Best hotels in Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake IntroductionMarketing itself as a 4-season destination, Big Bear Lake is a social and commercial hub that centers on San Bernardino County’s scenic reservoir. Visitors flock to the city to enjoy parasailing and pleasure boating in summer, skiing and snowboarding in winter, and activities like horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, and golf all year round. The San Bernardino National Forest offers a variety of trails, and Bear Mountain is one of California’s top freestyle ski resorts. As well as its enviable array of sports facilities, the town’s Solar Observatory is another prominent landmark, and its beer festival is an annual highlight on the area’s social calendar.
Hotels in Big Bear LakeProviding accommodation options that range from cozy cabins to smart suites, hotels in Big Bear Lake are as varied as the scenery itself. Hospitality comes naturally to this well-established vacation hot spot, and Big Bear Lake hotels are experts in providing year-round facilities that cater for every traveler, from sports enthusiasts to fun-seeking family groups. Enjoy the flexibility and freedom of a self-catering condo, be inspired by the breathtaking views from a cabin near the mountains, chill out in a quaint cottage with its own pool, or be cosseted in a lakeside inn with leisure and dining amenities for maximum comfort.
Where to stayThe majority of Big Bear Lake hotels are situated within easy walking distance of the lake itself and all the recreational facilities and natural beauty that it offers; most are located on the southern side of the water, providing easy access for those arriving via Highway 18. Enjoy spectacular views from the balconies of Big Bear Lakefront Lodge, or soak up the 4-star elegance of The Club At Big Bear Village. Big Bear Lake hotel rates are closely tied to seasonal peaks, so if your visit coincides with the popular winter-sports season you’ll need to book well ahead to find the best deals and availability.
Things to seeMost people come to Big Bear Lake for its fabled outdoor pursuits, but there are plenty of things to do in this friendly, laid-back city that don’t involve getting wet, muddy, or out of breath. Browse for local specialties and handmade crafts among the food huts and artisan stalls of the farmers market by day, then wander down to enjoy live music, comedy, and open mic nights at The Cave at night. Nature enthusiasts can join a bird walk at the Big Bear Discovery Center to see indigenous wildlife at close quarters. Beer fans should time their trip to coincide with the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, which transforms the Convention Center into a huge Munich-style beer hall on weekends in September/October. Enjoy oompah bands, bratwurst, and German-style beer in an Alpine setting, and pick up a memento from the traditional Budenstrasse craft booths.
How to get to Big Bear LakeThe nearest airports to Big Bear Lake are Palm Springs, less than a 2-hour drive away, and LA/Ontario, the domestic hub for San Bernardino. Los Angeles International is a 120-mile journey by road. The best way to reach Big Bear Lake from any of the airports is to hire a car—you’ll find it a bonus for exploring once you arrive. Just make sure your hire car is properly equipped for ice and snow in the winter. Highways 38 and 18 both serve the city. Travel in Big Bear Lake itself is a pleasure on foot or bicycle, with many miles of scenic trails to be explored.