Summer At Big Bear Lake: 5 Free Things To Do
We had such a great time on our weekend summer getaway to Big Bear Lake. You might only know this area for their winter recreations, but the beauty of summer at Big Bear is not to be missed. The town used to be sleepy but now boasts art fairs and rows of restaurants. The forest area is about 2 hours from Los Angeles, making it a great escape from city life. The drive up is a twisty one, but once you’re there, you won’t regret it. Especially during the summer!
There are many things to do in Big Bear during summer that is super affordable – even free! Here are 5 of them…
1. Hiking: We did plenty of hiking while on our summer trip to Big Bear Lake. The area has a host of trails ranging from difficult to easy and short 1-mile hike to longer, all-day jaunts. Our favorite, by far, was Castle Rock. It provided gorgeous views of the lake from above and the terrain had some minor rock scrambles. My kids loved it!
2. Chase the sunset and savor it: No matter where we go, savoring the sunset is on the agenda. In Big Bear during summer, there are so many open places in which a family or group can set up to enjoy nature’s most perfect show. Pack up the gear you need to make a night by the lake into a memorable one: beach chairs, blankets, a cooler to fill with drinks and dinner, we even brought UNO, a card game my family loves to play together.
3. Big Bear Discovery Center: Located on the north side of the lake, the Big Bear Discovery Center is a must-visit if you’re traveling with young kids. The half mile loop around their property is a beautiful reflection of native landscape, but the best was the kind, informative Forest Ranger on-site answering questions. One ranger stayed with us for over an hour, telling us stories and teaching us about the native trees and legacy of the Serrano Indians. There is also a great kids’ play area, where your kids can build forts, climb, and discover nature. Best of all? The Big Bear Discovery Center is FREE to visit!
4. Big Bear Lake Village: Wow, this place has really grown since the last time I’ve been here! The streets are lined with varied restaurants, shops and great people watching. While we were in town, we were able to enjoy the Big Bear Art Walk. Check their website for events happening during your visit!
5. Water Recreation: Being a lake means there are many options for families to swim and enjoy water recreations. In addition to a swimming beach, Big Bear also has a few parks along the waterfront where your kids can play. There are stores in town too, in case you forget sand toys or sunblock!
Though not free, a Big Bear Sunset Cruise is always a great idea to explore the area while learning about Big Bear’s history. We recommend Captain Chris, too! In addition, you can also rent kayaks, SUPs and paddle boats for your water recreation enjoyment.
We had so much fun during our summer Big Bear Lake getaway. We hiked, we cherished the beautiful sunset, but mostly we just spent quality time together. We didn’t have to spend a ton of money, as there are so many free things to do in Big Bear, but the memories we made our priceless.