What to Eat, Drink & Do in Big Bear Lake, California

Over this past long weekend (thank you Christopher Columbus!), Mike and I ventured to Big Bear Lake for an adventurous getaway. And boy, did we adventure! In fact, it's taken me this long to gather my thoughts and recommendations for Big Bear because we managed to cram in so. much. stuff.

I was excited to get into cooler temperatures considering the complete lack of fall weather in San Diego lately (the weekend we were gone, San Diego temperatures were actually in the hundreds. In mid-October!), and Big Bear did not disappoint. Sweater weather was in full effect at night, with temperatures warm enough for tank tops during our day-hikes.

While there are a ton of options for outdoor activities (literally, a ton), as well as restaurants to check out, here were my favorites from our three days in Big Bear.

Hikes & Outdoor Activities

Gray's Peak - We did this 7-mile, 1000-foot elevation gain hike on Saturday. Relatively easy, just quite long. Bring water!

Gold Fever Trail - You can probably guess whose pick this "self-guided auto tour" was... But to be fair, it was actually really cool: a 20 mile off-road loop that takes you through various historic sites of the Holcomb Valley, a once thriving gold-rush town in the San Bernardino National Forest. We brought a packed lunch with us and enjoyed this tour over about a three-hour period. Coolest stop: an actual abandoned mine entrance!

Look, an abandoned water pump!
Mike standing up in mine entrance... basically my nightmare

Castle Rock Trail - 2 miles, 700 feet of elevation, and-- most significant-- maybe my most favorite hike I've ever done. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL views.

Big Bear Lake/Boulder Bay Park - This view alone is enough for me to come back to Big Bear again. Also now I really want a lake house.

Food & Drinks

Big Beach Lake Brewing Company - I had an amazing ahi poke dish (there's a surprising amount of seafood on local menus in Big Bear, and all that we tried were great) from this spot, and Mike had an equally awesome kobe beef burger. Not to mention the beer... I mean, just check out this tap rack.

Teddy Bear Restaurant - Classic diner feel with mountain charm. Highly recommend for breakfast!

The birthday boy cheesing before breakfast at Teddy's

And I didn't get any pictures to accompany these recommendations, but for coffee, we absolutely loved Copper Q. Great coffee, plus they make your breakfast sandwiches to order in a skillet in front of you!

I think that's enough Big-Bear-picture-overload (for now). We'll be heading back in winter to check out the ski and snowboard scene, which apparently totally transforms the town! As if we really needed a reason to go back...

Have you ever visited Big Bear Lake? What are your must-sees and must-dos?

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