Apr 14

Winter Fun for Everyone in Big Bear, CA

Winter in Big Bear CAThe San Bernardino mountains always seem very alluring in the winter. But, after the first snowfall, everyone goes on about their everyday work. The reality is that the San Bernardino Mountain resorts offer a great weekend getaway.

Let us show you where to go, where to stay, where to dine, and what not to miss!

Where to Stay

For a cozy room with a lake view, the Edgewater Lakefront Suites has an “edge” on water views. For a close up view of the lake, take a stroll on the dock. The upstairs suites have incredible views of the lake. Edgewater in Big Bear

Or If you are in the mood for a country inn, stay at the historic Knickerbocker Mansion Country Inn. See our story for details on the mountain mansion, “Big Bear Lake’s Knickerbocker Mansion Country Inn–A Walk Back in Time.”

Where to Dine

For lunch, be sure to stop at the Sweet Basil Bistro (a local’s favorite), located under the “Alley Oops” sign on the Bowling Barn’s big red barn. The owner and chef, Sally Hill, makes a killer French dip Panini (ask for her garlic sauce if you are not a horse radish lover).

For Saturday night’s dinner, one option is Nottingham’s at the Robinhood Resort–the atmosphere is wonderfully romantic, the service is fantastic, and the food tastes great. The dining room pictured here has wonderful stained glass windows of Robinhood and Maid Marion on either side of the room’s fireplace. Just beautiful.

Nottingham's fine dining in Big Bear LakeAnother option is dinner at Stillwell’s at the Northwoods Resort–their menu is currently under revision. We had a prime rib steak that was wonderful! They have a nice lounge to get a glass of wine or mixed drink before or after dinner. Be sure to check out their old photos upstairs if you are a history buff. The décor is very rustic, yet elegant!

What to Do

Enjoy a relaxing day at Elevations Day Spa, where you can go beyond the hair and nail treatments with facials, body wraps, mud therapy, massage therapy, Shiatzu, foot reflexology and hot stone therapy, as well as couples packages.

Moonridge Alpine ZooVisit Moonridge Zoo, the only Alpine zoo in the United States. Although, it is really a sanctuary and rescue center. You can get up close to bald eagles, arctic foxes, coyotes, bears, wolves, and even snow leopard. The zoo is currently in the process of building a new location, next to the Discovery Center. It will be state of the art and the greenest zoo in the nation. Upon visiting, consider donating to help in their efforts.

If adventure is more your thing, check out Big Bear Off-Road Adventures. Especially fun during the winter. Check out our review, “Meet Doug–He’s Going to Live to 103.”

Big Bear also offers an awesome sliding. At the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain you can go tubing down their hills or experience luge-like sliding down their Alpine slide. Since you have complete control over the speed, you can take the little ones along for the ride!

Snow Shoeing in Big Bear LakeIf you want to be outdoors, but at a slower pace, take one of Big Bear Discovery Center’s snow shoe hikes. We had a blast. Although, I recommend finding out how strenuous the hike you wish to take will be, and be sure to accept the poles! (I recommend this from personal experience.)

The weekend of February 7th, Big Bear will be hosting their annual Snow Shoe race.

Like skiing or snowboarding? Snow Summit and Bear Mountain offers excellent conditions, keeping their slopes in shape with man-made snow when necessary. If you have time off during the week, they’re currently offering mid-week lift and lodging packages for $69.

Ever wonder how they make snow? Check out our article about Snow Makers.

Check local road conditions before heading up to Big Bear: BigBearWeather.com.


Don’t Miss Strolling Downtown

Big on Bears in Big Bear Lake CAOur favorite store is Big on Bears. I understand there are a few bears left in need of rescuing. The one hanging on the door keeps trying to get in and help his friends.

Laura and Randy Sackett opened the quaint, rustic store just this past Thanksgiving weekend. The trinkets are top-quality and unbelievably reasonably priced. And, the caretakers of these bears are fabulous.

So, take a drive up the mountain–the air is great, the people are friendly, and it’s easier than you think in winter.

About the author

TD Hollis