Big Bear Cabin Rentals For Family Reunions vs For Weddings vs From Owner ... and 5 more
Edited by Kathy McGraw, Maria Quinney
Big Bear is a community in the mountains of Southern California, near Los Angeles, that is known for its excellent skiing in the winter, as well as activities such as fishing and boating on Big Bear Lake. It is so close to Los Angeles and the beaches that many Angelenos love to brag about how they can go surfing in the morning and skiing in the afternoon of the same day. Aside from the activities, you can do at Big Bear, another reason to visit is the excellent shopping and dining to be had at Big Bear Village. Although it is a remote town in the mountains, it has a cosmopolitan flair, owing to the surrounding ski resorts, and has lovely shops, theaters, and restaurants.
Method 1: For Family Reunions
Whether you plan to gather the family together for Christmas or a summer holiday, Big Bear is an excellent choice because it has activities for everyone to enjoy. Nestled amid the San Bernardino Mountains just about an hour away from Los Angeles, it's very accessible, and the area has many rental cabins available all year around. For a large family gathering, try renting a large cabin, such as the following:
- 1The Big Bear Tree House. With room for 20 people, this cabin has five bedrooms and four bathrooms. It has a wraparound deck with a grill for barbecues in the summer and a large living room with gorgeous mountain views for looking out over the snow-covered landscape in the winter. There are even a hot tub and a game room with a pool table and gaming consoles for your family's entertainment. It's the perfect place to gather the family together to reconnect and share good times.Advertisement
- 2Bear Loop Estate. This cabin sleeps 17 people with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Up to four vehicles can park here with garage access, and there is a full kitchen for cooking large family meals. Its fenced yard creates a safe place for children to play and there is a hot tub for lounging while catching up on what your relatives have been up to since you last saw them. With two fireplaces, there's plenty of room to gather the family around a cozy fire and share a cup of hot chocolate while the snow falls lazily down outside in the winter. Close to both skiing and the lake, this cabin makes a perfect home base for an active family gathering all year around.Advertisement
Method 2: For Weddings
The spectacular beauty of Big Bear and its year-round activities make it a popular wedding spot. You can choose to get married on the shores of Big Bear Lake, amid the lush pine forests, or on the slopes of the San Bernardino Mountains with stunning views all around you. The area offers wedding coordinator services and many hotels and lodges there have dedicated wedding planners, as well.
- 1Wedding Wire (weddingwire.com). Offering lakefront wedding packages for 50 to 200 guests, this Big Bear wedding coordinator can help you create the perfect wedding by the shores of the lake. Say your vows lakeside, then repair to a tented reception area for the cutting of the cake, music, dancing, and more.Advertisement
- 2Golden Bear Cottages (bigbearweddings.net). Golden Bear Cottages is a five-acre resort in Big Bear, California. It offers a wedding cottage with seven bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as 23 additional cottages for guests. Get married on a boat out on the lake or by the shore, dance at your reception, and then retire to their special honeymoon cottage with an indoor spa aptly named the "Honey Pot."
Method 3: From Owner
If your budget is tight, try renting a cabin directly from the owner as opposed to going through a property management company. This way, you eliminate the middleman, which reduces the rental costs appreciably. With sites such as AirBnB, VBRO (Vacation Rentals By Owner), Owners Direct, and more, you can easily find the perfect Big Bear cabin that fits your needs and your budget. Here are some examples of what you can find on these websites:
- 1Lake View Cottage. With four bedrooms and three bathrooms, this cabin comfortably sleeps 10 to 13 people. Whether you come during the summer or winter, the lake and ski slopes are just minutes away.
There is a large seven-person spa on the property for relaxing with friends after a day of skiing, swimming, or hiking, as well as a deck with a barbecue and full kitchen for cooking.
- 1Bear Mountain Cabin. This three bedroom, three bathroom cabin makes the perfect Big Bear retreat since it is close to everything you could want to do in the area. Skiing, hiking, and the lake are minutes away as well as the Big Bear Golf Course and the zoo. It has a fireplace for those chilly mountain nights where you can cuddle with your sweetheart and a cup of hot chocolate, or toast marshmallows with a group of friends as you try to scare each other with spooky stories.
