1 . Timberline Lodge

Big Bear Lake, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 803 - 4111

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Finish the following sentence: I want ______ on my Big Bear Lake vacation. Then say these four little words: Take me to Timberline – Timberline Lodge, that is. It’s our No. 1 spot and your destination for no-limits vacations in Big Bear, California!

Here comes the fun part: deciding exactly what it is you’re looking for in a Southern California vacation. Maybe it’s a spacious two-bedroom cabin that not only accommodates the whole family in rustic comfort, but also keeps the kids entertained with a sparkling swimming pool a few steps away. Well, Timberline Lodge has it! And speaking of entertainment, you’ll find plenty at this Big Bear lodge. From a kiddy play yard and swings to a sandbox and sport courts, Timberline Lodge virtually forbids boredom on your Big Bear family vacation! Perhaps you’re looking for a slightly more secluded experience, one that’s ripe with romance on your California weekend for two. Set on Big Bear Lake’s shores, Timberline Lodge’s fully-furnished home rentals offer plenty of privacy and a luxurious outdoor Jacuzzi that’s just right for the occasion.

Fun facts

Book a Timberline Lodge cabin and get 50 percent off bike and kayak rentals at GetBoards during your stay!

Highlights

Most Timberline Lodge cabins feature full kitchens; all cabins have a microwave, coffee maker and refrigerator, plus a TV with VCR.

Getting there

The Timberline Lodge is located on Hwy. 18 (Big Bear Boulevard), approximately three miles east of the dam and one mile west of the Village.

2 . Northwoods Resort

Big Bear Lake, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 866 - 3121

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Our No. 2 spot is known for its spectacular Big Bear weekend getaways, but we have a hard time believing anyone would settle for so little time in such an unsurpassed California destination. So turn that two-day trip into a week-long Big Bear vacation at Northwoods Resort – we promise you won’t be disappointed!

Imagine your Big Bear vacation, your way. An endless variety of Northwoods Resort amenities makes your dream Big Bear Lake vacation come to life before your very eyes! As if Stillwells Restaurant’s juicy prime steaks weren’t enough to tempt your tastebuds, this gourmet Big Bear eatery also serves up the freshest seafood in the valley. The restaurant’s flaky Atlantic salmon filets are best followed with an aquatic venture of another kind. No, not the shrimp cocktail – we’re talking about a refreshing dip in Big Bear’s only year-round heated outdoor pool and spa! You’ll be treated to the best of both worlds in your Northwoods Resort guestroom. Inside these Adirondacks-inspired accommodations, you’ll find all the rustic touches you’d expect from a Big Bear cabin, without the six-legged critters that all too often come with it! No wriggling bugs here, just modern conveniences like wireless Internet paired with creature comforts like wet bars and spa-like tubs.

Highlights

Tradition not your thing? A California mountain wedding ceremony like no other awaits you in Northwoods Resort’s lovely poolside courtyard.

Related Onsite Offerings

In-room movies, Nintendo games and cribs make Northwoods Resort perfectly suited to Big Bear family vacations.

Fun facts

Known first by the Serrano Indian name Yuhaviat, Big Bear Lake, California received its title from Benjamin Davis Wilson, an esteemed California statesman.

3 . Marina Resort

Big Bear Lake, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 600 - 6000

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We’ll admit it: We chose our No. 3 spot for the views. It only took one breathtaking Big Lake sunset to convince us that Marina Resort might be the region’s most inspiring place to join hands and hearts with a spectacular California wedding ceremony at the water’s edge.

We can see it now. The handsome groom anxiously awaiting his soon-to-be bride’s walk down the aisle. The bride looking radiant in her snow-white wedding dress and veil. The expectant faces of their family and friends as she steps across the lawn and into a picturesque wedding gazebo overlooking Big Bear Lake. And the elegant, white-tented reception that follows, complete with tiny twinkling lights that perfectly echo the star-studded California sky. If we’re misty-eyed just thinking about it, imagine how you’ll feel when you say “I do” at Marina Resort! But we’ve saved the best for last. Marina Resort’s all-inclusive Big Bear wedding packages are so reasonable, you can afford to stay for your honeymoon! Turn this Big Bear resort’s master suite into your private California honeymoon retreat, or make it a weekend wedding extravaganza. Your guests will thank you when they step out onto Marina Resort’s private sandy beach and into the bright California sunshine!

