The Best Big Bear Lake Winter Weekend Getaway Itinerary (2024)

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Want to have the best Big Bear winter weekend getaway? We’ve got you covered with this itinerary that helps you see and do it all.

The Best Big Bear Lake Winter Weekend Getaway

Big Bear Lake is an iconic weekend destination for Southern Californians.

It’s less than one tank of gas round trip for most of us, making it an easy destination to get to.

You can visit Big Bear year round, but a Big Bear winter weekend itinerary is a vastly different experience than other seasons throughout the year.

Know Before You Go

Big Bear Lake is in the mountains and is a big Winter sport destination, so it takes a little bit of different planning than your average weekend getaway.

✅ How many days do you need for a Big Bear Lake winter weekend getaway?

We have gone for as little as 24 hours to as many as 48 hours, but there is definitely enough to do on a big bear winter getaway to stay for a week if you really wanted.

If you’re local to Southern California, Big Bear is perfect for multiple getaways throughout the year.

Big Bear Lake mountains in the winter with snow

✅ Is Big Bear Lake Open in Winter?

Yes! Big Bear is open year-round.

✅ What Are the Best Months For Snow in Big Bear Lake?

The best months to go to Big Bear for snow are late December to late February. However, it can snow as early as October and as late as April.

Generally by Thanksgiving weekend there is enough snow for the ski resorts to open.

✅ What is the Average Winter Temperature in Big Bear Lake?

October: Average High – 65F, Average Low – 33F

November: Average High – 55F, Average Low – 26F

December: Average High – 48F, Average Low – 21F

January: Average High – 47F, Average Low – 22F

February: Average High – 48F, Average Low – 22F

March: Average High – 52F, Average Low – 25F

April: Average High – 58F, Average Low – 29F

✅ Is Winter a Good Time To Go To Big Bear Lake?

Whether you’re a Winter sports enthusiast or you want to enjoy a cozy cabin, Big Bear is a great Winter destination.

Thanksgiving to March is Big Bear’s peak season for Winter.

Big Bear Lake in the winter with snow in the mountains

What To Pack For a Big Bear Lake Winter Weekend Getaway

Even though Big Bear is in Southern California, it’s just like all of the other mountain destinations – very cold in Winter!

You want to bring layers, hats, coats, gloves, scarfs, extra socks, winter boots, etc.

One of my favorite ways to layer up in the Winter is to wear fleece lined leggings underneath my pants for that added layer of warmth.

I also try to double up my socks as much as possible and wear boots for extra coverage.

If you’re into skiing and/or snowboarding, you’ll want to bring any equipment you have for that or rent some while you’re there.

Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit if you’re staying somewhere with a hot tub!

If the hot tub is outdoors, you’ll also want to wear some sort of hat, like a beanie to help keep you warm.

Big Bear Lake in the Winter covered in snow

Driving To Big Bear Lake in the Winter

Once you get to the mountains there’s a lot of winding roads so it’s really slow going. During the Winter you are required to carry tire chains in your car.

When the weather requires, there will be check points where you’re required to put the chains on and they will not let you through until you do.

They can fine you and give you a ticket if you don’t comply.

We’ve personally never had issues with this, but we also have never visited when there is bad weather.

Some tips if you’re visiting when there may be a Winter storm are to have a shovel and kitty litter or gravel.

These will be helpful to create traction on icy roads and to dig yourself out if necessary.

Always have an emergency kit with you in the car too.

We always keep one in the trunk that has things like emergency food and water rations, warming ponchos, and a first aid kit.

You may also want to have an extra blanket too, just in case!

Route to Big Bear Winter Weekend Getaway from Mission Viejo

Where to Stay in Big Bear Lake in the Winter

For this trip we decided to go through AirBnb to get a cabin since we brought other people with us.

There are plenty of other rental companies to go through as well since cabin rentals are big business in Big Bear.

There are plenty of hotels and resorts as well, which we’ve also done on other trips when it’s just us.

Depending on what you plan to do in Big Bear, it may be to your advantage to stay as close to the Village as possible.

That’s where all the shops and restaurants will be.

However, another great option if you have the budget is a cabin or house rental anywhere around the lake.

Of course this would be better in the Summer when you can do all the lake activities, but you’ll still have nice views in the Winter.

We were able to find a cabin in our price range that had the perfect set up and it was only a couple miles from the Village.

We were visiting a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, so peak season hadn’t started up yet and parking was still easy to find in the Village when we wanted to go there.

Big Bear Winter Weekend Getaway

✔️ Our Big Bear Winter Cabin

Our cabin was two bedrooms with a bedroom and full bath right off the living room and a second bedroom upstairs as a converted attic space.

The second full bath was right off the kitchen.

It was small, but it’s all the space we needed.

The fireplace was especially important to have!

We actually slept out on the couches in the living room because that was the warmest spot.

Our cabin also had a full kitchen, so we made most of our meals there during this trip.

We generally go out to eat for almost all meals when we travel, but since we were with others, we opted for cooking this time.

There are a couple grocery stores in town where we stocked up and were able to find everything we needed.

This is much easier than bringing all of your groceries with you.

Cabin at Big Bear Lake Winter Weekend Getaway
AirBnB Cabin at Big Bear Lake

✔ Worldmark by Wyndham Big Bear

This is a beautiful resort up in the mountains with all the amenities you could want.

The perk of staying here is that you can get a full kitchen, dining room, living room, patio, and more.