Method 4: Pet Friendly
Winter, summer, spring, or fall, Big Bear is the perfect getaway for people with pets because of all of the outdoor activities one can do there all year around. Whether you enjoy cross-country skiing with your dog, or a day spent fishing or playing catch in the waters of the lake with your trusted friend, there's always something for you and your dog to do together. It's no wonder, then, that there are plenty of pet-friendly cabins at Big Bear. Here are some examples:
- 1Cabin near Bear Mountain Resort. This one bedroom cabin offers stunning views and access to the slopes and hiking trails for you and your dog to enjoy. There is a large deck with a grill where you can barbecue during the summer months and there is a fold-out couch so you can bring a guest and their dog with you, as well.
- 2Hillside Cabin. With beautiful views of the mountains, this cabin works well for families or two couples and their dogs to enjoy everything Big Bear has to offer. It is close to the ski slopes and hiking trails, so whether you come in the summer or winter, you have easy access to fun outdoor adventures. Large windows open onto an amazing vista of pine and the rocky slopes of the mountains. There is a deck with a grill for barbecuing and a stone fireplace for those long, cold winter nights, too.
Method 5: With Hot Tub
What's a mountain retreat without a hot tub to lounge in after a day of skiing the slopes, fishing in the lake, or hiking the many trails through the wilderness? You can find cabins with hot tubs pretty easily through AirBnB or similar services. Here are two examples:
- 1Four Star Cabin. Just five miles from the lake, this five bedroom, four bathroom cabin has breathtaking views of the mountains as well as fields where wild horses and donkeys roam. There is a hot tub on the deck as well as a barbecue where you can gather with friends and family for a cookout or snuggle in the hot tub with that special someone in your life. Enjoy the light from the millions of stars sparkling in the night sky without the city lights to block their light.
- 2Eagle Ridge Lodge. Up to 14 guests can stay in this 3,700 square foot lodge nestled the mountains. The hot tub seats two to four people to soak in its comforting waters after an active day. There are two large decks, as well, for barbecuing or relaxing while enjoying the mountain views and a well-appointed kitchen for cooking your own meals so you can save money on food during your vacation.
Method 6: Near the Lake
Whether you enjoy sailing, fishing, water skiing, or just swimming in the lake, Big Bear Lake has room for it all. The lake has marinas where you can rent boats for the day and boat ramps where you can slide your own into the water. Stay in a lakeside cabin or one minutes away to maximize your aquatic fun. Here are some examples of cabins close to the lake:
- 1Log Cabin. This charming log cabin has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, and is within walking distance of the lake and Big Bear Village. Not only can you easily get to the lake, but there is also room on the oversize lot for sledding in the winter. Another positive feature of this property is that it can be combined with the lot next door for a large gathering, so get your family and friends together and come out to Big Bear for an amazing time of water activities and sledding in the winter, too.
- 2Cabin with Boat Dock. This three bedroom and three bath home is situated right on the lake with a private boat dock so you can have immediate access to the water. An excellent choice for people who enjoy sailing or fishing, you can plan a holiday with your family or friends and enjoy views of the water while having a barbecue or relaxing on the deck. Kids will love leaping into the water from the dock and swimming in the lake for hours while adults relax and chat nearby.
Method 7: Near the Slopes
Big Bear is renowned for its ski resorts and cross-country trails through the San Bernardino Mountains. Come and stay in one of the cabins within easy access to the slopes and enjoy the best skiing Southern California has to offer just an hour or so out of Los Angeles.
- 1Snow Summit Condo. Within walking (or skiing) distance of the Snow Summit resort parking lot, you can't get closer to the skiing action in Big Bear than this. The cabin has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, so there is plenty of room for a family or a group of friends to stay while enjoying the brisk mountain air and all the skiing they can handle.
