Travel Swellness: Day tripping to Big Bear, California

June 1, 2017

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So back to catching the winter wave in California! After a few busy days in Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey and LA, we got up very early to drive to Big Bear. From what I’ve gathered, Big Bear is where a lot of Angelenos go to ski locally (it’s about a three-hour drive, well, at least that’s how long it took us).

I will say that I can’t give you a really well-rounded view of what it’s like there as we had little time to explore. The town looks super cute, and we spent most of our time first at Magic Mountain tubing on a small hill. Not a big hill by any means, so it’s a great activity for little kids.

Done with the tubing, we went onto the alpine slide, which will definitely give you more of an adrenaline rush. I did plan to go all out each time but there are certain turns you definitely feel like you might swoop up and off the track, so I didn’t quite go pedal to the medal each time. But here I am beating Nick in our unofficial race!

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From there, we moved onto fat tire snow biking with Bear Valley Bikes. And while I think I can mostly be pretty brave with the adventures on my travels, mountain biking of any sort really terrifies me. I rode the bike fine through the streets to get to the park, but once we reached the hills and trees, that was way too advanced for me and I gave up the bike and just hiked instead along with some of the others in my group. I just envision myself really hurting myself, and falling headfirst off my bike into a tree. It is a shame as there seemed to be some nice terrain and great views to be had at this park!

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Outdoor fun done, we went for lunch at Big Bear Lake Brewing Company. It’s a comfortable pub atmosphere, and they’re known for the avocado bomb appetizer, which includes tempura avocado and other elements, but I was more impressed with the variety of burgers everyone got (which the server happily changed toppings if you weren’t so crazy about something on one of the specialty burgers). I went with fish & chips, which was good (fries could’ve been more crisp on outside and soft on the inside — that’s my preference) and extremely substantial.

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(I’ll admit that I didn’t have a beer here, I usually try to for story research, but it’d just been a long day — I’ll be the first to admit I was exhausted and pretty cranky because of that — I simply wasn’t in the mood for one. But I can say that everyone who did have a house brew seemed quite impressed.)

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After lunch, we made the long drive back to LA straight to LAX to catch out flight to Tahoe. But not before making a pit stop to take some photos of beautiful Big Bear Lake. I wish we had had more time to poke around here! Oh well, I guess this just means I have to head back soon on my own. I think it’s a bit long of a drive for a one day outing; I’d reco it as at least an overnighter (to me three hours drive each way is significant, but I know others would think that’s just fine!).

Next stop: Lake Tahoe! Stay tuned for the third installment of catching the winter wave in Cali!

Photo credit (tubing, alpine slide, fat biking, beer): Max Whittaker/Visit California

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