last thing you want to do is put them on for the first time when your hands are freezing in the snow.
- Bring extra layers because it can get awfully cold when that wind blows off the high elevation mountaintops and over the cold lake.
- Plan to visit attractions in the early morning to avoid any crowds. As the day goes on, the traffic backs up and sites get busy because many tourists visit only for the day.
Do you have any things to do in Big Bear this weekend that we should add to the list?
We assembled a long list of fun things to do in Big Bear this weekend! Get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine.
Big Bear is a short distance away from Los Angeles, so its perfect for a quick getaway. While your visiting, enjoy these 50 best things to do in Big Bear this weekend.
Did we miss any fun things to do in Big Bear this weekend?
Please share your experiences with us!