- 2Condo at Snow Summit Estates. This two bedroom, two and half bathroom condo is near enough to the lifts at Snow Summit that you can ski to them in the winter. In the summer, there are hiking trails that start right from the back deck. But don't worry, the shops of Big Bear Village are just minutes away by car. With amazing views of the surrounding pine forest, there is no better retreat for a skiing or hiking vacation than this cabin.
Method 8: Things to Do in Big Bear
Big Bear Lake and the surrounding mountains offer endless activities to keep you entertained whether it's the summer, spring, fall, or winter. Since Big Bear is only an hour or so away from Los Angeles by car, it's an easy location to get to, and thus quite a popular spot for vacationers. Here are just some of the things you can do while you're there:
- 1Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain. No, it's not that Magic Mountain, but it is a water park with an amazing double water slide where you and your family can sluice down together into the pool during those hot California summer days. When you've had enough of the water, you can play a game of miniature golf or race go-karts, and there's much more you can do, too.
- 2Mountain Biking. When the snow has melted away, leaving bare ground during the spring and summer months, Snow Summit becomes a haven for mountain bikers with trails for every level of skill from the easiest to the most difficult. Enjoy a leisurely scenic ride on the North Shore Bike Path, or face the obstacles of riding over hard rocky terrain; you choose your path.
- 3Fishing. If a day of fishing is your thing, there are numerous freshwater species of fish you can catch in Big Bear Lake. Catch trout, bass, catfish, bluegill, sunfish, and crappie in these waters. If you don't have a boat or fishing equipment, don't worry. The many marinas around the lake will be happy to rent it to you for the day.
- 4Water sports at Big Bear Lake. Whether you enjoy sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing, or water skiing, you can do it all at Big Bear Lake. With its many marinas where you can rent boats and equipment, you can enjoy a day of fun in the water with friends and family here.
- 5Hiking and Walking. When I was a child, I remember going on long hikes with my parents through the Big Bear Mountains and forests, and I can tell you that these afternoons form some of the happiest memories of my life. The many trails around the lake and the mountains of Big Bear offer hiking and walking adventures for every fitness level, from easy flat terrain to challenging rocky inclines. More, there is nothing more breathtaking than the views you get up there.
- 6Horseback Riding. Whether winter, summer, spring, or fall, you can enjoy the serenity of Big Bear from the back of a horse. Spend the day exploring the many trails and hidden retreats whether you just want to ride for a few hours, a day, or even overnight. There are pony rides for children, as well.
- 7Zip Line Tours. Soar through the treetops and experience the beauty of the mountains and the lake from high above by taking a zip line tour. Experienced and knowledgeable guides fit you with the appropriate safety equipment, including a harness, helmet, and gloves, and see you on your way through the tree canopy. Feel your heart pumping and the adrenaline coursing through your body as you through the tree canopy and across rocky canyons and gullies.
- 8Winter Sports. Of course, no article on Big Bear would be complete without mentioning all the winter fun you can have there. Whether you love screaming down a mountainside on a pair of skis, hot dogging your way down on a snowboard or you enjoy the leisurely activities of a cross country skiing or tramping through the snow on a pair of snowshoes, you can do all of it at Big Bear. If you don't have your own equipment, you can rent it from Snow Summit or one of the other Big Bear ski resorts for a small fee.
Big Bear Facts
- Gold was discovered in the mountains near Big Bear in 1850 and mining began in 1859 and ended some time in the 1920's.
- Big Bear is a man-made lake. A rock dam was constructed in 1883 to bring water down to the farms in Redlands and held 25,000 acre-feet of water. An improved dam was built during the early 1900's.
- Big Bear Valley has the distinction of being the location where the first motion picture was filmed. The movie was shot and completed there in 1911. Since then, many other movies have been filmed there, including Gone With the Wind, War Games, Old Yeller, and Better Off Dead.
- Big Bear has an altitude that fluctuates between a minimum of 6,750 feet and a maximum of 9,000 above sea level, which gives it an alpine tundra climate, even in sunny, Southern California. For this reason, it experiences all four seasons, even though the lowlands do not.
- Big Bear Lake is eight miles long and about one mile wide. It has a shoreline that runs roughly 23 miles around and sits at an elevation of 6,743 feet above sea level