Travel Guide: Big Bear

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The first time I visited Big Bear was in 2017, and it was a day trip to see the snow, because believe it or not - this LA girl had never seen snow until two years ago. Funny enough, that one trip initiated many more snow adventures throughout 2018 and it’s safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of snow now.

KSOLE and I ended 2018 with a trip to Big Bear, just three days in the area was enough for us. While it’s a great destination for those who love to ski and snowboard, it is also a nice and relaxing getaway from the city for couples, friends, and family who don’t like snow activities. With a selection of restaurants, a handful of coffee shops, and some interesting boutiques to shop through, Big Bear certainly is a place for everyone.

Balcony view from our room at Marina Resort
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Stay: Marina Resort

Marina Resort was built in December of 1968 by John Woods and has since been open, however now operated by the Lindholm family, who bought shares in 1984. The property is right on Big Bear Lake (or what’s left of it unfortunately) and features lake front facing rooms.

This large property has cozy cabin vibes, friendly staff, plenty of parking, and the most delicious hot apple cider (available in the lobby). While the property itself is nice, they will be renovating this year to make it even bigger and better so please check their website directly for when construction will begin (as I believe they will be temporarily shutting down).

KSOLE and I stayed in a king room on the balcony level, which featured a gas-log fireplace, perfect for cold night. While the room itself was pretty standard, with cabin style amenities, we did have a great sleep and honestly, that’s all anyone needs right? We did hear coyotes howling every night, however we found it a treat since you never hear that in the city.

Location wise, Marina Resort is close to the main part of town and everything is less than a 10-minute drive.

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Teddy Bear Restaurant

Teddy Bear Restaurant

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Things to Do

  • Snow Summit: take a skiing lesson, like we did, or if you’re a pro, just go out and have some fun in the snow. Snowboarding and tubing is also available, as well as rental equipment and clothing.

  • Explore Town: While Big Bear is a small town, there is plenty to see and shop. We actually wished we stayed one extra day, as there were a few places I wanted to stop in but didn’t have time to. Take the time to walk around, enjoy the fresh air and

  • Visit Big Bear Lake: luckily for us it was located right in front of Marina Resort, however it’s not hard to get to at all and is a beautiful place to watch the sunset.

  • Go horseback riding at Baldwin Lake Stables: opt for the two-hour ride to fully enjoy the beautiful trail. We got a 360 degree view of Baldwin Lake and loved how peaceful the ride was.

Food + Drink

  • Moonridge Coffee: great for coffee and they have milk substitutes.

  • Dank Donuts: cozy spot with fresh handmade donuts.

  • Teddy Bear Restaurant: love a good local restaurant that has a family feel to it. Certainly recommend stopping in here for brunch.

  • Oakside Bar & Restaurant: we grabbed appetizers at the bar here, as their main dining room area closed before we got there. Hoping we get to try their actual entrees next time.