The Best of What’s New in Big Bear

The alpine paradise keeps getting better with new restaurants, activities, shopping—and a dedicated ski resort mobile app.

Where to Stay

Big Bear boasts hundreds of lodging options—and with new cabins, condos, and vacation homes being added all the time, there’s always a new, cozy retreat to discover. If you want to stay close to the mountain resorts, your best bet is snagging one of these spots through Vrbo, Airbnb, or the online booking tool Visit Big Bear.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo

Doubling as a wildlife rehabilitation facility, the 5.6-acre new and improved Big Bear Alpine Zoo gives you an up-close look at dozens of local species, including artic foxes, snow leopards, bald and golden eagles, and timber wolves. But the park’s biggest attraction (literally) is also one of the most majestic—a family of three massive grizzly bears lounging in a sprawling enclosure.

Big Bear Mountain Resort Mobile App

It’s easier than ever to cut through the crowds and hit the slopes thanks to the new Big Bear Mountain Resort mobile app. Purchase lift tickets, order food, access maps, check weather and trail conditions, track your runs—it’s a one-stop shop for getting the most out of your winter getaway. Available on the App Store and Google Play.

La Pergola Trattoria

With its vaulted ceilings, rustic lamps, and dining room festooned with vibrant houseplants, the charming La Pergola Trattoria fits right in at The Village at Big Bear Lake. You can’t go wrong with any of the pasta dishes, but the star of the show is the pizza—from the savory Carne packed with sausage, pancetta, and pepperoni, to the flavorful Funghi with ricotta and parmesan, prosciutto, roasted garlic, arugula, and mushrooms. Pair your order with a glass of imported wine, or indulge in one of the cheekily named cocktails. (The Sophia Loren on a Moped, anyone?) And if you’re feeling inspired after your meal, stop by the restaurant’s cute corner pantry to pick up some Italian ingredients.

Yosemite Axe Throwing

Have an axe to grind? Embrace your inner lumberjack at Yosemite Axe Throwing’s new Big Bear location, where you can spend an action-packed hour tossing axes of every shape and size at four-foot wooden targets. New to the sport? Not to worry—the facility’s professional throwers will help you master the basics in no time.

Santa Land

In Big Bear, the most wonderful time of the year can be experienced all year long. With a dozen themed playrooms and thousands of likenesses of the big man himself, Santa Land is a jolly good time for the whole family, whether you’ve been naughty or nice. Explore interactive exhibits, learn about Santa’s pop culture history, and write a letter to the North Pole. Feeling like a Grinch? The attraction also features playrooms and events for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and more.

The Cookshak

This unassuming, outdoor seating–only grill packs a delicious punch with loaded sandwiches, slow-cooked BBQ, and more. But what sets The Cookshak apart is something you won’t find on many menus in Big Bear: vegan options. Order up plant-based takes on classic American fare, such as the vegan grilled cheese with three types of “cheese,” or satisfy your lunchtime cravings with Ari’s Veggie Sandwich—sprouts, tomato, cucumber, red onion, avocado, Vegenaise, and oil and vinegar on your choice of bread. You can also fuel up in the morning with a hearty selection of vegetarian breakfasts, including the veggie breakfast burrito and the mushroom-and-cheese omelet.

Lodge Podge


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Eclectic and charming, Lodge Podge is the newest home décor shop on the block. From antiques, art, and handcrafted jewelry to clothing, candles, and kitchenware, this quaint stop on the eastside of town has a little bit of everything to brighten up your home. 909.281.4647

Maples Hills Trails Complex, Phase One

The San Bernardino Mountains counts yet another addition to its extensive trail network: the Maple Hills Trails Complex. The first of three planned trails, the High School Loop is an easy 3.2-mile hike tucked in between neighborhoods, ideal for a wintertime excursion.

Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain

Every year, this small but mighty amusement park seems to add another thrill. The Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain’s latest is the Mineshaft Coaster, the first and only mountain coaster in California. Take in the alpine scenery as you go up, then control how fast you go down the mile-long track featuring dips, tunnels, corkscrews, and more.

Mountain Transit Trolley

Spotty GPS? Concerned about snowy conditions on the road? Get around town carefree on Mountain Transit’s free Big Bear Trolley. Three convenient routes (Blue, Gold, and Red) take riders to Big Bear’s most popular destinations, including the ski resorts, Boulder Bay, The Village, supermarkets, and the local airport.

Big Bear Discovery Center

After three years of renovations, the much-anticipated reopening of Big Bear Discovery Center is set for spring 2022. A favorite of locals and visitors since 1998, the nature center provides all the information you need to explore this gorgeous mountain region. The revamped facility will include fun exhibits on the geology, flora, fauna, and history of the San Bernardino National Forest.

Marina Riviera

Since 1969, visitors have made the Marina Riviera their cozy home away from home. Today, the gorgeous lakefront hotel is putting the finishing touches on its longtime makeover with an expected reopening in the spring. The new look will combine vintage vibes with modern luxury—plus unbeatable views of the lake.