7 things to do at Big Bear Lake, California in summer

If you’re traveling to Big Bear Lake in summer, there’s still loads to do and see. Here’s my list of 7 things that you MUST do when you visit –

Alpine Slide

This is something that you should not miss. Its fun for the whole family. You go up the ‘mountain’ in a chairlift and come down on a sled along a winding slide. I thought it looked a bit scary at first but you can actually control the speed and basically come down as plodding along which I did. Or you can be adventurous and push down on the lever and speed down the bends. Price – $6 per person or you can buy a booklet of 5 tickets for $25.

Go Karts

At Magic Mountain, there is a Go-Kart track where they normally allow just one family to be on – which is so much fun. Maybe it was because there wasn’t a crowd but it was great to have the track to ourselves and race each other. Price – $6 single kart, $8 double kart.

Scenic Sky Chair Lift

Take the chair lift up to Snow Summit – it’s a mile long ascent up the mountain to an elevation of over 8000 ft. All you have is a bar to pull down over you for safety and it can be a bit intimidating if you look down but it is quite an experience and the views are spectacular. $29 per adult and one child goes free. You can also add a lunch package for 20% if you book in advance. There is a BBQ and a restaurant that serves Mediterranean food – shawarma with rice etc.


Hire a Pontoon

If you really want to see Big Bear Lake, hire a pontoon. It’s $80 per hour for a standard pontoon plus $15 for gas.(from Holloways Marina)  This was such a great experience and we all loved it. We wished we had hired it for longer but we had so much to do. There were other places that charged a bit more so definitely suggest going to Holloways Marina. The wind in your hair, you at the wheel…you get the picture.


Go on a hike to Castle Rock

(or cheat like we did!)

It was hot! (yes, up in Big Bear) and we didn’t have much time and we really didn’t fancy walking the Castle Rock Trail. So, a little birdie on one of the tours said we could drive up there and walk down. But, we didn’t do that either. We drove up there  – walked around to the Bluff Lake and it was gorgeous out there. We probably missed Castle Rock totally but we did see a lot of rocks and this adorable cabin in the woods.

Stroll around The Village

You can’t get back from Big Bear without a stroll around the Village in my opinion. It is so quaint with it’s shops and pretty streets. Pick up a souvenir from one of the shops. And don’t forget to line up for ice-cream at the North Pole Fudge Company. Quick service and the servings are so generous.

Go on a Pirate Ship Tour of Big Bear Lake

You must simply go on The Time Bandit. It’s a pirate ship and looks like one out of the movies. We chose to do this at 4pm and it happened to be the ideal time as the sun was not overhead. The Captain was knowledgeable and shared his knowledge without being over-talkative which was perfect. The kids also got to steer the ship. We forgot to carry water but you can buy bottled water ($2) or canned soda ($1) or even an alcoholic drink (unsure of the price as we didn’t order any) It’s a 90 minute tour and it costs $22 for an adult and $14 for children under 12.


Other things you may like to think of doing while you’re up at Big Bear are Big Bear Alpine Zoo which was highly recommended but we couldn’t make as we ran out of time. We also wanted to go kayaking but there were strong winds at the time we chose and there were no rentals.


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