Related activities

Strap on a wakeboard or a pair of water skis before you tie the knot. Marina Resort’s waterfront location on Big Bear Lake lets you enjoy water sports, volleyball and more on your California vacation!

Fun facts

Big Bear Lake is a man-made fresh-water lake. It is seven miles long and a mile across at its widest point, but 1/2 mile across on average.

Highlights

A cozy log fire and rustic lounge chairs are prominent features of Marina Resort’s inviting lobby.

4 . Golden Bear Cottages

Big Bear Lake, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 461 - 1023

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Our No. 4 spot may not be dipped in gold, but it does promise you and the kids plenty of precious moments on your California family vacation. Tucked away on some of Southern California’s most densely-forested terrain, Golden Bear Cottages is a rare gem among Big Bear Lake accommodations!

Rock fireplaces and wraparound log porches lend each of Golden Bear’s cottages authentic mountain charm, while Jacuzzis and spas in some of these California cabin rentals add a touch of modern luxury to your Big Bear vacation. Some of the resort’s more spacious cottages can easily accommodate your Southern California group vacation or family reunion; they even include their own picnic areas with BBQs for easy grilling and entertaining. Golden Bear Cottages would never expect you to leave your furry, four-legged family members behind, and they’ve set aside special cabins with fenced-in yards just for the occasion! Golden Bear offers a wide range of charismatic California mountain cabins, but we know what you’re really looking for in a Big Bear family vacation: California adventures to wow the whole crew! Located only one block from Big Bear Lake, this Southern California resort is a short walk away from boating, fishing, sunbathing and more on Boulder Bay.

Related Onsite Offerings

Golden Bear Cottages offers many additional services, including massages in the privacy of your cottage or in the onsite salon.

Related activities

If aquatic adventures just aren’t your style, Golden Bear Cottages also offers dry land pursuits like mountain biking, hiking and guided bald eagle tours.

Highlights

The Golden Bear Cottages Gift Shop and Visitor's Information Center is staffed with knowledgeable locals who have answers to all of your Big Bear-related questions, including the weather.

5 . Edgewater Resort

Big Bear Lake, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (909) 866 - 3105

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We could spend all day heaping praise upon our No. 5 pick, but we think it’d be so much simpler to let its name do the talking. We know what you’re really after on your Big Bear vacation and true to its name, Edgewater Resort puts you right on its shores. Even your boat stays for free!

Sure, Edgewater Resort’s lakefront suites offer the convenience of kitchenettes, the cozy ambiance of gas log stoves and expansive windows to take in the view. But we bet it won’t be long before Big Bear Lake’s deep blue waters lure you from these spacious accommodations and into its refreshing depths. Those who prefer less waterlogged adventures can skim the water on a pair of skis, cruise the shoreline in a canoe or race the wind atop a WaveRunner. Every suite at Edgewater Resort includes a private deck overlooking Big Bear Lake, a perfect place for watching the sun set over these California waters. And on the very edge of the horizon, we spotted something that’s sure to stir your littlest land-lovers into a frenzied state. Big Bear’s pirate ship – an authentic replica of a Spanish galleon – hints of whirlwind adventures and buried treasures, but in reality offers something better: narrated tours of Big Bear Lake!

Entrance fees

Big Bear group events or reunions are always welcome at the Edgewater, where a range of spacious rooms and suites can accommodate an intimate party or family function of up to 50 guests.

Related activities

Edgewater Resort is only one block from Big Bear Village, where you can peruse the unique shops and boutiques or sit down and savor some of Southern California’s finest dining experiences.

Related Onsite Offerings

Though not part of the Edgewater grounds, the adjacent Water’s Edge lakefront home offers three bedrooms, two baths and a one-bedroom apartment, both available through the Edgewater.

6 . Honey Bear Lodge

Big Bear Lake, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (909) 866 - 7825

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With the deep blue waters of Big Bear Lake stealing most of the spotlight, it’s easy to forget that Southern California’s quintessential mountain town was first famous for its Gold Rush roots. Fortunately, our No. 6 spot offers a look back into this Southern California city’s history on your Big Bear vacation!

