Our favorite kind of vacation involves living as the locals do. We tend to hit the high tourist spots when we feel like it, but coming home from a trip and knowing that we experienced a side of the town we were visiting that most tourists never see sends us off on a natural high. If we are kindred spirits and you enjoy the same type of vacations we do, this guide to the off the beaten path spots only locals know about will ensure your Big Bear vacation will move up the ranks to the top spot of your list of best vacation getaways!
Originally,we were quite the hot spot during the Gold Rush in the 1860s, and although there weren’t a lot of fortunes made during that tumultuous time, today you can get a hint of what all the hubbub was about when you explore the Gold Fever Trail. This self-guided tour touches upon 12 Big Bear spots that are mostly still visible today. Starting with the Holcomb Valley Trail, leading participants to spots named Two-Gun Bill’s Saloon and the Hangman’s Tree, and ending with an opportunity to explore where the last major gold find was discovered, the trail offers a peak into the historic past of Big Bear and the surrounding communities.
Nothing’s worse than waiting in line for an hour or more due to a restaurant’s popularity with the tourist crowd, but that won’t be an issue when you dine at the North Shore Café. Famous for not being overridden with tourists and offering good solid meals for an extremely reasonable price, this is not the place to eat if you want to “see and be seen!”
Located about 34 miles southwest of Big Bear, Bluff Lake Reserve (The Wildlands Conservancy) is a place that we don’t like to share with too many people, but because we like you, we’re making an exception! Only open from May to October, this Big Bear spot offers something you don’t often find in today’s world:a chance to experience true peace and serenity. Home to rare plants, a quiet pond, and a variety of wildlife, it was once the backdrop to scenes in the 1961 version of “The Parent Trap” and Dr. Doolittle 2 in 2000. Since being purchased by The Wildland’s Conservancy, no further movies have been made here.
Our Big Bear Cabins are waiting for you to make them your temporary homes. Peaceful, quiet, and offering breathtaking views of the Big Bear countryside, your California vacation will be even more magical when you stay with us—reserve yours today!