We stayed in a one bedroom unit that comes with an in unit washer and dryer and has a grill on the patio that we used to cook some excellent steaks for dinners in the room.

There are several hot tubs throughout the property, an activity center with a fitness center, pool tables, arcade games, a playground, and more.

?? Click Here To Book Your Stay At Worldmark by Wyndham Big Bear Lake Today!

✔ The Lodge at Big Bear Lake

The resort really fits the feel of Big Bear Lake and is usually a more budget friendly property since it is owned by Holiday Inn.

Our room had a fireplace, which was a nice touch, and I’m sure is very helpful for visitors in the Winter months.

The Lodge at Big Bear Lake a Holiday Inn Resort

Click Here To Book Your Stay At The Lodge At Big Bear Lake Today!

The Best Things To Do in Big Bear Lake in Winter

There’s more to a Big Bear winter weekend than staying in a cozy cabin. There are plenty of other activities to keep you busy.

☑️ Big Bear Mountain Resorts

Of course the most popular winter activity in Big Bear is skiing and snowboarding.

The two resorts in Big Bear are Snow Summit and Bear Mountain.

You can take a shuttle between the resorts as they are only a couple miles away from each other.

Between these two resorts there are over 50 runs to choose from!

☑️ Grizzly Ridge Tube Park

Another fun activity at Snow Summit is Grizzly Ridge Tube Park.

At night time you can do glow in the dark snow tubing!

☑️ Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain

Our favorite activity was Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain.

It is known for being the only authentic bobsled experience in Southern California.

You take a chairlift up and take a winding bobsled back down to the bottom and it’s pretty fast.

You have to slow yourself down toward the end or you’ll crash.

We later tried to find a place to go ice skating, but it turned out there wasn’t a single ice skating rink in the whole area.

This was shocking to us since it is such a big winter sports destination.

Since we couldn’t do ice skating we went down to the village for some window shopping and treats instead.

☑️ Zipline Tour

This 3 hour zipline tour runs in all weather conditions.

You’ll be picked up near the village in an ATV to head out to the zipline.

 There are 9 ziplines ranging in length from 140 to 860 feet.

You’ll get to speeds up to 45 miles per hour.

? Click Here To Book Your Zipline Tour Today!

☑️ The Village

A great Winter activity in Big Bear is to check out the Village.

At The Copper Q you can get a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or hot apple cider while you go for a stroll.

The Village is decorated with Christmas lights and will usually have a little bit of snow too.

There are also a few novelty gift shops you can check out to get some souvenirs to bring home.

Big Bear Lake Souvenir
Big Bear Souvenir

JP picked this out for me at one of the gift shops.

This is one of the only souvenirs we have from our trips because by our next trip we had moved in together.

At that point we decided to only buy Christmas ornaments on our trips so that we could decorate our Christmas tree from all of the trips we’d take the rest of our lives.

☑️ Enjoy A Wine Tasting At Barrel 33

You can choose a red, white, or mixed flight, but what you get will be determined by which bottles they happen to be serving when you visit.

They also offer sangria flights, mimosa flights, Gluhwein, and so much more.

We opted for a red wine flight which included a label called High Altitude that is especially made for Barrel 33.

To pair with our wine tasting, we ordered some baked brie with crackers which was so good.

Barrel 33 in Big Bear Lake wine tasting and baked brie

☑️ Escape Room

Bear Valley Search and Rescue High Tech Escape Room is a great winter activity in Big Bear. You get one hour to solve the puzzles and escape.

This activity can have up to 8 people play together at a time.

? Click here to book your Search & Rescue Escape Room Today!

The Best Places to Eat in Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Village has quite a few options with a variety of cuisines. You’ll definitely find the bar foods pretty easily, but there are also a few gems you must try.

✔️ Himalayan Restaurant

My favorite restaurant in the Village is the Himalayan Restaurant because they have Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice, and that is one of my favorite meals ever.

✔️ The Copper Q

This is the place to go for all your hot drinks. It’s also a great breakfast spot for bagels, fresh baked goods, sandwiches, and more.

✔️ Oakside

Oakside is a very popular dinner restaurant right inside Big Bear Village.

We started our meal by sharing a Peanut Colada.

It’s essentially a Pina Colada, but with an added peanut butter whiskey.

It’s very good and I highly recommend trying it.

peanut colada from Oakside Restaurant in Big Bear Lake

For our meal, they have several signature dishes as well as unique appetizers.

We chose the Cajun Turkey Meatloaf Sliders as our appetizer and they were so good.

cajun turkey meatloaf sliders from Oakside Restaurant in Big Bear Lake

When looking at the menu before visiting we had also wanted to try their Cowboy Bites because we had only seen them at a restaurant outside of Zion National Park before, but we forgot and couldn’t eat that much anyway.

For our entree, we picked one of their signature dishes, the Chicken Scaloppini.

It’s an Italian breadcrumb crusted chicken breast, finished with a white wine lemon caper sauce.

It also comes with two sides, so we shared mac n cheese and mashed potatoes.

chicken scaloppini from Oakside Restaurant in Big Bear Lake

More About Big Bear Lake Weekend Getaways

? Big Bear Summer Weekend Getaway

Another great time of year to visit Big Bear is in the Summer.

It’s a completely different experience!

The Best Big Bear Lake Winter Weekend Getaway Summary

A Big Bear winter weekend getaway is the perfect way to enjoy the snow and cozy up in a cabin after.

This itinerary will show you all the best that Big Bear has to offer.