Mountains, forrest, lake, great weather, small town feel with (all the amenities), and family friendly to boot! I’m not even kidding. We just spent a week up in Big Bear Lake, California, and it was a blast.
First of all, I love spending time with my family. There is literally nothing I’d rather be doing. We are so blessed to have such a close family. My siblings and I are so close, both in age and in relationship. It’s really a blessing. This past week, it was so sweet to see my kids playing with their cousin, she’s not quite 1 yet, but she is walking and she followed them all around. They kept calling to her to “catch me!” and she’d laugh and toddle down the hall after them.
The range of properties available to rent out in Big Bear is amazing too. We were able to fit my entire side of family under one roof, and we weren’t on top of each other. From little cottages to three story cabins, they have it! We stayed in the lovely, Evergreen Manor and all four generations enjoyed the house. I asked around and our favorite thing about this home in particular was the space in the living rooms and kitchen. My son loved that everyone had their own room, and that he could go from room to room and spend time with each person every morning.
Second, this location is awesome. I love the mountains, and this lake is in the heart of a beautiful valley about 7000 feet above sea level, so it’s just perfect to me. While we were there, the hottest it got was maybe 76 degrees, and the low maybe around 38 at night. My husband and I were day dreaming about living up there! So beautiful.
But not just that, the town itself is so cute, and really has everything.
- Coffee shops (nearly 10 of them, including 2 Starbucks, but I like to stick to the places were the locals go, like Moonridge Coffee Company)
- Breakfast places (a place called Dank Donuts was a personal favorite)
- Restaurants (we had some good Thai food, and followed the locals to a burger joint that always had a line out the door called Get the Burger)
- Groceries (we stopped by the local Vons at least once a day)
- Parks and playgrounds
- Hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities (skiing and such in the wintertime)
- Ice cream parlor! (skip the Ben and Jerry’s and head for the local store “North Pole Fudge Co.” with their own ice cream and fudge! Yummy!)
You get the picture, there’s a ton to do for the whole family!
I think our favorite thing we did all week was the boat tour around the lake. Over at the Pine Knot Marina, the offer a tour of Big Bear Lake on a paddle wheel boat called Miss Liberty. During the ride around the entire lake, the skipper tells you all about the activities along the shoreline, the history of the lake and the valley, and even points out some lake front properties belonging to celebrities (don’t worry though, the boat if far enough away that everyone still has their privacy).
While on our tour, we passed by the home of Noel Blanc, son of Mel Blanc who was the original voice of many beloved cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and Barney Rubble. Noel Blanc was home as we passed by and came out on his deck with a mega phone! His father trained him to do the voices of all the characters he created, so Noel spoke to us like Bugs Bunny! He was super friendly, and turned out to be family friends of our boat’s skipper. Very cool! Really showed us the small town feel of this often popular resort town.
A close second for our favorite thing we did was visiting the Big Bear Alpine Zoo I’m an animal lover, and my kids, being so little, are big animal fans too. The zoo is all rescued animals, some are in the process of rehabilitation, others are permanently injured as to need human assistance for survival, or were found at such a young age that they never learned the skills necessary to be successfully released. It’s super cool!
We did tons of other family activities, too! Like game night after the littles were asleep, playing at the park, a water balloon fight, scavenger hunt, and a talent show! Ever seen Dan in Real Life? They do a family talent show in that movie and my family does it now, it’s super fun!
We want to go back during the wintertime! Although, I’m a little nervous doing snow with our kids so little. I’ve never done it before! Any tips, I’d welcome it!
How are you spending your summer? Hopefully surrounded by family doing fun, unique, “summer-only” kind of things!
Like boat tours with Bugs Bunny!
Special thank you to my family who helped me with all these pictures! I was usually holding a child and wasn’t able to get many pictures at all!
Soli Deo Gloria!