If you wanted to skip a stone from one end of Lake Gregory to another, you'd have to have quite an arm. Nestled in the San Bernadino Mountains, the lake sprawls across 84 acres?that's 60 football fields?which means it's vast enough for every type of aquatic entertainment. An inflatable play structure dubbed Splash Island floats on its surface, welcoming youngsters to swim, climb, and zoom down a waterslide. Fishermen tour the lake to bait its trophy-sized trout, which are stocked twice monthly. Other visitors explore the waves on rental kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and aqua cycles, which are much more useful than a regular bike wearing water wings.
In 2010, brothers Mike and Tommy Ponce were disappointed with the lack of resources for anglers in their area. They wanted to make fishing more accessible to people of all ages. So, they founded Fish Village. The company connects people with fishing adventures, which range from ocean day trips to long excursions across Alaska. The brothers not only connect people with other fishing-trip companies, they also lead outings themselves. For example, their kayak fishing outings search out halibut, bass, and even sharks in the waters off Dana Point. These trips come with all necessary equipment, including rod holders, gaffs, and incredibly realistic fish stories.
Nestled against the edge of the Kenai Fjords National Park, Miller's Landing retains much of the natural scenery and charm that surrounded the area when the Miller family first built its homestead on the site in the 1950s. The small community has withstood earthquakes, fires, and the Earth's transition from black and white into color to grow into a premiere camping destination where wilderness seekers can pitch tents or rent quaint cottages. The location surrounds its visitors in panoramic views of Resurrection Bay, Mount Alice, and Fox Island, inviting them to hike across its coastal trails.
Relaxing and adventurous activities complement Miller's scenic landscapes, with local experts leading boat tours and chartering fishing expeditions. Horseback tours trek across secluded terrain, whereas sea-kayak classes float in the shadow of snow and whipped-cream-capped mountains.
The Waterman's Depot is owned and operated by people who not only love the water, but have also spent plenty of time on and in it. Racks of recreational and fishing kayaks stand side-by-side with state-of-the-art stand-up paddleboards. When staff members aren't helping customers around the shop, they launch guided kayak trips and give product demonstrations. The expansive store contains aquatic sporting gear and apparel from more than 50 brands, including Oakley, Reef, and Sanuk. Available scuba gear ranges from basic fins and snorkels to more advanced gauges and computers that can tell you the number of old soggy boots buried in any fishing lake.
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.