Along the northern edge of Big Bear Lake sits Fawnskin Harbor, a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Captain John's Fawn Harbor & Marina calls this serene alcove home, housing boats and doling out rental watercraft. From the harbor's docks and moorings, visitors launch pontoons, speedboats, canoes, and kayaks toward Grout Bay, a bald-eagle nesting site that also teems with great blue herons, osprey, and beavers. The wildlife sanctuary can also be infiltrated via standup paddleboard, a Hawaii-born craft that delivers a challenging core workout. Tours on an electric boat cruise the boulder- and tree-ringed bay area while passengers explore the lake, learn local history, and glimpse the lake's namesake surreptitiously brushing his coat.
Big Bear Funplex rules over a trifecta of family-friendly fun with an amusement center, The Bowling Barn’s bowling alley, and a sports bar. Gangs of friends and sadistic bowling pins can strap on rented gentle-soled shoes for an hour of bowling down 1 of 16 lanes. Automatic scoring reduces the risk of feud or pin scams, and bumpers keep the game easy for kids. After the bowling extravaganza, an amusement center package gains admission to one ride on the Himalaya mini rollercoaster, along with a rapid-fire 15-minute laser-tag session, and a ride on the bumper cars, releasing drivers from road rage and cars from blasé existences within white painted lines.
Mountain Lakes Wedding Association tour designs a show and tour blossoming with ideas and inspiration for marriage-minded guests. As the day begins, guests have the opportunity to enter prize giveaways and mingle with professional wedding vendors at the bridal show to discuss photography, floral arrangements, and tips on converting a wedding gown into a yurt. Afterward, a limo sweeps nearly newlyweds away to ponder seven potential mountain venues for vows or receptions: Marina Resort, Northwoods Resort, Alpenhorn Bed and Breakfast, Best Western Plus Big Bear Chateau, Inn Der Bach, Gold Mountain Manor, and Arrowhead Springs. While touring the resorts, soon-to-be brides and grooms sip refreshments and silence rumbling stomachs with the provided lunch, while newly gained knowledge helps nix pre-formed plans for breadstick wedding bouquets and uncle-led polka bands.
When Big Bear Alpine Zoo opened in 1959, it wasn't a zoo at all. It was a makeshift rehabilitation center for animals affected by a devastating fire that ripped through the San Bernardino National Forest. Among the facility's first residents were two bobcats and an orphaned 30-pound baby black bear.
Since then, the operation has stood as a safe haven for injured, orphaned, and imprinted wild animals. While the zoo is home to a variety of animals that cannot be released back into the wild as they would not be able to survive, most of the animals that are brought in for rehabilitation can be released. In fact, 90% of the zoo's animals get released back into the wild once they're healthy enough. Today, Big Bear Alpine Zoo is home to more than 85 species, including foxes, eagles, and yes, even bears. Weather permitting, visitors can visit the zoo's residents throughout the year except for Christmas Day. Visitors can get involved in the zoo's efforts by volunteering, becoming a member, or bringing in items from the wish list, saving the animals a trip to the grocery store.
Cabins4Less creates homes away from home on the edge of Big Bear Lake. Their lakefront suites set the mood for adventure with rustic wood interiors and private decks, but maintain a sense of comfort by providing pillow top mattresses and kitchenettes. That dual approach to camping ensures that guests get to experience the beauty of the outdoors without its inconveniences.
Not content merely to provide lodging, Cabins4Less keeps its guests busy during daytime by renting out kayaks, which are free and pet-friendly, along with bikes and fishing poles. Thusly equipped, visitors can stroll or roll through the mountains or set out from the adjacent marina to paddle around the lake or catch some fish. A local bowling alley and restaurants make the nearby village a good place to wile away the time after friendly aliens flick off the sun's light switch.