Honey Bear Lodge has cornered the market on Big Bear lodge rooms, cabins and private homes that let you live the authentic mountain lifestyle on your California vacation. Cozy rooms feature rustic touches like plaid bedspreads and wood-burning fireplaces accented with stone mantles. And a select few of these Big Bear accommodations even include en-suite spas, an inspired end to any evening, especially when paired with some of the most spectacular mountain views in all of Southern California. But it was Honey Bear Lodge’s historic tours – a must for those looking to experience the spirited essence of this mountain town – that earned it our vote for most authentic Big Bear mountain getaway. At Honey Bear Lodge, stepping back in time is as easy as stepping up into a full-size stagecoach, courtesy of Bear Valley Stage Lines. For a true sampling of Big Bear’s storied past, we suggest the Big Bear Discovery Center, an education-based outpost in the heart of the valley.

Fun facts

Honey Bear Lodge encourages you to stay and play in Big Bear just a little longer by offering discounts on multiple night stays!

Related activities

Big Bear skiing and snowboarding, boating, jet skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding and more can all be enjoyed just minutes from Honey Bear Lodge.

Getting there

From the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, follow I-10 East to the city of Redlands. Take Route 30 North four miles to Highland. Follow Route 330 North to Running Springs. Turn onto Rte. 18 and follow the signs to Big Bear Lake. At Big Bear Dam, turn right to stay on Rte. 18 and proceed to the city of Big Bear Lake. Cross over the bridge and continue on Rte. 18. When you reach the Village of Big Bear Lake, continue straight into the village and past the stop sign at Pine Knot. After two blocks, the road will end at the entrance to Honey Bear Lodge.

7 . Robinhood Resorts

Big Bear Lake, California

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Set in the heart of Big Bear Village, our No. 7 spot earned itself a place in hearts of another sort – ours! In reality there wasn’t any theft involved, but in keeping with the tradition of its namesake – best known for robbing the rich to feed the poor – we’ll say that Robinhood Resorts ran away with our hearts on our Big Bear vacation!

Our No. 7 pick is so much more than a resort; it’s a trio of fanciful Big Bear accommodations – the Robinhood Inn, the Sherwood Forest and the Wishing Well – that will transport you to the fairytale forests that first made this beloved hero famous. We can’t promise you any merry men, but we can give you our solemn pledge that you’re in for something special on your Big Bear vacation. Speaking of special, we think it’s high time you took that special someone on a romantic California getaway to Robinhood Resorts! Sherwood Forest’s deluxe spa rooms feature wood-burning fireplaces, en-suite Jacuzzis and inspiring views of Big Bear Lake that will tempt even the fairest of maidens. And just in case, the fine California cuisine – including scrumptious seafood and pasta dishes – served up at Nottinghams Restaurant ought to strike a few sparks in your loved one’s heart.

Highlights

Robinhood Resorts’ lightly-themed event spaces, including Friar Tuck’s Tavern and Little John’s Pub, add a playful twist to Big Bear meetings and corporate events.

Getting there

From Los Angeles and Orange Counties, follow I-10 East to the Running Springs/Hwy. 30 exit in Redlands. Follow Hwy. 30 to Hwy. 330 and exit onto Hwy. 18. Follow Hwy. 18 to the Robinhood Resorts entrance.

Related Onsite Offerings

In addition to Big Bear guestrooms and suites, Robinhood Resorts offers charming chalets and Big Bear Lake homes with plenty of space for Southern California group vacations.

8 . Inn at Fawnskin

Fawnskin, California

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Some might turn up their noses at our No. 8 spot’s small proportions, particularly when comparing it to the grand-scale lodges that dot Big Bear Lake’s shores. But if you ask our opinion, we’d tell you that the Inn at Fawnskin – like its hoofed counterpart – has certainly grown into its spots, even if there are only five of them!

Surrounded by the towering pines of the San Bernardino Mountains and fronting Big Bear Lake’s north shore, the Inn at Fawnskin is equal parts mountain solitude and lakefront adventure on your Southern California vacation. With such a warm, cozy ambiance offered in each of its suites, the innkeepers knew it would take something special to tempt you from your peaceful slumber. That’s why the inn serves a scrumptious gourmet breakfast each morning! Spring in Big Bear is a well-kept secret, so skip the crowds and plan your Big Bear vacation around this spectacular season, when tulips, daffodils and lilacs – and a hint of romance – are all in full bloom. And with Southern California temperatures hovering around a breezy 65 degrees, we think it’s the perfect time to hole up with your sweetie in front of the Garden Suite’s fireplace or in the jetted tub for two!

