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Top 5 Free Things to Do in Big Bear

Founded in 1907, we have served over 1.3 million guest nights over the last 113+ years!

HomeBig Bear Top 5’sTop 5 Free Things to Do in Big Bear

Take a much-needed break to a locale full of four-seasons fun, fresh mountain air, lake calm, and small-town charm. Point your compass to Big Bear and enjoy it all. Planning and executing vacation plans can become time-consuming and expensive. Give your wallet a little relief and build in some activities and experiences that a free of charge! There are a variety of free things to do in Big Bear, from educational opportunities to getting out and enjoying the great outdoors and the surrounding area.

Big Bear Discovery Center

Experience and discover Big Bear. Opened in 1998, the center is largest visitor center in Big Bear Valley. A staff of friendly locals offers weekly programs and eco-tours. The center’s amphitheater also hosts special events including outdoor concerts, theater productions, nighttime interpretive programs, and more. The center is located at 40971 North Shore Drive/Hwy 38, Fawnskin, CA 92333. Call 909-382-2790 during their normal business hours of Thursday-Monday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. If you’re visiting during extreme weather seasons, call before making your plans to assure the center is open.

Alpine Pedal Path

If you’re looking to get out and stretch your legs, you can set out for adventure and point yourself in the direction of the Alpine Pedal Path. The 2.5-mile-long path is located on the north shore of Big Bear Lake and is perfect for all ages and skill levels, since it is mostly asphalt and mostly flat. There are sections that get you close to the water for a beautiful view of the lake, as well as through trees and beautiful scenery for a fun way to get a breath of fresh mountain air and sunshine. Start your adventure at the Stanfield Cutoff, and end near the Solar Observatory. No matter what mode of transportation you choose to navigate the path, make sure to watch for walkers, joggers, bikers, and others gliding along the path on roller blades.

Hiking

A breath of fresh mountain air, beautiful mountain scenery, pine forests, and open landscape as far as the eye can see. That’s what you’ll get when you lace up your hiking shoes or boots and head out to explore the natural beauty of Big Bear and the surrounding area. You won’t have to go far to visit the many parks and trails in the area for a dose of fresh mountain air. Set out for your hike prepared and bring plenty of water, snacks, sun protection, and your camera for capturing pictures of breathtaking landscapes and local wildlife in their natural habitat. Stop in at the Big Bear visitor center and grab a map and other information to guide you to must-see locations.

Free Things to Do on Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake is full of water and shore activities. Wear your swimsuit, grab a towel and some sunscreen, and head to the lake for swimming. Bring along your beach umbrella and favorite book and lounge on shore. Work together with the kids of the group to create awesome sandcastles. Round out the day with a beach picnic featuring homemade goodies prepared in the kitchen of your rental provided by Big Bear Vacations. If you’ve previously secured a California fishing license, you can bring some gear and cast a line, too.

Stanfield Marsh

You can spend all day in the area with the multiple things to do in Big Bear for free. The Stanfield Marsh Wildlife and Waterfowl Preserve and Stanfield Marsh Boardwalks are a place of breathtaking outdoor beauty in Big Bear. The preserve entrance is located on the corner of the Stanfield Cutoff and Big Bear Blvd. and is easily accessible. A beautiful wooden gazebo with surrounding seating holds informative posters with facts about area wildlife. The best times to visit are early morning and late afternoon, when fish and waterfowl are looking for food. Stroll the boardwalks built over the water and get a view of wildlife in, on, and around the water. A small island not far from shore was built as a safe haven for the visiting waterfowl. Parking is limited.

Experiencing Big Bear on a Budget

You came to the area on an adventure you hope to be full of fun and excitement. You’re also trying to save a little bit of money by seeking out low-cost or free entertainment. One of the low-cost decisions you’ll make is booking a vacation rental with air conditioning with Big Bear Vacations. Our vacation rentals in Big Bear are affordable while still offering all the comforts of home and vacation fun and relaxation. After your day’s adventures, make a meal in your unit’s fully equipped kitchen. Snuggle in for a favorite a movie or stretch out and warm up next to the fire in an open living space. Choose a cozy one-bedroom cabin for a solo or sweetheart escape, all the way up to a sprawling seven-bedroom home for an adventure with all your loved ones. Book a premium unit and get upgrades like stainless steel appliances, granite counters, hardwood floors, flat-screen TVs and more! For extra special gatherings of multiple families or a large group, ask about renting multiple cabins or homes near one another. You can combine cabins to create accommodations that include 19 bedrooms!

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