Comfortable days, cool nights, and classic fall colors make an autumn rendezvous to Big Bear Lake an attractive escape. At a mile and a quarter above most of Southern California, Big Bear's forests, mountains, lake and weather make for an ideal three-day fall getaway.
Day One: On the water. Big Bear Lake beckons with crisp, clear water and 23 miles of attractive shoreline. You may choose to explore the shore or the rest of the lake with your own locomotion, the help of an engine, or by letting a captain lead the way.
Canoes, kayaks, windsurfers, sailboats, and paddleboats are available to rent. More pulse-rising experiences include water skiing, jet skiing, and parasailing. Singles, couples, and families find a lake tour atop the local pirate ship enlightening and entertaining. The Time Bandit sails through the end of October.
The fish are still biting in fall, too. From the shore and aboard personal or rented craft, you can cast for plentiful, bass, trout, catfish and blue gill. Several full service marinas will fulfill all of your bait, tackle, and licensing needs.
Day two: On the land. There are a half dozen ways to absorb the falling leaves and deep blue skies surrounding Big Bear Lake. Four-wheel drive and jeep tours expose the lake and valley from all vantage points. Horseback riding trails allow you to wonder while you wander in virtually every direction. An extensive trail system offers walking, hiking or biking atop casual asphalt paths, gentle forest floor, or challenging rutted, sandy, and root-bottomed paths. Orange County Register readers recently voted the Big Bear area the "Best Hiking in Southern California."
Day three: The town. Browsing or buying, local shops look and feel like they belong in the alpine environment they are. Unique souvenirs, fine-art and mountain apparel can all be found with coffee shops, pubs, and a broad range of dining options in between. Some of Big Bear Lake's most popular annual events take place in fall, including Oktoberfest, an International Film Festival, and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
» Also view Winter, Spring and Summer's Travel Planners.