Fun facts

At a mile and a quarter above most of Southern California, Big Bear's forests, mountains, lake and weather make for ideal three-day fall getaways to the Inn at Fawnskin.

Highlights

Rooms in the Inn at Fawnskin include fireplaces, sitting areas, televisions, luxurious microfiber spa robes, balconies and views of Big Bear Lake.

Getting there

From the 10 Freeway, exit at Hwy. 210 to 330. Stay on Hwy. 210 for three miles and exit at the Mountain Resorts off-ramp. Take Hwy. 330/18 to Big Bear Lake and follow it to the dam. The Inn at Fawnskin will be on your left as you approach the corner of North Shore Drive and Canyon Road. From the High Desert area, take Hwy. 18 and stay on North Shore Drive. Follow the signs to Fawnskin and continue past Stanfield Cutoff and into the inn’s entrance.

9 . Black Forest Lodge

Big Bear Lake, California

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Before encountering our No. 9 spot, our closest association with the Black Forest – a wooded mountain range in southwestern Germany – was a delightful taste of the world-famous chocolate, cherry and cream cake that shares its name.

While the Black Forest Lodge obviously isn’t edible, we think you’ll find plenty to love about this Bavarian lodge on your Big Bear vacation. For centuries, residents of Germany’s Black Forest region made a name for themselves as talented artisans, known around the world for their exceptional craftsmanship and intricately-carved cuckoo clocks. Today, you can get a taste of this Bavarian tradition without ever leaving the states. Each of Black Forest Lodge’s nostalgic cabins boast traditional stone and cedar shake exteriors, shuttered windows and hand-painted trim. Steeped in German traditions, it’s no coincidence that Black Forest Lodge’s rustic cabins are reminiscent of cozy ski chalets. Come winter, a flurry of snow blankets this Big Bear lodge and transforms it into a Bavarian village of folklore proportions. With in-cabin fireplaces and two-person spa tubs, we think these Big Bear cabins are a welcoming retreat after a full day of skiing on Big Bear Mountain Resorts’ slopes. And with Black Forest Lodge’s convenient ski packages, it’s never been easier to enjoy them!

Related activities

Indulge in some much-needed pampering after hitting the Big Bear Mountain slopes. Black Forest Lodge’s onsite salon, Enchanted Forest Hair Designs, offers tanning, nails, hair and massage services.

Highlights

Accomplished artist Valentina Ratshenko-Lamdin, whose work is featured in galleries, museums and private collections throughout the world, holds painting workshops at the Black Forest Lodge.

Related Onsite Offerings

Black Forest Lodge also offers a selection of private Big Bear homes accommodating from two to ten people.

10 . Castle Wood Cottages

Big Bear Lake, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (909) 866 - 2720

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What do a museum and our No. 10 pick have in common? They both showcase artifacts born from ancient civilizations, global cultures and the occasional mythical character. While Castle Wood Cottages’ themed rooms may be reproductions, the romantic ambiance found inside each is assuredly authentic!

Spanish tiles, pirate ship murals and hidden treasure may be prominently featured in the Captain’s Quarter’s, but we can promise one thing won’t stay buried for long: the romance on your Big Bear Lake vacation! But this amorous ambiance isn’t solely limited to Castle Wood’s pirate-themed suite; each of these Southern California cabins comes with a spellbinding theme, from the Anthony and Cleopatra suite dripping with gold to the functional moat and regal furnishings of the Castle Garden. We could tell you about Castle Wood Cottages’ proximity to Big Bear’s village, slopes and marinas, but why waste valuable space describing sights and attractions you’ll likely never see? With everything required of your romantic Big Bear getaway – bubbling Jacuzzi tubs, canopy beds and the warm glow of your fireplace hearth – found right inside your Castle Wood cottage, we don’t see any compelling reason to forsake these “suite” accommodations!

Highlights

With rates starting at an astonishingly low $75, you don’t have to break the bank to have a truly romantic Big Bear vacation at Castle Wood Cottages!

Related activities

All Castle Wood Cottages guests are invited to use the Timberline Lodge’s heated swimming pool during their stay.

Related Onsite Offerings

Castle Wood Cottages can arrange for gift baskets, fresh flowers, candles, chocolate-dipped strawberries and more to make your Big Bear Lake getaway truly spectacular!

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