Big Bear Lake is often thought of as a winter destination with its family-friendly ski resorts and traditional mountain village fun.  But, as the largest recreation lake in Southern California and amazing summer weather, it’s a great destination for a family summer vacation. 

Use this itinerary for a week-long stay in Big Bear as a guide when planning a trip your family will not soon forget.

Day 1

Travel makes everyone hungry, so before heading to your digs for the week, stop in the village for some grub. Stop into Saucy Mama’s Pizzeria and fill up on some delicious pies and beer. Let your food settle while you explore the many shops Big Bear Village has to offer. Before heading out to your home for the week, treat the kiddos to some ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. 

Don't forget to stop at the grocery store on the way back to the house! 

Day 2

Throw your suits and towels in a bag, tie up your tennis shoes, and head over to Magic Mountain. In the morning, zoom around the go-kart track before competing in a friendly round of putt-putt golf. Visit the snack bar to fill up before you head up the mountain. After lunch, it’s time for the adventures! Change into your suits for the epic mountainside water slide or stay dry and race down the alpine slide (or both, because after all, you’re on vacation)! Get one last thrill by riding the Soaring Eagle ride before you leave.

You’re certainly going to work up an appetite during your wild day on the mountain, so head back to the village for a delicious family dinner. Chow down on burgers at Fire Rock Burgers & Brews or enjoy an Italian meal at Sweet Basil Bistro.

Chances are, all that sun and fun will have you pretty exhausted, so head back to your digs for a cozy movie night in! 

Day 3

Enjoy coffee and breakfast in our gourmet kitchen. While you’re at it, pack some lunch for the busy day ahead! 

Spend your morning at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. This zoo is actually a rehabilitation center for all kinds of injured or orphaned wild animals. This is the perfect opportunity for kiddos to enjoy and learn about wildlife while supporting a good cause. You’re going to love seeing bears, foxes, eagles, and many more creatures up close.

After your wild morning, enjoy lunch in the car or snag a picnic spot before you head off to your next adventure!  Get ready for some wild rides at Action Tours Big Bear. This 3-hour zipline tour will be the thrill of a lifetime, and something your kiddos won’t soon forget. After a two-mile drive up a mountain road in Swiss Army vehicles, you’ll have the chance to soar on nine ziplines and cross a suspension bridge. 

Depending on your energy level at the end of the day, you may want to head back to the village for dinner or back to the house for dinner in.

As the sun goes down, why not gather around our beautiful fire pit to reflect on the day? Or, send the kids off to bed and enjoy a romantic evening alone. 

Day 4

Start your day by heading into town for a delicious breakfast as Teddy Bear Restaurant or Grizzly Manor Café - both are highly recommended as a family-friendly breakfast spot. 

Once your bellies are full, head over to Gold Rush Mining Adventures. California is famous for the Gold Rush, so channel your inner prospector as you and your family pan for gold and other treasures. Eureka!

Bring a picnic lunch, or grab something quick, and then get ready for an afternoon on the water. Depending on your interests and the ages of your kids, there are plenty of options. For the littles, you might consider a pirate ship tour of Big Bear Lake. Once aboard the Time Bandit, a captain will share stories of the history of Big Bear.

If you’re up for a different adventure, you can rent a pontoon from Holloway’s Marina. This is the perfect way to lounge on the lake and soak up that California sunshine. The more adventurous type may opt for a jetski ride, which you can rent at the same location.

After a full day of adventure, you’re going to want to relax!  When you stay in our vacation home at Big Bear Lake, you'll have plenty of space to spread out, with the game room upstairs, pool table down below and plenty of room in the back to grill up some burgers for dinner or spend a night around the campfire roasting hot dogs and s'mores. 

Day 5

Pack up the family for a fun day of stunning views and fun hiking at Snow Summit. In the summer, you can take the sky chair up to the top of the mountain and witness the beauty of the San Bernardino National Forest. When you purchase your passes, be sure to opt for lunch at the top of the mountain. After enjoying your meal, double-check your shoelaces for an afternoon on the trails. The Mountain Loop hiking trail is perfect for hikers of all ages and the views and lookouts are worth the trip! 

Once you’re off the mountain, grab an afternoon treat at North Pole Fudge and Ice Cream Company. There are many delicious options, but the salty-sweet fudge is absolutely to die for. With full bellies and tired bodies, head back to the house for a fun afternoon and evening playing games as a family!

Day 6

After enjoying your cup of coffee (or two), pack some picnic lunches, throw your bathing suits, sunscreen, towels, and sunglasses in a bag and head out for a fun day! Enjoy breakfast at the house, you’ll definitely want to fill up your bellies before you enjoy a beautiful day in the water or on the trails (or both)!

Head over to Pedals and Paddles where you have your choice of renting bikes or kayaks. Don’t worry if your kids are too small for bikes, they have plenty of children’s bikes, tandem bikes, and trailers so anyone can cruise the trails. If you’d rather head out on the water, you can snag a kayak or stand up paddleboard. 

Find a sunny spot for your picnic lunch and then get ready to take a dip. There are plenty of swimming spots, and you can’t go to the lake for a week without jumping in! Meadow Park has a sandy beach with a lifeguard, a floating dock, water toys, a snack bar, and public restrooms. You can also head to China Island (Garstin Island) where you can swim around the rocks or climb them for a thrilling jump into the water. 

Enjoy your last dinner of the week out in the village at that restaurant you’ve been eyeing.

Day 7

After packing up at the house, head to breakfast at Teddy Bear Restaurant or Grizzle Manor Café. Take one last jaunt around town and pick up any souvenirs you’ve been thinking about. Before you drive out of town, stop at the lake to take in those stunning views once more.