Hello Friends! I’m on the road for two weeks exploring places that would be fantastic for a fall or winter season vacation. As I write, I’m in Big Bear Lake, California. This is a winter ski town destination and if you love the mountains then this is a place to consider.
Big Bear is home to the largest gold rush in Southern California history. In fact, the town started as a gold mining town in the late 1800’s. This alpine town is known for its outdoor activities (snow skiing, hiking, biking), arts and dining. The town is pet-friendly and many local shops allow pets to enter with their owners (as long as they are well-behaved – no growling allowed.)
Grizzly Manor Cafe
This morning my husband and I visited a little restaurant called Grizzly Manor Cafe. It is a very small place and packed with people. It looks to be a local favorite! Upon sight you may be tempted to keep driving, but don’t do it. This restaurant serves a great breakfast. It is known for its large portions and hometown atmosphere. I ordered a pancake, scrambled eggs and bacon. Oh my goodness! The pancakes are the size of hubcaps! The sides of the pancake hang over the edge of the dinner plate. The walls are covered with framed photos of celebrity athletes and stars who have visited in the past. You can sign the walls or leave a business card wedged between the trim and wall.
Hiking, Biking and Winter Sports totally reign in Big Bear!
We stopped at nearby Big Bear Discovery Center to gather information on local hiking trails. The volunteer on duty was super helpful. Keep in mind, in order to park at some of the trail heads you must purchase a parking pass and those can be purchased at Big Bear Discovery Center too. There is a 2.5 mile paved walking and biking trail by the lake, which is suitable for all fitness levels. I’m not going to give too many details on the 2 mile round trip Glory Ridge Trail that literally drops 1,110 feet in one mile. (Too strenuous for me!) I opted for a different trail which was significantly easier. Speaking of cool weather, the high temperature was 70 degrees here today. As we drove through town, I noticed a local retailer that had a parking lot full of snow blowers for sale. Not surprising since this mountain village is all about skiing. The mountains surrounding the town have slopes easily noticeable. Many shops have their winter ski clothing displayed prominently. There is an Alpine Slide open year round. They offer toboggans, inner tubing, go carts and mini golf. There is also a zoo here. It is one of two dedicated alpine zoos located within the United States. This zoo serves as a rehabilitation area for animals from mountainous areas.
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