I came back from the tropics barely 2 weeks ago and was dreading a trip I had booked last year into Yosemite because I knew that it was a dry winter. I became obsessed with checking the weather on a daily basis to see if it had snowed yet.
You see, I’ve been to Yosemite in the spring, summer, and fall but I have yet to see its beauty in the winter, all covered in snow. But this post is not about Yosemite. This post is about a little mountain village, a short 2.5 hours drive up the Southern California San Bernardino forest area, called Big Bear.
I have also been to Big Bear in the spring, summer, and well, just last fall but what made me change my Yosemite plans was the rain that LA was having the entire week and it was sure to blanket the mountains in snow. So I canceled our cabin in Yosemite and booked a last minute room in a lake front lodge in Big Bear, the Lagonita Lodge.
1. Stay at a lakefront cabin or lodge
Big Bear is absolutely all about its lake. I mean sure the mountains are also just as majestic but nothing is lovelier, than waking up to the view of a quiet lake.
2. Eat at this little gem of a Mexican restaurant, the Azteca Grill
We left Friday past noon and got to the mountain village a little before 4pm in time to grab a bite at a nice Mexican restaurant, the Azteca Grill, before we headed out to check in to the lodge. The food was delicious by the way at this gem of a place and it is conveniently located along Big Bear Boulevard. It was my first time here, and I think I found a new favorite spot and will definitely visit the next time I go back.
3. Spend time wandering the Village
We drove to the lodge and checked in but we immediately decided to go out into the village to check out some stores because my brother and fiancee needed some gloves and even at past 7:00pm, the village was still vibrant and shops were still open.
4. Did I already mention, book a lake front Cabin, preferably with a patio overlooking the lake?
Daily cabin rates starts at $95 and the lodge is located close to the Village, Snow Summit and restaurants. The rooms are equipped with a full kitchen and cooking utensils, a dining area, living room, patio, and separate bedroom. An added bonus is the nice and warm fireplace to keep you toasty in the cold mountains.
We delighted in the prospects that it would snow and entertained several ideas of what we would do if it did such as should we go snowboarding or skiing or just enjoy the day?
5. Go snowboarding or skiing, in the winter of course!
If you would like to go snowboarding, there are many snowboard and ski rental shops and board rentals starts at $35 for the entire day, while snowboard boots starts at $15. Snow Summit is only a 5 minute drive, but you could walk too if you don’t mind.
6. Go snow tubing at $35 per day, a famous family snow activity specially if you are bringing your kids!
After settling back in our cabins, we called it a night as it continued to drizzle outside. I don’t know what woke me up, but at around 4 in the morning of the next day, I got out of the bed and walked to the window to draw the curtains aside. Then I saw white and everything was blanketed in snow! I think I must have been smiling from ear to ear as I hopped back into the room and woke up everyone in excitement.
7. Go for a drive in the snow to a park and you can choose to either go hiking, snow tubing, or capture some nice photos!
We decided to drive to a nearby park to take pictures before we headed to Snow Summit to check out snowboarding, so we ended up doing our own engagement photo shoot!
8. Absolutely bring your camera to take some great landscape or portrait photos.
9. Fly your drone, yes you can!
You can definitely take your drone and capture some awesome videos and photos as currently, there are no restriction in bringing a drone in Big Bear!
10. Last but not least, don’t overthink your trip. Big Bear is a great mountain getaway that is so close to Los Angeles and yet it is a world away in scenery and environment. You will have fun and be able to relax once you reach this beautiful mountain gem. If you live in SoCal, lucky for you. Big Bear is accessible and is only a 2.5 hour drive. If you live elsewhere, then maybe you need more planning and that is exactly what this article is for. Ciao!